Federalism And Why Rick Perry Hasn’t Flip-Flopped On Same-Sex Marriage

Explain the change, the difference between

What you want and what you need
There’s the key
—R.E.M., I Believe

Full disclosure:  I’m a Texan.  But no, this isn’t a campaign endorsement.  It’s just an effort to keep the record clear.

Since the day Rick Perry made it official that he was running for President, the Houston Chronicle has cranked out daily (sometimes more than one a day) hatchet pieces all but expressly aimed at discrediting his candidacy.  It’s almost as though they had an inventory of such articles in the can and ready to go.
Shocking, I know.
Saturday’s article stems from Perry’s signing of the National Organization of Marriage (“NOM”) pledge to seek a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  The Chronicle headlined this article with the notation that “[a] month ago, he said same-sex marriage was for states to decide[,]” referring to Perry’s remarks at a Republican Governors Association gathering about New York’s recent legislation permitting same-sex marriage.  The suggestion is that by signing the NOM pledge Perry has changed his position to pander to social conservatives who immediately criticized his remarks.
I have news for both the Leftist media and the social Right (the latter of which I count myself as being among): Rick Perry’s position on the New York same-sex marriage statute was and remains correct, and by signing the NOM pledge he hasn’t flip-flopped on the issue.
Let’s start by looking at what Governor Perry actually said:
“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex.  And you know what?  That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me.  That is their call.  If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”
Perry didn’t say he supported same-sex marriage.  He simply didn’t.  What he said was what New York does on that issue is New York’s business.  And this highlights a fundamental point that so many misunderstand.
There is a basic misconception in this country that States are merely subordinate branches of a single government that emanates from Washington.  We’ve seen this misconception manifest itself repeatedly in the Obamacare discussion as supporters ridiculed those who criticized the program’s individual mandate as unconstitutional by pointing to car insurance.  Of course government can require the purchase of health care insurance; every state in the union already does that with car insurance.
The problem, of course, is that States aren’t subunits of the federal government, and the rules for States are, in fact, very different than they are for the federal government.  This is why the car insurance analogy was always irrelevant to the Obamacare debate, and why criticism of Mitt Romney over Massachusetts passing a similar statewide healthcare law during his watch as Governor is largely misplaced.  Recall that at this nation’s inception the colonies-cum-States were 13 individual sovereign entities, and the very core of the debate over whether to ratify the Constitution and create the Union at all was the concern over how much of that sovereignty the States would retain.  The Ninth and Tenth Amendments were specifically added to the Bill of Rights to guarantee that the States retained their sovereignty with very limited and specific exceptions, and were necessary inclusions to secure ratification; without them, the Constitution would never have been adopted, because States like Virginia, South Carolina, and even New York would never have agreed.
Under the Ninth Amendment: 
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
And the Tenth: 
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Framers couldn’t have been more clear.  Certain specific powers are conferred upon the federal government, and EVERYTHING else is reserved to the States or to the people.  James Madison famously elaborated on this idea in Federalist Paper No. 45: 
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.  Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.  The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce . . . The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.
Try as you might, you won’t find marriage discussed in the Constitution.  It’s just not there.  And because it’s not among those matters specifically delegated to the federal government, it is an issue expressly reserved to the individual States.  This is the point Perry was making with respect to New York.  I don’t like it, but at present there’s nothing Texas or the federal government can do about what New York has decided with respect to same-sex marriage within its borders. 
Perry understands what the Left can’t or won’t accept:  there are rules that are supposed to bind what the federal government can and can’t do, and if you want something at the federal level that isn’t provided for, there’s a process for accomplishing that and that’s called amendment.  And perhaps this is what has the Leftist media confused.  They can’t figure out why Perry wouldn’t simply appoint a judge to overrule the New York statute.
Isn’t that how we always do it?
The fact is that Perry hasn’t flip-flopped on the same-sex marriage issue.  In 2003 he signed Texas’ state version of the Defense of Marriage Act, specifying that Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.  In 2005 he supported the Texas Marriage Amendment to the State Constitution (which passed in a statewide referendum by an overwhelming 76% of the vote) making it unconstitutional for the State to recognize or perform same-sex marriages, plural marriages, or civil unions.  Perry’s statements regarding New York and his signing of the NOM pledge are consistent with his opposition to same-sex marriage and view that the issue is one for the individual States.
If you don’t like what New York has done with same-sex marriage, don’t move there.  But don’t blame Rick Perry for it.
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Voter I.D. Requirements Are Not Racism

