Thank God for Rich People

I have an idea for a monument in our nation’s capital.  I envision a big bronze and granite statue that would honor an entire group of Americans who are true heroes, and unsung heroes at that.

It is time — no, make that long past time — to pay tribute to those this nation of ours owes a great debt; to those who give and give and give and in return get anything but our gratitude.

This is an idea whose time has finally come.

Right there, amongst the sacred national structures that honor great Americans, we need to build a shiny monument to … (this is where the drum roll would come in) The Rich – otherwise known in liberal circles as the filthy, no good, greedy, heartless rich.

The statue could be simple and elegant:  a smiling rich guy in a business suit holding hundred dollar bills in both hands, extended toward the blue sky.

President Obama compromises with Republicans and gives the wealthiest two percent of Americans a temporary respite from a tax hike and listening to the yelps of the  “progressives” you’d think he just tried to shut down WikiLeaks or something.

The Left is bawling about how “we can’t afford” to give people “who don’t need it” a tax break.  This argument makes perfect sense, of course – as long as income re-distribution is a central tenet in your theology.  Never mind that liberals weren’t all that concerned about what we could afford when they passed a nearly trillion dollar stimulus package that didn’t stimulate very much or when they poured in billions of our tax dollars to bail out General Motors.  It’s only now that they’re concerned about budgets because those nasty rich folks are getting a break.  But I don’t want to pick a fight with my liberal friends over whether the wealthiest Americans “deserve” a tax break or not.  I have come to praise The Rich, not to bury them.

I offer a few numbers to make my case:

Did you know that the top one percent of American wage earners (adjusted gross income) pay about 38 percent of all our federal personal taxes (according to the National Taxpayer Union)?   The top one percent, by the way, account for 23.5 percent of all income — a substantial amount, yes,  but considerably less than 38 percent.

Or that the top five percent pay just under 60 percent?

Or that the top ten percent pay about 70 percent of all the personal income taxes collected in this great land of ours?

These “fat-cats” are the ones who do the heavy lifting in this country.  They’re the ones whose federal tax dollars pick up a big chunk of the tab for all sorts of noble things, such as:  food for folks who don’t have enough to eat … medicine and doctors for people with little money … financial aid to help other people’s kids go to college … milk and diapers for poor babies whose 15 year-old mothers and deadbeat fathers are too irresponsible to take care of their own kids … a safety net for old folks who are retired on fixed incomes … and on and on.

And if they “only” bank their new found savings instead of spending it all over town?  Well, that’s a plus too.  It means there would be more money out there for businesses to borrow for expansion, which probably would mean more jobs.  Or it could mean more money for new homeowners to borrow, which would also give a boost to the limp economy.

No, I’m not saying the wealthiest Americans are all a bunch of selfless philanthropists.  But try to imagine an America without those rich people.

By the way, the bottom 50 percent of tax filers pay a paltry 2.7 percent of our federal income taxes.  How many poor people do you think their tax dollars are taking care of? If you ask me, they’re the ones not paying their fair share.  Every time they pass a “rich” person on the street, they ought to say, “Thank you for everything you do for me and for this country.”

For those of you not already making plans to hang me in effigy – or for real —  let me simply say this:  The richest Americans may not “need” a break on their taxes, but they sure don’t need being vilified, either.  They need our gratitude.

So let’s get busy on that shiny monument in our nation’s capital.  And let’s get some unemployed people out there building it.  It’s the least they can do for those nice rich people who have been keeping them afloat.

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  • Sue Nolan

    Once again, Bernie, I agree with you completely. My only regret is that I am not part of that 1% that pays nearly 25% of the national budget. But I do give them credit and they have my gratitude. You are right. They deserve a monument. Sue

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  • patricia alexander

    weight loss is not as easy as you think. on the subject of rich people they are good but I think everyone should pay taxes regardless of their status.

  • Darrell L

    The Capitalists Movement is to break the back of the unions, so that workers will be underpaid. Once the unions are no longer a threat to the Capitalists, next they can start to lower wages across America. Next if you want to earn the same amout of money, you simply work longer hours. They own the banks, and you want to keep your home, you work longer hours. Without a union, you might go to work, only to find, you have no job, and no one there to help you. Without a union, you might find yourself working 45 hours or more just to earn the same amount of money.

    Thank God for the Rich. Don’t you know God is going to listen? God will listen about as much as He would listen to a Drunk praying to God to send a whore over for the night.

    You can thank the Rich, if you are looking for a job? Thank the Rich, when you buy something with a tag on it, that says made in China. Thank the Rich when you make a phone call, and someone in India answers the phone. Thank the Rich for the lobbyists, that tell the congress which bills to pass. Just thank the Rich for the mess that George W. Bush left behind. Thank the Rich for all of the damn har headed Republicans in Washington.

  • Bob

    I’m also grateful to the rich for whatever they produce to get rich in the first place. If a man gets rich building houses, for example, we can thank him for his taxes, but also thank him for the houses. Of course he should thank the workers who do the construction, but they should thank him too, because neither could succeed without the other.

    It’s a lot harder to quantify than counting taxes, but I’d love to see a study done to see what life would be like without the top 1% or something like that, not just the lack of taxes, but the lack of everything else they contribute.

  • Rick007

    Even Obama’s individual and corporate friends like George Soros and General Electric believe that it is now best to have most of your employees and assets outside of the United States. Now that the Obamaclan has moved its property offshore, is it any wonder that the Obamanator wants to regulate and tax their US competitors? Obama is not stupid, just cunning. Like most politicians from Chicago, he is helping his own gang while hurting his competitors. Stop thinking black and white, Democrat and Republican. Obama is a cunning gangster kingpin, plain and simple.

  • Drew

    One other thought on Mr. Goldberg’s thoughts:

    “And if they “only” bank their new found savings instead of spending it all over town? Well, that’s a plus too. It means there would be more money out there for businesses to borrow for expansion, which probably would mean more jobs. Or it could mean more money for new homeowners to borrow, which would also give a boost to the limp economy.”

    I read something very similar to this on the Heritage Foundation website, in its argument that stimulus packages and Keynesian economics don’t work and instead you need to essentially let the wealthy invest it so it gets quickly driven back into the economy through investment/lending. But then I read about banks and corporations sitting on trillions of cash. I read that in the Wall Street Journal June and September of this year:
    (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704312104575298652567988246.html) and (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703946504575469523140220994.html).

    I’m wondering how well Mr. Goldberg’s above-quoted process works when trillions are being hoarded according to the WSJ? Most people that I speak to both personally and in business say that it is difficult to get a mortgage or a commercial loan.

    I’m a little surprised at the simplification being utilized in Mr. Goldberg’s position. He makes a few valid points, but then weakens his article by including some of these things that I pointed out in my posts.

    • Paul Courtney

      Drew, you obviously read critically, a good thing. Consider this- big cause of the financial crisis was caused by over-leveraging, which is lending too much with too few assets or collateral. Banks were and are required by the feds not to get over-leveraged, even under the supposed de-regulation by those nasty republicans like Phil Gramm. This cause also created an immediate problem- alot of collateral in the system (real estate) was worth about half in Oct ’08 than they thought it was worth in August ’08, further messing up the books. Then the feds said the banks better fix their books, and one fix is to hold onto capital, so maybe banks are just obeying the law. Partisans squawking about banks holding cash typically don’t address this, do your sources?
      Corps holding cash are different, but maybe they’re still trying to digest health insurance issues, not just the enacted law but the regulations to come. This is a big motza ball for any employer who provides ins. to employees, current and prospective, do your sources even approach this?
      On soc. security, FDR would explain the difference between taxes to fund current gov’t outlays ( income, etc.) and an annuity program. No denying congress has muddied this water by taking ss revenue to pay for current outlays (started by dems, never stopped by repubs). Maybe the figures your source chose are true, but were cherry picked (the top 400?) to fit its narrative, and maybe Bernie’s are true but cherry picked, though that’s not his style. What is undeniably true is his point- income tax revenue is predominately paid by “the rich”, who were vilified in the recent “debates” by the beneficiaries of this system. Bringing FICA into this should raise this question- why are low-end wage earners hammered for 15% skimmed off the top of their paycheck to fund current outlays that don’t benefit them? Do your sources go into that?

    • Gerald H. Treffinger

      They are sitting on the money because they have no way of knowing what catastrophic new taxes or regulations will descend on them . Remember the General Motors bondholders that were stiffed in favor of the UAW ? The rules can now be changed at the whim of Government any time at all. Uncertainty of this nature , when the Feds get to pick winners and losers , is antithetical to the free market . GHT

  • Drew

    Mr. Goldberg also stated:

    “These ‘fat-cats’ are the ones who do the heavy lifting in this country. They’re the ones whose federal tax dollars pick up a big chunk of the tab for all sorts of noble things, such as: … a safety net for old folks who are retired on fixed incomes.”

    I was under the impression that the social security payroll tax was a uniform tax with a cutoff at a little over $100k. If my understanding is correct then how can Mr. Goldberg be stating that the upper 2% is doing such heavy lifting for the old folks. I found the following link: (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=223) which is for the 1980’s and 1990’s, and shows the share of Social Security taxes paid by people making over 200K to range between 2.5% and 9.5%.

  • Drew

    After reading this article and some of the comments, I began reading through articles (if supported by data) because I had always believed that the highest income earners should be paying more under a progressive system (I believe these thoughts were shared by Thomas Jefferson/Adam Smith/Abraham Lincoln) and believed that we were trending away from that principle. Mr. Goldberg’s article left me doubting my own belief’s as to the trend.

    I came upon an article (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/irstop400.pdf) citing an IRS report that showed that the 400 wealthiest Americans based on AGI (at least $110 million) in tax year 2006 paid an effective tax rate of 17.2 percent in federal income tax. In 2009, I paid an effective tax rate of 21.35%. I fall within the upper tax bracket, although not by much. If one considers the effect payroll taxes have on my income (which is much less than 1/100 of what any of these individuals earn), I pay a much larger percentage of overall taxes to the Fed than these 400 individuals.

    I don’t know if this data has stayed true for the subsequent years. If it is, why hasn’t Mr. Goldberg mentioned any of this in his data?

  • Bob Hadley

    “The Rich – otherwise known in liberal circles as the filthy, no good, greedy, heartless rich.”

    This is another example of you, at best, building a straw man or, at worst, making a bigoted remark. There are tens of millions of liberals (or millions of “liberal circles”) throughout the nation, not to mention elsewhere. You don’t even know 1% of them. Even from the high profile liberals, I have heard hardly any hate or resentment against “the rich.”

    What I have heard is that the wealthy have benifitted disproportionately from the economy and thus should contribute disproportionately to getting it out of danger. This is not derogatory and certainly not spiteful. At worst, the arguments are a little inartfully stated.

    This country is nearing financial ruin. The wealthy are most able to pull us back from the abyss. That is not to say that everyone should not contribute in some way.

    We need to raise taxes sensibly and to rein in spending. When our deficit is controlled and our debt is greatly reduced, then the rich can get back their tax cuts and, perhaps, then some.

    Yes, tax money belongs to the taxpayers. But guess what? The national debt belongs to all of us and threatens all of us. And the rich have much more to lose.

