The War Against The Not-So-Rich

Victor Davis Hanson:

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 $200,000 will pay higher income taxes. Caps on payroll taxes are supposed to come off as well for the upper class. Envisioned estate taxes will take 45 percent of individual inheritances valued over $3.5 million. Many states have also hiked their income taxes on the upper brackets.

Again, most of those targeted are not the already rich – a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates – but millions of the wannabe rich. They may have achieved larger-than-average annual incomes, but they’re not the multimillionaire speculators on Wall Street who nearly wrecked the American economy in search of huge bonuses and payoffs. Most are instead professionals and small-business owners who take enormous risks in hopes of being well-off and passing their wealth on to their children.

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.

Not really so odd, actually. Having gamed the system and become obscenely wealthy, they are now trying to pull the ladder up behind them. Frankly, I’m fairly disturbed by Warren Buffet’s position on a lot of this – but then, if you consider that he appears to be trying to limit competition for himself by doing so, it makes more sense.

But, think hard before you join in on the class warfare. As Hanson points out, the real targets of this economic jihad are mostly small business owners – who normally create the majority of jobs in this country. In this environment, they would be crazy to continue to do so.

I was talking to a Realtor today – a very good one who has been very successful for a lot of years. He said that the bottom has not been reached yet, especially in commercial properties. He said businesses are failing at a rate he has never seen before. And their former buildings are a glut on the market.

The end of this mess is not yet in sight.

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4 Responses to The War Against The Not-So-Rich

  1. Pingback: Maggie's Farm

  2. Here’s a point of interest on commercial properties. Twenty of fifty-three hotel jobs I bid on between 1/1/09 and today became listed as either “abandoned” or “delayed” on the Dodge Report. All of these are from Texas to Iowa…the Central Tier that is in the best economic shape in our nation today.

    This is, to use a vastly over worked word, unprecedented. Particularly since this segment is not as dependent on having a project fully funded by bank loans as other segments of commercial construction.

    At a guess this is driven by two items: the clear reduction in travel for business and pleasure and the desire of owner/operators to stockpile cash.

    Welcome to Japan of the 1990′s, Crabitatians.

  3. MikeM says:

    I wonder how long it will take them to attack the people making more than $100,000.

  4. Gaius says:

    As soon as hyperinflation raises a McDonald’s starting salary to $101,000/yr.

    Soon, I think.

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