- - Tuesday, April 12, 2011


President Obama, we have endured your unfledged theories on how to be more popular around the world.

We have survived your whimsical approaches to economic recovery. Save. No, spend! Borrow more!

And your earnest dabbles as physician, public-health expert and hospital administrator have left us bewildered and broke for decades to come.

All this we suffer because, after all, we did elect you president. You beat the other guy.

But on behalf of America and her highest ideals, we make one request as you embark on your latest crusade to raise taxes.

Please, please, please, we beg you, just spare us your hollow sermonizing about how the rich such as yourself need to pay higher taxes.

Rarely do you miss an opportunity to remind us that you are among the “fortunate” wealthy who have a responsibility to give up more of what they have earned so that they can pay for all of the theft and recklessness going on in Washington, including your own cockeyed new schemes.

It is not that you don’t have a right to brag about your wealth. God bless you, it is the American way. We are truly thrilled that you are now wealthy.

The problem is how you wield this information.

In your attempt to guilt the wealthy and divide the rich from the less rich, you assault our highest principles.

In the first place, wealthy people already pay the lion’s share of taxes. Telling them they are not paying their fair share desecrates the enormous sacrifices they make.

What is most insulting about this shakedown is that you talk about your wealth as if you earned it the way most wealthy people in America do. And we’re not talking about Hollywood miscreants or the obscene tycoons who pillaged our treasury — with your permission — as soon as the economy tanked.

We’re talking about the inventors, the small-business owners, the great savers all across America.

These are people who worked their hearts out their entire lives. They’re dreamers who dumped their fortunes into something they believed in. They took risks — with their own money — and refused to fail.

These are people who worked all day and then stayed up all night studying something until they became the smartest about some arcane but crucial topic. Then they shortened an assembly line or discovered something people needed.

These people are the flesh and backbone of this country. They create jobs with their own money or money others willingly gave them. They create a marketplace that solves real problems.

You, of course, earned your wealth a different way. You earned it by talking. That is what you have done your entire life.

You’re talking about your anger and your dad. Talking about race. You’re talking all through law school. You’re talking about how everybody on the street needs to get organized.

You talk your way into the Illinois Senate, the U.S. Senate and then you talk your way into the White House.

You have never created a single job except with other people’s money. And in most cases, that money has been in the form of tax dollars — collected under the threat of a gun and jail time.

There is no shame in this.

Many fine Americans have earned their fortunes talking. Jerry Springer and Oprah Winfrey come to mind. They inspire many, as do you.

But like you and the government you represent, they are not the true creators who make America so free and so fair. That responsibility falls to the patriots whose ranks you claim to have joined.

They are the greatest of America, and they should be celebrated and rewarded. Not insulted and punished.

Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesdays. He can be reached at charleshurt@live.com.

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