Opinion

Obama’s millionaires are asking you for money

Photo of Hon. Ernest Istook
Hon. Ernest Istook
Former Republican Congressman
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      Hon. Ernest Istook

      Ernest J. Istook Jr. is a Distinguished Fellow at <a href="http://www.heritage.org/">The Heritage Foundation</a>. Istook served 14 years as a U.S. Congressman, then joined Heritage in 2007. He engaged in a wide and robust range of issues in Congress as he served on the House Appropriations Committee and chaired multiple subcommittees. He also served on the Homeland Security Committee.

      His congressional experience ranged from overall budget and spending issues to all forms of transportation, trade, defense, health care, education, labor, financial services, homeland security, religious liberty, and many others. He is a founder of the Republican Study Committee, the principal conservative caucus in the U.S. House.

      Tapping his broad experience, Istook is a frequent fill-in host for several major national talk radio programs; he writes weekly opinion columns for multiple outlets that include <a href="http://www.newsmax.com/blogs/ErnestIstook/id-66">NewsMax</a>, <a href="http://www.humanevents.com/search.php?author_name=Ernest++Istook">Human Events</a>, and The Daily Caller. His daily radio commentaries are heard on over 80 radio stations. He is a regular guest on many network and cable news and commentary programs.

      Istook’s professional background has been as a journalist, practicing attorney, public official and now policy expert. Overall, he served 25 years in elected office, ranging from city council to state legislature to U.S. Congress, all after he moved to Oklahoma in 1972 from his native Fort Worth, Texas. He also was the Republican nominee for Governor of Oklahoma in 2006.

      Istook holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Baylor University and law degree from Oklahoma City University. He and his wife, Judy, have five adult children and are active in church work. Istook served several years as a Boy Scout Scoutmaster. He is the grandson of Hungarian immigrants and the first college graduate in his entire family tree.

      His personal website is <a href="http://www.istook.com">www.istook.com</a>.

      Follow him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/Ernest_Istook">@Ernest_Istook</a>.

What a rush to have millionaires do your bidding. And President Obama has several of them.

Four of them were like the president’s puppets on a White House stage with Obama Wednesday. They stood mute, but Mr. Obama gladly spoke for them. Each millionaire, he said, believes they should pay higher taxes. (These millionaires also want you to send money to them. More on that later.)

“They haven’t been asked to do their fair share,” the president declared. “They believe there is something deeply wrong and irresponsible about that.”

That should have been the cue for the four to whip out their checkbooks and write checks to the Treasury on the spot. They didn’t. However, all four are political supporters of President Obama and have written checks to his campaign.

Each is also part of Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength (PMFS). Last November, PMFS members marched on Congress (perhaps aided by chauffeurs) to lobby for higher taxes. Yet despite their rhetoric, they weren’t ready to help reduce the federal deficit or debt. The Daily Caller’s Michelle Fields confronted several of them and asked if they would voluntarily contribute to the U.S. Treasury to help pay down the national debt. Each one of these OWS (Obama Wealthy Supporters) refused.

The rationales they offered to The Daily Caller included:

● “I don’t think we can solve the problem just with contributions.”

● “That is not going to help anybody.”

● “It would be of no impact whatsoever. It would be puny and ineffective.”

● “Taxes are not charity; they’re not voluntary. And that’s what we have to do for rich people as well as middle-class.”

Even if they’re being hypocritical, these rich people have a valid point because Obama’s tax on millionaires would accomplish very little. As The Heritage Foundation has noted, Obama’s plan “will only cover one-half of one percent of the president’s new spending. Soaking the rich cannot get deficits down, only spending reductions can do that.” Plus, the investment income of millionaires often has been taxed already, such as by the 35% corporate tax. That’s part of why a lower tax rate is assessed against the remainder.

The millionaire’s tax is Obama’s effort to change the subject from his jobs-killing agenda and issues such as skyrocketing gasoline prices.

Perhaps the Patriotic Millionaires have another goal. Across the top of their website, PatrioticMillionaires.org, is a button that says, “Support the Fight for Fiscal Strength. Donate today.”

That’s right. These millionaires want you to give them money. Curious why such filthy-rich people would need our charity, I clicked through to the donation page. It offered no information about where or how donations would be spent. Still, feeling more generous than they were toward reducing the national debt, I gave $1 through my PayPal account. The receipt finally told me that my $1 went to the Agenda Project Education Fund. I found their website, AgendaProject.org.