COMMENTARY | Tucked stealthily within President Barack Obama's 2013 budget is a proposal to raise the tax rate on corporate dividends from 15 percent to 39.6 percent. In pushing the measure the administration wants you to believe that this is a drone strike that targets the evil rich, just another sortie in his ongoing class warfare campaign. What he doesn't tell you is that, when the bomb goes off, America's seniors will be the greatest collateral damage.
"Of course, the White House wants everyone to know that this new rate would apply only to those filthy rich individuals who make $200,000 a year, or $250,000 if you're a greedy couple," explained the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. "We're all supposed to believe that no one would be hurt other than rich folks who can afford it."
However, data compiled by the Heritage Foundation reveals that the highest demographic most likely to own and depend upon stocks that pay dividends are America's senior citizens as well as low-income households.
For those who have been paying attention, this isn't the first time Obama loaded the corporate dividends tax bomb into his budget cannon. In 2010 as the Bush Tax Cuts were set to expire, Obama and the majority of his fellow Democrats opposed the extension, screaming their usual distraction war cry that the tax cuts were designed to benefit the evil rich and they were there to protect the poor, the middle class, seniors and so on and so forth.
The one aspect they attacked most was the 15 percent dividends tax. Back then Obama wanted to raise the dividends tax to 20 percent for the evil rich and keep it at 15 percent for the poor whom they oppress. They failed. The House passed the measure 277 to 148 with 112 Democrats and 36 Republicans voting no. Now it's payback time.
Despite the passage of the Bush tax cuts, which includes keeping the corporate dividends tax at 15 percent, now Obama wants to raise the dividend tax rate to 39.6 percent. Furthermore, with the budget's planned phase-out of deductions and exemptions, the rate jumps to 41 percent. Add in the 3.8 percent investment tax surcharge imposed through that other stealth bomber called Obamacare and the tax rate hits 44.8 percent. Clever, no?
And, lest we forget, Obamacare already stole $500 billion from Medicare. Its passage cost Democrats dearly in the 2010 mid-terms.
Thankfully, Obama's stealth plan to gut Social Security, ingeniously disguised as the American Jobs Act, was rejected by his own party. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to even bring it to the floor for a vote. As reported by Donald Lambro of Town Hall, Obama's $4 trillion budget bomb for fiscal year 2013 -- which would add another $1 trillion to our existing $15.3 trillion debt -- will also be "dead on arrival."
It is, after all, another election year.
A curious note about seniors and elections: Seniors are the most reliable when it comes to turning out to the polls to vote. Just before the Democrat drubbing in the 2010 mid-terms Real Clear Politics reported that 84 percent of seniors who were registered to vote said they would "definitely" vote -- and the majority of them supported Republicans.
According to the latest report by the Census Bureau, numbering 40.3 million now, the United States senior population is larger than it has ever been.