In fact, Robin Hood extracted revenge on Tuesday, although the thought probably hasn’t occurred to Dems or Republicans.
Although he counts a bounty of one-percenters among his supporters and cronies, Obama routinely excoriates the wealthy.
When the Occupy crowd began to campaign against Wall Street, Obama’s team members praised them. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a key influencer on Obama’s policy and a very wealthy woman to boot, said of the Occupiers, “God bless them…”
In 2011, Obama criticized those who own corporate jets—a perfectly legit business expense, by the way—despite the fact that he and his family use the equivalent of a corporate jet very frequently. Obama and the First Lady’s jet, and the jet for Pelosi as speaker have been paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.
Obama has repeatedly called for tax increases on those he calls the wealthy. We all know the truly wealthy are smart enough to protect their money from undue tax burdens. Small business owners and retirees with lucrative pension plans would likely absorb the majority of any new tax increase.
When it comes to Obama’s challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Democrats have attempted to tarnish Romney because he has succeeded in earning private wealth.
The overall message from Obama and his teammates has been anti-greed, anti-wealth and anti-prosperity in general.
When Big Labor and Democrats in Wisconsin went after Walker, Big Media assisted. Shock stories appeared, suggesting Walker was out to get rid of unions. In March, 2011, Gannett Newspapers did a fairly balanced analysis of the changes Walker wanted, but even Gannett couldn’t resist a bit of subliminal anti-Scott messaging.
Note how Gannett phrased changes in state employee pension contributions:
“State, school district and municipal employees who pay into the Wisconsin Retirement System would be required to contribute 50% of the annual pension payment. The payment amount is estimated to be 5.8% of salary in 2011.”
That 50 percent sounds huge, doesn’t it? Until you realize it’s only 5.8 percent of the salary. Here’s what Gannett left out—that amount will be matched by a generous 5-10 percent from the state.
In the private sector, productivity is higher and job security is a far cry from government guarantees. Very few private sector workers will see a match ranging from 5-10 percent on their pension contributions.
A brief look at the Wisconsin government website shows perks and benefits for state employees. Those perks include deferred compensation on up to $15,500 set aside for retirement—this amount can be saved as pre-tax earnings.
Then there are the “commuter benefits”:
“This program allows employees to pay eligible parking, mass transit and van pooling expenses from pre-tax rather than post-tax income.”
Read the list of Wisconsin state employee benefits. A state worker gets a good package and would only be fired under the most adverse circumstances.
Voters are aware of those benefits.
Thus by condemning wealth and by suggesting those who like to have more for themselves are greedy, Democrats set the stage for comparative analyses. Any taxpayer reading Walker’s changes or strolling by the state government website would immediately note the significant surpluses in the state employee sector compared to the private sector.
Robin Hood works both ways—taxpayers don’t like to feel they’re being looted.
Obama and the Democrats might want to bear that in mind going “forward.”
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/June 6, 2012)
Walker got Dems' message, now you can send him yours (The US Report)
Benefits available to state of Wisconsin employees (State of Wisconsin)
What’s in Wisconsin’s new law? (Gannett analysis at USA Today)
Comparing private sector and government worker salaries (Reason Foundation)
Recruiting bonuses, increased employees point to federal... (The US Report)