After John McCain ripped his opponent’s universal mortgage credit as “welfare” because it would give funds to non-taxpaying citizens, Barack Obama’s campaign announced a work requirement for the proposal – but “The Audacity of Deceit” author Brad O’Leary said the plan remains a form of socialist wealth redistribution.
“No matter how Barack Obama tries to dress-up his tax welfare plan, it is still a welfare plan,” O’Leary said in a statement. “Under Obama’s massive plan for wealth redistribution, 44 percent of Americans will never pay federal income taxes, and many of these folks will also receive bonus, or ‘welfare,’ checks from the government.”
According to ABC News, Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee said a work requirement was added to silence critics such as O’Leary who claim the plan takes money from working citizens and redistributes it to people who do not pay taxes.
“They started saying this was welfare,” Goolsbee said. “So, just so they would absolutely not be able to say that, we decided that for the last two percent we’ll simply add a work requirement.”
The Obama campaign claims its tax proposal will give an average of $500 to 10 million homeowners making less than $50,000 per year, ABC News reported. The campaign says the mortgage credit is meant to provide money to taxpayers who don’t itemize.
Goolsbee and McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin discussed Obama’s 10 percent mortgage credit plan Tuesday at a Council on Foreign Relations debate. Goolsbee said each of the working recipients of the mortgage credit will have paid Social Security and Medicare contributions through required payroll taxes, even though some don’t pay actual income taxes.
“All of the people that are receiving this credit are paying payroll taxes under Obama’s program,” Goolsbee said. “So it’s completely not true that they aren’t paying taxes. They aren’t paying income taxes, but they are paying payroll taxes. To say that it’s welfare, as John McCain has said when John McCain’s own health-care credit of $5,000 is completely refundable and going to every single one of the people that they’re saying is on welfare, is almost unbelievable. It makes my head want to explode.”
Goolsbee said the work requirement was added to the proposal two weeks ago, though it had not been publicly announced. However, Holtz-Eakin suggested the camp simply came up with the idea for the debate.
“I think they just made it up,” Holtz-Eakin told ABC News. “They will say anything in the moment. This is like trying to pin Jello to the wall.”
Holtz-Eakin argued Obama’s tax plan isn’t consistent with his record. He said Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes in the Senate and promised trillions of dollars in new spending, despite the fact that 44 percent of Americans don’t pay income taxes.
“How do you sustain those three fundamental contradictions for any length of time?” he asked. “Well, he’s very good. He’s verbally one of the most talented people we’ve ever seen. And he did it for a long time until he walked into some plumber’s driveway. That was his mistake.”
In a widely publicized moment, Obama explained his economic policy to an Ohio plumber Oct. 12 saying, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
However, O’Leary, author of “The Audacity of Deceit” and president of ATI News, condemned Obama’s tax proposal, saying it threatens the fiscal wellbeing of the country.
“Obama’s economic plan is clear,” he said. “He wants to achieve his brand of social justice through wealth redistribution, while completely ignoring economic growth. When you combine his socialist redistribution plan and his plan to raise barriers to free trade, you have toxic mix that could drive the American economy deep into depression.”
O’Leary referenced an Oct. 17-20 ATI-News/Zogby poll that shows a majority of undecided voters disagree with plans to “spread the wealth around.”
“Our poll results show that undecided voters overwhelmingly reject Obama’s economic plan to redistribute wealth,” he said.
The poll surveyed 1,214 likely voters who were asked the following question: “John McCain and other critics say Barack Obama is heavily influenced by people and organizations which seek social justice through redistribution of wealth in America. Do you agree or disagree with efforts to bring social justice by the redistribution of wealth?”
A total of 57 percent of undecided voters said they disagreed with efforts to redistribute wealth, while only 24 percent agreed (19 percent said they are not sure).
“In his candid conversation with ‘Joe the plumber,’ Obama made clear that his main economic goal is to redistribute wealth, not strengthen and grow our economy,” O’Leary said. “This is pure socialism, albeit thinly veiled, and it does not resonate with hard-working Americans who would rather keep their money than have Obama redistribute it to his favorite constituencies.”
O’Leary said Obama is less like the young and inexperienced John F. Kennedy, as many of his supporters declare, and more reminiscent of another former U.S. leader who failed to end America’s downward spiral into deep depression.
“Obama isn’t the second coming of JFK,” he said. “He’s the reincarnation of Herbert Hoover.”