“There’s a blurred spot in my vision . . . there . . . no, there . . . no, no . . .”
—Adele Maliss-Morey, as the Woman with Dirty Glasses in Doc Hollywood
I respect and admire John Lewis.  He is rightfully regarded as an icon of the 1960s civil rights movement, and his record of achievement—and personal sacrifice—in this regard is undeniable.  I actually had the privilege of meeting him once, and found him to be intelligent and engaging. 
But he’s wrong on this one. 
In a New York Times op-ed last Friday, Lewis invoked the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King in calling State voter I.D. requirements racist “poll taxes.”  He claims that these provisions disproportionately affect minorities, and are “clearly crafted to affect not just how we vote, but who votes.”  The basis for this claim is his assertion that “as many as 25 percent of African-Americans lack acceptable identification.”  One suspects that that number is complete nonsense, especially when you consider the variety of I.D. that is actually acceptable in most states.  Interestingly, just as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz did back in June in calling voter I.D. laws “literally” a return to Jim Crow, Representative Lewis cites no source for his figure,* and it isn’t clear whether he’s referring to ¼ of all blacks, or ¼ of voting-eligible blacks.  
Most significantly, however, Lewis only says these people “don’t have” I.D.  He doesn’t say they “can’t get” I.D., nor does he cite a single example of someone who wanted to being unable to get appropriate I.D., much less somehow being denied that I.D. because they’re black.  And there’s the real crux of the issue. 
I recognize I’m operating at a disadvantage as a white male born after the era of Jim Crow and the civil rights victories of the 1950s and 1960s.  I’ve never seen a “whites only” sign.  I haven’t marched, and I haven’t suffered the beatings and imprisonment and other indignities Representative Lewis has.  But there has to be something more to the charge than it’s racism because I’m civil rights hero John Lewis and I say it is.  He diminishes his message, discounts his achievements, and cheapens the sacrifices he and others have made when he cries racism where it isn’t. 
Sadly, there was a time when charges about racist voting laws were legitimate.  But this isn’t 1963, and this isn’t Jim Crow.  Mr. Lewis, you’ve won that fight.  Nobody is going to prevent you from getting an I.D. to vote.  Voter I.D. isn’t the same as the old “literacy tests” administered subjectively by boards of white people.  I.D. is tied directly to the constitutional requirements for voter eligibility:  citizenship, minimum age, and residency.  There is nothing racist about trying to ensure that only people who are supposed to vote are doing the voting.  And for those who want to dismiss the argument as a false crusade against a problem that doesn’t exist, consider the following: 
·      This Spring an NAACP official in Mississippi was recently sentenced to 50 years for, among other things, voting in the name of others, including dead people;
·      Earlier this month ACORN was assessed the maximum possible fine after a voter fraud conviction by a Nevada judge who cited ACORN’s long history of voter registration violations;
·      The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has determined that some 12,000 non-citizens registered to vote in 2010, and as many as 6,000 actually voted;
·      The State of New Mexico is investigating 64,000 cases of possible voter fraud;
·      A Milwaukee Police study found there was an illegal organized attempt to influence the 2004 elections;
·      In Ohio the NAACP has been repeatedly found involved in fraudulent voter registrations;
·      In Troy, New York, the City Clerk recently pled guilty to voter fraud charges.
Voter I.D. measures are directed at curbing this kind of abuse, and they have nothing to do with keeping blacks from the polls.  The test is objective and simple—do you have I.D.  In Texas all it takes to get a driver’s license or State I.D., either of which would suffice (other documents are also acceptable, but these are by far the two most common) is a $16 fee ($25 for a DL), and proof of identity and citizenship taken from a pool of acceptable forms including: 
·      Birth certificate
·      Social Security card
·      School records
·      State or federal government I.D.
·      Texas inmate card
·      Texas or federal parole card
·      Medicare or Medicaid card
·      Vehicle registration
Are you really telling me with a straight face that a significant number of blacks who are actually interested in voting can’t come up with this?  If voter I.D. opponents were really interested in preventing the alleged racist impact of such measures, they would spend their time helping people get the necessary I.D. instead of railing against the requirement or registering dead people.  That they don’t speaks volumes about their true motivation.  Heck, they could even hold a fundraiser to foot the $16 fee. 
I’ll bet Warren Buffett would write that check for you on the spot if you stop coddling him and ask.
In point of fact, claiming that requiring I.D. is racist is not only ludicrous in 2011, but the charge is in itself racist just as former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson was being racist when he argued that raising admission requirements for athletes was racist.  Both claims rest on the fundamental assumption that blacks are incapable of meeting the requirement, and thus need the rules to be dumbed down for them.  Lewis himself should know better, and should bristle at the suggestion. 
He is a shining example to the contrary.
The unfortunate fact is that what the Left learned in the 1960s is that applying the “racism” label is a powerful political tool.  No one wants to be branded a racist, and tapping into white guilt can get you a long way towards achieving just about any political aim you please.  So they use it, whether it applies or not.  In so doing, they perpetuate the very racism they claim to be working to defeat; at some point, we can’t get past the racial injustices of our national past if we don’t actually allow ourselves to get past them and move on.
You want to honor Dr. King’s memory and his vision for a time when men are judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin?  Then stop calling “racism” every time there’s something you don’t like politically.  Stop selling the black community short by insisting they’re handicapped when they’re not.  All modern voter I.D. requirements are trying to do is ensure that the people casting votes are the people who are supposed to be casting votes. 
As Lewis himself said in his speech at the 1963 March on Washington, “One man, one vote is the African cry. It is ours too. It must be ours.”
Indeed.
__________________________________
* I can surmise that they both are referring to a 2006 paper published by NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice that extrapolated a 25% nationwide figure for voting-age blacks based on unverifiable responses given in a telephone survey of 987 participants “randomly selected” from an unidentified pool in an undisclosed geography.  The survey asked vague questions about whether respondents had identification they could “readily access” with no real tie to actual voter identification requirements.  More importantly, the survey makes the same mistake as Mr. Lewis and Ms. Wasserman-Schultz in that it is only concerned with whether people had I.D. right then at the time of the call, and not the salient question of whether they could obtain the proper identification if they needed it to vote.

Keep Talking, Joe

“I wonder if the lion be to speak—No wonder, my Lord; one lion may, when many asses do.”

