Sunday, June 15, 2008

Getting It Right (Left)

Now that he has become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama is learning fast. Campaigning in Raleigh, North Carolina on June 9, 2008, Obama declared "I'll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we'll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills." That brings to mind a remark from The New York Times of 4/29/08:

Mrs. Clinton said at a rally on Monday morning in Graham, N.C., that she would introduce legislation to impose a windfall-profits tax on oil companies and use the revenue to suspend the gasoline tax temporarily.

And in Ohio on June 13, Obama proposed that the payroll tax, 6.2 percent split between employee and employer be applied also to all wages above $250,000. (Annually adjusted for inflation, it now applies only to the first $102,000 of wages.) This "doughnut" concept was advocated by then-Presidential candidate John Edwards, who at the presidential debate of 9/26/07 at Dartmouth College in New Hamsphire, asserted a little over halway through the debate:

....what I would do as president is I would create a protective zone between $97,000 up to around $200,000, because there are a lot of firefighter couples, for example, that make $100,000, $115,000 a year. We don’t want to raise taxes on them.
But I do believe that people who make $50, $75, $100 million a year ought to be paying Social Security taxes on that income

A secular Sunday prayer: may the new, populist Barack Obama perservere, thrive, and apply these concepts to his presidency.

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