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A friendly reminder: April 16th is quickly approaching, so it's time to start wrapping up those tax returns.  It is generally understood that the purpose of taxes is to pay for the costs of the government in a way that does the least damage to the economy, and, for the most part, the tax code does that.  Some on the left, however, see taxation as more than a way to pay for government.  They believe taxes can also be used as a means to correct "societal inequities" by redistributing the wealth of the nation.
President Obama's Budget: Taxing for Change
President Obama's Budget: Taxing for Change

President Obama's budget carries this notion a step further.  It demonizes everyone who is "overly wealthy" in his view and demands that their income be taken and given to others.  I'm not exaggerating.
 
His official budget, which outlines his ambitious tax and spending plans for the country, makes clear what he meant when he said during the campaign that he wants to "remake" America.  It is a "blueprint for change," as the President has said – and it will, in unprecedented fashion, change the government's reasons for taxing Americans.
 
President Obama's budget indicates that his tax policy will convert the tax code to a tool for taking more from the wealthiest Americans regardless how much they already pay and irrespective of the economic consequences for doing so.
 
Wall Street Journal columnist, Daniel Henninger, discussed this recently, highlighting the budget's attention to so-called income inequality, namely that the top one percent of taxpayers earn 22 percent of the nation's income.  (By the way, they already pay 40 percent of the total federal income taxes!).  As Henninger notes, under Obama's budget, these taxpayers "as a matter of public policy…will be made to 'pay for' the fact of their wealth – no matter how many of them worked honestly and honorably to produce it."
 
Here are excerpts from page five of the President's budget:
 
"While middle-class families have been playing by the rules, living up to their responsibilities as neighbors and citizens, those at the commanding heights of our economy have not."
 
"Prudent investments in education, clean energy, health care and infrastructure were sacrificed for huge tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected."
 
"There's nothing wrong with making money, but there is something wrong when we allow the playing field to be tilted so far in the favor of so few. . . It's a legacy of irresponsibility, and it is our duty to change it."
 
Chances are your family doctor falls into this upper-income group – after years of training, a huge debt for his or her education loans, and long hours of work.  Is he or she guilty of not "playing by the rules" and "living up to their responsibilities" as Obama's budget says?  Same question should be asked for Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and, come to think of it, Barack Obama, all of whom make a lot more than $250,000.
 
The language in the President's budget is dangerous as well as factually wrong.  Most high income people work hard, contribute to their community and pay a lot in taxes.  The budget language attempts to set Americans against each other based on how much money people make, with the higher income earners always – note, there are no exceptions – corrupt, greedy, and irresponsible.
 
By demonizing the wealthy (who already pay most of the taxes in our country), the President believes he can justify using the tax code to force wealth redistribution in America.  It's wrong and dangerous for our future.
 
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl is the Assistant Republican Leader and serves on the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees. Visit his website here.

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