In explaining why it was OK to sock a new 5.4% tax on the highest earners in this country — to pay for health care reform — President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said this:
“The president believes that the richest 1% of this country has had a pretty good run of it for many, many, many years.”
Ah. So that’s it. The old “You’ve had it good enough for long enough” policy. That’s why a family earning a million dollars a year should now cough up $54,000 of that — in addition to all the other taxes it pays — to cover health care for people who may not pay a penny of new tax themselves.
Because, after all, those rich folks have had a pretty good run of it.
Now, it is not that I don’t think we need health care reform. We do. It is not that the rich should not pay fair taxes. They should.
But to justify a grossly overweighted tax by saying “You people have had it good long enough” is to engage in the worst and most destructive form of politics: class warfare.
By making a snarky comment like that, Gibbs suggests that the top 1% are a bunch of Bernie Madoffs, that they’ve been scheming their way to riches, evading the system, hiding their money in complicated offshore deals. You know — wink, wink — they’ve had it “pretty good.”
This is every bit as insulting as saying all poor people are lazy welfare cheats. Imagine the uproar if he’d said that. What’s the difference?
Both are dangerous lies.
For a moment, let’s take Gibbs and Obama at their words. “A pretty good run of it for many, many, many years.” OK. In what way? Did those people earn their money? Yes. Did they work for it? Yes. So in that regard they are no different than a schoolteacher or postal worker. They worked, they got paid.
Mr. Gibbs and President Obama should realize they are no longer only speaking to rooms full of giddy campaign volunteers. It’s the nation. All of us are in this together. That means poor and yes, rich — if there are any left once this is all done.
Gee, when a fellow member of the big ol ears club turns on you, it must be a bad day!
ht to Bizzyblog