Lloyd Green writes at The Daily Beast about the politics of redistribution:
It’s welfare redux time. Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the Obamacare will cost the country the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs by 2024, as people choose not to work or work less in order to keep their Obamacare subsidy. Meanwhile, the Brookings Institution announced yesterday that Obamacare stands to shift wealth from the top 80 percent on America’s income ladder to the lowest fifth—a cash grab from most of the bottom half. President Obama and his congressional allies have sacrificed the work ethic and growth on the altar of the Democrats’ upstairs-downstairs coalition, with the emphasis on “downstairs.”
Against this backdrop, the political calculus for punishing the nearly 60 percent of voters with incomes above $50,000 must have stared Obama’s operatives in the face like a bull seeing red. But why tag those who make only between $30,000 and $50,000, and why throw a lead weight around the recovery?
But we do know why, and it’s called redistribution and it’s about demographics, much as the administration may half-heartedly deny it. Just ask Richard Daley, the former Obama White House Chief of Staff who helped make Obamacare the reality that it is. In Daley’s own words: “Redistribution is a loaded word that conjures up all sorts of unfairness in people’s minds. … It’s a word that, in the political world, you just don’t use.” Sometimes the truth can be so inconvenient
This brings us to demographics and the Democrat’s upstairs-downstairs coalition. It relies heavily on political contributions from the rich on both coasts; prays for the votes of enough upscale suburbanites; and is electorally wedded to Americans in the lower socio-economic tiers who are disproportionately uninsured.Three years ago, POTUS had this exchange with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Do you deny the assessment? Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth?
O'REILLY: You deny that?
OBAMA: Absolutely. I didn't raise taxes once, I lowered taxes over the last two years.