    For someone who dishes out harsh criticism, you are laser quick to take offense.
    I’m assuming, perhaps naively, that you wrote this column out of sincerity and not to get readership.

  • Brendan Horn

    For some reason a lot of liberals believe that hurting rich people will somehow help poor people. The more rich people there in this country the better the country will be. The government should be working to make it easier for people to become wealthy.

  • George

    Hey Bernie !!!

    I follow you on the Factor ALL THE TIME !!!! I think you and Bill are a great team
    and you bring much needed insight on the world around us every day.
    I have been reading some of the garbage on your comments here and cannot, at times, believe the type of world we are living in.
    Where do these people think that assets come from ?? They do not just fall from the sky and land on our front lawns.
    They are earned. We were not raised to depend on our Government to carry us through the walk of life !
    Government programs were ONLY meant to “ASSIST” in the development of becoming SELF SUFFICIENT in the society.
    We are not supposed to DEPEND SOLEY on it forever.

    Rich people are rich for a reason. Just like poor people are poor for a reason.
    Some rich people became rich the crooked way while others became rich the legal and ethical way.
    Just like Oreilly mentioned on the Factor. Oreilly was referring to the rich people who earned their riches legitimately.
    Rich people EARNED their stature for being where they are EQUALLY as much as poor people EARNED their stature for being poor.
    We should ALL pay EQUAL and FAIR taxes. We should NOT penalize the rich for being rich equally as much as we should not penalize the poor for being poor. Poor people should not be the ones blaming the rich people for not paying higher taxes than they are “supposed to”.
    Rich people should not be the ones dictating the tax rates for the poor. We have Government there to do the regulating.

    IT SHOULD be SUCH a simple concept that should be easy to understand and we all blow it up into more than it really is.

    Keep up the good work BERNIE !! DON’T take any lip from anyone !!!

    • MarioP

      George,

      You stated: “We should ALL pay EQUAL and FAIR taxes.”

      Since you’re so concerned about equality, how about we have everyone pay those EQUAL and FAIR tax rates as well as getting EQUAL and FAIR salaries? Is that equal enough for you, or are you just going to pick and choose your ideology to fit your liking?

      You and you ilk just keep stating that people EARNED their wealth, completely disregarding the rough and dangerous working conditions of the blue collar class as if those citizens do not deserve a higher salary. Yeah, some wealthy did EARN their riches with great ideas like starting Ebay, Google, and Facebook, but others got their wealth strictly because they were at the top of their mountain. At the top there is no one to monitor their performance, like we’ve recently seen with GM and so many banks and financial institutions. Can you tell me what would happen to a blue collar worker if he couldn’t generate a profit for his supervisor. Would Joe-the-Plumber still have his job? Many, and probably most, top hats got to their elevated positions not because they are great at their jobs; they just got lucky a position up high became available and they were there to seize it. Had a more qualified individual appeared on the horizon, and there are plenty, the wiser would have taken the seat. And even if you are that bright mind who did develop a major software company or started a successful talk show, is your wealth completely self-deserving or are you just lucky a brighter mind hasn’t beat you to your idea the previous year?

      One shouldn’t view his riches as a result of his hard work and personal drive to succeed. Luck plays a major role in one’s accomplishments. So when you’re at the top, be thankful someone brighter with harder work ethic hasn’t beat you to your place.

      • will swoboda

        Hey Mario,
        enjoyed your responce to George. In my life it seemed the harder I worked the luckier I got.
        Your friend from Baltimore,
        Will Swoboda

  • chet

    Eat shit and die, Bernie! You’re letting everyone in on our secret! You still coming on Saturday?

    chet

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  • http://sujazz79@live.com steve

    Well we can see by the # of replys to this opinon,that real workings of the USA is and has been since 1776…in the constitution it says ….We are indoued by our CREATOR to have certain inable rights as to LIFE LIBERTY @ THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS…It dose not say your intitled to live or be given a MILLION Dollars if your born in the US…Question to libs…Have u ever seen a poor person with a shoping cart give a job to any other person???With the exception of picking up after them?? Heres some info to u…READY…. People With money do certain things with there money..First thing ..if they don’t beleave in GOD or someone who is in charge of the GALAXYS is more ap to do eleagle or just take care of them selfs,,but still they have to purchess things through normal business transactions..Witch dose have TAX’S to be paid @ the final transaction…Those who have money do things with it,,such as..BUY HOUSE’S,,CAR’S,,TRUCKS,,BOATS,,REALASTATE,,AMENITYS FOR THERE HOUSES..BUY COMPANYS WITCH PEOPLE WORK…MOST PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR SOMEONE GET WHAT AS KNOWN AS A PAYCHECK…THEN…AMAZING ENOUGH,,,THEY DO THE SAME THING FOR THERE OWN LIFES..REMEMBER WHAT JACOB MARLEY SAID TO SCROOGE,,,THAT MAN Was his LIFE’S BUSINESS,,AND HE TRYED TO GET IT IN TO EBENESERS HEAD..WORK FOR WHAT U GOT,,AND HELP ALLONG THE WAY FOR OTHERS,,BY GIVEING A MAN OR WOMAN THE OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE UP WORDS EVERY TWO WEEKS OR MONTHLY TO HAVE THE OPORTUNITY FOR LIFE LIBERTY @ THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS..WITCH CAN BE A HOME,,FIREPLACE TO BE WARM IN,,AND FEED YOUR FAMILY…THIS IS WHAT THE CONCERIVTIVE,,TEA PARTY MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT…NOT BY THIS SO CALLED PRES..WE HAVE,,WERE GOING BROKE,,UNEMPLOYMENT @10% IS THE ANSWER,,@ POPULAR ,thought.. WERE ALL AMERICANS HAVE TO PAY THERE TAXES AND THE GOVERMENT WE ARE UNDER DOSE NOT….OUR FOUR FATHERS WOULD STAND @ THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS AND TEACH THAT THE GIVE AWAY PLAN DOSE NOT WORK..AS WE SEE EVERY DAY AHEAD OF US..THEY WOULD YELL FROM LINCOINS STEPS AND PREACH TO PROTECT OUR BORDERS,,OF OUR COUNTRY,,TURN THE WATER ON FOR PEOPLE NOT FOR A TWO INCH FISH,, IS TO COME FIRST..BUT THE PEOPLE ARE FIRST..TALK ABOUT THAT FOR OVER 210 YEARS THE GREATEST # OF INVENTIONS HAVE COME OUT OF OUR COUNTRY’S INVENTITIVE IDEAS @ DETURMANATION TO GIVE NOT ONLY TO OUR OWN PEOPLE..BUT TO THE REST OF THE WORLD,,AS OUR CREATOR,,JESUS CHRIST WOULD WANT,,THE REST OF MAN KIND TO LEARN @ PROSPER FOR EVERY FAMILY…U EARN AS U GO,,AND BEING GREATFUL GIVES MAN PERSPECTIVE…FOR EVERY ONE…NOT ABSOLUTE POWER TO TELL A MAN WHAT TO DO,,OR BUY,,OR INVENT…MAN GROWS BY LEARNING TO EARN AND CARE ON THERE OWN,,NOT BUY THE GIVE AWAY PLAN,,WITCH MAKES MAN SELFISH,,UNPREDUCTIVE @ UNHELPFUL TO MAN KIND…FOR OVER 210 YEARS HAS BEEN THE MOST PRODUCTIVE,,HELPFUL AND UNSELFISH,,GIVING,,CAREING,,PRIVETELY,,AND GOVERMENT HELPING IN RIGHTCHES NESS..IN THE HISTORY OF THIS EARTH… THE MEDIA HAS BECOME A JOKE…WHEN OVER 6 NATIONAL NETWORKS USE THE SAME SENTENCES TO DESCRIBE THERE STORYS,,EVERYDAY,ALL SAME WORD FOR WORD,,,BRINGS ME TO DICTATORSHIP…HITLER STYLE REPORTING…OUR MEDIA IS L AZY,,,L A Z Y….AND SOMEONE IS PULLING ALL THE STRINGS TO REPORT WORD FOR WORD,,SENTENCE,,BY SENTENCE…THIS IS EVIL… I HAVE NO PROFF,,BUT GEORGE SOROS WOULD’NT SUPRISE ME IF HE IS THE LEADER OF THIS L A Z Y REPORTING..REPORTERS DO NOT INVESTAGATE ANYMORE…THEY DID BEFORE THE 80’S..NO LONGER…BECAUSE LIB NETWORKS WANT US TO PUT THEM ALL ON A PEDADSTIAL…THERE SO GREAT TO TAKE THERE TIME TO REPORT TO US SO WE WONT SEE A DIFFERNT PERSPECTIVE,,BECAUSE IT WOULD COST MORE AND HEAVEN FORBID IT TAKES THEM TO SPEND MONEY@TIME ON THE TRUTH,,LOOK AT THERE NEWSPAPERS NOW..THERE GOING BROKE,,Y BECAUSE THERE PERSPECTIVE IS THERES ALONE…NOT OWR’S TO SEE IN A RIGHTCHES LIGHT..ITS TIME FOR THE CONCEIVITIVE TRUTH,,GIVE OUR TAX’ES BACK TO US AT THE SAME LEVALS,,AND GO BACK TO WORK WERE OUR SMALL BISINESS AND LARGE CAN PROSPER AGAIN IN THE US,,SO THE WORK THAT THE DEMOS HAVE LET GO OVER SEAS BE AMERICAN AGAIN..AND BILL CLINTION SAID THIS ON LARRY KING LIVE,HE GAVE NO INTRUST IN BRINGING BACK WORK FROM OVER SEA’S.. NOT SO WERE POORER THAN MOST AFRICAN COUNTRYS ARE…AND BY THE WAY GREED KILLS..HONESTY THERIVES,,AND HAPPYNESS IS ABOUND…TRY THAT DEMOS AND SEE WERE WE ARE THEN..WE WONT HAVE CORUPTNESS,,POOR AND MORE POOR AS EVERY YEAR INCRESS..AND A HOUSE OF CARDS BUILT WITH CORUPTNESS,,ALLWAYS FALLS….LOOK @ ROME,,WERE DID THEY GO??.LOOK WERE WE ARE NOW GANG….GET THE MESSAGE ….

    • MarioP

      Steve, you scared everyone in the room. Please return to your cage.

      • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

        My thoughts exactly, MarioP!

  • Phil

    I am thankful and grateful to the Founding Fathers for creating such a Republic that anyone with the drive to learn and work hard can achieve what they dream, with the only limit is within themselves. This is why we have people that have achieved the wealth we see. I believe many of the very wealthy, after speaking with good number of them, do what they do with a drive for accomplishment, not money.
    The truly greedy are those that are crying to take away the wealth they have worked for to redistribute to those that are undeserving and unwilling to work for it. They are too lazy to learn what it takes and are green with jealousy which is why they fall back on their learned dependence on a government that is more than willing steal from those that work to give to those that don’t.
    This country needs to take a step back: NO earmarks, NO lobbyists, NO entitlements, NO central bank, and NO income tax. Everyone should pay the same amount in taxes to pay off the debt the year it is created. What happened to the fight for equality?
    Everyone needs to be responsible for the health and welfare of themselves and their families. Those truly in need will be taken care of by the God fearing, charitable people around them, if the thieves let the people keep what they worked for.

