Bill Murchison

We have to assume, in this event, that a public figure without a plan for redistributing the country's resources isn't truly concerned with gaps in income. He is concerned with getting voters to use their imaginations -- to see such gaps not as the result of effort, circumstance, vision and plain old luck, but rather as the result of manipulation.

A manipulator, by this logic, is an evil person. Let's tar and feather him or her at the very least. Let's put the government up to raising their taxes and narrowing their opportunities for -- always, apparently, a questionable goal -- profiting from investments and labor.

Does that take care of "inequality"? Of course not. Strip "the 1 percent" of half their possessions, and it still isn't enough. They continue to enjoy more than you and I. The way to abolish inequality is to reduce Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to the status of grocery clerks.

Except that Sen. Schumer has no such notion. Nor have rational Americans of any political party or none. Candidate Obama may have told Joe the plumber it would be nice to "spread the wealth around," but that was for aural effect. The phrase fell nicely on Obama's ear, as on -- he certainly hoped - it would many other ears.

Candidate Obama knew good and well he wasn't running on a platform to guillotine the rich and install the peasants in their chateaux. Inequality was then, and remains so, a bogey for scaring voters, few of whom want actually to round up Justin Bieber and Tiger Woods -- or even, for that matter, Brothers Buffett and Gates -- and work them over for the high crime of success.

The Schumer-Democratic gambit -- castigate inequality without promising some new age of perfect equality -- is thoroughly dishonest. Which is to say, it's thoroughly modern and thoroughly predictable.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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