Joe Biden: Patriotism's Evil Twin
In a brazen display of a 1950’s style Communist leader, Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate announced this week that it is the patriotic duty of successful Americans to pay more taxes in order to “take money and put it back in the pocket of middle class people.”
In this video clip of an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, Biden offers a chilling smile, one which Mao or Lenin might have offered just before destroying you, and says about higher taxes for high-income Americans, “Time to be patriotic, Kate. Time to jump in. Time to be part of the deal. Time to get America out of the rut.” The icy greed-lust of his words reminded me more than anything of the “looters” in Atlas Shrugged.
Even from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I have rarely heard such flagrantly Marxist rhetoric. Just what “deal” would he like successful people to be part of? When a pig is killed by a farmer and made into sausage for someone to eat at breakfast, the preferred “part of the deal” would be the diner’s part. Second best would be the farmer’s part. But just who would “jump in” to be the pig?
What “rut” does playing Robin Hood get us out of? I suppose it could get us out of the rut of a potential economic recovery. After all, what entrepreneur will take the risk of starting or growing a business and hiring new workers if his success will just make him that much bigger a target for the greedy hand of Uncle Joe?
Beyond the fact that his view is economically foolish and distinctly un-American philosophically, is Joe Biden really a man from whom Americans should trust advice on economics and taxation?
OpenSecrets.org, a non-partisan website “tracking the influence of money on U.S. politics”, rates Joe Biden as the poorest member of the US Senate, and the only one whose net worth is estimated, using the averages of numbers provided by the Senators themselves, at a negative number.
I don’t look down on Joe Biden for not being rich. Indeed, there is some honor in having served your country without succumbing to the temptations of corruption or cushy lobbying jobs. But, combined with the fact that Biden has never had a “real job” (I don’t count his less than 3 years practicing law as any exposure to the real world, the real economy, or the value of entrepreneurship), it leaves Biden as someone whom no working person should take seriously regarding tax policy. By “working person”, I mean anyone who works for a living, whether he or she earns $10,000 or ten million dollars in a year.
Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden do labor under what their best-known colleague once called a “willing suspension of disbelief” when they suggest socialist economic policies whose certain failure has been repeatedly demonstrated. In a remarkable showing of his true priorities, Barack Obama said he would raise capital gains taxes “for purposes of fairness” even if that meant the government would take in less revenue. Studies show that there is a distinct inverse correlation between capital gains tax rates and capital gains taxes actually collected. It was Barack Obama’s clearest statement that he cares more about punishing the rich than optimizing government revenue.
And now Joe Biden throws down a “patriotic” trump card against “tax cuts for the rich” even though me must know that the Bush tax cuts have made the income tax system the most “progressive” it’s been in the modern history of our nation.
Of the estimated 134 million returns filed for 2006, then, the bottom 50% (representing adjusted gross incomes under $31,987) paid 2.99% of all income taxes. And about 43 million of those returns had zero or negative tax liability. The top 1% of taxpayers now pays just under 40% of all income taxes collected, and the top 5% (incomes over $153,542) pay 60% of all income taxes. “Tax cuts for the wealthy” have raised the wealthy’s share of the total tax burden to its highest level ever and removed the largest percentage of working Americans ever out of paying any federal income tax.
And then there’s Joe Biden the hypocrite: In defending his “patriotic” comment, Biden said “Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most.” First, how do you think Biden would vote if some other Catholic doctrine was attempted to be forced on us through legislation…such as a prohibition against abortion? Biden had a 75% positive rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2007, a 100% rating in 2006, and a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood in 2006. Regardless of one’s views on abortion, Biden’s hypocrisy is palpable.
But it doesn’t stop there. Charity is an important tenet of Catholic tradition. And one would think that if Biden were going to try to force us to give “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” he must be quite a charitable guy. But an analysis by CBS news of the last ten years of Senator Biden’s tax returns show that “the Bidens give little to charity. 2007, in which they donated $995, was their most generous year, though in other years Biden donated honoraria from talk shows which were valued at higher amounts.” Joe, please put your hand in your own pocket before you reach into mine.
Joe Biden represents the worst possible combination of traits in someone espousing views on taxation: He’s never had a real job, never hired anybody outside of a government payroll, doesn’t practice what he preaches, has his hands on levers of political power, and is trying to get even more. So when Biden preaches that it’s your patriotic duty to be his victim, to make “the grand idea of Karl Marx” (as Estonian President Mart Laar calls progressive taxation) even more grand, just tell him it’s not a “deal” we want any part of. Yes, Joe, if anybody’s going to “jump in”, how about you first?
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