    • MarioP

      Wow Phil. You’re …. out there…. in your own (fantasy) world. Your comment “I believe many of the very wealthy….do what they do with a drive for accomplishment, not money.” You believe that, eh? I would believe it too if the wealthy wouldn’t complain about taxes and would donate most of their wealth to charities, since their drive is for accomplishment, and not the money. I would believe it if the ones making buck each year would live in the middle class. One can be an accomplished CEO while choosing to keep only a fraction of his millions he gets each year.

      And are those who can’t get health insurance for their pre-existing condition or the ones that had their healthcare cut off due to high healthcare bills “undeserving and unwilling to work for it”? What would you do if you had cancer and all of a sudden lost your job due to the poor economy, who would insure you then? What would you do if you had to fork out tens of thousands in medical bills to keep your wife in cancer therapy? Have you not heard people having to sell their homes to pay for healthcare? Where were those god fearing, charitable people to help them out?

      And NO INCOME TAX? So, you’re for way higher sales, property, etc., etc. taxes? Because if you take out income taxes, you’ll have to make up that lost tax revenue somewhere else.

      And finally since you’re for such equality, you must be for equal salaries as well, like in Communism, right? You span yourself so fast with your wild theories, you unknowingly twirled past your extreme capitalism and came up on the other side in Communism.

      Let me guess… you belong to that Tea Party, correct?

      I would love to hear your views on the cause of this economy, the bailouts, the Iraqi war, and your feelings about W.

      • http://sujazz79@live.com steve

        Here’s an example that u libs could finaly understand..Hostest years ago would put a rack of cupcake’s on the front near the regester.On the regular rack they could only put 8 maybe 12 cupcakes on the shelf.So they put there rack up- everyday the sales man would have to fill that rack with about 50 or so,,everyday…That extra sales would bring extra tax’s every day…Investing into bis give the State and fed more money…This is how u run bis and get out of dept…SALES SALES SALES,,BOTH BIG AND SMALL are needed to put people back to work,,like in 08 the houseing bubble was starting but our congress never went to biss class’es in collage,,thats y we have the problems we have..And if u say it is not them,,are they not so post to be the smartest people we can have in Washington?? So we tea party people want people working,,succeding and make people feel moving forward everyday..in my state the unenployment rate was 4.5% the city was 3.2,,,THATS WHAT I WANT BACK AGAIN,,THERE WERE MORE HELP WANTED SIGNS IN OUR CITY THAN PEOPLE COULD FILL THEM..THEN IT PRODUCED A DIFFERENT PROBLEM..LOWER WAGE BISS HAD TO RAISE THERE WAGES,,BECAUSE HIGHER PAYING BISS WERE MAKING WAGES HIGHER FOR THEM AS WELL…UNDERSTAND.. WORK NOT GIVE AWAY PLANS..LESS CORUPTION TO..

        • MarioP

          Steve, let me get this straight. You belong to the Tea Party?

          • http://sujazz79@live.com steve

            i suport the tea party,,because it works to the line of were our four fathers bring to start and develop this country,,witch has given 210 + years of more inventions,,charty to the rest of the world,,and more than any of the countrys put together And has produced more for man than any time on this earth’s history.. …And know one has been to duplacate it,,because it is the work to total freedom,,witch is endoed by our CREATOR.. By the way,,we can not give everything to everyone for free,,,it is inpossible to do so..Add up how many people live in your city,,think we can use the give away plan to the rest of the nation to at the same cost.??..Go back to school and learn A.B.C together takes learning were they start and STOP..Not like the chaves from Venezuela were he gets all the money,,and decides who the have and the have nots are…THATS SCARRY,,JUST LIKE HITLER…MAY HE REMAIN IN HELL…

      • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

        btw, MarioP, in case Phil doesn’t answer, I have some answers for your questions to him:
        And are those who can’t get health insurance for their pre-existing condition or the ones that had their healthcare cut off due to high healthcare bills “undeserving and unwilling to work for it”?
        – Answer: MEDICAID. All 50 states have it and this person would qualify, if their income was “low” enough (e.g., in NY, $88,000 total household)
        What would you do if you had cancer and all of a sudden lost your job due to the poor economy, who would insure you then?
        – Answer: MEDICAID. I was an oncology nurse. I have seen this situation many, many times.
        What would you do if you had to fork out tens of thousands in medical bills to keep your wife in cancer therapy?
        – Answer: Hopefully you saved enough for that “rainy day” which costs the same as a new car. Otherwise, get a “paper divorce” and declare that you are not willing to pay for her cancer care. Then she will get MEDICAID. (I’ve seen that many times too, just ask any hospital social worker.)
        Have you not heard people having to sell their homes to pay for healthcare?
        – Answer: So what? Is your house more important than the family that lives in it? Owning a house is not so important in the scheme of life. Just be glad you even have a house to sell to help pay for healthcare for a loved one. Get your priorities straight!
        Where were those god fearing, charitable people to help them out?
        – Answer: PLENTY. Just ask any hospital social worker. They are a WEALTH of up-to-date information on getting financial and social assistance from foundations/charities set up by RICH PEOPLE TO HELP YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.

    • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

      btw, MarioP, in case Phil doesn’t answer, I have some answers for your questions to him:
      And are those who can’t get health insurance for their pre-existing condition or the ones that had their healthcare cut off due to high healthcare bills “undeserving and unwilling to work for it”?
      – Answer: MEDICAID. All 50 states have it and this person would qualify, if their income was “low” enough (e.g., in NY, $88,000 total household)
      What would you do if you had cancer and all of a sudden lost your job due to the poor economy, who would insure you then?
      – Answer: MEDICAID. I was an oncology nurse. I have seen this situation many, many times.
      What would you do if you had to fork out tens of thousands in medical bills to keep your wife in cancer therapy?
      – Answer: Hopefully you saved enough for that “rainy day” which costs the same as a new car. Otherwise, get a “paper divorce” and declare that you are not willing to pay for her cancer care. Then she will get MEDICAID. (I’ve seen that many times too, just ask any hospital social worker.)
      Have you not heard people having to sell their homes to pay for healthcare?
      – Answer: So what? Is your house more important than the family that lives in it? Owning a house is not so important in the scheme of life. Just be glad you even have a house to sell to help pay for healthcare for a loved one. Get your priorities straight!
      Where were those god fearing, charitable people to help them out?
      – Answer: PLENTY. Just ask any hospital social worker. They are a WEALTH of up-to-date information on getting financial and social assistance from foundations/charities set up by RICH PEOPLE TO HELP YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.

      • MarioP

        Aida,

        I am shocked to hear the Right say to go on Medicaid. Aren’t you guys trying to limit, if not eliminate, social services? You’re calling for more governmental spending. That’s unbelievable.

        Of course owning a house is not as important as saving a life, but why should a family lose their home to pay for medical bills? The proper and effective healthcare system should take care of the medical expenses without loosing the family home. Imaging one selling their home to take care of the mother’s breast cancer. She then passes away and now the children are without their mom and their home. Other 1st world nations take care of their people way better than the US does. If we are the #1 nation on earth, how can we not be #1 at taking care of our citizens?

        The Right always says to plan for the bad times or take care of your own family, but the conservatives in the poor and middle classes run really quickly to government’s social services when help is needed. That’s the typical hypocrisy we so often see from the Right.

        • Terence

          Aida, you’re suggesting people “work the system” and let the government pick up the tab. Therein lies the problem, too many insurance companies are selecting their customers and letting the government hold the bag on risky customers. I would much rather see more people with “skin in the game” and more people with access to Healthcare.

          All the while, I’m guessing you’ll complain about government spending when the primary drain on the annual budget deficit is: Defense, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

          Phil, try and get your information from a different source.

          And MarioP, I’ve been watching you … I like the way you think, kudos.

          Regards,
          Terence A. Craig

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            Why do you peg me as someone on the “Right”? I may be right (as in correct) but right as in party doesn’t define my political views. I am independent in my views and think for myself, after observing the trends in American behavior for quite a few decades. And contrary to what Terence thinks, he should read my comments and realize that I have never stated I am against all taxes, or government spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and ESPECIALLY defense. I support them all but with LIMITATIONS. Like many on the political right, I believe that there should be a support system for people who are truly in need, but it needs to be a TEMPORARY support system, unlike what we have now, which is generations of American-born folks living off the system. Let’s take health care (an area I am vastly experienced in.) I believe that all children should have their medical needs cared for, and the statistics show that the cost of children with astronomical health care costs are quite rare. Additionally, Medicaid for kids cuts off when they are 18 y/o, and is therefore self-limiting in its theory. And, MarioP, contrary to what you assume, the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid) statistics do not show that Medicaid medical costs for adults are what is consuming most of our national health care dollars (as opposed to Medicaid coverage of nursing home care which is a completely separate category.) In your example of someone with breast cancer, that coverage is self-limiting in that that patient will either die or go into remission and coverage for that care will be done. In fact, it is the MEDICARE (care for the elderly and ESRD) patients that is the health care budget-buster. I have several proposals for lowering Medicare costs, which I won’t bore anyone here with, but clearly you should do your research if you (and Terence here) are going to make claims about the health care process rather than sticking to philosophical viewpoints like robbing the rich and using the government to do it, etc., which is what we were discussing.
            And, FYI, Medicare is not a pure entitlement program but a form of insurance that all taxpayers HAVE PAID INTO in order to have it. Thus, if you never paid into the system through your taxes, you will never get it. The real problem with Medicare costs skyrocketing is that the clueless bean-counters in Washington have completely miscalculated future costs of care because they don’t keep up with medical advances. In addition, Medicare covers costly items that are completely unnecessary such as hoverrounds when a wheelchair will suffice. I have no problem with increasing the amounts working Americans pay into Medicare because we will all get that back in excellent insurance coverage when we are old. In this case, we are taking care of ourselves. As for Medicaid, if you left-wing liberals would keep the threshold qualifying amount low, as it was intended when the entitlement was created, then it would continue to cover only poor folks. But instead, it is YOUR support of these liberal politicians, that keep increasing the amount of household income to qualify for Medicaid. ($88,000 per household in NY??) That clearly enables the MIDDLE CLASS to “milk the system”, as Terence states. But WHO allows that? Certainly not the right-wingers! Oh, and another fact: the budget-busting part of Medicaid happens to be all the MIDDLE INCOME folks who fraudulently transfer all their elderly parents’ assets to themselves so they can stick their moms/dads into nursing homes using Medicaid and not paying anything for that care. It certainly isn’t the rich doing any such thing! Funny how the libs here love to scream about the rich leaving their assets for their own children, but when the middle income folks face the possibility that they might lose Mom’s house and her bank accounts, they are right up there committing fraud to make sure they get her money.

          • MarioP

            Thank you Terence for your compliment and thank you for your help here. I truly appreciate it.

