17 Days in Hawaii? Ostensible Class Warrior Barack Obama Is Himself "The 1%” Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 08 2011
Unable to run on his actual performance or record of achievement, Obama instead resorts to crude class warfare.

So in which tropical paradise are you spending 17 days this holiday season? 

What’s that you say?  You don’t get 17 vacation days over an entire year, let alone for the holidays? 

Well, you’re not alone.  According to most estimates, American workers average approximately 14 days of vacation per year.  But not if you’re Barack Obama, as if he doesn’t have more pressing things to do than golf and vacation. 

Recall that Obama already spent 11 days earlier this year cruising the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, wearing his trademark mom jeans and that silly bike helmet. 

Not exactly “The 99%.” 

Here’s another kicker:  Obama already visited Hawaii just last month for an “economic summit,” where he curiously referred to our 50th state as “here in Asia.”  So one minute Obama refers to America’s “57 states,” but later omits existing states altogether and reduces us to 49. 

Continuing that habit of misstating the location and number of states, Obama unveiled his latest class warfare harangue this week in Osawatomie, Kansas.  Despite professing to the assembled audience that, “my Kansas roots run deep,” he opened his speech by saying, “it is great to be back in the state of Texas –  (crowd laughter) – Kansas.” 

Habitual geographical gaffes aside, there is a more serious and sinister element to Obama’s behavior. 

Unable to run on his actual performance or record of achievement, Obama instead resorts to crude class warfare.  “Their philosophy is simple,” Obama railed, “we are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules,” as if anyone actually says that.  That sort of divisive conduct is more befitting a Hugo Chavez than the President of the United States. 

Not only does Obama’s class warfare rhetoric fan the destructive flames of envy, it misstates facts and leads those who still find him credible to support counterproductive policies.  For instance, he seeks to heap even more federal regulation upon American entrepreneurs and employers.  To hear Obama, his efforts to date have protected middle class Americans from predatory fat cats: 

“This is about the nation’s welfare.  It’s about making choices that benefit not just the people who’ve done fantastically well over the last few decades, but that benefit the middle class, and those fighting to get into the middle class, and the economy as a whole…  If you’re a big bank or risky financial institution, you now have to write out a ‘living will’ that details exactly how you’ll pay the bills if you fail, so that taxpayers are never again on the hook for Wall Street’s mistakes…  The new law bans banks from making risky bets with their customers’ deposits…  This is the law that we passed…  I’ll give you a specific example.  For the first time in history, the reforms that we passed put in place a consumer watchdog who is charged with protecting everyday Americans from being taken advantage of…” 

Yet somehow despite Obama’s claims, MF Global – under the leadership of former Democratic governor and senator Jon Corzine, whom Joe Biden said was “literally” the first person he called for financial advice – managed to suspiciously lose $1.2 billion entrusted to it by the same everyday Americans Obama says were safeguarded.  If Obama’s big-government prescription held truth, shouldn’t the myriad regulations imposed while he, Pelosi and Reid ran amok have prevented that sort of thing? 

The truth is that Obama’s policies have impeded American recovery, not facilitated it.  As James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation demonstrated this month, the reason American employment hasn’t recovered stems not from the severity of layoffs during the preceding recession, but from the lack of new jobs created under Obama.  In other words, our problem is forward-looking, not backward-looking.  Expansion and hiring simply remain too risky a proposition given Obama’s governance and prospective reelection. 

Moreover, Obama advocates essentially the same policies followed by Europe and states like California.  How is that working out? 

Obama’s toxic class warfare rhetoric only serves to perpetuate the very policies that undermine recovery and threaten growth. 

And just as in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” his rhetoric is hypocritical. 

In his speech this week, Obama asked, “Do we want to keep in place the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans?”  Well, apparently he does.  According to tax returns, Obama earned over $1.7 million in 2010, far above the $200,000 that he defines as “millionaires and billionaires.”  But did he pay the 39% Clinton-era rate that he advocates?  No.  Instead of the estimated $633,000 he would pay under the rate he proposes, he paid over $200,000 below that - $454,000.  Additionally, Obama received a $12,000 refund from the federal government. 

The fact that Obama doesn’t even bother to practice what he preaches says all you need to know about his class warfare campaign.  It’s destructive, it’s inaccurate and it’s even hypocritical. 

For all of his rhetoric, Obama is “The 1%.”