Who Are the "Little People" Now?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jan 23, 2009 5:01 PM
About a year ago, Barack Obama announced his intention to raise taxes on some Americans, i.e. the "top 1%" (although, laudably, he may delay those plans given the current economic crisis).  It's all just a matter of "fairness," the Democrats tell us with some regularity.

It's remarkable, then, that Democrats are so sanguine about the under-taxpayers in their midst.  Caroline Kennedy and Tim Geithner are the most recent examples, but the mind strays also to Charlie Rangel.

Famously, Leona Helmsley was once said to have proclaimed that "only the little people pay taxes."  (Liberal) media commentators loved to characterize Helmsley's awful comment as the apotheosis of the Reagan '80's.  But now it seems as though the left is willing to demand that regular Americans to pay higher taxes, then look the other way if Democrats in (or auditioning for) government posts choose not to play by the same rules.

If paying taxes is supposed to be a patriotic act, as Joe Biden once informed us, it would be interesting to see what commentary the vice president has on the "patriotism" of some of those in his party.  Leona Helmsley's "little people" were, presumably, those not rich enough to hire people to help them evade their commitments.  Are the Democrats' "little people" those who don't have enough political influence to ensure that the powers that be will look the other way?