  • Ron Sell

    Bernie, your one of the few sensible media people. THANK YOU! I sometimes have a hard time believing how many ignorant, Progressive brain washed people are out there. They need to study history. Good stuff like our Constitution and Federalist Papers. And the facts about where those Socialist dreams really lead. They conveniently forget millions of starving Russian peasants, and the killing fields of Cambodia. How very sad.

  • Barry Tekirian

    Bernie , your always right on the mark. Any negative comments you’ve been receiving only goes to show me that uneducated Americans are growing at an alarming rate. Enjoy the holidays and I always look forward to your appearances on The Factor for your commentaries exploiting the journalism industry .

  • Eric

    This is one of the most disgusting articles I’ve ever read in my life.

    The sheer greed of America has truly reached a tipping point.

    • MajorB

      You sound like one of those people who believe America is going to hell in a hand-basket. Instead of lambasting the greed, how about if we focus our efforts getting this new Congress and President to reduce the deficit, debt, and spending. We have the power! Furthermore, we need to hold our elected officials accountable to restore, repair, and improve the infrastructure of this country. Bernie has a point. These rich people have worked hard and provide us jobs…period. You deny that and you deny gravity. The last thing we need is government trying to make them pay for making too much. Social engineering doesn’t work. Hasn’t these last two years taught you anything? By the way, Merry Christmas!!!

      • PeeJ

        “reduce the deficit, debt, and spending”

        GREAT IDEA!

        By not restoring the historically low, temporary, top marginal tax rate (which, while it has been in place, has seen the deficit “increase” from a surplus to ther frightening amount of today) to the previous historically low top marginal tax rate (which was in place during the longest and largest economic expansion in US history and led to that surplusI just mentioned) will “decrease” the deficit by at least negative 700 biliiion dollars. BRILLIANT!

      • MarioP

        MajorB,

        You’re a MajorBozo. You are asking to reduce the deficit, but I’m sure you’re for extending the tax cut, correct? You’re the typical Right wing hypocrite, calling for responsible spending and balanced budgets, yet you keep voting in the most wasteful spending political party. Reagan, Bush1, and Bush2 racked up over 70% of the total national debt. And I don’t want to hear your lame excuses that it’s the liberal Congress’s fault, because before Reagan took over, that liberal Congress was pretty stingy. As soon as Reagan came to power with his mixed Congress, the deficits exploded. Later Bush2 with his Republican Congress set a new low for wasteful spending, without funding a major war against a super power or recovering from an economic disaster. What a joke!

        The last two years taught me that I prefer a Democratic president over what we have seen the prior eight years. Bush2’s economic record is the worst of any president in at least the last half century. Go buy his book and figure out why he failed so miserably. People like you can’t admit that just because a politician has an (R) behind his name, he can not be an economic failure. It takes more than being a Republican with morals to run a country effectively, yet some ignorant voters believe that is all that’s needed. Be honest and tell your children that our nation is in such a mess because the voters don’t know what’s right for the nation. The three biggest political idiots of recent years, Quale, Bush2, and Palin, just happen to have that (R) by coincidence? The majority of the moronic Tea Partiers are former Republicans just by chance? The reason most business owners are Republican is not because of their brain power, it’s because of their relentless drive fueled by greed and their lack of yearning for a strong family life. Instead of being there for their wife and children, their excuse is that they are providers for their family. If you’re that good at your job, you should be able to provide for your family working the regular 40-hour week. I’m able to do it and I live very comfortably; it’s not that difficult.

        • MajorB

          Resorting to name calling and liberal talking points…great! FYI, I voted for Jimmy Carter. The fact of the matter is this: until now, the voting public has never been as informed as they are at this point in history. Thus, they are voting for/against what they believe is in the best interest of the country. The 90’s was an anomaly and Clinton got the credit. Good for him. Furthermore, it’s not just the president in charge that has caused the current mess. It has been years of the educated elite in both houses. So, it should be the intent of all Americans to stay on top of our elected officials. Make sure they stop spending, reduce the deficit, and keep taxes low. By the way, I’m glad you are comfortable and are able to provide for your family within the 40 hour framework. You are an exception and not the rule. However, whichever party initiated all these “get money for nothing programs” are not good for anyone. Additionally, do you have any facts to support your fueled by greed and their lack of yearing for a strong family life” assertion? Sounds like your emotions are taking advantage of your reason.

          • MarioP

            MajorB,
            I apologize for the name calling, but your previous post really got to me.

            The voting public has never been as informed, and misinformed, at any time in the past as it is today. Thanks to the internet, people can look up and verify facts quicker than ever before. But at the same token, emails spread false rumors that people do not properly vet out and pass the lies to others. Do you recall back in 2008 an email with photos of a modern prison was being circulated, calling it a waste of money by the Democratic presidential candidate from Illinois? Some morons just passed it on without checking the facts. Had they researched it a bit they would have found out that the prison was actually in Austria. More recently an email was being circulated showing Obama “praying with Muslims at the White House”. Again, had the uninformed voter used the internet to verify that email, he would have found out that that incident took place in Turkey and it wasn’t a praying session. The internet is a double-edged sword; some became more politically educated while others became more misinformed.

            You stated that “it should be the intent of all Americans to stay on top of our elected officials”. Then please explain to me how Bush2 got elected the second time? Didn’t everyone who voted for him the second time see what type of a person he was? Can anyone disagree Bush2 is an arrogant, ignorant, and self centered persona, surrounded with an incompetent cabinet?
            Many voters do not care about getting the right people into, or the wrong people out of, our government. All those voters care about are lower taxes. Then they are surprised the deficits are massive.

            And finally regarding my accusations about working more than 40 hours and poor family life, Iuckily I come from a family that values strong family bond. I’m passing that onto my children. But many are not. I see and hear of many people working and “providing” for their family. Well, many of those marriages ended in a divorce or are at the brink of one. The husband completely neglected his family because he HAD to work 60 hours a week to PROVIDE for his family. Well, even though his wife asked him to spend more time with his children, he chose to bring in nearly $250K. Could he not have enjoyed his life with $150K? That’s plenty to live on. Well, now his savings and all the property is being divided in a divorce. Good job providing for your family buddy!

        • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

          Uh, wrong on the facts again, MarioP. The people that are most “not there” for their female partners and children are the middle class and low-income men in America (44% of children in those households are living with one parent) compared to 7% of upper-income households. That’s a double whammy when you think of the middle-class dollar that is now stretched even further between two households (two rents, two sets of food, two sets of utilities, higher child-care costs, etc.) It’s a TRIPLE whammy when you think that over $5 BILLION in non-paid child support from these middle and low-income Deadbeat Dads is being pushed into the current entitlement programs (Section 8 housing assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, government-paid child-care vouchers) all funded by taxpayers. Being a “good provider” is defined by however the married couple agrees it should be. There is no one way to to have a strong family life. Whether one parent is home full-time while one works long hours or both parents work and are home part-time, is far better than having a single parent (hardly home b/c they have to work full time) and having a dad you just see on weekend visits…or so ALL the child development studies state.

          • MarioP

            Aida,

            What do you mean “wrong again”? When was I wrong before? Please point me to my previous misinformation, error, or lie.

            And please reread my post about the broken up marriage example. I wasn’t talking about classes. I was talking about the drive to succeed, working way beyond the 40-hour week. I was talking about overworking to generate extra income that many do not need, especially when their family life is on the line. Many marriages in lower classes end in divorce for the opposite reasons, too little income. But I talked about when the provider for the family chooses money over his wife and children, even if his sacrifice was not necessary and was only chosen for his own greedy satisfaction.

            And since you’re back on line and because you’re the expert on working overtime, could you please finally explain to me how a CEO or other top hats deserve tens of millions a year for their hard work? You equated hard work and education to financial reward. How much harder are CEOs working than the blue collar class, or the citizens with a college degree already working overtime?
            Obviously hard work and education alone aren’t the factors that determine a salary, especially at the very top. Please educate me how Rick Wagoner of GM got $14.4M for 2007, while the company has been loosing money for years and the car maker eventually declared bankruptcy in 2009. Wagoner spent 6 years in college and has an MBA in Business, which is nothing special.
            Or how about United Healthcare CEO getting $102M for 2009. How hard did he work for that money?

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            MarioP:
            In answer to your question, “could you please finally explain to me how a CEO or other top hats deserve tens of millions a year for their hard work? You equated hard work and education to financial reward. How much harder are CEOs working than the blue collar class, or the citizens with a college degree already working overtime?
            Obviously hard work and education alone aren’t the factors that determine a salary, especially at the very top. Please educate me how Rick Wagoner of GM got $14.4M for 2007, while the company has been loosing money for years and the car maker eventually declared bankruptcy in 2009. Wagoner spent 6 years in college and has an MBA in Business, which is nothing special.
            Or how about United Healthcare CEO getting $102M for 2009. How hard did he work for that money?”
            You should already know the answer to this since you are an American consumer and it should be obvious by now. CEOs of this pay level, which constitutes less than .001% of all corporate CEOs, are paid in accordance to market forces. Who ultimately determines how much these executives are paid? YOU, the American consumer/ shareholder. That’s right, MarioP, hate to burst your bubble but the responsibility for picking the CEOs and determining their pay scales lies ultimately with regular folks like us so there is no one to blame but ourselves for poor or winning choices. How? Let’s equate this with sports stars. How are the equally impressive pay scales for star ballers like LeBron James or Michael Vick determined? Not only by ball club owners (though everyone likes to think so). A multiple of factors are involved. Namely, TICKET SALES. Is that person, a draw for the team and stadium? Is that player going to FILL THE SEATS? Are they going to get people like you to buy tickets (and all the related stuff like beverages and food?) Now, how is that? Because he has WORKED HARD, harder than most other folks like us, at honing his skills. While the rest of us were either spending our time studying in libraries or watching TV at home, this young man was out on the fields in his youth, in his high school days, getting pounded on the local field or playing basketball until midnight, EVERY NIGHT. These guys sacrificed everything in their youth, time with their friends and families, studying other subjects, and every other waking moment to perfect their skills. So YES, they have in essence, worked much harder than you or I to get that good. So do they deserve their pay in the tens of millions? That’s up to the rest of us. Stop buying those tickets and watch that pay (and lucrative endorsements drop). Proof: LeBron leaving Cleveland has devastated that entire team, the stadium is much less filled, and the city vendors/jobs/revenue suffer because of it. Similarly, shareholders vote in their board members and that board determines the CEOs pay. You want to watch that CEO’s contract not get renewed? Don’t buy their products (like GM), sales drop, shareholders are pissed, CEOs get blamed, change CEO. So the next time you fill out your 401k or pension fund’s board member voting form, now you know how you directly share in the responsibility for decision that “overpays” (in your opinion) these people.

          • MarioP

            Aida,

            Again I have to reply to this post to debate your last post.

            You claim the customers and stock holders are responsible for picking CEOs. In Wagoner’s case, the stock holders were sending their message to GM for years because as soon as Wagoner became the CEO in 2000, the stock started it’s decline from it’s all time high of $90pps that year. By the time 2007 rolled around the GM pps was down to $30. By spring of 2009, the price dropped to $1.
            The car clientele also responded to Wagoner’s failure. Although at first many near-sighted car owners jumped on the Wagoner’s philosophy of bigger is better, once gas prices hit above $4/gallon, sales turned sour. Although GM lost $80B in its last four years, Wagoner still gave himself a hefty $14M salary for 2007, even as the stock holders and shoppers were giving him the boot.

