A man identified by White House reporters as Doug Edwards, former director of communications and marketing at Google, begged President Obama to raise his taxes at a Linkedin town hall event Monday.
“Mr. President. I don’t have a job, but that is because I have been lucky enough to live in Silicon Valley for a while and work for a small startup company down the street who did quite well,” he said.
“So, I am unemployed by choice. My question is — would you please raise my taxes?”
Talking Points Memo reported that the question initially drew stunned laughter and then applause from the small audience.
“I would like very much to have the country to continue to invest in things like Pell grants and infrastructure and jobs training programs that made it possible for me to get to where I am,” Edwards added.
“I appreciate the fact that you recognize that we’re in this thing together. We’re not our own,” Obama responded.
Edwards claimed that a number of his wealthy friends feels as he does, and said “it kills me” for Congress not to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire.
As he has done so many times while pushing his class warfare rhetoric, the President dismissed the idea his plans consist of class warfare.
“So often the tax debate gets framed as class warfare,” Obama said.
“Look, as I said at the outset, America’s success is premised on individuals, entrepreneurs [who] get out there and are pursuing their dreams and making a whole lot of money in the process. As you just pointed out, we’re successful becuase somebody invested in our education.”
According to the President, unless taxes are raised on the so-called rich who already pay the lions’ share of income taxes, math scores will fall and graduation rates will drop.
“So this is not an issue of do we somehow try to punish those who have done well. That is the last thing we want to do. It is a question of how can we afford to continue to make the investments that are going to propel america forward. If we don’t improve our education system, for example, we will all fall behind. We will all fall behind. That is a fact. And the truth is that on every indicator — from college graduation, math and science scores, we are slipping behind other developed countries.”
In a recent interview, Edwards — author of “I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59″ — said, “It’s hard to see how real change is gonna come when money is still the largest voice in politics.”
ABC News reported:
In a session dominated by economic concerns, the president plugged his jobs agenda in fielding questions on the employment picture, education, Medicare and Social Security. The president spoke midway through a three-state Western swing built largely around fundraising for himself and other Democrats.
Obama is in a deadlock with congressional Republicans, including House leaders, over raising taxes as part of a formula for helping a staggering economy. He has put forward a debt-reduction plan that would raise $1.5 trillion in new revenue, including about $800 billion over 10 years from repealing the Bush-era tax cuts for couples making more than $250,000.
House Republicans, however, are not about to pass a bill that increases taxes.
In an interview before winning the Florida Straw Poll Saturday, GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain called Obama a liar for spreading what he called ‘BS’.
“Can I be blunt? That’s a lie,” Cain said, before the sound of his voice began to rise noticeably higher. “You’re not supposed to call the president a liar. Well if you’re not supposed to call the president a liar, he shouldn’t tell a lie. If it’s not class warfare, it’s highway robbery. He wants us to believe it’s not class warfare, oh okay, it’s not class warfare. Pick my pockets, because that’s what he’s doing!”
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