It’s hot outside. Too hot for a summer stroll or any sort of outdoor activity. So last Sunday morning, I settled in for some riveting Washington talk show action.
Aside from the usual histrionics surrounding the Sherrod racial episode and the “necessary dialogues” on race the mainstream media feels compelled to hold every other month just so it can sleep well at nights, the latest argument to follow in Washington is what to do over the expiring Bush tax cuts.
Specifically, in a matter of months, the tax rate cuts President Bush and the Republican-led Congress pushed through in 2001 are set to expire, returning the top bracket to its 39.6% rate up from today’s 35%. That's right, at a time when our economy is as fragile as ever, this administration is pondering tax increases. As if the race baiting by the White House weren't enough, it's now in full-throated class warfare, pitting this faceless rich no one seems to know, against the poor, who seem to be on every corner in President Obama's mind.
I laughed out loud when talking heads such as Sam Donaldson of ABC News dismissively said of those who would be affected, “They don’t need the money. They won’t miss it.” Then others cackled in unison on the various shows. Talks of “them” and “they” and occasionally, the disdain in the pundits’ voices of the “mega wealthy.”
Even on FOX News, commentators such as NPR's Juan Williams scoffed at the notion that somehow these tax hikes would leave any lasting harm, implying "they" make so much money, the zillionaires won't possibly miss it. Once again, in a town that excuses its gluttony by referring to every spending orgy as a "rounding error" these same ivory tower denizens attack those with wealth as if it were ill-gotten and criminal. And if tax collectors took a little more, it would represent merely a fraction (a rounding error) of their treasure.
So just who are these folks that Donaldson, Williams and others refer to as “they”? I presume these journalists-turned-social judges are referring to top 1% earners in America, particularly those making over $250,000 as a family.
Folks, in Washington, DC and other major urban areas, that’s a lot of money, but it’s not “mega wealthy.” It might surprise our president that $250k jumps up real quickly, even for two GS-14 federal employees here in town. Would the labor unions really like to see federal workers be referred to as the uber wealthy?