I agree with President Obama!

Some fun is being had at President Obama’s expense because he flubbed a line when he spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus awards banquet over the weekend. Via Aaron Worthing, I read that Mr Obama meant to say:

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

But what he actually said was:

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew, uh, as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.

Andrew Malcolm, of the Los Angeles Times, continued:

The president has been muffing lines all over the place recently. Last week, also peddling his jobs plan at a bridge that won’t qualify, he hailed America’s building of “the Intercontinental Railroad.” You don’t seem to hear much about these gaffes in the media for some reason.

That’s kind of amusing, since the blog article I read just a few minutes ago, by our good friend Amanda Marcotte, was complaining about all of the President Obama teleprompter jokes, when the picture of the President speaking shows him doing so without a teleprompter; maybe he really does need one! :)

But, I digress. I do not assume that Mr Obama’s slip of the tongue was somehow a Freudian slip, but an honest mistake. And I’ll state, here, for the record — whatever actual “record” this may be — that I agree with what the President meant to say: “If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.” I, too, think that billionaires ought to pay the same tax rates as janitors, as concrete plant workers, as construction laborers, as attorneys, as doctors, and as teachers. And I’ve said so before, in an article that was apparently so well-written and persuasive that absolutely no one took issue with it, as measured by the fact it received exactly zero comments.

What I don’t agree with is the idea that billionaires ought to pay a higher rate of taxation than other people, that some people should be taxed more highly than others simply because they are more productive.

So, with President Obama’s new statement, I see that he and I are in complete agreement.

6 Comments

  1. Commenting to provide proof that I am in full agreement.

    My federal income tax proposal (since we cannot rid ourselves of that vile thing) that differs slightly from yours:

    Flat tax, no standard deduction, deduction for charitable giving, the end.

  2. I went to Israel for a week for work back in 1990 just before the first Gulf War. I went there with my boss. The airport exit interviewers make our grabbing, feeling up, TSA molesters look like beginners in security. They asked where we went, who we met with, nature of our trip and places we stayed. We stayed in two different hotels, a “dump” then a good one I think was the Sheraton. I answered correctly, my boss said the “dump” and the Hilton, and then quickly corrected it to the Sheraton. Then he got 10 questions why he said the Hilton. Who did he meet, why did he say it, etc. Then the two inquisition guys compared notes. And we could wait in a specific area until boarding. All this due to an honest slip of the tongue since we passed the Hilton and looked in the front door, but didn’t go in. And all this is to say, BO got the target he wanted, and made it “seem” like a slip of the tongue. I trust nothing BO says or does.

  3. By the way, Dana, you claim that you want to get rid of government health care because you see nothing wrong with private care. And when I have pointed out premiums more than doubling in a decade, there’s nothing but crickets from your direction.

    Well, here’s a more recent story:

    The cost of health insurance for many Americans this year climbed more sharply than in previous years, outstripping any growth in workers’ wages and adding more uncertainty about the pace of rising medical costs.

    A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance on a yearly basis, shows that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer reached $15,073 in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year.

    Americans are already dying due to your health insurance system. How many would have to die before you admit there’s a problem, before there’s anything but [crickets] from you?

  4. A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance on a yearly basis, shows that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer reached $15,073 in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year.

    And, wow, about half of that is usually paid by the employee if I have it right? $7,500? When the median household income is around $50,000? A 15% “tax” paid to private insurers for slip-shod, cheating “care”?

    Wow – you Americans are getting hosed. You must be a nation of suckers.

  5. Normally, employers pay 70% to 80% of the premiums, but it’s still a cost. However, when I see stories, from people like you, people who support single-payer, government-run health care, in which your choice was to either go private, and pay for it out of your own pocket, or wait in pain for four months, until the government-paid system got around to you, and compare it to the almost immediate treatment I have gotten, from our private insurance based system, somehow I don’t see your system as a better option.

    If we had your system, our private insurance bills would disappear. But, since there’s no free lunch, our taxes would have to be significantly increased to pay for the single-payer system, and I see no particular reason to believe it would be any cheaper. Actually, given that it would probably be an income-based tax, it would have the higher producers paying more than the lower earners, for the same “benefit.”

  6. Normally, employers pay 70% to 80% of the premiums, but it’s still a cost. However, when I see stories, from people like you, people who support single-payer, government-run health care, in which your choice was to either go private, and pay for it out of your own pocket, or wait in pain for four months, until the government-paid system got around to you, and compare it to the almost immediate treatment I have gotten, from our private insurance based system, somehow I don’t see your system as a better option.

    What you have failed to mention was the immediate and quality treatment I received for other, more serious conditions.

    I had the choice. You, an American, do not. This is why I am better off than you.

    If we had your system, our private insurance bills would disappear. But, since there’s no free lunch, our taxes would have to be significantly increased to pay for the single-payer system, and I see no particular reason to believe it would be any cheaper.

    Apart from, you know, the evidence from every goddamned Western country. We ALL pay less for health care than the US BECAUSE,/b> we don’t go through health insurance companies.

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