The Obama left revives the politics of a “low, dishonest decade.”
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2. P&S took no account of government transfers, which now make up a huge portion of the income of poorer households. Welfare payments, SSI, food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid — all are non-taxable and constitute a major source of income to most poor families.
3. A vast number of “the rich” who show up at the top end of the income scale are Subchapter S corporations, not individuals. The 1986 tax reform raised corporate taxes to 36 percent while lowering personal rates to 28 to 35 percent. This set off a stampede out of Schedule C corporate filings and into Subchapter S, where a corporation’s earning can be shared by up to 100 individuals. Almost half the corporations in America now file “personal” income taxes. Banks making $10 million in revenues now file under Subchapter S. This makes it appear as if there are fabulously rich individuals roaming the land when in fact they are small and mid-sized corporations. By failing to take this into account, P&S decided there has been a huge and growing “inequality gap” since 1986.
All this is lost in the shuffle, however, as the campaign to scapegoat the “1 percent” becomes an obsession of the liberal obsession. The New York Times now runs a front-page story almost every day highlighting the comparison between “the 1 percent and the other 99.” The one before Thanksgiving featured a lament of how the 99 percent must camp out in front of Targets and Wal-Mart “racing for bargains at ever-earlier hours while the rich mostly will not be bothering to leave home.” Three days before that it was how “the gap between first class and coach” on international flights “has never been so wide.”
Carriers… are offering private suites for first-class passengers, three-star meals and personal service once found only on corporate jets. They provide massages before takeoff, whisk passengers through special customs lanes and drive them in a private limousine right to the plane. Some have bars. One airline has installed showers onboard.
The amenities in the back of the cabin? Sparse.
That these luxury passengers are paying $15,000 a seat and provide more than half the revenues from each flight did not seem to make much difference.
Finally last Sunday the Times found an éminence grise in former Republican mayoral candidate Ron Lauder, who spearheaded the campaign to impose term limits on New York City politicians. Pictured in front if a $135 million painting in light that made him look like a German baron who supported the Nazis in 1933, Lauder was stigmatized as a manipulator “now worth $3.1 billion” who is making “shrewd use of the tax code [to achieve] deductions worth tens of millions of dollars in federal income taxes.” Lauder’s sin is that he has donated paintings from his personal collection to establish the Neue Galerie of Austrian and German art in Manhattan. When the New York Times starts pillorying art galleries, you know you’re in a new era.
Still, all this hasn’t been enough for Paul Krugman, the only certifiable lunatic ever to win a Nobel Prize. Last Friday Krugman informed readers that aiming at the 1 percent is all wrong. They should be raising their sites:
If anything… the 99 percent slogan aims too low. A large fraction of the top 1 percent’s gains have actually gone to an even smaller group, the top 0.1 percent — the richest one-thousandth of the population.
Dismissing the objection that the .01 percent might include some “job creators” (Times style is now to put ironic quotation marks around “job creators”), Krugman goads his followers to action:
So should the 99.9 percent hate the 0.1 percent? No, not at all. But they should ignore all the propaganda about “job creators” and demand that the super-elite pay substantially more in taxes.
Seriously, what’s the point of singling out the “0.1 percent” if not to hate them? But let’s go Krugman one better. I’ll bet it’s not just the 0.1 percent or the 0.01 percent or the 0.0001 percent that’s responsible for this country’s ailing economy. I’ll be there’s one individual behind it all, one sinister billionaire who is manipulating the system, thwarting poor old President Obama efforts to bring prosperity to the people. I’ll bet we even know his name. It’s Goldstein, Emmanuel Goldstein.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?