In our progressive tax system, the more money someone earns, the greater percentage of that income he or she pays in taxes (not just a greater amount, but a greater percentage). And if that income comes from corporate profits, it’s taxed twice: once at the corporate rate of 35% and once at the dividend or capital gains rate of 15%. And that’s just federal taxes.
Despite this, Obama leads his followers to believe that successful people have accumulated their wealth by taking advantage of others — and that conservatives want them exempted from the public responsibilities everyone else must meet. This is hogwash. But Obama’s cheering crowds in Roanoke and elsewhere believe it.
So far, the central strategy of Obama’s campaign has been to prey on an electorate that largely doesn’t understand our overly complicated tax code. He is convincing people that their economic woes are the result of others’ successes, and that others’ successes are the result of cheating the system. That is one of the most disingenuous and ruinous agendas a politician can promote, and so far, the Republicans are letting him do it.
If Mitt Romney is to win in November, he must take the initiative in defining himself and defining his conservative positions. If he does not, Barack Obama will surely do it for him.
Romney should take heed: piles of straw typically do not fare well in general elections.
Joseph Petros is an associate at the law firm of Warren and Young PLL in Ashtabula, Ohio. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy.