The "American Dream" upon which Obama routinely waxes-bullshit (McCain is just bad on this front, in fairness) is not - contrary to what he and many of his supporters think - that everyone has the god-given right to be financially well-off.
Before the Obama freaks inevitably jump down my throat, let me state this as clearly as possible.
This is a non-partisan post. I do not support Obama or McCain. Let me repeat: I am completely Party and Candidate-neutral in this election. This is an examination of concepts central to this election, and the philosophies behind them. This post is not intended to be, and in no-way represents an endorsement or criticism of any Candidate beyond the issues discussed. In the next few weeks, we'll likely be posting new material lambasting both McCain and Obama, so please don't be so quick to judge.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way (although I expect the attempt will inevitably be in vain), the WSJ describes the differences between Obama and McCain's "value-based" tax plan:
Sen. Obama replied that it's a matter of values. His plan values work, not just wealth, he said. And after largely dodging Joe the Plumber, Sen. Obama referred to him on Saturday as one of the working people who would receive a tax cut under his plan.
"It's time to give a tax cut to the teachers and janitors who work in our schools; to the cops and firefighters who keep us safe; to the waitress working double shifts, the nurses in the ER," he said. "And yes, the plumbers, fighting for the American dream."
I want to focus on one clause in that statement for a moment, "His plan values work, not just wealth." Let that sink in for a second. Obama tacitly acknowledges that work is valuable. However, based off the subsequent paragraph, above, he fails to make the connection that not all work has the same value, which in capitalistic society is commonly measured by the price paid for that work. (ed: A deeper discussion of the price paid for work being an accurate measure of the value society attributes said work is beyond the scope of this discussion, for another time though for sure, 1-2 care to give it a shot?) My job, for example, is not nearly as valuable or more accurately, not priced as highly as that of a surgeon, an all-star trader, a talented architect, etc, all of whom likely make several times what I do (just take my word for it).