Within days of winning the election, President Obama announced that
his victory gave him a mandate to raise taxes on the "rich."
Come again? This was a two-and-a-half-point election. It reflected a
painfully divided electorate. The only mandate I saw was to unite a
I voted for Obama. ... I did not vote for Obama because I think I am paying too little in taxes.
Like many people I know, I am "rich" by Obama's standards. I pay more
taxes, percentage wise, than Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett, because I
earn virtually every penny of my income.
I work. And yes, all those deductions that allow the truly rich to not
work, or at least to not work all the jobs I do, make me angry.
I am all for closing loopholes. I am all for ending deductions for
things I don't even understand. But I am not for putting a low cap on
deductions that would make it all but impossible for the charities I
support to raise funds. I am not for putting a limit on the mortgage
deduction that would mean, as a practical matter, that "middle class"
(not rich) people in California would be priced out of the housing
market, and the charities I support would not be able to raise what they
need to survive.
And frankly, I don't think I'm alone. As a matter of fact, on this one, I
don't think 51% of all Americans are to my "left" — if that's
how you define the higher tax constituency.
Obama needs to be very careful. Yes, he was re-elected. But so were
all those folks who blocked the extension of the Bush tax cuts if they
excluded individuals and small businesses who make enough money to
qualify as rich — but not enough to send their kids to college, or help
their aging parents, or buy a home in a decent neighborhood.
We need to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. But Obama must also avoid the political cliff.