—William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Some of you are going to gag when you read this, but I have to be honest:
I love it when Joe Biden talks.  Seriously. 
Unlike Maureen Dowd or Paul Krugmann, neither of whom can I even bring myself to read anymore, I can’t get enough of the Vice President, and as far as I’m concerned, we should pay to have him miked and recorded 24/7.  Every time he opens his mouth, pure gold spews forth, and you know that down at Obama Manor the Monarch-In-Chief is throwing a 7-iron at a Secret Service agent:  Can’t someone put a #@*%$#% teleprompter in front of that @%&#%$* ?!?
It seems Genius Joe was in China this week to . . . wait, does anyone know why, exactly, the Vice President was in China, other than with everyone else having skipped town it seemed dangerous to leave him in the District by himself?  Like so much else with this rudderless administration, there doesn’t seem to have been a particular agenda or purpose for sending Biden to China.  But there he was, giving a speech in which he at least gave the appearance of expressing no criticism of China’s one-child-per-family policy:
“You have no safety net.  Your policy has been one which I fully understand—I’m not second-guessing—of one child per family.  The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people.  Not sustainable.”
In its backpedaling, the Vice President’s office points out that Biden’s remark was made in the context of explaining that the policy is economically unsustainable in relation to China’s entitlement programs.  Which is interesting, given that he told U.S troops in Japan yesterday that “I didn’t come [to Asia] to explain a damn thing.”  Well, whatever Biden was doing, what he didn’t do was say, as his office has later claimed is his position, that he finds China’s one-child policy “repugnant.”  He said he “fully understand[s]” it, and he’s “not second-guessing” it.  Not a lot of gray there.
Even if we accept that he wasn’t affirmatively endorsing China’s one-child policy, to say that Biden’s statements were colossally stupid and insensitive would be putting it mildly.
As an initial point, I don’t understand his math.  Two parents plus one child equals three people.  How does he get to one wage earner taking care of four retirees (for a total of five)?  Maybe he’s assuming that the parents later divorce and enter into same-sex relationships all under the single child’s household.  Or something like that.
More substantively, Biden is, of course, ignoring the well-documented human rights travesty the Chinese policy has been:
·     Quotas for abortions and sterilizations imposed on counties failing to enforce the policy;
·     Forced late term abortions against the mother’s will;
·     Post-birth infanticide;
·     Preferential abortions/infanticide to favor survival of male children over female;
·     Razing of homes and imposition of exorbitant fines as enforcement measures;
·     Governmental “erasure” of children born in violation of the policy.
So let me get this straight, Joe.  We’re going to stop the oil industry from producing domestic oil and creating jobs in the U.S. in order to save the Lesser Prairie Chicken and Sand Dune Lizard, but you’re not going to second guess a regime that has an official policy of forced abortion, sterilization, and outright killing of innocent children.  And the Chinese policy is particularly atrocious as to little girls.  Were such a policy in place in the U.S. at the time they were born, women like Margaret Sanger wouldn’t be here. 
Where is NOW when you need them? 
When Joe Biden speaks in his official capacity as Vice President on official White House business, he is legally acting as an agent of the Obama administration, and as such his words are directly attributable to Obama as though Obama said them himself.  This wasn’t some trivial gaffe like misspeaking about the number of states in the Union or confusing Elvis’ birthday with the anniversary of his death.  Biden didn’t just get his facts mixed up because of jet lag.  He could simply have said that the current Chinese policy results in too few children to support too many retirees and as such is unsustainable.  It wasn’t necessary for him to preface his comments on the economic consequences of the one-child policy with a caveat that he doesn’t second-guess the substance of the policy itself.  But he did.  And in doing it he exposed himself and this administration. 
Biden said children are an entitlement program safety net, not human beings.  By saying that out loud he conceded what many of us have understood all along that what people like him on the Left are about is shameless self-gratification now, with the consequences to be borne by someone else later.  Rather than you being responsible and saving for your own retirement, or at least the government saving the money it takes from you for that purpose and returning it to you in your retirement—remember, that’s what Social Security was supposed to have been—Biden’s idea is that government should spend the money it takes from you on other things now, and then count on each generation producing more children to pay into the system than the number of that generation who will live long enough to draw from the system later (that’s the illegal con game called a Ponzi scheme, for you uninitiated).  A government policy like China’s limiting the numbers in each future generation, isn’t a problem because of the human cost of killing innocent children; Biden—and by extension Obama—is “not second-guessing” that.  It’s a problem because it jeopardizes the entitlement system.
This is why the system is broken.  It was designed from its inception as the mother of all frauds, to be borne on the back of a child. 
Talk, Joe.  Talk.

Pipeline Has Obama’s Fanny Caught In A Crack

Torn between two lovers,

Branded a fool,
Loving both of you
Is breaking all the rules.

—Mary MacGregor/Peter Yarrow, Torn Between Two Lovers

This could get tasty.

It’s not as though President Obama doesn’t have enough going wrong, what with the economy in the toilet, Arab states swapping tyrannical dictators for unpredictable mob rule, GOP presidential hopefuls circling like sharks in a feeding frenzy, and his Left base growing increasingly feral with impatience over his shocking failure to deliver on, I don’t know, any of his various promises of change.  Now it appears that some of Obama’s most reliable supporters—major labor unions—are taking up opposite sides leaving Obama caught in the middle of an issue he basically cannot resolve without possibly irretrievably alienating one group or the other.
When you are forever promising all things to all people, one wonders why this doesn’t happen more often.
At issue is TransCanada Corporation’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which would stretch 1,700 miles from oil rich sands in Calgary all the way to Texas Gulf Coast refineries in Houston and Port Arthur.  The project would double the existing pipeline capacity, adding over a half-million barrels of crude per day at a time when political unrest threatening Middle East crude supplies has the price of gasoline still hovering around $3.50 a gallon.  Because the project crosses an international boundary, TransCanada needs White House approval (actually through the State Department) before work can proceed.  Although Canada gave its approval last March, the  project continues to be held up by the Obama administration as it attempts to deal with competing special interests.
In one corner we have the International Brotherhood of Teamsters—you may have heard of them—clearly a heavyweight among the labor unions, and an Obama backer.  The Teamsters support the Keystone XL project, arguing that it will create upwards of 1,500 jobs for its members, in addition to thousands of construction jobs.  An American Petroleum Institute representative has said “This is the largest shovel-ready project in the United States[.]”
Wow, and it didn’t even take a federal “stimulus” subsidy to create it.
Not so fast, say opponents.  In the other corner, predictably, we have the usual cast of environmental zealots.  But joining them on Friday in opposition to the Keystone XL project were two major unions purporting to represent bus drivers, and railroad and subway workers.  There is the Transport Workers Union, a group with historical ties to the U.S. Communist Party.  And we also have the Amalgamated Transit Union, which–not coincidentally–is also a partner with the Sierra Club in the Blue Green Alliance along with a number of other unions, notably the SEIU.  The complaint from all of them is that the project is an environmental threat due to greenhouse gases and possible leaks.  Of course, they make it sound as though the Keystone project brings some new and dire risk to the American experience, conveniently ignoring the fact that for decades there have been hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines carrying billions of barrels of crude oil a year throughout the U.S.  And the so-called “dirty sands” in Alberta from which TransCanada is extracting the crude that would be shipped through the Keystone XL project are going to be developed whether this pipeline gets built or not.
The bigger question is what this environmental issue has to do with the collective bargaining rights of bus drivers and subway workers.  The TWU and ATU are labor unions; they collect forced dues from their members ostensibly for the purpose negotiating on their collective behalf with their respective management groups.  Environmental lobbying would seem to be well beyond their purview.  Unless, I suppose, the argument is that expanding crude supply to U.S. refineries would result in lower gasoline prices, thus reducing bus and subway ridership.
Yes, artificially propping up gasoline prices by preventing increased supply; I’m sure that’s the way to get the economy back on track and create jobs.  Maybe we can subsidize other producers like farmers not to produce while we’re at it.  Oh, wait . . .
This puts Obama in a nice political hot box.  With unemployment stagnated above 9%, jobs being a constant theme in his public addresses over the last month, and increasing vitriol from the Left for him to do something, the Keystone XL project presents a clear program that, while we can debate the exact numbers, will undoubtedly result in the creation of at least some jobs.  Contrast that with Obama’s vague platitudes about “green jobs” that have proven to be such a demonstrable failure (h/t Walter Russell Mead at The American Interest) that even the New York Times has been forced to concede them for the disaster that they’ve been.  Tea Party budget hawks should like this one, too, as it doesn’t involve a dime of federal money.  And Obama has to know that if he withholds approval, all he’s going to hear for the next 14 months is that for all his talk about compromise and the need to put country ahead of party and focus on jobs, when he was presented with a real opportunity to do just that, he said no.  With the backing of the Teamsters, which endorsed him in 2008, and has contributed over $20 million to Democrats over the last 20+ years, there’s got to be real pragmatic appeal to allowing the Keystone XL project to go forward. 
Yet granting approval would be a slap in the face for the environmentalists that form such a core part of Obama’s base.  Obama campaigned endlessly on his intent to move America to a “green economy.”   He’s so heavily invested in the idea personally and politically, one suspects he will in the end be unable to back away from that position.  And he has to know that if he grants approval, he going to hear nothing but even more hysteria from the Left that he has once again caved in to the Right and sold out the ideals upon which he campaigned.
It’s enough to make Al Gore jump in his SUV and head for the hills.
Forced to choose between pragmatism and idealism, I’ll bet he can’t do it.  A dollar here says he votes “present,” and delays it until after 2012 elections.  Whew, glad that’s settled; let’s go play golf. 

