ELIZANDRO: Learning Obamanomics

John Elizandro

With just a few short weeks until Election Day, Barack Obama appears to have a definitive lead over John McCain. Though McCain appeared to gain ground on Obama in the wake of the Republican Convention in late August, the cascading economic crisis has catapulted the first-term Illinois senator back into a commanding position.

This pattern has been observed in elections before: In times of economic unease, throw the incumbent party out and bring the other party in.

Few voters, however, have taken the time to actually examine Obama’s own economic policies. College students, soon to enter the job market, should pay careful attention to what the man promising sweeping change intends.

Obama’s broad economic plan involves a dramatic increase in government spending with a litany of new social programs. To finance this, he claims he will cut taxes on 95 percent of Americans while hiking them on the “rich” and on corporations.

With an economy teetering on the brink of disaster, Obama wants to raise taxes on corporations and small businesses with a certain income. In the middle of a financial meltdown, the last thing this economy needs is the government sucking money out of the system.

The answer to our problem is not to take more money out of corporations already starved for cash.

In Obama’s fantasy land, corporations will simply give the government more of their money, and Obama will be able to spend it as he pleases. But does anyone really think that Wal-Mart or Exxon is going to just take the hit to their profits with a smile? These companies will quickly raise their prices to compensate, and when Verizon, Target and US Airways raise their prices, we all feel it.

Problem No. 1 of Obama’s plan involves his claim to “cut taxes” on the great majority of Americans. The issue here is that nearly 40 percent of Americans who file a tax return with the appropriate deductions pay nothing in federal income taxes to begin with. When Obama says “tax cut,” what he really means is what’s called a “refundable tax credit.” A refundable tax credit is essentially a check written to the taxpayers by the government.

When Obama talks about raising taxes on “the rich,” it should strike fear into the hearts of Villanova students of almost any major. “The rich” are more easily recognized by college students as “those from whom we will soon be asking for jobs.”

America’s job market is hurting already, and each additional dollar sent to Washington to finance Obama’s agenda is one dollar that could pay the salary of a new employee in their first year out of school.

The radicalism of Obama’s economic agenda was inadvertently displayed by Obama himself when he told one voter he was looking to “spread the wealth around.” “Spread the wealth around” means, of course, taking money by force from those who have been most successful in our society and giving it to those who have not.

As Villanova students who over the next few years will be entering the “real world,” we should pay close attention to the message Obama is sending with his economic policies: The more you work and the more you earn, the more you will be punished by the confiscation of what you have worked to earn.

Don’t work as hard, don’t earn as much and don’t worry: The government will have your back.

Community service and charitable giving should play an important role in all of our lives. Each of us has the obligation to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

There is much to be done in this country today to fight poverty, disease, homelessness and the other ills plaguing our society, but Obama’s Robin Hood economics is really just the same old liberal social policy camouflaged in eloquent rhetoric. And that’s not the change we’ve been waiting for.


John Elizandro is a freshman from Radnor, Pa. He can be reached at [email protected].