by John Hawkins | September 30, 2003 1:32 pm
Despite the fact that Democrats, not Republicans, are the party that heavily relies on donations from the rich, the GOP is often accused of favoring the rich at the expense of the poor.
Yes, we’re in the pocket of the rich, we’re Robin Hood in reverse….yeah right, that’s bupkus. The left and the right simply have different attitudes about the rich. Michael Novak touches on this during a well written column about bush hater Jonathan Chait…
“Chait explains it this way: Only if the “affluent” (his word) pay a lot more in taxes, can government have enough resources to “help the poor.” If Bush does away with progressive taxation, then the middle class will have to pay more taxes, and that will doom government programs. The middle class will rebel. As Chait puts it:
“Shifting the federal tax burden downward makes middle-class taxpayers less likely to support future government programs, since they will have to pay for it themselves, rather than having a disproportionate burden picked up by the affluent.”
There is the liberal agenda in essence. The liberal secret. The liberal passion.
The rich should be the indispensable heroes of liberals, because the rich are the linchpin of the liberal agenda, the one true hope for liberal success. Liberals need the rich. Take away high taxes from the rich, and the liberal program flounders, Chait suggests. Why, then, do liberals hate the rich? It’s easier to understand why sheep hate to be shorn, than why liberals hate those they shear.”
Oh I understand it perfectly well. As Novak said, many people on the left view the wealthy as a necessary source for revenue for the bloated government programs that they love so much. So in order to have an excuse to milk the wealthy dry, the left to demonize them at every opportunity so other people won’t protest when they’re being mugged by the government.
Sure, we may be talking about some small business owner who built up a huge, successful, business from scratch and created thousands of jobs in the process of getting some nifty new product out to people, but he has to be made into a “bad guy”. He has to be a greedy, mean, Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is so selfish that he doesn’t want to “share” his “good fortune” with everyone else. Sure, that “good fortune” he had may have meant working 80 hour weeks for years on end while he built up a company, but so what? ? He “owes” everyone else his money.
Now me personally, I don’t look at it like that. I’m not jealous of what the rich have earned, I don’t resent their success, and I don’t think they should “owe” America any more in taxes percentage wise than what the rest of us do (yes, I’m talking about a flat tax). Especially since — and this is just going to kill some people — most of the rich contribute far more than the poor or middle-class do to our country. That’s not a dig at the poor or the middle-class (of which I am a part), it’s just an acknowledgement of reality.
Most — although of course not all — of the people in our country who got rich did so by providing an excellent product or service to the public. In the process of doing so, they created jobs, not only at their own companies, but at other companies whose products they bought. Then as they became wealthier, their donations to charity, their tax dollars, and their investments in the economy paid truly massive dividends for our country. So why should they be vilified for that?
You also have to consider that when you drag a rich man down with high taxes, you can be sure that he’s not going alone. People who worked for him personally, who benefited from his purchases of their products, people at his company, people who desperately needed his investment dollars — all of them may very well go down the tubes with him. The more you raise taxes on the rich, the less they’re going to be willing and able to contribute to the American economy.
That’s why I always wonder how people can believe politicians who claim that they’re going “to get the economy going again” while simultaneously talking about how they’re going to raise taxes on the rich. It doesn’t make sense, especially since we’ve already tried it before with dismal results. Back in the Carter years we actually had a top income tax bracket of 70% and the economy was in the worst funk since the Great Depression. Is that really what we want to go back to? I know my answer, but I suspect there are a lot of people on the left who would jump at that 70% tax bracket if they thought they could get it. The economy would eventually nose dive because of it, but boy would they have fun using that money to socialize vast chunks of the American economy in the interim.
So it’s not that the right is in the pocket of the rich, it’s just that we don’t hate them, we’re not jealous of them, & we don’t feel a need to tear them down in order to further our agenda.
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