Ask Not To Whom The Law Applies, For Only Obama Knows

 
By now you’ve seen that Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has announced a new policy of not pursuing deportation of illegal aliens meeting certain criteria.  This is the latest example of Obama legislating by executive fiat , in this case effectively passing the DREAM Act by administrative order even though it failed to pass in Congress.  It has, of course, been correctly assailed as an unconstitutional usurpation of legislative authority, and we should all be duly alarmed by this President’s boundless hubris in this respect.
But there’s an even darker, more dangerous side to this, and it should scare the daylights out of you.
Under the plan outlined by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, a “working group” will review each case individually to determine, based on a series of priorities set by the Obama administration, which cases will be pursued, and which cases will be closed.  In other words, an unnamed panel of people selected by the administration will go case-by-case and decide whether the immigration laws will be enforced.  Like the Deltas’ toga party, those the fraternity likes will be shown to the keg, and those it doesn’t will be shunted off to the front parlor to meet Ken, Larry, and Mohammed. 
It is one thing for Obama to refuse across the board to enforce laws he doesn’t like, as he has done with No Child Left Behind, the Defense of Marriage Act, and in many respects with the immigration laws.  But it is quite another to have it be the official policy of the United States that its laws will be selectively enforced as to some people but not others, as determined by the subjective assessment of some double-secret panel of agency appointees.  This law applies to you, and you, but not to you.  Do not ask why.
The potential ramifications are chilling, to say the least.
Ostensibly the DHS review will be framed by criteria borrowed from the DREAM Act, such as those who are in school, or who have U.S. citizen relatives, and what have you.  But what keeps that review confined to those criteria?  What’s to stop this panel from basing deportation review decisions on, for example, an individual’s political views, with administrative closure being granted only to those who can demonstrate a predisposition to agreeing with the President’s agenda (and, of course, what better way to demonstrate that predisposition than by putting one’s money where one’s mouth is, if you get my meaning)?
But take it a step further.  If the President (through his agency appointees) can set up a panel to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to enforce the immigration laws, what prevents him from setting up other panels to make other case-by-case reviews of whether to enforce other laws?  For example:
·      The State Department could establish a panel to review passport applications and grant only those that, in the panel’s judgment, are requested for purposes in line with a list of priorities set forth by the White House (sounds a little like Cuba or the old Soviet Union, doesn’t it?).
·      The Treasury Department could set up a panel to review tax cases and no longer seek recovery of unpaid taxes against members of groups that, in the White House’s view, have historically been economically disadvantaged. 
·      The Social Security Administration could deploy a panel to review social security benefits on a case-by-case basis and adjust or even withhold benefits based on its subjective assessment of an individual’s “need.”
·      The Department of Health and Human Services could create a panel to review on a case-by-case basis whether a person may receive medical treatment based on a policy of prioritizing treatment for those who, in the panel’s subjective judgment, have the most potential for contributing to society in the future.
For you Leftists out there, imagine this executive power of selective enforcement in the hands of, say, a David Duke.  Do I have your attention now?
This has nothing to do with how you feel about immigration.  We are supposed to be a nation of laws that apply equally to everybody.  Under the Fourteenth Amendment:
No State shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Supreme Court has held since the 1950s that this same concept also applies to the federal government through the Fifth Amendment’s due process clause.  I don’t like to suggest that illegal aliens have rights under our Constitution, but those who cry for “immigration reform” (read: amnesty) routinely insist that they do.  And if the President can by executive order start picking and choosing against whom the immigration laws will apply and be enforced, he can do it in any other context, at which point the whole idea of equal protection becomes meaningless.
I understand prosecutorial discretion and the need to focus limited resources.  But this is setting up agency review of enforcement on a case-by-case basis, based on political criteria promulgated by the White House having nothing to do with the violations at issue.  These people are all in different circumstances, but they’re all in custody and being reviewed for the same crime: being here illegally.  That is the law we’re talking about enforcing.  They’ve all violated that law in exactly the same way and to exactly the same extent.  There aren’t different degrees of violation, and this isn’t the sort of thing where the strength of the evidence of guilt can vary.  It’s objective—you’re either a citizen or you aren’t, and if you’re not, you either followed the legal process and have the necessary authorization to be here or you didn’t.  If you didn’t, the law says you are to be sent back from whence you came, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a nice guy, or whether the President likes you.  You’re not less an illegal alien just because you’re in school.  The law is to apply equally to everyone. 
This administration is not only legislating by executive fiat, but it is now deciding on an individual basis to whom the law applies, and to whom it does not. 
These are treacherous waters indeed, friends. 

