Does Obama Think You Make Too Much Money?

April 29, 2010

The Obama Administration is well known for its attacks on corporations, CEOs, the wealthy, the rich, wall street bankers, and Fat Cats.  However, over the last several years, Obama has hinted at his views toward the amount of money people should earn and when they should earn it.   He often attacks CEO salaries, executive compensation, and wall street bonuses.   The question becomes, does Obama think you make too much money?

Obama hinted during the middle of the financial crisis “For top executives to award themselves these kinds of compensation packages in the midst of an economic crisis is not only in bad taste – it’s bad strategy – and I will not tolerate it as president”.

It would seem unfair in the grand scheme of things for some people to be making millions of dollars while some people are out of work.  However, is it the job of the federal government to ensure that when times are tough, some people that are doing well should have their salaries cut or pay some sort of penalty?

Obama’s “pay czar” has stated openly that nobody should ever make over $500,000 except in very rare circumstances.  Odd considering that the President earned over 10 times that much last year (federal salary + other personal income).

Recently, President Obama strayed off teleprompter to say that “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money”.  The question is, what happens when you get to that certain point where the President thinks that you have made enough money.  Maybe even more importantly, who gets to decide when you have enough?

The Federal Government much less the President, does not have the power granted in the Constitution to decide when an American has enough.  It is quite worrisome that in the Obama vision of America, there are limits on success.  Perhaps even more troubling is that many Americans tend to agree.

One of the key principles that this country was founded on is that individuals are free to experience as much success or failure that they are willing to bring upon themselves.  If I can create a product or service that people just have to have and make millions of dollars doing it, should the government step in at some point and say “OK, you can stop now.  You have enough”?

Granted, as a society in general, Americans feel that those with the means should give back.  However, do the American people or the government have the right to force this upon another individual?

America was founded on the concept of individual rights and not collective rights.  “We” do not have the right to free speech, religion, and to bear arms among many others, but “You” and “I” individually do.  However, when the rights of one are taken away, the rights of each of us are eroded.  If “I” lose my right to make over $500k, then so do “you”.

The problem is that many Americans do not care since they do not see taking away the right of some individuals to earn over a certain amount it also takes away their right to do so.  Since capping pay way into the six figure range doesn’t impact most people, many Americans don’t care.

Americans are just beginning to wake up an realize what has happened to our freedoms over the last 100 years or so.  Let us hope that it isn’t too late.

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One Response to Does Obama Think You Make Too Much Money?

  1. Mark Denton on December 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Seriously? Where does this flawed logic come from that ignores where we have gone historically since 1980 and the implementation of trickle down economics, which Reagan’s own Budget Director now calls a “massive failure to the American Middle Class?”

    in 1980, the Top 1% earned 9% of total income and there were 12 U.S. Billionaires. In 30 years, the Top 1% now earns 23% of total U.S. income and there are 520 U.S. Billionaires.

    Our taxation policy has helped to create more Billionaires every year since 1980 than were created from 1900 – 1980! Meanwhile, off-shoring, deregulation and deunionization have resulted in Middle Class wages going down during that same period and household income stagnating, even though there are twice as many two income households as there were 30 years ago.

    I count approximately 3,000 Fortune 500 Execs who earn over $500K a year. Can you point out which of these people actually use their income to hire? Approximately 5,000 Hedge Fund/Wall Street employees received $1M or more in Bonus this year, how many employees do each have? How many jobs do they create?

    My current effective tax rate is 22.1% and I pay Payroll tax on all but a couple dollars of my salary. If I made $1M my effective tax rate would be 16% based on historical numbers.

    Look back historically, of the Top 20 growth periods in our Economy over the past 100 years, the Top 18 ALL occurred when the top end individual tax rate was over 50% and corporate tax rate was over 40%.

    The longest peacetime economic expansion in our history occurred during the Clinton Administration AFTER he raised the tax rates, including moving the Top end rate to 39%. Not only did we get Balanced Budgets and some pay down on the debt, over 300 Billionaires were made during the Decade!! 3 times more than created under Reagan and nearly twice as many as under W.

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