Who’s Laughing Now?

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Tuesday’s edition of The Hill featured a piece by Sam Youngman about a Presidential photo-op in fabulous Fairfax, Va. Entitled “President Obama seeks his inner Bill Clinton and feels voters’ pain,” the piece focused on a White House sojourn to the home of an upper middle class family in the aforementioned suburban enclave.

While my first thought was “at least they didn’t go back to Majorca,” a more intent perusal of the piece revealed a great deal about how our poor President has gotten so lost of late. At one point during the stop-over, Obama actually said he “feels their pain.” Bill Clinton used to say that, as well. Then the GOP dropped an electoral elephant on the Democrats in 1994. The more things “change…”

While Obama’s visit to the home of John Nicholas and Nicole Armstrong was no more or less carefully orchestrated than any other Presidential day trip, his talking points were — sadly — no more or less ludicrous than his other recent economic pronouncements.

Nicholas was noted as having “survived several layoffs at his Internet-services company,” while Armstrong has “recently returned to part-time work… to help pay the family’s bills.” So, while the President’s economic ineptitude has pushed the unemployment rate toward Carter-era numbers, the President went to a hoedown at a home owned by a family earning more than twice the national salary average.

Neither of his hosts is looking for work, nor are they “working” for the Census Bureau (or at any other government-backed make-work jobs the White House has been trying to sneak into the economic stew of late.) And Obama feels our pain? Obama might as well have visited a home which had recently been burglarized… and consoled the next-door neighbors.

During his photo-op, Obama also tried to tout his economic message, touching on his administration’s fight to dim the lights on Bush-era tax relief, a key point in the recent war of words the White House has been trying to wage. One White House spokesmodel suggested the Obama push to punish economic success stories by bumping up upper income tax bracket rates was:

“fight(ing) for the middle class.”

What the mouthpiece didn’t mention was the punitive nature of the Democrats’ frontal tax-assault on the nation’s leading producers. Right now, the top 25 percent of American income earners have to pull the cart for 86 percent of the IRS bill. If the margins go up, that top 25 percent (which includes nearly everyone at Obama’s Fairfax fandango) will have to spend less now to pay more in April. Even the D-students in Econ 101 can tell you taking money out of the economic reservoir lowers the level of the whole lake. More to the point: you don’t bench the varsity for running up the economic score.

But the exhaustive use of exhausted liberal justification for regressive taxes aside; Obama’s visit to the hinterlands actually got weird(er). According to the President:

“Michelle and I always laugh about it when people talk about us—I think they forget that we were basically living the same lives as John and Nicole, just it wasn’t that long ago,” Obama said. “It was, like, six, seven years ago.”

Whee, Presidential jocularity! How refreshing. I suppose we should be glad that our multi-millionaire Commander-in-Chief and his fashion plate wife can look back on their former lives of middle-class drudgery and smile. Pardon me if I don’t join in the fun there, chuckles. Remind me, Mr. Middle-class: Michelle took HOW many people along to Spain? It cost HOW MUCH? And you were dining with OPRAH that week? Then you went BACK to MARTHA’S VINEYARD?

The article dutifully noted that Obama grew up in less luxurious surroundings than the ones he was visiting on Monday (and the ones in which he currently resides). Meaning what—he’s a modern-day Horatio Alger?

I have learned to accept the essential hypocrisy of limousine liberals. But the idea of an extraordinarily wealthy man visiting reasonably wealthy supporters in order to promulgate economic policies which have not only consigned millions of Americans to far less fancy fields than Fairfax, but will also ensure few Americans can reach their level of wealth isn’t humorous; it’s horrific.

Pundits often point to the “disconnect” between Obama and the average citizen. Obama’s recent Fairfax field trip reveals something more sinister than simple separation: The President finds our plight amusing.

Laugh it up, liberals. We saw the same primary results you did. Come November, the joke’s on you.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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