Obama Is Setting Up His Rope-A-Dope Re-Election Strawman

The wheels are turning down on Martha’s Vineyard, and as usual it isn’t about policy or fixing problems, it’s about keeping up appearances and setting up the President’s re-election bid.  During his recent non-political, get-out-of-DC-connect-with-the-people (read: campaign) bus tour, President Obama repeatedly alluded to a plan he expects to unveil when Congress returns to the office in September, coupling it with the open threat that if Congress fails to act on it, he and the Democrats will make that failure a key part of their sales pitch in 2012. 
But for all his talk about the desperate need for compromise, you can bet the house that this will be presented as a take-it-or-leave-it deal.  And like a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum in the sandbox because little Timmy won’t share his favorite toy, any resistance to Obama’s overture will surely be met with cries of “there you go again” directed at the recalcitrant and uncompromising Right.  This has nothing to do with actual solutions, and everything to do with setting up the campaign straw man that conservatives are putting party before the country, and refusing to cooperate to “get something done for the American People.” 
I expect that the President’s proposal will look something like this:  Obama will accept reductions in entitlement spending on a 10-to-1 basis over ten years if Republicans will accept increasing taxes on the wealthy (those earning over $250,000 a year) and evil corporations.  The danger in a proposal like this is its curb appeal; it puts Obama in a position of being able to say he has—over the objections of the Left—offered Republicans the entitlement cuts they so desperately desire, and even offered to do it at a rate 10 times greater than the tax hikes he’s asking for in return.  What’s not to like about that?
To put some rough numbers on it, let’s assume he’s talking about cutting, say, 20% from Medicare and Social Security spending.  He’ll be able to say that he’s offering $240 billion in entitlement spending cuts in exchange for $24 billion in increased taxes—yes, the real life deal will have to be much broader and larger to mean anything in the context of a $3.5 trillion budget, but stick with the illustration.  Facially, that’s going to look like he’s made a great concession and stepped towards the middle in the interest of compromise; rejecting a proposal like that risks looking unreasonable. 
Of course, the devil’s in the details, isn’t it?
While it looks all reasonable, and centrist, and can’t-we-just-sing-the-Coke-song-and-get-along, it’s that “over ten years” thing that’s going to get lost if we’re not careful, and it makes all the difference in the world.  Offering cuts over ten years isn’t 10-to-1, it’s 1-to-1, because he’ll only be cutting $24 billion in any given year, while that tax increase applies every year going forward.  But it’s even worse than that.  He’ll be offering that cut against programs whose budgets are inherently expected to increase at a rate of some 7% a year—a figure much larger than the $24 billion being “cut.”  When Obama offers to cut spending by $240 billion, you’d expect the total to drop from the current level of $1.2 trillion to $960 billion.  But in reality, because the 7% growth rate means those programs are expanding at a rate higher than the amount of the cuts, over 10 years those budgets will in fact have increased $1.2 trillion to not quite $2.2 trillion.  So what gets billed as “cutting” spending really translates as “reducing the growth” of spending.  The real reduction (i.e. the difference between those programs’ spending growth with and without the cuts), is only about $160 billion.  Yet over that same ten years, the tax increase will still total $240 billion. What looks like a 10-to-1 deal at first blush becomes more like 1-to-1.5 in actual practice.  Meanwhile, the Beast gets bigger.
Same as it ever was.
Unfortunately, the offer will be even more illusory than just illustrated.  To begin with, there’s the not insignificant matter that none of the cuts spread over ten years are binding on future Congresses.  So in some sense, Obama will be playing with house money.  He can promise just about anything, knowing that (a) he won’t be around for the entire period regardless of re-election, and (b) with a flip in the balance of power in Congress the cuts are easily un-done.
But further complicating the matter will be how, exactly, Obama proposes to implement the cuts.  To sell this proposal to the Left, he’s going to have to convince them that there will be no actual reduction in benefits.  The only way I can see for him to do that is to resort to the argument that the cuts are actually just trimming fat—by eliminating redundancies and waste/fraud/abuse, and by reducing costs.  Query how he’s going to do that again, since he already allegedly used that trimming to pay for Obamacare.
The potentially bizarre part of this, as I discussed Wednesday, is Obama is undoubtedly going to couple all of this with a demand for renewed “stimulus” spending.  I anticipate we’re going to see him try to sell this with some VEEERRRRRYYY interesting mathematical gymnastics that additional stimulus will—emphasis on the mandatory will, despite all present evidence indicating that it won’t—generate some X specific number of jobs, resulting in previously unemployed people being added to the tax rolls, equaling an additional Y dollars in additional revenue.  And, magically, the net result will be that not only does the additional stimulus pay for itself, but it actually results in reducing the deficit and debt.  Of course, there will be no hard evidence or data to back this up, just a vague reference to unnamed “top economists.”

Begin bracing for that “I coulda had a V-8” moment.

The numbers and specifics may vary, but an offer like this is coming.  The trick is going to be putting the lie to this as publicly and as simply as possible.  Both on the campaign trail and on the floor of both houses, several questions need to be put to the President directly:
·     Why are the cuts spread over ten years, and with them spread over ten years, how do you figure that you’re offering a 10-to-1 compromise?
·     How, exactly, are you going to implement these cuts?
·     What mechanism ensures us that future Congresses won’t repeal the cuts?
·     Where are the forecasted numbers coming from, how did you get the specifics, and what evidence or data is there to support them?
·     (Perhaps most importantly) Where was this offer when you were lecturing us on the need for compromise and we were begging you to put a proposal on the table to avoid the debt ceiling “crisis”?
With this needs to be a simple and compelling explanation of why the proposal isn’t what the President says it is, and why it won’t work.  It won’t be enough just to say he’s being misleading; the leaders on the Right have to be able to explain to the sponges in the Center (forget the Left, they can’t be taught) why that’s so, and why it matters.
From Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” to Sun Tzu’s Art of War, it’s the oldest trick in the book:  never take what the enemy offers you.

Wherefore Art Thou Jobs?

