With what may be President Obama's final State of the Union address , he has outlined the divisions that will define the philosophical conflict in the 2012 election. The conflict to be played out will be the battle between American exceptionalism and European-style class resentment.
“You can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”
Obama didn't actually distinguish what kind of taxes he was talking about during his attempt at divisive populism during his State of the Union speech tonight. The reason those billionaires are paying less in taxes is because they tend to make more income from Capital Gains taxes. That's tax on profits from investments bought with money they have already paid taxes on. Like when you get taxed on interest in your bank account.
What does raising the tax rate on investment income usually accomplish? Lower investment rates. Investments are what create jobs and drive industry. If Obama had ever held a real job in his life, he might understand that better. But seemingly motivated by the defunct, vapid Occupy movement's call to class warfare and vilifying the "1%", the Food Stamp President, who is in danger of losing the 2012 election, has leaped upon the opportunity to exploit class resentment.
A disciple of radical activist Saul Alinsky, Mr. Obama may not have a tremendous understanding of the American spirit, which is something very different than the attitudes in the socialist Europe he admires and wants to emulate.
That weakness has laid bare the Republican strategy, to play upon optimism and the American dream and use it against Mr. Obama's 21st Century version of Jimmy Carter's National Malaise.
The man who came to Washington promising "change" is now likely to be remembered as "The Great Divider," being responsible for more political polarization than a predecessor who was relentlessly accused of that fault.
Obama's State of the Union shows a President who thinks he leads a nation as pessimistic as he is. That betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the American character and one that will likely cost him more votes than the Deocrats' war chest can buy between now and November.
Update: I think I know where Obama's getting his stupid economic ideas
Herman Cain's response to the State of the Union address was rather good:
The rest of Cain's response is at The Other McCain