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Hullabaloo


Thursday, October 13, 2011

 
Plutocrat Whine in A Flat minor

by digby

I'm collecting these now. Unfortunately, there are so many that it's hard to keep up these days:

Walking down New York's 55th Street near Park Avenue last Friday evening, our group of seven men in suits and ties was approached by a panhandler asking for money.

"Here are a bunch of Wall Street guys," he said, straight out. "Give me some money."

Although we were not all "Wall Street guys," all except one kept walking, ignoring the panhandler as we typically do, as instructed by "experts." Yet over the past 30 years of living in the city, I often have disregarded this advice, and so once more I gave instinctively. I pulled out a dollar, handed it to the man, smiled, and resumed walking.

But next came a revelation.

"A dollar?" the man shouted. "You Wall Street fat cats! This is what the problem is with this country. Take your damn dollar." With that, he threw it on the sidewalk.

Apparently, street charity now has a minimum.

Not only have I never had anyone refuse my donation under such circumstances, but recipients are generally quite appreciative regardless of the amount. Not this time. It was as if the class-warfare rhetoric of the left had surfaced on 55th Street, while I was just trying to show some goodwill and help a guy out. He didn't even ask for a little more, as sometimes happens. ("How about $5 for a meal? . . . $20 for a bus ticket?") He simply judged that my $1 gift was not sufficient and threw it on the ground. I had not given my "fair share."


Perhaps he should have told this ungrateful wretch to go down to Magnolia Bakery and buy himself a delicious red velvet cupcake? Where's the gratitude?

Where did this script—and its concomitant anger—come from?

Like most people I know, I think President Obama's tax increases on the wealthy would make sense if we believed he was sincere about—and could be successful at—reforming Washington's overspending, out-of-control entitlements and regulation. Instead, his attacks on Wall Street bankers ("fat cats," a phrase Mr. Obama now owns and was eloquently repeated by the panhandler on Friday night), Las Vegas, oil companies, jet manufacturers and "millionaires and billionaires" are inflaming both sides and placating no one. They seriously undermine the chances for reasonable compromise.



Indeed. It's the president asking meekly for the billionaires to delay the write off of their corporate jets that's inflaming everyone. (This should scare the hell out of him. )

(By the way Mr Master of the Universe -- Obama doesn't "own" the phrase fat cats. Not only has it been around for centuries, it's owned by the people who are coming to hate your guts for being such a selfish gluttonous asshole. My only complaint is that it is an insult to cats to be compared to these hideous fools.)

I do not recall another president in my lifetime whose negative drumbeat about large segments of the population has been so relentless. I do not recall another president (even those similarly frustrated by congressional gridlock and the stifling of their agendas) repeatedly targeting a specific economic class, complaining as loudly and using his bully pulpit so consistently for bashing those who disagree with him.

Presidents, once elected, instantly become president of all the people. They are the ultimate parental figures who should show no favoritism while always reaching across the dinner table to keep the family together. Even when they are confident their plan is the right one, they must communicate it such that everyone in the family knows they care equally about each of them. Painting important parts of our economy and population with such a negative brush is not only un-presidential, it is destructive to the fabric of our nation.


I don't know how old this sensitive little fellow is, but he's been very sheltered.



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