That ain’t workin’,
That’s the way you do it:
Get your money for nothin’
And your chicks for free.
—Dire Straits, Money for Nothing

Continuing with the “job creation” mantra that’s been burned into his teleprompter screens over the last two weeks, last Thursday President Obama was at Johnson Controls in Michigan touting the magic job-creating benefits of spending federal dollars on developing clean-energy technology.  And in the process he chastised “some in Congress”—read:  the Tea Party—to stop playing politics and “start passing some bills that we all know will help our economy.”  What bills, exactly, Mr. President?  More “stimulus”?

Presumably Obama is now responding to criticism from his far left base that he isn’t spending enough stimulus jack to create enough jobs to save his own come next November.  In an article published July 31 in the Houston Chronicle, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes lamented—presumably with a straight face—President Obama’s “move[] rightward on budget policy.”  The article explains:
These developments have some progressive members of Congress and liberal groups arguing that by not fighting for more stimulus spending, Obama could be left with an economy still producing so few jobs by Election Day that his re-election could be threatened.
It went on to quote Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future:
I believe that the voting base of the Democratic Party—young people, single women, African-Americans, Latinos—are going to be so discouraged by this economy and so dismayed unless the president starts to champion a jobs program and take on the Republican Congress that the ability of labor to turn out its vote, the ability of activists to mobilize that vote, is going to be dramatically reduced.
Times columnist Paul Krugman continued the theme last Saturday, arguing (again—does he even have another column in his repertoire?) for more short-term government spending to create jobs, nevermind where that money is supposed to come from or what constitutional authority the federal government has to spend it in that manner.  But the message from the Left is constant:
If you spend it, they will come.
Frankly, I wish the Left were right about this, and that government could create jobs simply by spending money, or by wiggling its nose like Elizabeth Montgomery. 
But they’re not.
Government doesn’t create jobs.  It just doesn’t.  And this is so no matter how many times people on the Left grab a podium or a pen and say it does.  The fact is the Left has absolutely no concept of what a job actually is or where it comes from—hard to blame them, really, since most of them have never had a real one—which is why they are long on vague and hopelessly general platitudes like “we’re going to create green jobs,” but short on specifics.  What jobs, exactly?  You mean temporary jobs caulking windows?  Check out the spectcular success that’s been in Seattle, where a $20 million stimulus grant in 2010 was supposed to create 2,000 living wage jobs weatherizing homes; according to a piece picked up yesterday on the Drudge Report, to date that program has generated just 14 jobs—shockingly, most of those are “administrative”—a staggering $1.4 million per.
A job exists because someone has applied his talent and risked his capital to create a business supplying a good or service that people want, and demand has risen to the point that he cannot meet it by himself.  If that business owner can make additional profit by hiring an employee to help increase supply of that good or service, or produce it more efficiently such that the employer’s costs are reduced, then a job is created.  The job doesn’t spring from whole cloth because of some government decree, or because government spent money, or because Obama, or Paul Krugman, or Maureen Dowd wished it into existence.  The job comes about because a private individual created a good or service the market demands. 
Let’s consider a specific example:
Suzie notices that people walking down her street get hot and thirsty during the summer.  So she invests $10 of her money in a supply of water, lemons, sugar, and ice, and applies her labor to make 5 gallons (25 glasses) of lemonade, which she then sells at the corner for $1 a glass.  She sells all 25 glasses for a profit of $15, but by noon she has sold out of lemonade.  So the next day she hires Jack for $10 to make two batches of lemonade, one she takes to the corner in the morning, and one he brings her at noon.  Now she can sell 10 gallons of lemonade for a gross profit of $30, pay Jack the $10, and she nets $20—a 33% profit increase by hiring Jack. 
That, my friends on the Left, is what a job is, and where it comes from.  Suzie can’t and won’t hire Jack because there’s a tax credit or federal grant in it for her.  She will only hire Jack if she actually has a need for his help and it is profitable for her to do so.  If no one wants lemonade, no amount of government spending is going to create a job for Jack, because she simply doesn’t need his help. 
Government “investment” in “green technology” can’t create jobs.  The only thing that will create jobs of that nature is a demand for those products.  To his credit, the President has it right on this one when he says “you have to understand the market.” But he fails to recognize that, at present, there is no market for this “green technology,” as evidenced by the virtually non-existent sales of vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt despite a $7,500 tax credit to purchase one, as compared to SUV sales up 31%.  And with every major energy company on the planet already heavily invested in R&D on creating alternative energy products, if that technology can be created, and if there’s a demand for its products, those companies are already there to fill that market.  Spending federal dollars won’t create that market or speed up the process, which is why at the very Johnson Controls plant where Obama spoke Thursday, $300 million in federal grants has resulted in a whopping 150 jobs, or $2 million per.  It sounds nice—it appears to attempt to be proactive in addressing the problem, and any time Obama can say “green” his Leftist base gets that familiar tingle up its leg.  But it’s fantasy. 
$1.4 million/job here, $2 million/job there.  We’d be better off simply giving people $150,000 a year.  Hell, give ‘em $250,000—that way, they’ll be “wealthy” and we can tax the crap out of them, take it all back and do it all over again.  Ain’t free money fun?

