Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Happiness is now defined not as having the basics I need, but as ensuring that someone else does not have more."

Victor Davis Hansen at National Review:
Obama has successfully appealed to the oldest and basest of human emotions — envy and jealousy, masked with the notion of enforced fairness — and for now they trump even the human desire to be free. . . .
The traditional conservative antidote to Obamaism has fallen short. That is, the arguments of principled conservatives about the perils of big government, redistributionist economics, and diminutions in personal freedom seem for a majority of Americans to be outweighed by the attraction of government subsidies and entitlements. If there is going to be a check on Barack Obama’s redistributionist agenda, it will probably have to come from upper-middle-class independent voters and blue-state residents. Such Obama supporters may soon notice that the new federal and state tax rates, the envisioned end to traditional deductions such as those for blue-state high taxes and for mortgage interest, and means testing for most government services are aimed precisely at themselves. When the Palo Alto resident grasps that his total income- and payroll-tax burden will be well over 50 percent, his tax deduction for the mortgage interest on his million-dollar-plus, 1,000-square-foot home will be eliminated, and his $250,000 salary still gets him counted as “rich” even after huge taxes and mortgage costs, we may see change — perhaps not in terms of the number of large swings in actual votes, but in the nature of campaign donations, political commentary, and campaign organization. Blue-state elites do not yet believe the voracious Obama tax monster is coming for them, but it is — as they will see.
We can only hope.

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