- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Nearly two years after leaving office, former President Barack Obama would prefer to give back some of President Trump’s tax cuts because, he said, “there’s only so many nice trips you can take.”

“Right now I’m actually surprised by how much money I got,” Mr. Obama told an audience in Johannesburg on Tuesday. “Let me tell you something, I don’t have half as much as most of these folks who are in the [top] tenth. … There’s only so much you can eat. There’s only so big a house you can have. There’s only so many nice trips you can take. I mean, it’s enough.”

Although he didn’t mention last year’s tax cuts specifically, Mr. Obama called for the wealthy to pay more around the world in “some form of progressive taxation, so that rich people are still rich, but they’re giving a little bit back to make sure that everybody else has something to pay for universal health care and retirement security and invest in infrastructure and scientific research.”

“You don’t have to take a vow of poverty just to say ‘let me help out a little,’” Mr. Obama said. “Let me look at that child out there who doesn’t have enough to eat … let me help them out, I’ll pay a little more in taxes. It’s OK. I can afford it.”

He criticized those who oppose the government taking a larger share of their wealth in taxes.

“It shows a poverty of ambition to just want to take more and more and more, instead of saying ‘I’ve got so much, who can I help?’” Mr. Obama said. “How can I give more and more and more? That’s ambition. That’s impact. That’s influence. What an amazing gift, to be able to help people, and not just yourself.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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