Obama’s Interesting Math: Increasing Spending to Reduce Debt

“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
—J. Wellington Wimpy
President Obama is not yet providing any details—one suspects because two and a half years into his presidency he still doesn’t have any—but he is sketching some general outlines of job and debt proposals he expects to unload on us in September.  In an interview yesterday Obama said:
“I think that we’ve got to take a longer term view — how do we deal with our deficit and debt in a long-term way? If we get that under control, we can actually pay for some additional job programs in the here and now.”
Well, Mr. President, you had me, then you lost me.  Best I can tell, what he wants to propose is that we cut the budget deficit and debt—notice, he didn’t say “cut spending”—in the future, and spend more on jobs programs now.
Do these people listen to themselves?
I will deal with “job creation” in tomorrow’s post, but let’s just consider the broad concept the President is expected to push.  This is an administration that already jammed through a health care bill the CBO is estimating will cost over $1 trillion, and fought for passage of a “stimulus” package costing an additional nearly $800 billion.  Now he’s going to press for additional as-yet undefined spending now, all while somehow getting the deficit and debt “under control” tomorrow.  How, exactly, is that going to work?
Let’s assume for a second you can actually do both.  Obama is missing the fundamental point those urging a reduction in the debt and deficit are making.  The idea isn’t a kind of zero-sum proposal where you cut back here so you can spend there and the total remains about the same.  The idea, of course, is to reduce the total amount of spending. 
The larger problem is you can’t both add spending today and curtail debt and budget deficits tomorrow.  Obama’s failure to come to grips with this fundamental truth highlights the fact that he has no managerial or budgeting skills or experience.  I suppose that’s no surprise from a President who has never had a job or run a business or otherwise ever in his life had to handle money or be responsible for a budget. 
Let me try to lay this out for you, Mr. President.
You are already spending a trillion dollars a year more than you take in.  You already owe $14.5 trillion in debt—every child born in the U.S. today starts his life $47,000 in the hole.  What this means, Mr. President, is you already don’t have any savings to pay down debt.  Every additional dollar you spend is a dollar you don’t have, meaning it’s inherently deficit spending, and it is inherently adding to the already unmanageable debt.  That’s what the CBOyour own Treasury Secretary, the Federal Reserve, and most economists mean when they refer to the current fiscal situation as being  “unsustainable.”  You are already in a situation that cannot carry on forever.  Under these circumstances, you can’t both spend on jobs today and reduce the debt and deficit tomorrow.  It’s mathematically impossible.  Let me reduce it to numbers you can handle, Mr. President.  Assume you owe the bank $145.  You have a salary of $26, but your annual budget has you spending $37.  Every year you spend $11 more than you make, which means every year you are adding to that $145 you already owe the bank.  If you increase that $37 even just a little bit to, say, $38, you have increased the amount by which your spending exceeds your income.  That’s your “deficit.”  That increase also means you have less money to pay off what you owe–in fact, you now owe more than you did when you started.  Neither the deficit nor the debt are cured tomorrow when you increase spending today; they both get worse.  That’s how math works on this planet.

Even my six year old follows this.

That the President can’t get his mind around this concept tells us he’s either willfully ignorant or worse.  You can’t correct a debt problem by continuing to spend.  The only way to correct a debt  problem is to stop spending and start using the resulting savings to pay down what you owe.  Yet even as we’ve maxed out the credit cards, Obama wants to continue the spending spree while making only minimum payments, and somehow he thinks that while doing that the debt and deficit will get under control.
I find myself returning again and again to Daniel Hannan’s tongue-lashing of Gordon Brown“The truth, [Mr. President], is that you have run out of our money.”  And don’t give me this “I inherited it from Bush” crap.  I don’t really care who started it or whose fault it is, this is the fact of our situation today.  One of the great lessons golf teaches—I’d expect you to know this one, Mr. President, assuming you play by the rules . . . oh, who am I kidding?—is you have to play the ball where it lies, regardless of how it got there.  We have to deal with our situation as we find it.
Somehow, I don’t expect that Obama is going to learn this lesson any time soon.

“Shared” Sacrifice?

“You owe me, Rog.  Remember?”
—Tom Atkins as Michael Hunsacker in Lethal Weapon

Yesterday President Obama was on his taxpayer-funded campaign bus tour, again calling for “shared” sacrifice.  The President says the “wealthy”—whoever that is—should pay more taxes because they’re not paying “their fair share.” 

What, exactly, does that mean? 
Presumably he will say that “fair share” has to do with those who have more contributing more.  Let’s call that for the socialism that it is (“from each according to his ability . . .”—pretty sure that’s Stalin’s 1936 Soviet Constitution). 
But how, exactly, is that fair?
·         Do the wealthy use more government services?  No.
·         Do the wealthy consume more government benefits?  No.
·         Do the wealthy use more public roads?  No.
·         Does it take more military capital to defend the wealthy?  No.
It wasn’t always this way.  I seem to remember the American Revolution having had something to do with getting away from unjust taxes.  As Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan Jessup said in A Few Good Men, “Yes, I’m sure I read that somewhere once.”  Indeed, this nation was founded in no small part on the Fathers’ desire to be free from unfair or disproportionate taxes.  This concept was embedded in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution:
No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the Census or Enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken.
In fact, for most of this nation’s history, there has been no income tax at all.  It wasn’t until the 16th Amendment eliminated the apportionment requirement in 1913 that way was clear for the taxation of incomes on a graduated basis (i.e., the more you earn, the greater percentage you pay).  Graduated income taxation began in earnest in 1930, and has been here ever since.   
Amazingly, we had Warren Buffett on Monday joining in the chorus to complain about how he and his “mega-rich friends” have been “coddled” for too long.  To that let me say:
Mr. Buffett, put your money where your mouth is.

If the system is that unfair, then I’m challenging you and any of your mega-rich friends you can get to go along to write the check—right here, right now—for however much you think you should have been paying for however far back you think you should go.  It’s empty rhetoric for Buffett to echo Obama on this whole unfairness thing when he knows he is under no imminent threat of actually having to pay anything more.  If he thought it was unfair, no one forced him to take whatever deductions and write-offs he’s been taking all these years.  I’m guessing I’m not gonna get any takers.

