Obama's re-election mandate: Guess whose money he's targeting next?
By Rachel Alexander
Many Americans didn't bother to vote in the past presidential election, some out of apathy or a belief that the election would hardly affect them. They are in for a rude awakening now that Obama has won re-election. His Santa Claus false promises are unsustainable, so there are going to be few winners and a lot of losers as he redistributes wealth. Obama ran on a platform of making the rich “pay their fair share of taxes,” but raising taxes on the wealthy will only fund the federal government for eight days a year. In order to even partially keep up with federal spending and debt payments, he will have to find new ways to take money from the middle class.
Private sector 401k and IRA owners are first on the Democrats' radar and may see their plans taken away soon. House Democrats are planning on eliminating those tax breaks and converting the private plans to government-controlled retirement accounts, where they will be at risk for insolvency.
The poor and lower middle classes filing bankruptcy are the next demographic being selectively targeted by the Obama administration. Last spring, federal bankruptcy courts and trustees started aggressively going after the paltry assets and incomes of the poorest Americans filing bankruptcy, demanding portions of their low wages, and assets such as their only car, in order to bring in more money for federal coffers and declare that bankruptcies have gone down under Obama. This was implemented despite federal bankruptcy laws' promise of a “fresh start” for the poor filing bankruptcy. Last year, bankruptcy courts targeting the poor like this was unheard of. Now, millions of Americans in the real estate industry who lost their jobs are finding out there is little relief for them in bankruptcy, as they are forced to pay bankruptcy attorneys to defend them in additional proceedings that can drag out for months.
Certain industries, anticipating worse economic times with Obama's re-election, have begun laying off thousands of workers. Some CEOs boldly announced the layoffs the day after the election, blaming them on Obama. The main industries laying off employees include technology, wireless, retail, grocery and healthcare, where the lowest-level employees have been hardest hit. Restaurant chains like Papa Johns are slashing employees' hours to less than 40 hours a week in order to avoid the expense of Obamacare and are raising prices.
Many middle class Americans will see their pensions eliminated or slashed, financially devastating for those under 55 years old who are aware that Social Security will be insolvent by the time they retire. The percentage of workers in America covered by a traditional pension plan fell from 62 percent in 1983 to 17 percent in 2007.
Government employees, represented by Obama-supporting public unions, fought tooth and nail to ensure that Obama won re-election, but Obama is not saving all their jobs and pensions. Older Americans falsely believed that if they paid into a government pension and relied upon it, it would be there for them when they retired. This is not true; it is no longer just newly hired employees who need to worry about losing their pensions. One retired firefighter in Rhode Island had his pension cut by $1,100/mth, and other firefighters saw their pensions cut by more than half. Several states have cut cost of living increases for existing pensioners. Many state and local governments are laying off employees. This is a pattern that is increasing, not decreasing around the country.
Non-union members are losing their pensions at an even higher rate than union employees. 20,000 auto employees lost most of their pensions when the U.S. Treasury Department decided to bail out General Motors. At the same time, those GM employees who were part of the United Auto Workers Union saw their pensions topped off and preserved. Pensions in the private sector are increasingly underfunded. Verizon's private pension plan is underfunded by $3.4 billion. If economic conditions continue to deteriorate, bankruptcy may not protect them. When corporations file bankruptcy, the courts tend to let them out of pension obligations to employees and retired employees.
Americans living in states where private sector employees are outnumbered by those dependent on government will be affected the worst. Known as “death spiral states,” these 11 states are considered high risk for economic default, shunned by investors. Americans in the real estate, investment, hospitality and tourism industries especially will face tougher times in these states over the next few years as those industries shrivel up and lay off workers, and municipal bankruptcies increase. Financial affairs in Stockton, California, have gotten so bad that police will only respond to calls for assistance if there is “blood involved.” Since 2009, the city has cut 25 percent of its police officers, 30 percent of its Fire Department and over 40 percent of all other city employees.
Everyone is familiar with troubled Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan's multiple prosecutions for theft, drunk driving incidents, traffic accidents and drug use. Yet no matter how many times she is arrested, she never serves more than a few days in jail because Los Angeles County cannot afford to lock up anyone but the most serious felons.
These are a just a few of the many ways Obama is stealthily taking away more money from the middle class. He brazenly targets certain types of Americans for austere fiscal measures, while giving others a free pass. He bails out Government Motors and its union employees with taxpayers' money, while Americans in the real estate industry who did nothing wrong are hassled for months as they try to file bankruptcy, with some of their bankruptcies ultimately thrown out. The liberal-dominated media has helped Obama accomplish this by failing to write about the selective targeting. Instead, the media hypes up stories of Obama playing Santa Claus. Obama does not care about the middle class, he cares about which special interests, such as unions, can contribute the most to Democrats' elections.
If Mitt Romney had been elected president, he would have pulled government out of the business of choosing winners and losers, allowing the private sector to create jobs and wealth again. Instead, the U.S. has turned into a feeding frenzy, with Americans fighting and clawing for whatever they can get at the expense of their neighbors.
Rachel Alexander and her brother Andrew are co-Editors of Intellectual Conservative. Rachel practices law and social media political consulting in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been published in the American Spectator, Townhall.com, Fox News, NewsMax, Accuracy in Media, The Americano, ParcBench, and other publications.