President's tax goals are nothing new

April 20, 2012 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated April 19, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Obama's obsession with "millionaires and billionaires" echoes refrains from the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 asked for "very high taxes" on large incomes, what he called a "wealth tax." Like LBJ's Alternative Minimum Tax attacking a handful of the super rich and Obama's Warren Buffet tax aimed at a few hundred taxpayers, FDR's taxes were not intended to raise revenue. All three measures were to punish the rich and garner electoral support by ginning up class warfare. In FDR's case, his 79 percent tax rate applied only to one man, John D. Rockefeller. In the case of the ATM, the impacted taxpayers grew from a dozen to 30 million. Who knows how many would pay the Buffett tax in a generation?

Roosevelt's policies in 1935 and 1936 led to a recession in 1937-38. The Buffett tax, in conjunction with enormous tax increases already in place for 2013, will impact far more than millionaires and billionaires. As the tax cliff nears, more and more economists are fearful of a second recession, one Obama can call his own. He won't have to share credit with George W. Bush.

Jim Stokes, Victoria



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