            Regarding professional athletes (and actors), I too do not agree with their huge salaries. But the best athletes (and actors) get paid so much because that is what it takes to make a successful team (or a blockbuster movie), and that is what’s needed to rack in the money from the public. They are the best of the best, and there is no one better at what they do. But a failing CEO who doesn’t work hard or constantly makes poor decisions can easily be replaced by someone else who’ll do a better job for less money.

            Talent and intelligence also play a major role in determining a salary, but you only brought up hard work and education. And of course we have that entitlement of being at the top as probably the most important factor that sets the salaries for the top hats. Do you think a auto repair shop mechanic would last four years at his job had he not turned a profit for his owner for that long? He would be lucky to finish a single year with that kind of a performance. I’m telling you, it’s the ENTITLEMENT!

  • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

    ” People the “Class War” is over. Guess which side won? “

    • Tim N

      Bike paths in Illinois won. They’ll get $2.5 million from the new bill!

      • MarioP

        Good! Now the fatties of Illinois can ride their bikes and lose some weight. That $2.5M will return to the citizens 10 fold via lower health insurance, medicare and medicaid costs.

        • Tim N

          Mario, do you really think the fatties are going to get their bikes out? You can’t be serious.

          • MarioP

            Well, it’s just wishful thinking.

  • http://www.eschatonblog.com/ Wil Burns

    These tax cuts to the wealthy did nothing to create jobs over the past 10 years. As a matter of fact, an article written in the WSJ showed GW had the worst “jobs record” on record. More private sector jobs were created in the 1st nine months of 2010 because of the Obama Stimulus than were created in all 8 years of GW Bush.

    These supposed “temporary tax breaks” for the wealthy were “crammed down the throats of America” by a Republican Congress using the same reconciliation process that they attacked Dems for using to pass the healthcare bill. You want us to believe that extending these costly tax cuts to the wealthy will suddenly work to create jobs – after 10 years of failure?

    Don’t blame the democrats for creating class warfare – that war was started with Reaganomics and has been waged by Republicans for decades now. Face the facts and stop the Republican “Marxist” “socialist” rhetoric including the lie that the stimulus “did not work”. It did as intended by stopping the hemorrhaging of 700,000 jobs a month and helped states sustain basic services for police, fire, and schools. It’s easy to play Monday Morning quarterback by looking at the current situation and saying the stimulus did not “fix” the economy – but any economist will tell you it would be far worse than it is now and that unemployment would be double today’s figure without it.

  • G.

    Bernie, just to clarify the bibilical reference you used, Jesus was saying that those who love their wealth above God will find difficulty in attaining heaven. This attitude can be found in anyone, rich or poor. It is the attitude of IDOLIZING wealth that Jesus reproaches,not how much you have.

    • Eric

      The attitude can most certainly be found in Bernard Goldberg and his conservative pals around the country at this point.

      Disgusting!

    • Daniel

      G.

      You are so right. Amazing that O’Reilly would take one line of a much commented parable and attempt to use it. I would add: Maybe the reason for the response of the disciples and also Jesus’ somewhat enigmatic answer is that in the United States, aren’t most of us rich by the standard of the whole world.

      Daniel

  • http://raoulsdailyblog.blogspot.com/ raoul

    Interesting that you, as a Jewish person, never spoke about the many verses in the Old Testament condeming greed of the rich. But I gotta hand it to you anyway. Unlike the right wing fundie braindead who seem to believe Jesus would applaud them, at least you admit he would have been a liberal..

    The rest of your fairy tale regarding the heros is just that – a fairy tale probably designed to get attention. Kudos.. LOL

    • Tim N

      Really Raoul,

      How about the Giving Pledge. http://givingpledge.org/#enter

      Bernie is spot on with this article as were his comments on O’Reilly. The only fairy tale here is the one in your mind.

  • Patricia Redstone

    A strong American middle class protects the rich from dealing with the problems they now face as middle income families join the poor and the rich are left with the task of explaining why they’re exempt from equivalence.

  • Nate Elwood

    Funny how Bernard failed to mention payroll taxes.. which accounted for 41.7% of the tax revenue collected last year. It’s around 17.7% for the “build a monument” folks. Us $60,000 and below folks are taxed at 30%. Bernard is right, there just isn’t a monument that’s been built for the Rich. They certainly can’t claim a majority share in ANY of the war monuments that exist to honor the fallen soldiers who have protected these Rich folks freedoms to shaft the rest of America. Something should be done about that. Thanks Bernard for bringing this to our attention.

    • http://raoulsdailyblog.blogspot.com/ raoul

      Excellent comments Nate! My wife and I were just saying the same things especially about the payroll taxes. I gave the scenario of being a billionare who was able to shelter billions from any taxes but was ‘forced’ to pay taxes on a million dollars of income. In this scene of course I’d be paying a higher rate of taxes than the average American. However, when taking in all money and wealth from a percentage perspective, I’d be paying pennies on the dollar compared to the others.

      • Tim N

        I should hire you guys as my tax consultant. In my state I’m at 50%. I make good money but my only deductions are through tax protected loans to the government which is tax free on interest and charitable contributions. I don’t believe your stats are accurate on payroll taxes and I would like to see the reference. There is a difference between what the feds accrual on payroll taxes and what is actually paid. 47 percent of Americans paid no federal income tax last year.

        http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0&.v=1

  • Daniel

    To Jay Thompson,

    Well, there’s the difference then. You don’t think that the Holy Bible underpins the constitution and also our traditions. And I do. But what’s this nonsense about judging? I simply dispute Bernie’s suggestion that, presumably based on the readable scripture, Christ would be a liberal today. Why is that theological? I think the reasoning I presented is sound. And I thought about retracting the word disgusted (not a word I’m used to using) but then I didn’t retract it. When you think about all the ramifications, an argument could be made that it borders on blasphemy.

    Daniel

    • Jay Thompson

      Daniel,

      I do believe that knowledge and awareness of the Bible, as well as a general belief in Divine Providence underpinned and enriches the traditions embodied in the constitution. We are not so far apart as it may seem.
      I can appreciate your point about “blasphemy,” though I have confidence that God and His Son can handle a comment from Bernie (that I do not think was intended as blasphemous). Bernie’s remarks did not rattle the throne of God, though let me be clear: I am not defending Bernie per se, rather, I am not as disturbed by the comment as perhaps you are.

      • Patricia Redstone

        Would you have been more rattled if a democrat had used the same words to support their argument?

  • Marc

    C’mon America your acting so mean towards the rich. As for the unemployed middle class you’d think you’d be more thankfull for the scraps left on the table by the rich.

  • http://msn Don France

    I’m just about your age, Bernie and I am on the lower fringes of the rich. That is, taxes, especially death taxes are of personal concern. A number of years ago -probably 40 – John Paul Getty wrote an essay entitled, The World Is Mean To Millionaires. In it, he noted the contempt critics showered on him for having a pay phone installed in his English manor house. He frequently hosted international businessmen, much like himself, who had need for frequent calls but didn’t want to run up their hosts bill. Getty was right on then, as you are now, Bernie.

    • Bernie

      Many thanks, Don.

  • Jay Thompson

    Daniel: “…the Bible underpins the Constitution and also our traditions. One of the founding fathers stated that the system would only function if peopled by honest, God fearing men…”
    Paul Courtney: “…the founders, conservative Christians all (not buying the deist stories today, thanks)…”
    ____________
    Both of these comments are quintessential examples of what most undermines political conservatism: ignorance of history, or worse, denial of history and the conflation of conservative Christianity with the world of politics. Both are disastrous for American political discourse and legitimate Christian faith.
    As a Christian, I do not subscribe to fundamentalists who stick their heads in the proverbial sands and willfully distort historical facts. Further, doing so is not necessary for the legitimacy of our faith in society. In fact, it unwittingly de-ligitimizes the faith to unbelievers.
    While there are “underpinnings” and “traditions” which informed our framers, the fact is most of them were deists-deny it or not. I should not have to laundry list these facts to thinking individuals, and so I will not.
    Do you honestly think that raising these issues (wrongly) somehow aids the Christian mission? Does it ultimately matter whether Bernie was off-base about Jesus as liberal or conservative? It was a POLITICAL discussion, not a theological one. That is between Bernie and God, not self-appointed Christian judges (who, by the way, are told by the same Jesus not do so).
    Moreover, and speaking as a political conservative, for every Scriptural reference you think you can give to justify the above comments, I will give you two more that do, in fact, express the spirit of what today is considered “liberal.” Get real.

    • Paul Courtney

      “The fact is most of them were deists….” You were their confessor? You can only know them from what they wrote, and to paraphrase, for every quote you find indicating deism, I can find two that make them sound like Pat Robertson. I’ll concede the point, though, if you’ll read the rest of my post. You’ll find that we agree. The bible-thumping, deist founders wrote a constitution, not an epistle. They could have saved alot of time and sheepskin by adopting the ten commandments, instead they wrote it up with no reference to God and only two references regarding religion. Anyway, please don’t lump me in with sanctimonious twits (said with love, Daniel) who fail to see the difference between an individual governing his own life and a government. They fail to see that a government governed by the Bible is one election from being governed by the Koran.

  • Matryx

    Yes, thank you rich people for allowing me and others like me to make you billions so you never have to work in your life. Thank you for letting me sacrifice time with my family and put my health at risk so you have money to burn. Thank you for overworking and underpaying me. Thank you for making sure everybody in my tax bracket makes a sacrifice for the good of your company while you take a raise at the same time. Thank you for outsourcing my job. Thank you for demanding loyalty from me but giving no loyalty to me. Thank you for making money off of me from my labor, from underpayment, from fees when I buy your products, from exploiting 3rd world countries to make your products and selling it at a 800% markup, and taking my tax dollars to build your own corporate headquarters, stadiums, etc. because you don’t want to spend your own money. Thank you for finding tax loopholes and investing your money in offshore accounts which only help you. You are the true unsung heroes.

    Thank you for letting Bernie be your lapdog.

    By the way Bernie, your Faux news wants Christianity and the rich to take over the government to rule as we were ruled in England (which is why many fled to North America, to escape the Church and Crown. They want to re-establish the Church and Crown here.

    Oh, and for the religious right. Religion is for you, not the rich and powerful. They just edit the Bible to suit their own needs. (How many versions have we had? Edited by Kings? And its being edited again?) It will be edited to keep you submissive to THEM. Not to god.

    Without a small group of people hoarding the money, do you think people would be lost? Or would the average income for citizens just go way up?

    • Ron Kean

      The image you paint is a caricature – a joke like the picture above with the man lighting his cigar with cash.

      Think of the opportunities Gates, Walton, and Ford gave America.

      • Matryx

        Think of the billions America gave to them. Imagine Gates, Walton and Ford trying to run their empires by themselves. Could they be empires if they didn’t have people working hard to build it for them?

