Beware Obama’s State of the Union Tax Hike

What makes it funny in the case of President Obama is that the bad news isn’t some inspector general’s report or inside-the-Beltway scandal, but the details of the $320 billion tax increase that Obama himself plans to ask for in his State of the Union address this week.

The White House fact sheet on the tax increase was released at 8 p.m. on Saturday night of the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Compare it with how Obama released another aspect of his State of the Union policy package, free community college.

That initiative got a weekday presidential speech. The tax increase to pay for it got the Saturday night fact-sheet treatment.

And it’s no wonder that this White House treats its own tax policy as if it is some sort of embarrassment. It is. Some day, when historians look back on the Obama administration, the Saturday night tax-grab will loom right up there with Benghazi, the broken Obamacare web site, and the je suis Charlie no-show as one of this presidency’s lowest moments.

Low, but telling, because it shows how this administration approaches tax policy not from the point of view of raising the revenues necessary to run the government, and not from the view of creating the maximum incentives for growth and innovation, but rather as a kind of zero-sum, redistributionist means of political warfare. It is tax policy as power and punishment, tax policy as vengeance.

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