But to get to the real issue, while “tax the rich” makes for a nice TV sound bite, it’s a simple bit of arithmetic to see that it doesn’t get you very far towards resolving the country’s debt and spending situation.  The fact is you could confiscate Buffett’s entire $56 billion net worth, and it would fund the federal government’s current operations for a grand total of not quite six days.  You could confiscate every dime of net worth held by all of the U.S.’s billionaires combined and it would only finance the federal government for about five months, and even then only once—you can’t go to that well a second time.  What do we do next year after we’ve fleeced the flock?
It’s no answer to say that the field of the “wealthy” is much broader than just billionaires.  According to a report released by the IRS August 3, if you raised the tax rate to 100% and took every dime earned by everyone making $1 million or more, it would only generate about $725 billion, barely a fifth of annual federal spending—not enough to fund the government for even three months, much less make a dent in the $14.5+ trillion federal debt.  Even if you dropped your definition of “wealthy” down to those earning $250,000 and taxed all of them at 100%, you would still only net about $1.6 trillion, which is still less than half of what the District spends in a year. 
The problem isn’t income, it’s outgo.  There simply aren’t enough wealthy to finance spending at its current levels.
That doesn’t stop Obama and his ilk, though, because it’s very easy to sell programs that give people something when someone else has to pay for them—that’s the problem/danger with what satellite radio talk show host Andrew Wilkow calls the “zero-liability voter.”  James Madison warned against this very danger in Federalist Paper No. 10:
The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice.  Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number is a shilling saved to their own pockets.
It is vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests and render them all subservient to the public good.  Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.  (emphasis added)       
Clearly, we’ve left the age of enlightenment.
So what is a fair share?  According to data compiled by taxfoundation.org, in 2008 the wealthiest 1% of this country paid 38% of total federal income taxes, while receiving only 20% of the nation’s adjusted gross income.  The top 5% of wage earners paid 59% of total federal income taxes, but earned only 35% of the nation’s adjusted gross income.  The top 10% paid 70% of total federal income taxes, while earning only 45% of the nation’s adjusted gross income.   At what point, exactly, have the wealthy in fact paid their “fair share,” Mr. President? 
Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of wage earners—those most likely to be drawing from the system—received 13% of the nation’s adjusted gross income, but paid less than 3% of the total income taxes.  And as we know, 47% of this country doesn’t pay any income tax at all.
The President told us just prior to his inauguration that “[e]verybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.”  But nearly half of us don’t have any skin in the game at all, and yet the President now says many of us who do—those who are already paying in in greater proportion than the percentage they receive—need to put in even more. 
What’s fair about that?

Hunting the Boogeyman—“Wall Street Greed” and Taxing Corporations

“All of a sudden they start hearing . . . Pavarotti comin’ out of their asses.”

—Larry Ferguson as Chief Watson in The Hunt for Red October

At an event prior to last Thursday’s Republican debates in Iowa, Mitt Romney was accosted by hecklers chanting “Wall Street greed,” and urging him to increase taxes on corporations.  Somehow “Wall Street” and corporations have become common whipping boys as the economy continues to vascillate between plunging off the cliff and stabilizing in the flatline the Obama administration and Left media like to call “recovery.”  Apparently either or both are the cause or the cure for what’s ailing America.

This is what happens when people let their sphincters get ahead of their brains.
Let’s start with “Wall Street.” 
Does anyone have any idea what the hell these people are talking about?  Wall Street, at its literal and most basic, is just that:  a small street in lower Manhattan.  In that sense it’s not really any different than Pine Street to the north of it, or Maiden Lane to the south.  And as such, it’s an inanimate object and not capable of greed or any other emotion or vice.  Surely that’s not what they’re talking about.
As an institution, “Wall Street” refers to the financial and stock markets centered there.  These are made up of people who make their living trading in currencies, financial instruments, and in the stock of public corporations.  In essence, they are making educated bets on which companies and instruments will do well versus others; they buy those that appear undervalued relative to their potential, and sell when that potential is realized and their value increases.  That is where they generate their profit.  In that sense I suppose these people are “greedy.”    
What I can’t figure out is what that has to do with anybody else or anything.  That a trader makes a good play on the stock of XYZ corporation and is able to sell it at a profit does not impact anyone else in the least.  Even if you work for XYZ, that means essentially nothing to you.  If anything, the fact that the trader was able to sell it at a profit means the price of that stock has gone up, which means in all likelihood your employer is doing well, and that bodes well for you as an employee.  “Wall Street,” as an institution, doesn’t deal in fiction.  A corporation is either profitable or it isn’t, and the traders don’t have any impact on that.  Stock prices reflect the perception of the relative health of the companies those shares represent and of the economy in the aggregate, they don’t cause it.  So complaining about “Wall Street greed” is at best misguided, and at worst hopelessly ignorant.  Punishing those who profit from trading—presumably what people are implicitly suggesting when they complain about “Wall Street greed”—won’t do anything to improve the economy or the complainers’ individual situations.
Then there’s the cry to tax corporations, which was raised when Romney was trying to explain his pledge not to raise taxes on people.  Ah, don’t tax people, tax corporations.  How could I have been so blind to miss that?   Romney responded that corporations are people, a statement that DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz—and I think as we head into the election cycle her mouth is going to prove to be the gift that just keeps on giving—called a “shocking admission” that Republicans “have misplaced priorities.”  Well, Ms. Wasserman-Schultz and those who think taxing corporations is the alternative to taxing people, let me try to explain this.
Corporations are, in fact, people. 
These corporations you’re talking about are legal entities that cannot act other than through the actions of the people that make them up; i.e. their employees.  I am an employee of a corporation.  So is my wife.  Chances are, so are you.  And corporations are organized by their stockholders—the people who own them—in order to make profits for those shareholders.  So, a corporation’s existence, actions, and purpose are all undeniably and inextricably tied to people.
More to the point, taxes on corporations are taxes on people.  First, let’s dispel this idea that corporations pay income taxes.  They don’t.  Taxes levied on their profits simply get built into the price of the good or service they provide.  You want to tax Exxon?  Exxon ain’t gonna pay that tax; it’s going to pass it right on down into the price it charges for gasoline.  Not only are you going to pay that tax when you go to the pump, but you’re going to pay it again when you buy anything else that depends on gasoline for its transportation, because the higher price of gasoline is also going to be built into the price of everything else.  It’s the most insidious form of lie for the Left to continue to feed the poor and disadvantaged this pablum that “it’ll be OK, we’ll just tax corporations and use that money to pay for things we’re going to give to you.”  Corporations aren’t ultimately going to pay that tax.  All of us, including the poor supposedly being helped, are going to pay it.
But let’s indulge Ms. Wasserman-Schultz in the fantasy that corporations are actually going to pay these taxes.  They’re still a tax on people.  By taxing the corporation, you cut into the profits available to the corporation’s shareholders.  So you’re taxing them.  And by cutting into those profits, you are likely cutting into bonuses and hindering raises in the salaries paid to the corporation’s employees. So you’re taxing them, too.  Worse, you are reducing the likelihood that that corporation can expand its business and hire additional employees—that’s right, kids, you’re cutting back on the very job market that presumably those with the most strident cries of “tax corporations” are depending on getting back on track.
What these people are really saying when they complain about “Wall Street greed” and taxing corporations is, “Look at that profit.  There’s a big pile of money.  Let’s go take it.”  That, my friends, isn’t job creation, and it isn’t responsible fiscal policy.  It’s theft.