Sotomayor Hearings Serving as a Distraction for Tax Hikes?

A lot of media attention has been focused on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor, and rightfully so. But are congressional Democrats using this media fixation as an opportunity to sneak through a $540-billion tax hike to pay for health care?

Business & Media Institute adviser Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, thinks so. He told Fox News “Your World” fill-in host that on July 13.

“I’m not suggesting it,” Mitchell said. “They would like that to happen. There’s no question the public opinion polls have turned against the administration in terms of broad economic policy and especially on the more specific issue of fiscal policy. This has been a profligate tax-and-spend administration in just the first six months and now they want the government to take over health care and make it like the postal service. They will not be able to put all this through without people watching.”

According to a July 13 Financial Times story by Sarah O’Connor, in an effort to fund health care, House Democrats are introducing a bill a proposing a 1 percent income tax on earners making more than $350,000 a year and as much as 3 percent on those earning in excess of $1 million. Soaking the rich might make for winning campaign rhetoric, but the rich don’t necessarily suffer, according to Mitchell.

“Sometimes it’s popular as a sound bite on the campaign trail, but a lot of the American people are very suspicious, and rightfully so, that when politicians are aiming at the rich, it’s the middle class that winds up getting hit in the crossfire and we saw that during the Clinton years. We saw that with tax increases under the first President Bush.”

Mitchell explained it is the middle class that bear the brunt of the expansion of government.

“Every time the politicians want more money, the one thing that your viewers should understand – there aren’t enough rich people to finance big government, so they use ‘tax the rich’ as the rhetoric but they always go after the ordinary people to fund their big government schemes,” Mitchell said.

A July 13 USAToday/Gallup Poll backs up Mitchell’s suspicion about the American people’s attitude on health care. It revealed that although people want changes in the status quo, they are skeptical of how Washington intends to finance this gigantic endeavor.