Larry Elder

To the list of liberals who vote for higher taxes -- and then proceed to complain about them -- add comedian Bill Maher.

Incredibly, the caustic, left-wing Maher recently warned, "ln California, I just want to say: Liberals -- you could actually lose me." As a resident of California, a state with high income taxes, Maher complained that his taxes are "over 50 percent." What's more, Maher made a point seldom heard except on Fox News or by a rich Parisian. Maher said, "Rich people ... actually do pay the freight in this country ... like 70 percent" of the taxes. (Presumably, Maher meant that the top 10 percent of taxpayers pay about 70.5 percent of the federal income taxes.)

Holy Grover Norquist! Was it an epiphany or merely the latest example of liberal hypocrisy?

Maher, just two years ago, painted this picture of the filthy, clueless, racist, sexist, homophobic, selfish, greedy rich:

"America's rich aren't giving you money. They are taking your money. Between the years 1980 and 2005, 80 percent of all new income generated in this country went to the richest 1 percent. Let me put that in terms that even you fat-ass tea-baggers, sorry, can understand. Say 100 Americans get together and order a 100-slice pizza. The pizza arrives, they open the box, and the first guy takes 80 slices. And if someone suggests, 'Why don't you just take 79 slices?' --) that's socialism! ...

"We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super-rich are the same, like somehow the rich will eventually get so full that they'll explode, and the candy will rain down on the rest of us, like they're some kind of pinata of benevolence. But here's the thing about a pinata -- it doesn't open on its own; you have to beat it with a stick."

But -- now -- Maher complains.

Golfer Phil Mickelson, also a Californian, recently complained about high taxes. As with Maher, Mickelson earns the bulk of his money through ordinary income, not through Warren Buffet-type investments that get taxed at a lower rate. Mickelson said: "If you add up all the federal, and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."

But then came the backlash in this era of social media. People, in essence, said: "Look, Phil, we know you didn't vote for Obama. But nobody sympathizes with a white, rich, California-living Republican who makes big dollars hitting a little white ball. You come across as a spoiled, ungrateful whiner."


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.