        And no, the image I painted is reality. Its happening now. Ask the millions of unemployed and notice how the rich got richer as we sunk deeper and deeper into the recession? Funny how that works huh? How often do you hear the people on top taking pay cuts to save their OWN companies? They don’t. Sacrifices are for the poor.

        Imagine what would have happened if we stuck to a Jeffersonian view of the US that was run by small companies all competing against each other instead of a couple of conglomerates taking over the entire landscape?

        Heres a thought: Country A has 5 trillionaires and 80% in poverty. Country B has 5 billionaires and 50% in poverty. Country C has several millionaires and 20% in poverty. Country D has no millionaires and 0% in poverty. Who is the best country?

        • Tim N

          Matryx

          Here’s a thought for you Matryx, there are a couple of countries that meets your Country D statistics. Cuba and North Korea! Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union there were several more. These countries lay claim to your D scenario as of course everyone is equal.

          So why don’t you answer the question as to which country in the figment of your imagination is the best? And then I would suggest you take the first flight there!

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            Uh, Tim N, you are quite wrong there. There is NO country D as Matryx describes. Matryx obviously lives the life of a lefty ideologue, devoid of real-world reality. In Cuba and North Korea, 99% of people are living in relative poverty. When I mean poverty, I mean REAL poverty, where food is tightly rationed (remember the ration coupons, a la WW USA and still goes on in Cuba today?) and extra food must be purchased on the black market. This is why there is conflict with North Korea. NK has been shaking down the USA, Japan and South Korea triumvirate for decades, a con that was started by Kim Jong Il’s father. They pretend to stop/slow down their nukes program, we pretend we believe them, NK denies access to the IAEA, we threaten to withhold $$$, NK goes and blows up a few things over/by the South Korean borders. The dance goes on. All the billions of $$$ we send (and force Japan and South Korea to send) is distributed to the NK generals and top political echelon. Those folks all have Swiss bank accounts and are millionaires. So, YES VIRGINIA, there ARE millionaires in North Korea. They looove their fine cognac and expensive, black market, US and European-made goodies.The aid that CHina sends, mainly food, medicines, etc., is rationed among the populace. So they are living in poverty. Recently, the US (one of the good things to come about with Obama) has decided the gravy train must stop unless NK is made to live up to their end of the bargain. Of course, the U.S. KNOWS that they will not, b/c then Kim Jong Il cannot get more and more bribe money to stop enriching his nuke program. Kim Jong Il, who is old and anxious for his son to inherit his position, must continue the money pipeline to his generals and top politicos or they will surely revolt against him and takeover the collection of bribe monies directly from us and cut his son out altogether (probably by making him ‘disappear’). Hence, Kim Jong Il’s move to place his sister as a general in the NK Army as well (to keep an eye on the military brass.) The U.S. also is aware that China, the main supporter of NK, both with aid and in the U.N. is walking a delicate line with NK b/c Kim Jong Il also reminds China that it would be MORE than happy to align itself with Russia should China withhold its support. So China continues its Potemkin support of North Korea, mainly to prevent NK’s alliance with Russia, and prevent unification of North and South Korea (of which then the U.S. MOST ASSUREDLY will install military bases, and missile systems in the North, both facing China AND Russia). Most recently, the Wikileaks leaked cables affirm this precarious situation. As for the U.S. there will be tremendous $$$ cost and manpower should the North and South re-unify. At a time when the U.S. is in economic downturn and conflict-weary, and major trading partners with China, it is simply cheaper and easier to continue paying North Korea. Or so it may seem (and China hopes) but time will tell. But overall, I agree with you. There is no country existing such as Matryx describes. Everyone has to be responsible for their own living standard, live within those parameters and stop leeching off one segment of the population.

          • Tim N

            Aida:

            I think you mis-read my intention here. I had the opportunity to spend time in the old USSR and I have several Cuban friends who escaped Castro’s ruthless regime. My interpretation comparing these countries to Matryx imagination was in response to what I considered a ridiculous question. I have seen with my own eyes societies engineered to make everyone equal. This is the corrupt foundation of communism. The results are brutal regimes that keep everyone in poverty. Financial success is never equal, unless of course you force everyone into poverty as a Cuba or N. Korea. Than only the leaders are wealthy.

          • Paul Courtney

            Flight!? What, pay 800% markup (even schmuks only pay retail) to some greedy capitalist rich airline? Better this bitter dead-ender should swim for free. Sadly, he doesn’t know that he could wake up tomorrow with a different attitude, and be a happy dead-ender.

        • Ron Kean

          Here’s a thought. You’re making a lot of this stuff up. Unemployment is terrible. But the majority of your thoughts are just fantasy-wild exaggerations that are made up from an angry imagination.

          Throughout history, some people have gotten rich. Many have lost all their money. Many have kept it and passed it along to their kids, given it away to charity, hoarded it, or just spent it. Many have been poor. Few have been able to be rich. To change this simple fact of life has always required violence or theft.

          I don’t like either one of those.

      • MarioP

        Hey Ron Kean,

        Speaking of caricatures, here is another one for you:

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/12697/64868?RS_show_page=0

        I especially like Con #4, where the fed buys out the rotten mortgage-backed securities from the bailed out banks in hope to stimulate the economy. But instead of using that bailout money on lending to businesses, the greedy banks turn around and buy some government bonds with it, charging the government interest. HOW AWESOME!!! So, do the rich really care about helping out the economy? Is making such dirty profit in these poor economic times the right thing to do?

        Oh, and AIDA, can you please tell me how long and hard these bankers worked for that federal interest money the banks are now collecting on those bonds from the feds? Silly Aida. She’s so disillusioned with that work hard = large compensation mentality, that she can’t believe such money pushing scams happen at the top.

        • Ron Kean

          I know that situation and I’m not happy about either but before Obama the USA had debt problems in the billions. Now the problems are in the trillions and people are scrambling just to keep the system afloat.

          If the government works with the banks to keep the dollar stronger than other currencies or just stable then maybe that’s the best they can do.

          Personally, I think the Obama socialists created this mess and created the divisions we see on this thread with the intention to create violence and insurrection. I believe the anti-rich are being played.

          • MarioP

            Hey Ron Kean, my buddy… you’re blaming Obama for increasing the deficit from billions to trillions? Just so you know, since you are obviously unaware of the current situation:

            1) Bush2’s last budget, the budget of 2009 which he signed into law and took effect on October 1st of 2008, ended with a deficit of $1.4T
            2) In fall of 2008 Bush2 allocated over $7T to be infused into the corroding economy. Before 2008 ended, 1/2 of those $7T was already spent or lent out.
            3) Obama’s first budget, budget of 2010 which took effect October 1st 2009, was in the red for $1.5T, but most of the red was because the budget included some of the already allocated cash set aside by his predecessor to boost the economy.

            I am all for keeping the economy afloat with all these trillions of dollars, since even Bernanke believes that had not such money been spent to support the banks, we would have reached unemployment of 25%. But I am not for any abuse by the banks of that bailout money!

            And how did the Obama socialists create “this mess”? What mess are you talking about? The abuse of the bailout money or the entire economic meltdown?

            And if you believe the anti-rich are being played here, did you ever think the poor/middle class citizens that would benefit more with social programs and lower taxes are not being played by the rich, falsely giving them hope they can hit it big with the riches, even though they’ll probably die as a member of the lower classes? Who is playing whom?

    • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

      When you work for some one or company, you essentially agree to a contract, to do certain work and to be paid a certain wage and benefits. There are certain rights that attach to both employees and employers. You are not a slave. If you are dissatisfied with your wages, then LEAVE that employment. Just thank the fact that you are in the USA and aren’t forced to work certain jobs under horrific conditions with no recourse or negotiating power like 90% of the rest of the world. If you have a problem with your employer making “billions” then leave and go do your own thing. You are no one’s slave in this country, friend.

      • Matryx

        If you have the rich setting the wages and you cannot get paid anymore ANYWHERE in the country then you either work for whatever chump change the rich choose to pay. Now if you are living in a capitalist society where you either have to work or starve, be homeless, die, etc. then your “freedoms” are limited. You can try to start your own company and hope you aren’t choked out by the established powers. You also need to rely on their loans.

        Indentured servants, slaves, doesn’t matter. Either way you are forced to work. Now your argument that you don’t have to work can be made in slavery/servitude times too. You just cannot establish a home and have to keep moving and don’t get caught. (Sleeping in public, disturbing the peace, being an eyesore to the general public, blah blah blah.) Either way you are likely to get locked up and end up in chains. (Sound familiar?)

        I also read what you wrote about teachers living the good life. I am the son of a retired teacher. I am in college to become a teacher myself. Do you really have any idea what teachers make?

        Education is usually the first cut states make. Teachers and Educational Assistants get fired. And don’t be a fine arts teacher, they are the first to go. You work more than 40 hours a week due to afterschool activities, students unable to get home, parent/teacher conferences, etc. You do not have the money in the budget for materials so you pay for what students need out of your own underpaid pockets. You support students and their bake sales, Boy and Girl Scouts wreath and cookie sales, fund raising efforts, sponsorships, and on and on…..

        Teachers can either get their salary throughout the year or throughout the school year. Many times teachers get summer jobs teaching or working for corporate America to make ends meet in the gap.

        For educational assistants they don’t get paid for all those holidays and many don’t get a full 40 hours a week paid. (They are there for 40 hours but get paid for 32.5 or 35, depending on the district.) 1 week in November, 2 weeks in December/Jan., spring break, summer vacation, and all the other smaller holidays. Only a few holidays are paid.

        Many don’t do it for the money. They make the sacrifice because they love what they do and they know it needs to be done. And is it really the place of a lawyer to talk about how the teachers have it so easy? Lets just say your teacher makes $90,000 at the highest pay scale. 40 hours a week for 52 weeks (if it were year round) averages out to $43 an hour. What lawyers make $43 an hour? I had a custody battle for my daughter. Every time I talked to her about anything that $400/hour meter started running. The cheapest people I talked to in her office were $75/hour. Would you be willing to take a $30/hr pay cut to get into the secure/lucrative education industry?

        • Tim N

          Matryx,

          My sister and her husband retired from teaching at the age of 56. They retired at well over $100k income plus full benefits and their social security has not kicked in yet. I also have a brother coming up for early retirement from teaching and had a mother who retired from teaching.

          They also took summer jobs but many summers they didn’t have too and they traveled.

          I have a lot of respect for teachers. My brother and sister never made the money I did over my career as I own a small business. They picked a career and never complained once. But they also never had the 80 hour work weeks, or miss their kid’s birthdays, or the sacrifice’s my wife and I did to build my business.

          Here’s your issue. You want to pick the career you want but you want the results of others. If money is your issue, change careers, build a business, and I guarantee you. Once you walk in my shoes you would give them back!

        • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

          I hear you, amn, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve chosen to go into the field of academics. There are plusses and minuses in each profession. I have no doubt that many teachers “love what they do” as I am related to a number of teachers (both active and retired) and I had some memorable public school teachers but in all honesty, loving what you do for a living is a luxury. $43 an hour is NOTHING to scoff at, even by today’s dollar value. I made a whole lot less starting out as an R.N. from community college more than 13 years ago. That and I didn’t get summers off and all those days teachers do, not to mention sabbatical opportunities. To ensure a steady financial future, I worked my way through law school wiping butts and suctioning patients’ body fluids. No pension and no tenure waiting for me. And certainly not even at $30 per hour. I made the decision to go to law school so I could ensure that my parents (to whom I owe everything) had an easy retirement and will never see the inside of a nursing home. Today, they want for nothing and neither will my children. My motto: don’t look to others to take care of YOUR responsibilities. My parents and kids don’t need anyone’s handout, taxes, entitlement, charity, whatever you call it.

          • MarioP

            First Aida encourages everyone to work hard and desire the riches at the top, but now she claims that $43/hour “is nothing to scoff at”. Oh, so now you want the lower classes to be happy making less than $100K? Are you now discouraging people to try to compete with the upper class, as $90K should be plenty of money to be happy with?

            I think you’re finally starting to see the problem with the Right’s ideology where they encourage the lower classes to try to climb that success ladder to the top. Such motivation for the riches will endanger the wealth and cushy jobs of the top cats.

            You’ll probably reply that you’re still for everyone’s drive to success, but I doubt you truly do want 10 or 20 layers sending your supervisor their resumes, half of which may end up being better qualified for your job than yours.

      • http://raoulsdailyblog.blogspot.com/ raoul

        Just thank the fact that you are in the USA and aren’t forced to work certain jobs under horrific conditions with no recourse or negotiating power like 90% of the rest of the world by Aida

        And, pray tell, what country do YOU live in? What you just spoke of can fit the description of many, if not the majority of big corporations here.

    • Paulie

      Bernie, the Jesus reference was silly and diluted your other excellent points that you articulated. The result is we now have bible bloggers in a jobs creation discussion…..

      Matryx, if you so detest working for THE MAN, then why not show some intestinal fortitude and take the risk of starting your own business…..?? Create some jobs and do it your way….The Mattryx way??
      It’s much more fun and rewarding than just whinning about your alleged mistreatments….Why take the risk I guess if clinging to your job working for THE MAN is all you need/want…..?? But….clinging to a job working for THE MAN is risky too as you seem to have learned…..most jobs aren’t created by Ivy league MBA’s…..most are created by people with guts who decided to no longer work for THE MAN…..try it….you might suprise yourself…..

  • http://jacobsmits.freehostia.com Jacob Smits

    PS Goldberg, you’re website is ass ugly.

    • CCNV

      Jacob,

      Coming across your comments while reading, you’ve proven over and over that you have NO grasp of contractions. You have misused “they’re” and “you’re” in almost every post. Maybe you’d better stick with “thou” when spewing your hatred.

  • Dino

    I was like many others disgusted with what Bernie stated about Jesus Christ, and Bill Orielly being like a lame dummy not realizing the anit Christian jargon from Mr Goldberg.I had had great respect for Mr Goldberg previously. I feel sorry for him now. What good is it if he could point out all the erros and injustices of phony liberalisms, if he misses the most important issue of all Jesus Christ, King of the Jews and Lord of Lords. Perhaps he was raised where Jesus Christ was taboo, and any talk of a cross was forbidden. Media liberal bias—Goldberg bias of Jesus Christ and the Bible, consider that. This is not to encourage hate but rather to bring to light where this man’s heart is at.

    • Bernie

      Dino

      You are one sanctimonious twit. Can’t reasonable people simply disagree. Or do I have to agree with everything you and your fellow twits believe — about Jesus or anything else.

      Bernie

      • Dino

        Dear Bernie, I want to be reasonalble and truthfully have greatly admired your insights far beyound anything I can do. I am a simple Italian american boy smiles as I write. I have cooled down :) , Seek not fences, seek not bitterness, you made a mistake, I have made thousands. I have been mulling over this issue much. This is a very sensitive topic. May the God of Abraham bring you a blessing.
        Dino , Los Angeles Califonia

  • Daniel

    Bernie,

    I was disgusted by your statements. First, whether or not we are governed by the Holy Bible is the core of the culture war as the Bible underpins the Constitution and also our traditions. One of the founding fathers stated that the system would only function if peopled by honest, God fearing men. To borrow a thought from the movie ‘O Brother where art thou’, you are affiliated.

    To suggest that Jesus Christ would be a liberal certainly offended Christians. The trademark of a socialist or Marxist regime is coercion. Certainly, Christ
    did not endorse that. And if you think that the Democratic Party exists to help the poor, then you’re a nut.

    You’re affiliated.

    Daniel

    • Bernie

      Pls see my sanctimonious twit comment above.

      • Eric

        Why bother reading above, when we can see sanctimonious twit right in front of us every time you respond?

  • Mike In Iowa

    Mr. Goldberg,
    First of all, I really enjoy listening to your points of view. I am far from rich. As a matter of fact, I make half of what the current administration had made the cut-off point for being called rich. I manage to support my family of 5 on a single income, sometimes not very comfortably. I have a hard time understanding the mentality (that I see sometimes in my own kids) of entitlement. As a society, we let ourselves be convinced that it is OK to take money from one person as long as it is being stolen to give to someone in more need than the current owner. The liberals I see screaming about this tax break, are basically blaming the expanding national debt on those of us who think we need to control spending rather than get a higher limit on the credit card at our expense. And why are we calling it a “tax break”? Is it because it is a tax hiatus, or are they trying to convince us they are actually giving us a break by not pilfering more of our hard earned money? Got to give it to them though, a 1930’s mobster robbed someone, and ran the money through their “legitimate business” before redistributing it, and it was called laundering. The government does it, and it’s called taxes. hmmm.

  • Douglas Hakes

    I took a minute and read a few of these responses and I have only one thing to say. You all haven’t a clue as to the feelings held by the poor of the rich. Aside from one thing I could care less about the rich and that one thing is that, in order to keep the economy flowing money needs to be fluid, in the market in the form of investments. Those who have the means to invest are the rich and, frankly, they are doing what they are supposed to do. Unfortunately not in the American economy. It’s called emerging markets like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, ect. Why, because the return on the dollar is better in those markets. Result, the rich get richer and what happens to the middle class and the poor? They get poorer. We could make it work if the rich broke loose with their money and put it into the economy at home. The return may not be as good because we are not a third world country and we have expectations of something better. In short, I don’t want your money and I don’t want your taxes. What I do want is a job. I don’t have the money to invest in myself so I have to leave it up to those who have the money to invest and create a job for me to fill. When given no other option than I’ll rip the money out of the hands of those greedy, heartless, gluttons any way I have to. It’s called self preservation.

    • MarioP

      Ok Douglas Hakes,

      I’m on your side here, but you need to calm down. If by saying “I’ll rip the money out of their hands” you meant having the government tax the wealthy (significantly) more than the poor, then I’m in agreement. But if you’re promoting violence then I’ll have to step back.

      The majority of these “gluttons” tend to care only about their wealth while promoting the ideology of self motivation as the solution towards riches. Yet they don’t realize such preaching is actually hurting their own interests by firing up the poor and middle class to compete with their businesses.

      But hey, who are we fooling here…. taxing the rich at high rates doesn’t diminish the drive to get rich. If a poor person had the opportunity to take a job paying $1M annually, he would take it in an instant and would be happy to pay 40, 50, 60, or even 70% in taxes on anything above the $250K bracket. The drive to get rich has always been there, and always will be there, regardless of what the highest tax bracket is.

      The wealthy do know the drive for riches will always be there. All their yapping is just a scare tactic. Yet somehow some people fall for it. I’ve heard a blue collar worker stating that he’s for lower taxes on the rich, because IN CASE he becomes wealthy, he wouldn’t want to pay too much in taxes. Chances are this guy is not going to make it big, yet he is in favor of handicapping his lower class lifestyle so IN CASE he miraculously hits the jackpot, he’ll get to keep more of his cash. Wow, now that’s some optimism!

      Very often wealth changes a person, and not for the better. Once one gets bitten by the wealth bug he becomes disconnected from the normal needs of the average person and ends up wanting more as his standards of living continuously rise. This is an unstoppable drive for more riches and they forget about sharing. Do the rich really need to host a $1M wedding? Or would it be wiser to host a $100K one and with the rest pay some poor patients their cancer treatments? That wedding party will last one night, while the cancer survivors can enjoy the rest of their lives.

      All this talk about high taxation of the upper class is nothing but propaganda from the wealthy instilled on the lower class to keep as much of their riches as they can. They know perfectly well the poor man doesn’t have a chance to compete with them. Ah whatta hell Doug, it’s a lost cause, … go start a revolution!

    • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

      Douglas, it is attitudes like yours and MarioP below that is the reason why you don’t have a job. There are plenty of jobs out there, maybe not paying you what you think your skills/knowledge is worth, or even doing what you want to do. Too bad. We all start somewhere just to get going. No one in the U.S. owes you a job. This is probably why illegal aliens are able to get jobs in the U.S. and you whine that you can’t. Someone is obviously paying for your computer access and related electricity bills or you wouldn’t be able to get onto this site. So I guess things aren’t so dire in your world or you would take a job anywhere, even if it meant delivering takeout to homes. Oh, but as a spoiled American I guess you think other hard-working, wealthier Americans owe you a living. With attitudes like yours no wonder investing Americans choose to invest in emerging economies (or anywhere people don’t feel entitled to cushy, high-paying jobs) who work much harder than you will ever have nightmares of doing.

      • MarioP

        Oh Aida, how more wrong can you be? You can’t. You have absolutely no idea what I do for living or what my income is. For your information I live very comfortably and I don’t blame the rich that they owe me anything. I’m taking care of my needs on my own, paying higher taxes than the majority of the population. I just wish the drive of greed would disappear, for our nation would be such a better place to live in. Remember, when you raise the standard of living for the lower classes, you’ll do so for the upper ones in conjunction; and the opposite is true as well.

        • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

          That’s fine, Douglas, but you originally stated that you wanted a job, didn’t have money to invest in yourself, and would be willing to rip money our of some rich folks’ hands if you needed to, so forgive me for taking those statements literally. Apparently you now claim to have a decent paying job and live comfortably and are really griping about others’ lifestyles and money views. Well, whatever your situation may be, one of the greatest freedoms we Americans enjoy is that we can live almost any lifestyle we want (culturally, sexually, financially) without being forced to conform to others’ opinions about it. We can be gay, minority and/or rich and poor and it really is no one’s business, isn’t it? I can be just as greedy as I can not, be divorced a few times or never get married, be Christian or Muslim and it is not for you or anyone else to determine whether I should live my life that way. Some people want to be financially successful and others want a simpler life without the complications that go with creating wealth or going to school for 10 years before they can have a normal personal life. Whatever your choices, you really have no right to impose your views on others. I clawed my way out of Harlem with ONLY the help of my parents and friends and not from people like you. Hence, I feel justified that the 40+% I pay in taxes is more than enough and this government and the rest of the middle and lower income strangers can take a hike. No one owed me a living and I don’t owe anyone else theirs.

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            Whoops- I mixed up Douglas with MarioP above. My apologies. but my statement otherwise still stands.

