- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Tax me more, millionaire tells Obama
At an online town hall meeting Monday, President Obama called on a wealthy audience member who had a question that was music to the president's ears: "Would you please raise my taxes?"
On a three-day West Coast swing, Mr. Obama took time out from million-dollar fundraisers to participate in the event hosted by the social networking website LinkedIn in Mountain View, Calif. As the meeting was being streamed online, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner asked the president to pick an audience member for the next question.
"You kind of put me on the spot here," Mr. Obama said. Then the president called on "the guy in the glasses, right in the back."
Whether the guy in the glasses was truly chosen at random, he turned out to be Douglas Edwards, a former Google executive who became a millionaire when the company went public in 2004. And his question was tailor-made for Mr. Obama's efforts to raise taxes on wealthier Americans as part of his overall plan for deficit reduction and job creation.
"I'm unemployed by choice," Mr. Edwards told the president. "My question is, would you please raise my taxes?"
The audience laughed, then applauded.
Mr. Obama thanked him for his "sentiment," but not before launching into a dissertation of several minutes on the need for higher taxes.
"So often the tax debate gets framed as class warfare," Mr. Obama said. "We benefited from somebody, somewhere, making an investment in us. And I don't care who you are, that's true of all of us."
The president's plan, which is getting a cool reception in Congress, would raise $1.5 trillion in new revenue, including about $800 billion over 10 years from repealing the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000.
"We're not talking about going to punitive rates that would somehow inhibit you from wanting to be part of a startup or work hard to be successful," Mr. Obama said. "We're talking about going back to the rates that existed as recently as in the '90s, when, as I recall, Silicon Valley was doing pretty good. And it turns out that during that period, the rich got richer. The middle class expanded. People rose out of poverty because everybody was doing well. It's a question of how can we afford to continue to make the investments that are going to propel America forward."
The president praised Mr. Edwards for "the fact that you recognize we're in this thing together, we're not on our own. And those of us who have been successful, we've always got to remember that."
Mr. Edwards, a former journalist who wrote a book about his tenure at Google entitled "I'm Feeling Lucky," has donated more than $230,000 to Democratic candidates or Democratic groups in the past three election cycles. He gave $30,400 each in 2010 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He gave the maximum allowable donations to the campaigns of Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Martha Coakley, who was defeated by Sen. Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican.
Mr. Edwards gave Mr. Obama only $250 in 2008, according to a search of campaign finance records.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Senate's filibuster rule change opens floodgates for Obama nominees
- White House faces press revolt over access to Obama's South Africa flight
- U.S., Britain to halt non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition
- New Obama adviser John Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- White House blasts GOP for criticism of Castro handshake
Latest Blog Entries
- White House downplays concerns over phony sign-language interpreter
- Joe Biden signs condolence book for Nelson Mandela at D.C. embassy
- Biden to Japanese businesswomen: 'Do your husbands like you working full-time?'
- Son, granddaughter join Biden on weeklong diplomatic trip to Asia
- Obamas visit fasting immigration activists
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- North Korean dictator stuns world with uncle's execution
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow