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by Victor Davis Hanson
In his first term President Obama was criticized for trash-talking the one-percenters while enjoying the aristocracy of Martha's Vineyard and the nation's most exclusive golf courses.
Obama never quite squared his accusations that "millionaires and billionaires" had not paid their fair share with his own obvious enjoyment of the perks of "corporate jet owners," "fat cat bankers" and Las Vegas junketeers.
Now, that paradox has continued right off the bat in the second term. In the State of the Union, Obama once more went after "the few," and "the wealthiest and the most powerful," whom he blasted as the "well-off and the well-connected" and the "billionaires with high-powered accountants."
Like clockwork, the president then jetted to West Palm Beach for yet another golfing vacation at one of the nation's priciest courses, replete with lessons from a
The rest of the first family jetted off on their own skiing vacation to elite Aspen, Colo., where nobody accepts that at some point they've already "made enough money." Meanwhile, below the stratosphere, unemployment rose to 7.9 percent for January -- the 49th consecutive month it has been 7.8 percent or higher. The economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012, gas is back to almost
Today, lots of liberal grandees attack the rich and yet do their best to act and live just like them.
Take financial speculator and leftist billionaire George Soros, who is back in the news. Soros is able to fund several progressive think tanks that go after the 1 percent because he is the most successful financial buccaneer of the age -- notorious as "the man who broke the
How odd that hip
Perhaps Treasury Secretary-designate Jack Lew should have a look at
Lew, like his tax-dodging predecessor, Timothy Geithner, has a propensity for doing just the opposite of what the president used to preach against. Obama, remember, warned Wall Streeters not to take bonuses after their failing companies received federal money.
Obama also derided dubious offshore Cayman Islands tax shelters. Yet he apparently forgot to tell that to Lew, who invested in a fund registered to the same Potemkin Cayman Islands building that Obama had used as a campaign prop to bash the one-percenters.
One of the nation's best-known class warriors is former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Chicago, who for years has damned the wealthy for their ill-gotten gains. He is expected to plead guilty to fraud charges after he and his wife allegedly siphoned off
Today's leftists like the high life as much as their demonized conservative rivals. The more they damn the bad "millionaires and billionaires," apparently the less guilt they feel about living it up in Palm Beach or Aspen, paying no taxes, offshoring their profits or wearing Rolex watches.
The vast growth of the federal government has splashed so much big money around New York and Washington that even muckraking progressives can't resist. Loud redistributionist rhetoric offers the necessary vaccination shot that makes privileged leftists immune from any criticism -- or guilt -- over indulging in tax avoidance, billion-dollar speculation or aristocratic tastes.
George Orwell long ago noticed the same thing, when in "Animal Farm" the pig elite loudly damned reactionary humans even as they sought to copy them by walking on two legs.
Gilded Class Warriors | Politics