Victor Davis Hanson

Who exactly were the rich who, as the president said, were not "paying their fair share"? The rapper Jay-Z (net worth: nearly $500 million)? The actor Johnny Depp (2011 income: $50 million)? Neither seems to have heard the president's earlier warning that, "at a certain point you've made enough money."

Could both zillionaires simply have quit making money at $10 million -- and thereby given their poorer audiences a break on ticket prices?

With all the talk of raising taxes on the supposedly conservative wannabes who make $250,000 per year, why not additionally levy a $3 surcharge on discretionary tickets for movies, concerts and sporting events to "spread the wealth" from multimillionaires? That way, LeBron James (approximate annual earnings: $53 million) or Oliver Stone (net worth: approximately

$50 million) might at last begin to "level the playing field."

Is Michael Moore (net worth: approximately $50 million) a one-tenth-of-one-percenter? If so, why do mansion-living grandee movie directors like Moore and Stone need state subsidies and tax breaks to produce their films, when most states are nearly as insolvent as the federal government?

Warren Buffett likewise did not heed the president's advice that after

2008 it was not the time to profit. Did he pay any attention to Obama's additional warning that, "If you own a business, you didn't build that"?

Apparently not.

Otherwise, Buffett would not think that his own expertise and hard work had built Berkshire Hathaway, or that he has the right to leave his $50 billion fortune to nonprofit institutions of his choice -- thereby shorting the Internal Revenue Service billions of dollars in lost estate taxes. With a trillion-dollar-plus annual federal deficit, either the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Health and Human Services surely could use Buffett's loot far more than the already well-endowed Gates Foundation.

If the country is going to turn redistributionist, then we might as well do so whole-hog -- given that the eight of the wealthiest 10 counties in America voted for Obama. Why not limit mortgage interest deductions to just one loan under $100,000 -- while ending tax breaks altogether for second and third vacation houses?


Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.