It’s official, Dem budget to ‘redistribute income’
(WND) The nation needs to face the fact that income will be redistributed and health care rationed under a federal budget plan moving through Congress at the behest of President Obama, according to an official who served under President Clinton.
The plan, according to Lawrence J. Haas, former communications director for Vice President Al Gore, said Obama “wants to make permanent all the tax cuts from those years [2001 and 2003] for people making up to $250,000 a year and frankly to redistribute income a bit in a fair way so he would raise taxes on those above $250,000.”
His comments came in an interview with Greg Corombos of Radio America/WND, and the audio is embedded here:
Haas, who also was communications director for the White House Office of Management and Budget under the Clinton administration, later worked as director of public affairs for the president at Yale University.
The interview starts out with Haas’ condemnation of a GOP proposal for an alternative budget this year, saying it contains “unrealistic spending cuts.”
Haas also said in recent budgets, the income “has been redistributed … in exactly the other direction,” condemning tax cuts for anyone in an upper income bracket, a category that includes many business owners.
Haas said GOP plans for restraint are “radical.”
“They would impose … they propose to severely limit spending across the board other than for defense and veterans programs,” he said.
He explained the income redistribution plan:
“The tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 provided a disproportionate amount of the benefits for those in the top one, two percent of earners, so in essence what the president is attempting to do is make things a little bit fairer by way of asking those who have done so well in recent years to pay a little bit more … [while continuing] tax relief for people at the bottom, in the middle, in all candor who have struggled in recent years.”
He said while the president “has proposed” protecting from tax increases those who make less than $250,000, even that’s not assured.
“To the extent we need to raise taxes down the road we’re going to have to sort of work our way down that income level starting with people making over $250,000,” he said, “and maybe even going further down. I hope we don’t have to do too much of that.”
He said health care costs will play a major role in coming budgets.
“That’s going to cause us to make some real decisions as to who gets how much health care and when they get it,” he warned.
President Obama famously created an issue during the 2008 campaign by telling a plumber his goal was to spread the wealth.
WND also reported Obama believes the Constitution is flawed, because it fails to address wealth redistribution, and he says the Supreme Court should have intervened years ago to accomplish that.
Obama told Chicago’s public station WBEZ-FM that “redistributive change” is needed, pointing to what he regarded as a failure of the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s.
The Warren court, he said, failed to “break free from the essential constraints” in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth. But Obama, then an Illinois state lawmaker, said the legislative branch of government, rather than the courts, probably was the ideal avenue for accomplishing that goal.
In the 2001 interview, Obama said:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OKBut, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.
And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.