You're currently reading an archived version of Jim Hightower's work.
The latest (and greatest?) observations from Jim Hightower are only now available at our Substack website. Join us there!
Politicos and pundits on the right have resurrected an old bugaboo to hurl at Barack Obama’s economic recovery efforts: Class War!
Even New York Times columnist David Brooks, the soft-spoken but steadfast defender of America’s corporate powers, has recently reached for this political cudgel to pound Obama’s budget. He wails that the tax burden to finance such big initiatives as universal health care and energy independence “is predicated on a class divide.” Brooks expresses despair that “no new burdens will fall on 95 percent of the American people,” adding with a cluck of the tongue that “all of the cost will be borne by the rich and all benefits redistributed downward.”
Enjoying Hightower's work? Join us over at our new home on Substack:
Let us all now give a collective hug to the poor, put-upon rich, who for the past 30 years have been grabbing practically all of the financial gains generated in our economy, while the vast majority of folks have seen their real incomes decline. Then let us point out to Brother Brooks that such things as health care for all and a booming green economy actually will be of great benefit to everyone, including the rich.
Yet, the Times columnist condemns “promiscuous” redistributionists who want to spread the wealth. With a straight face, he cries out for a conservative vision of “a nation in which we’re all in it together – in which burdens are all shared broadly, rather than simply inflicted on a small minority.”
What planet has this guy been on the last couple of decades? This “small minority” he weeps for is the same bunch of elites who’ve created tax dodges, trade scams, deregulation fantasies, de-unionization schemes, financial hustles, and other mechanisms to redistribute wealth from workaday families to them.
It’s about time the burden shifts upward – and the benefits of our economy become broadly shared.
“A Moderate Manifesto,” www.nytimes.com, March 3, 2009.
“Class warfare or inequities vs. needs?” Austin American Statesman, March 8, 2009.