By Louis Avallone
Before we start, let me wish you and yours a Happy New Year! You know, there is hardly a “Happy New Year’s” greeting, in some form or fashion, that doesn’t include a wish for good health, great wealth, and much happiness (but not necessarily in that order, of course).
And even though folks have been extending such well wishes to one another on January 1, stretching back to Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., there seems to be a somewhat nefarious, or otherwise detestable quality – this year, in particular – in wishing others “great wealth” in the coming new year.
After all, considering the Obama administration’s sustained condemnation of those with “great wealth,” it seems then that wishing “great wealth” upon others is wholly incompatible with well wishes of “good health” and “much happiness” in the coming new year.
Why? Well, according to Obama (and the Democrats in Washington), those with “great wealth” are greedy and selfish. With their chauffeured limousines, mansions, and private jets, Obama believes those with “great wealth” don’t contribute their fair share. After all, he alleges, this is because those with “great wealth” often pay an effective tax rate that is less than even their domestic help pay. For example, Obama says, “A teacher or a nurse or a construction worker making $50,000 a year shouldn’t pay higher tax rates than somebody making $50 million.”
Okay. We all get that. But of course, this is a dishonest debate because the majority of those with “great wealth” are not those with chauffeured limousines, mansions, and private jets…nor are they making $50 million a year. Instead, they are small business owners, struggling to make payroll, complying with increasing government regulations, higher income taxes, and working longer and longer hours to make ends meet.
Obama knows that. He also knows that the top 50 percent of American income earners pay almost 97 percent of all federal income taxes collected. Obama also knows that, generally speaking, raising income taxes does not necessarily affect those with “great wealth” because often they can make money through other means, such as from dividends and capital gains, which are not considered “income” and not subject to the higher income taxes he touts, as part of his populist, almost seething class-envy campaign being waged in our nation today.
To put this in perspective, I propose that we steer clear of unwittingly contributing towards this class-envy campaign by substituting the word “productive” (or some variation of it) whenever liberals use the words “wealth” or “wealthy,” or “rich,” in a sentence…and then letting all of our friends know to do the same.
When Obama proposes that the “the rich” should “pay their fair share” in higher taxes, just translate those words into, “the productive” should “pay their fair share.”
When Obama asks, “(D)o we want to keep in place the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans in our country?” Translate that into “…tax breaks for the most productive Americans in our country.” When he says, “Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and their investments — wealthier than ever before,” translate that into, “Those at the very top grew more productive from their incomes and their investments – more productive than ever before.” I mean, if we referred to the “rich” as “productive”, it puts “great wealth” into a different perspective…and this is more accurate, by and large, don’t you think?
Some readers may be asking, “What’s my point?” What’s with all the translating? My point is simply this:
The men and women who earn a paycheck, or those who own businesses and earn a profit…these are the great majority of productive members of our society. They should not be vilified because they may have more than others. Some of these same folks may acquire “great wealth,” but these are the folks that build a nation; who often have failed more than they succeeded; who understand, in the words of Vince Lombardi, that “it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”
And these are the folks who would earn a paycheck, or make a profit, or gain “great wealth” no matter where they started, or how many times they failed and started over. They embody the unassailable American spirit…and yet Obama (and liberals alike) are suffocating that spirit today by demonizing the end result of their productivity – wealth.
People like Henry Ford who failed and went broke five times before he succeeded. Or Thomas Edison whose teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything” and who was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” Or Walt Disney who was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas” and later even went bankrupt.
These folks acquired “great wealth”, but this was only in some proportion to their “great productivity”. Is America not better as a result of Ford’s, Edison’s, and Disney’s “great productivity”?
So you see, Obama’s 2012 campaign for re-election is more about the “productive” versus the “non-productive” in our nation (and not the trite, populist struggle of “rich” versus the “poor”). He won’t couch it that way, but I will.
This is why I believe we need to do some translating of our own – and putting into perspective that you often cannot separate “great wealth” from “great productivity”…the very productivity that been a source of great blessings for our nation over 200 years now.
So, with all of that said, again, I wish you good health, great “productivity”, and much happiness in 2012. Sounds better that way maybe…what do you think?