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Speaking at an AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati, Ohio, President Barack Obama boldly claimed an economic stimulus package the Congress approved earlier this year was working.
As Obama put it, the economy is rebounding but the country has a long way to go before a full recovery would be realized.
While we appreciate the enthusiasm the president displayed in his highly partisan speech at a labor union get-together, we would be remiss if we did not reflect upon some economic news, which surfaced as of late.
In July, the U.S. economy shed another 200,000 jobs. The Obama administration says the 200,000 job loss was welcome news because officials expected the economy to take a bigger hit that month.
As of this week, the unemployment rate across America stood at 9.7 percent. It's the highest unemployment rate since 1983. When Obama took office earlier this year, unemployment stood at 7.6 percent, or more than two percentage points less than it is today.
In Ohio where Obama spoke Monday, the unemployment rate is more than 11 percent. In watching the reaction to Obama's remarks at the AFL-CIO picnic, one would have thought every man and woman in Ohio had a job. The phrase "blinded by ignorance" comes to mind.
In the meantime, the Congress reconvenes this week following its annual August recess. Health care reform will be a priority.
Though much disagreement has been expressed in recent weeks over a health care overhaul, the public should shift its attention from talk about so-called "death panels" and other controversial issues surrounding health care reform –such as the horrendous idea of the Congress setting up a government-run health care program. Instead, anyone who gives two hoots about financial stability should consider a tax increase the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Obama administration must see to fruition to pay for health care reform.
While at least one massive tax increase has been proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee, it would not generate enough revenues to pay for a health care reform measure that would pass muster with Obama and liberal Democrats in the Congress. To surmise, Congressman Charles Rangel's proposition to impose a "surtax" on so-called wealthy Americans would fall far short in generating enough money to cover the $1 trillion over 10 years that's needed to implement a health care overhaul favored by the president and liberal members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Coupled with the expiration of the George W. Bush era tax cuts, Rangel's proposed "surtax" on the so-called wealthy would produce $600 billion over 10 years.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the top 25 percent of income earners in America pay almost 83 percent of all income taxes. The top 10 percent pays 65 percent of all income taxes while the top 1 percent – wage earners targeted by Rangel – pays almost 35 percent of the income tax burden in the United States.
Lost in the shuffle, or conveniently ignored by Obama and other liberals, is the fact that the bottom 50 percent of income earners in America pays about 4 percent of all income taxes collected by the IRS. That's where the meat is. In other words, the bottom 50 percent of wage earners in the United States must pay more income tax if Obama and other liberals in the Congress harbor any intention of implementing a health care reform measure that would please them.
That's the reality of it.
More specific, the reality of it is Obama and liberals in the Democratic-controlled Congress must level a tax increase on middle-class America to turn the health care system in America on its ear.
That would be a tax increase on the middle class in the middle of the worst economy in more than 25 years.