Joel Kotkin on the “ironic geography” of Obama’s tax plan

by Ryan Streeter on December 5, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

The people whose wallets will be drained in the new war on “the rich” are high-earning, but hardly plutocratic professionals like engineers, doctors, lawyers, small business owners and the like. Once seen as the bastion of the middle class, and exemplars of upward mobility, these people are emerging as the modern day “kulaks,” the affluent peasants ruthlessly targeted by Stalin in the early 1930s.

The ironic geography of the Democratic drive can be seen most clearly by examining the  distribution of the classes now targeted by the coming purge. The top 10 states with the largest percentage of “rich” households under the Obama formula include true blue bastions Washington, D.C., which has the highest concentration of big earners, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, California and Hawaii. The only historic “swing state” in the top six is Virginia, due largely to the presence of the affluent suburbs of the capital. These same states, according to the Tax Foundation, would benefit the most from an extension of the much-lambasted Bush tax cuts.

That’s Joel Kotkin on the irony of the Obama tax-the-rich plan. He goes on to make a similar point about curbing deductions that favor the affluent:

Moves to curb mortgage interest deductions for affluent households also would fall predominately on these same areas. The states with the highest listing prices — and the biggest mortgages on average – are the president’s home state of Hawaii, followed by the District of Columbia, New York, California and Connecticut. According to the Census Bureau and the Federal Housing Agency, median home values in California are 200% higher than the national median, and in New York they’re 150% higher; in contrast, red Texas’ prices are below the median…

The curbing of the mortgage interest deduction constitutes only one part of a broader effort to cut back on all itemized deductions. This would hit states with the highest rates of people taking such deductions: California, New York, the District of Columbia, Connecticut and New Jersey, according to the Wall Street Journal. In contrast, the states least vulnerable to this kind of leveling reform would be either red states such as Indiana, Alaska or Kentucky, or classic “swing” states such as Iowa and Ohio.

  • Brent R Orrell

    So, there is justice after all!