Larry Elder

Mickelson actually apologized! For what? For engaging in a pastime older than golf -- complaining about taxes?! For railing against tax hikes he did not vote for?! Apology?

OK. Let's play this game. Like Mickelson, Maher is a white rich guy (net worth $23 million) living in the very same beautiful state. Like Mickelson, he complained about high taxes. But unlike Maher, Mickelson likely voted against Democrats who promised to raise them. Maher embraced Obama.

As for California's state income taxes, Maher attacked the Republican California gubernatorial candidate who thought state government was too big. The winner, California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, successfully pushed to increase the top marginal state income tax rate from 10.3 percent to 13.3 percent for every dollar above 1 million, the highest state income tax in the nation.

Of the more than 12 million households in California, only 166,000 -- or just over 1 percent of the state's households -- account for nearly half of the state's income tax revenue. This would include Maher's.

Did Maher not believe his party when Democrats hammered the greedy rich for failing to pay "their fair share"?

Former Democratic Chairman Howard Dean, just after Obama's re-election, pulled no punches about the quest for more taxes from everybody -- to pay for the welfare state that America just voted to keep and expand. Dean said: "The truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich. That's a good start. But we're not going to get out of this deficit problem unless we raise taxes across the board." Maher enthusiastically supported Obama and routinely attributed Obama's political opposition to racism. Did Maher think the Democrats' entitlement state would be paid for with magic dollars from someone else's pocket?

Here's the deal. Voters last November pulled the lever for four more years of expanded government -- and for four more years of instructing Congress to get somebody else to pay for it. Bill Maher now says "ouch," that the rich already pay a disproportionally high share of the income taxes.

The question remains: Did Maher have an epiphany, and will he now use his considerable platform to similarly enlighten others? Does he now recognize that, as former British Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher once said, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money"? Or is Maher just the latest in a long line of rich lefty hypocrites who want an expensive welfare state -- on somebody else's dime?


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.


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