The War Against the Wannabe Rich
Victor Davis Hanson
(c) Mark Weber
There is class warfare going on in this country -- but it's not against the established rich. It's against those who are trying to become wealthy.
President Obama has declared that those who make over
Again, most of those targeted are not the already rich -- a
Oddly, much of the populist rhetoric about the need to gouge the newly affluent is voiced by the entrenched wealthy, who don't have to care how high taxes go, given their own vast fortunes.
Billionaires also often set up charitable foundations to ensure their estates are channeled to their own preferences rather than simply given over to a needy U.S. Treasury. In contrast, moderately affluent business owners or farmers often leave enough property for their heirs to pay death taxes, but not enough to set up tax-exempt charitable foundations.
But Buffett like
Often those in government claim that their higher taxes proposals are simply targeting the affluent like themselves -- proof of their own selflessness. President Obama, for example, has complained that the well-off like himself could afford to pay more.
But unlike politicians in
Focusing tax hikes on those who in some years make between
Instead, most are small-business owners who hire the majority of the nation's employees. But faced with the talk of higher taxes, more regulations and hostile rhetoric, they will remain confused, and so retrench rather than expand.
With the proposed new income, payroll and health-care tax rates, along with increased state and local taxes, many business owners fear that 60 percent to 70 percent of their income will go to the government. That does not seem a good way to convince small businesses to hire more workers in hopes of greater rewards.
Income is also not the only barometer of affluence. Two-hundred thousand dollars is quite a lot of annual money in
Why the war against the productive classes who want to be rich?
Maybe it is because they are not as numerous as the proverbial middle class. Perhaps they do not earn our empathy that is properly accorded to the poor. They surely lack the status and insider connections that accrue to the very rich.
Yet continue to punish and demonize them, and the country will grind to a halt -- as we are seeing now.
The War Against the Wannabe Rich | Victor Davis Hanson
(c) 2010 Victor Davis Hanson