Who’s really angry? Tea Partiers are boiling mad, as we discused last week. But the anger of the rich seems to be beyond the boiling point.
“If you want to find real political rage—the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason—you won’t find it among [the] suffering Americans,” writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times. “You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.”
A big issue is the pending expiration of Bush-era tax cuts. Obama wants to let the tax cuts expire for the rich, but renew them for everyone else. What would be the effect? It would make a dent in the huge inequality that exists in America, where the rich control a whopping portion of the wealth, with everyone else holding far less. Today, the gap between rich and poor is the widest is has ever been. (Scroll down on the right to see earlier posts on inequality.)
Of course, there’s the other side. Ira Stoll, writing in the online version of the New York Daily Times, says: “The President or the press [referring to columnists like Krugman] can insult those people [the rich] or try to jack up their taxes and give their money away to other people. But if we want recovery and growth rather than redistribution and recrimination, a better approach would be to stop treating rich people as though they are the cause of America’s problems and start concentrating instead on what can be done to create more of them.”
What do you think? Do the rich have a right to be angry?
Should they buck up and pay the additional 4% or 5% in taxes? Or, have the rich become the unfair targets in the quest to stimulate the economy?
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