Fighting Income Inequality Via Class Warfare

By Hoar, William P. | The New American, June 9, 2014 | Go to article overview

Fighting Income Inequality Via Class Warfare


Hoar, William P., The New American


ITEM: In a speech in Washington, D.C., as reported by the Associated Press for December 4, 2013, President Obama called income inequality the "defining challenge of our time. " Obama, said the wire service, "vowed to focus the last three years of his presidency on addressing the discrepancy. "

ITEM: Writing in the New Yorker for May I, 2014, John Cassidy took note of the publishing phenomenon surrounding a book about income inequality by French economist Thomas Piketty entitled Capital in the Twenty-First Century. As he said, "Articles about Piketty have proliferated like spring flowers. "

Among other words of flattery, the New Yorker columnist praised the economist and his work for re-energizing "the debate about how to tackle rising inequality, extending it from issues like wage stagnation and C.E.O. pay to the broader question of wealth distribution. We can already see how the dividing lines will be drawn. Many liberals and progressives will embrace Piketty s calls for more redistribution through the tax system. Conservatives who have their heads in the sand will question whether rising inequality is a real problem. "

ITEM: A Washington Post article dated April 16, entitled "Is a global wealth tax the key to reducing income inequality?, " promoted Piketty's call to raise marginal income tax rates in the United States to as high as 80 percent. The Post cited the French economist, as well as research published by the International Monetary Fund, as justification for a "way to shrink the share of wealth at the top, " namely by introducing a "global tax on all capital. " There is another key point, said the Post's Joann Weiner: "All countries have to adopt the tax to keep capital from fleeing to tax havens."

ITEM: Robert Reich, secretary of labor in the Clinton administration and now a professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, blasted the "biggest right-wing lies about income equality" in Salon for May 6, 2014. One alleged lie is this, according to Reich: "The rich and CEOs are America's job creators. So we dare not tax them."

Reich insists that, at the very least, "the rich must pay higher taxes in order to pay for better-quality education for kids from poor and middle-class families. Labor unions must be strengthened, especially in lower-wage occupations, in order to give workers the bargaining power they need to get better pay. And the minimum wage must be raised."

CORRECTION: Don't you love to listen to preaching from phony egalitarians who are listed in "Who's Who" but don't have a clue about what's what? Scrutinizing the world assiduously and thinking very deep thoughts, these wunderkinder have come to the conclusion that wealth is not fairly distributed. This prompts their solution, which turns out as follows: Have the government grow large enough to make everyone poorer.

Since existing intrusions into the marketplace have not led to nirvana, many of these class warriors have concluded that even more interference and taxation is needed.

Facts may be stubborn things, but they apparently can be ignored when the object is to pit Americans against one another in the name of government-mandated outcomes.

The individuals making up the evil one percent--who are purportedly so cheap that they won't even spend the time of day if it means they can drive the deprived further into the dirt--actually are already being squeezed pretty tight on the money they have earned. The well-off do shell out more in taxes, but they also must pay at a disproportionately higher rate due to the progressive nature of the income-tax system --the system that isn't "progressive" enough for today's socialists.

The rationale for pushing for higher taxation is not borne out by the actual figures. As pointed out by the Heritage Foundation in December, the data from the Congressional Budget Office show that the president's

   premise for pushing the tax--that
   the rich pay a smaller share of their
   income in taxes than the middle class
   --is faulty. … 

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