Biden’s Emancipation Proclamation: Vice President Tells Audience at Black History Month Event That It Is Time To “Emancipate” The Wealthy From Their Money

220px-Biden_2013245px-Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portraitVice President Joe Biden has regularly caused uproars with his off-the-cuff remarks and serial gaffs. However, his most interesting remarks are not gaffs but clear statements of his views on some subjects. This is particularly evident on issues of taxes. Biden has called previously for the redistribution of wealth and called higher taxes an act of patriotism. For many, he epitomizes the image of a tax-based liberal and this week he seems intent of ratcheting up that image. At a Black History Month event at his official residence, Biden called for a new “emancipation:” freeing money from the rich.

Biden told the group that “A lot of wealthy white and black people aren’t bad but they control 1 percent of the economy and this cannot stand . . . It’s not fair because the business experts are saying that concentration of wealth is stunting growth. So let’s do something that’s worthy of emancipation.”

Freeing the wealth of some of their money, Biden suggests, would help them as individuals: “What happened is not only did we move toward freeing black Americans but also the conscience of white Americans.”

220px-EMANCI4Biden’s continued commitment to the idea of redistribution of wealth stands in contrast to the White House talking points. Many have argued that the White House is committed to redistribution through higher taxes. However, the White House has been careful to justify tax increases on specific program support. There is a conceptual difference (even if not much of a practical difference) in higher taxes for social welfare programs and higher taxes to redistribute wealth. The goal in the first case is improving the social net while the goal in the latter case is to achieve greater wealth equity.

The United States has never embraced the notion of wealth distribution as a primary goal, or even a secondary goal, of tax policy. Moreover, top earners probably disagree that they are in need of moral rehabilitation through taxation. The top one percent of earners in this country already pay a high percentage of taxes collected by the state and federal governments (though some question the fairness of this comparison). Many of us are concerned about the growing wealth disparity in this country and the world, including myself. I have written regularly about the widening gap. However, I am also leery of politicians who start to speak of taxes to redistribute wealth — particularly as a form of moral improvement.

Source: USA Today

92 thoughts on “Biden’s Emancipation Proclamation: Vice President Tells Audience at Black History Month Event That It Is Time To “Emancipate” The Wealthy From Their Money”

  1. As an after thought, I want to add, how about going through federal expenditures and programs with a fine tooth comb and having most programs take a percentage cut or gotten rid of all together.

  2. Keep taxing the rich and they’ll keep moving to other countries, putting their money in foreign banks, and sending their work over to foreign countries.
    No, once again the middle class and the marginal rich are the one’s who will feel the impact.
    What we need is a different approach to taxation. The sales tax idea, where everyone pays the same sales tax and percentage goes to city, state, and federal should have a closer look.
    How about going through the tax system, with a fine tooth comb, and getting after those who have neglected to pay their taxes, like Sharpton and others?.
    How about downsizing the federal government?
    How about getting rid of needless loopholes that only pertain to the most wealthy and big corporations?

  3. Opps Mespo,
    I’m a Conservative Christian who has ALWAYS paid taxes ALL my life.

  4. Jim – some people come here expressly to quarrel or say things they probably never would in person. That IS the point for them. It’s utterly pointless to try to have a mature discussion with someone like that.

  5. There is another aspect of social welfare programs that needs to be reformed, and that is a path on how to get off of them. They literally cannot afford to go back to work and be self sustaining.

    For instance, Obamacare is literally unaffordable to the unsubsidized middle class. How in the world is anyone ever supposed to get off of subsidies and pay for this?

    In general, I think we have more work to do to build a ramp for people to get off of Welfare and back to work and independence. We still have gaps that are very scary to leap over, especially for single moms with the weight of the world on their shoulders.

  6. Annie, You are still not making any point. There is nothing inconsistent with what I wrote. SS and MC are not entitlement programs for those who worked their whole lives because they were forced to pay into it. You are looking for something that is just not there. Try again.

  7. I’d like to make lobbying illegal, but know it’s impossible. Is paying for lobbying a business cost for tax return? I think you’ll find more Democrats getting rich, if we ever had a comparison report.

    There are lots if millionaire Democrat Senators. Though I think a couple got picked off.

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