Obama speech has positives, but promotes tax shell game

Freedom New Mexico

Barack Obama had best become the messiah, considering this utopia he promises.

His acceptance speech last week had a shelf life of 10 hours, spent while most Americans slept. They awoke to find a news industry that had moved on to focus on the announcement of John McCain’s new running mate, the conservative and popular governor of Alaska.

The burial of Obama’s speech is too bad, because the speech was amazing. From a perspective of delivery, it may have been the best speech ever made by one of the greatest orators of all. It was moving, inspiring, full of promises and hope.

And great speeches mean something. Part of great leadership is the ability to communicate well-organized ideas. Obama does that better than most, matched in modern America only by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Alan Keyes.

His criticisms of the big-spending Bush administration are largely valid.

But the speech has come and gone, brilliantly buried by McCain’s masterful timing, and we still don’t know much at all about Obama’s plans for this country.

Journalism students learn about the six essential elements of a story: who, what, when, where, why and how. Obama’s good with the “Ws.”

Question: Who will he help? Answer: Middle-class Americans and the poor.

Question: What will he do for them? Answer: Give them health care like Congress members have, educational opportunities like they’ve never seen, and all kinds of amenities the rich folks enjoy.

Question: When will he do this? Answer: After he’s elected president.

Question: Where will he do it? Answer: From the White House.

Question: Why will he do it? Because he believes it’s the right thing to do.

And then there’s this nagging little question, seldom asked and never fully answered: How will he do it?

Obama didn’t leave the “how” entirely out of his speech. He promised to soak the rich, cutting taxes for the middle class and poor at an expense to the highest producers. At that point, the speech became a promise of an old recycled gift in the prettiest package ever placed under a tree.

Liberal Democrats have pitted the classes against one another since the beginning of our two-party political process. It always sounds like a good populist plan. We’ll take from those with the most and give to those with the least. It’s the Robin Hood thing; Robin Hood is socialist parable.

Obama can soak corporations and the rich, but he can’t create wealth. Government does not, and cannot, produce wealth. Free economies produce wealth. And unless Obama creates wealth, he can’t provide health care and education for all. Health care and education are forms of wealth, and there’s not enough to go around.

Soak-the-rich taxes merely serve as new overhead to people who set prices and employ the middle class and poor. All taxes are regressive, because wealthy individuals and corporations pass along their overhead. They aren’t evil, they’re just in business.

Robin Hood didn’t help the poor, he stole for the poor. If the CEO of Acme is hit with a giant new tax bill at home, he may lay off his gardener and maid — lower-income workers supposedly aided by a tax break.

The only way to keep taxes low for the middle class and the poor is to keep taxes low for all. Higher taxes for the rich make no more sense than higher fuel prices for the rich. Higher fuel prices for the Safeway Corp., and its owners, would mean dramatically higher food prices — felt disproportionately by the middle class and the poor. All tax is regressive.

Obama’s soak-the-rich plan to pay for amazing promises simply isn’t going to work, because it’s merely a redistribution ploy. To give all Americans equal access to health care and education, this country will need additional wealth, not a shell game involving the wealth we already have.