Victor Davis Hanson

Under the present system, the beleaguered 99 percent are subsidizing the abodes of Hollywood and Silicon Valley "millionaires and billionaires" -- many of whom themselves have been railing against the one percent. Should the government provide tens of thousands of dollars in tax breaks for a blue-state one-percenter to live in tony Palo Alto or Newport Beach when there are plenty of fine homes far cheaper and sitting empty not far away in Stockton and Bakersfield?

Blue states usually have far higher state income taxes that are used as deductions to reduce what is owed on federal income tax. Why should working folks in Nevada or Texas have to pay their fair share, while Wall Streeters get huge federal write-offs from their New York or Connecticut state income taxes?

With the new obsessions over income and net worth, we might as well also means-test all federal programs. Should anyone -- do we remember Solyndra?

-- be eligible for federal cash loans if he makes over $250,000 per year?

Why would affirmative action apply to millionaires like the offspring of Eric Holder, Susan Rice or, for that matter, Barack Obama, while excluding the destitute children of Appalachian coal miners and the poor clingers of Pennsylvania?

Remember the revolving door that Barack Obama once promised to end? The former head of his Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, used his title and insider contacts to walk right into a Citigroup fat-cat banker's job that pays him an estimated $2 million to $3 million a year.

Clinton administration apparatchiks like Jamie Gorelick, James Johnson and Franklin Raines -- without much of any banking experience -- reaped millions of dollars working at Fannie Mae as it went nearly bankrupt. If you leave government and immediately make more than $1 million, why not pay a 50 percent surcharge on your income for five years -- given that "somebody else made that happen"? Why does Google have tax havens in the Caribbean, and why do six-figure-income college presidents have their taxes paid by their universities?

For much of 2012, Obama waged a veritable class war against conservatives, as if they were all right-wing clones of Donald Trump and the Koch brothers. But modern Democrats -- Nancy Pelosi, George Soros, Steven Spielberg, Brian Williams or Oprah Winfrey -- are as likely to be very wealthy as are Republicans, who increasingly better represent small-business owners desperately struggling to become affluent.

Next time around, Republicans might remind us of that paradox by nominating a small-business scrapper, who -- unlike millionaires such as Al Gore, John Kerry or Barack Obama -- did not go to prep school and the Ivy League. And they might find better ways for those in academia, entertainment, sports, big law and the media to pay their fair share.


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.