          • MarioP

            Aida,

            Sorry, the system will not allow me to reply to your last post where you explained that your parents didn’t receive ONE PENNY from the government, so I’m replying to this post with a question directed to your last post.

            You claim your parents came from a 3rd world country. Did they speak English before they arrived at our shores? And who paid for your parents’ airline tickets and the first few rents and food bills?

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            MarioP,
            That’s right! NOT one penny from the government ever. My dad (still the king of frugality, even today) saved the money for his own plane ticket by teaching/tutoring rich kids (read: politicians’ kids) in his country after gaining a college degree in science there. Not bad for a boy adopted as an orphan by an illiterate rice paddy farmer, eh? Studied hard (in addition to working the paddy) and was one of two kids to get into college from his high school. Met my mom’s brother in college (and hence, married my mother during that time.) Applied to come to the U.S. (who was seeking science-degreed professionals back in the early 60s) and came to the U.S. by himself. Lived with 3 other similarly-situated Asian men in a Harlem studio apartment who found jobs as lab techs in the same Harlem hospital. Sent $$$ religiously back to my mother for a year, since, due to the lingering effects of McCarthy era, lots of discrimination about Asians bringing their wives over. Saved enough for her ticket and applied for her to come. Had to show adequate savings in bank, strong letters of support from his employer (the hospital) so that my mom would not become a ward of the state. She came, got an evening waitressing job at Bun-n-Burger (remember that relic? Similar to Chock-full-o-nuts restaurants) and took in factory piece-meal sewing during the day. No TV, no car, (VCR wasn’t even invented yet, I think, or at least we didn’t even know about it), no credit cards, no eating out, no new clothes (mom made all all clothes from leftover material from the factory), and NO GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE WHATSOEVER! They had their pride and were just SO grateful to be here in the USA. In answer to your question, my mom learned English from the customers in Bun-n-Burger. My dad had already learned limited English (enough to pass the TOEFL test to get into this country, LEGALLY, btw) They taught me the value of pride, hard work, depending on NO one else but your family, and saving your money for a (or many) rainy days! Living on entitlements/welfare/charity/handouts= “other people’s money” was for beggars and they did not come to this country to be that. They saved every penny, bought a house in Queens in the 70s (again, no loan, using all their savings) and I can honestly say that the ONLY luxury they ever allowed for the family was to pay for my extracurricular music lessons, my tutoring lessons, and extra books for me. So, MarioP, after reading all these comments from people who actually have the gall to think they know what a ‘tough’ life being born in the USA is, I really have to laugh. Doesn’t everyone know? Simply being BORN in the USA (with the RIGHT to be here) is 50% of the path to success. Fighting your way from wherever you are, is your own responsibility. Knowing you are poor, with the added onus of knowing that you will have to provide for your parents when they are old, and your children when they are young, is the incentive for busting one’s butt (at least my incentive.) There are an awful lot of spoiled whiners here, sitting in front of their TVs, wearing store-bought clothes, eating out, getting fat (not staying healthy so some doctor has to take care of them), talking on their cell phones, living in more than a one-bedroom apartment (and/or at least not in the projects) CRYING about how “poor/middle-class” they are and that the “rich” ($200K+) should continue to fund and increase funding for their life choices. And they want ME (and many others like me) who struggled harder than their worst nightmares to gain our successful livelihoods with pride, dignity and hard work to be their SLAVES? Sorry I don’t work for them. Or are you one of THEM too, MarioP?

      • http://jacobsmits.freehostia.com Jacob Smits

        Yeah Aida, jobs are just falling of the trees these days. Are you retarded?

        • Bruce A

          There are always jobs & opportunities available. It may require relocation, being creative on ones part or lowering pay expectations for a period but there are opportunities available in many parts of the country & quite often hidden in plain sight.

          • MarioP

            Bruce A,

            You and Aida must be from the same planet where there is just enough oxygen to survive, but not enough to prevent brain damage.
            Yeah, there are jobs out there, but if you have a family to support and pay your mortgage, how are you going to do that with a low paying job, outside your profession? If your unemployment benefits and insurance, which you paid into when employed, are just as much as these opportunities you speak of, why bother working?

            And you’re saying to be creative? You mean creative like in figuring out how I’m going to fit my work schedules into one day? Or how I’m going to bounce the creditcard balance from one card to another?

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            That’s right, Bruce A. If my parents could come here from their third-world country and help make the dream come true for me, all without ONE PENNY of government assistance (and no TV, VCR, car, new clothes, credit cards or eating out) my entire youth in Harlem, then ANY AMERICAN BORN person with so much more today can do so much more with so little today, if they aim to have a more comfortable living. It’s AMAZING to me that all these left-wing sheep on this blog could advocate giving more money to the government. No government on this planet is trustworthy. IS ANYONE ON THE LEFT READING THE WIKILEAKS leaked cables?? As it is, I want the tax money I give refunded so I can re-direct it legitimate charities which could put the money to better use than these clowns in Washington! MarioP, DO YOU WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT? If yes, here’s an idea to bring down the cost of entitlements, which is drastically increasing our debt: All divorced men making more money than their ex-wives should honor their marriage contract (which was to take care of their spouse “for LIFE”) and simply pay their ex-wives and children large amounts of money for the rest of her life and when she overspends it, the should just cheerfully give the women more and more without complaining. Then, the amount of single moms (who are the highest poverty strata in America) could live like their exes. Shouldn’t higher-income ex-husbands be forced to support their exes forever? After all, isn’t that what MarioP is trying to force the rest of the high-income earners to do for the “not-so-fortunate” here? At least formerly married people are contractually obligated to do so!

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: On The Factor, you said the hate mail re: the column was worse than ever. Since the column didn’t mention the Bible or Jesus, I assume you were referencing the lefty haters of the rich. You probably expected that before you pushed shift and hit the “i” key, and to do the column anyway shows courage-for that I’m grateful to YOU even if you’re not rich. For the hateful condemnation above from my fellow conservative Christians, I am truly sorry. To them I say, “Judge not lest you be judged”, or at least, wait ’til he’s wrong to condemn him. If the founders, conservative Christians all (not buying the deist stories today, thanks) had The Bible on the table in front of them, why the hell (oops) heck did they bother to write something else (like the Constitution)? The First Amendment does NOT provide for “separation” of church and state, but it ABSOLUTELY provides that the country will not be governed by the Bible.So you were precisely correct, even off the cuff. And as for Jesus being a liberal democrat, well, he’s Jewish, isn’t he? Apologize in advance for the last crack, but it was too delicious.

  • Mojo Risin

    FDR referred to the depression era folks surrounding a burn barrel on a cold night as “The forgotten man.” Those people who needed that leg-up to survive and who seemingly were left to their own devices. All the while there was a real forgotten man and woman, those who paid the cost of an extended depression due to ill-conceived and implemented economic sojourns into stuff that doesn’t work. Yeah, the REAL “Forgotten man” are the folks who pay the freight, work to keep things running, keep their employees hired, cutting back on their profits to advance the enterprise.

    Yep, the taxpayer who continues to fund a corrupt, brain dead leftist, socialist inspired government is maybe a rich guy and it’s a good thing there is still enough of’em, without those patriots it’s hard to imagine living in Zimbabwe West…

    • MarioP

      Look at you Mr. Mojo Risin. You became so detach from the reality, you can’t even properly identify who the victim of a poor economy is. You feel more sorrow for the rich business man paying taxes through the depression than for someone who can’t provide food for himself and his family. Boy, I wish your faith be of Mussolini’s when Mr. Douglas Hakes starts his revolution.

      • Mojo Risin

        Okay, try reading the post again. You’re saying it’s better to confiscatorally tax the job providers rather that allowing them to prosper, hire, and expand. Providing unemployment payments is not an alternative to a job, contrary to what Nancy Pelosi says. While I’m at it, is that employer you’re working for a poor guy???

        The victim of this economy are all Americans and Obonehead is the consummate example of an economic illiterate wrecking ball, unconsciously and blindly trying to install his notion of socialist utopia. All rendered down: Failure…

        • MarioP

          Mojo Risin,

          As requested, I reread your original post and I’m not changing my position at all. My profession is amongst the most drastically hit by the current recession, yet I am lucky enough to still have my job. Although many of my fellow professionals were either forced into early retirement or into the unemployment line, I am lucky to still be employed and pay taxes. I feel no pity for myself having to forward a good chunk of my salary to the state, but I do feel pity for my fellow man who would rather be in my shoes and not on government’s help. I can’t believe you feel pity for yourself. If you’re paying taxes, that means you’re making money, which is always better than having to collect unemployment, you selfish jerk.

          Also, regarding your comment in your second post about allowing the job providers to prosper… Can you please briefly explain to me, as I don’t believe the Trickle-down theory works as an effective booster to a downed economy, how giving $1T in tax breaks to the rich and not the lower classes will boost our poor economy? I’m still baffled how some claim giving more money to businesses will result in more jobs. Please educate me. Thank You.

    • http://jacobsmits.freehostia.com Jacob Smits

      I love how these people, using some sort of sick, twisted logic, are able to turn an American Hero, and what he did to get America back on track, into something vile and wrong. Put you’re money to work, or it’s going to be taken from you. No more free rides for the fake and idle rich.

      • MarioP

        Exactly! Doesn’t everyone know that when the rich are forced to pay more of their profits to Uncle Sam, they will try that much harder to reinvest their profits back into the economy to minimize their loses to taxation? Is this something new?

        The Right is always ready to insult America’s best leaders, only because they were Democrats. The Right wishes it had someone to point to as their hero, like FDR, JFK, Clinton. The best they can do is bring up Reagan. With such a poor selection of strong leaders to choose from, no wonder on average over the last half a century the economy was stronger when there was a Democrat in the Office. Yet the Right doesn’t care. All they want are lower taxes, nothing else.

        • Brass Monkey

          Did you really list Clinton in the “hero” category?

          • MarioP

            I sure did list Clinton as a “presidential hero”. If you can’t admit that, then I’m very curious who you would pick from the Republican side in place of Clinton. You may have to go back several decades.

  • b mathews

    in the battle of the rich vs the poor,will someone please point out the the goal, or at least the desire, of every poor person is TO BE RICH!.

    • MarioP

      b mathews,

      You tell me what the goal is for the poor citizens of our nation. Would you prefer to work 40-50 hours a week, earning $50K annually while paying low taxes, or would you work about the same hours making $500K annually, even though you pay 40% tax on the second $250K? I think the answer to your question is obvious.

      • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

        FYI- people who earn $500K+ annually work a lot more than 4-50 hours per week. That’s why they make that amount. Oh, that and/or they went to school a whole lot longer than the average worker.

        • MarioP

          Really Aida? People who make $500K+ annually work way more than 40-50 hours a week and that is why they make so much? And it’s also because of their schooling? Ok, I can buy that. But can you please explain to me how many hours per week does one work, and how much schooling does one need, so he can earn tens of millions a year? This guy better be sleeping in the office, wait! There is no time for him to sleep. He also better averaged a PhD every year he spent in college. I just don’t buy your explanation that the larger the salary, the longer one works and the more educated he is. Sorry.

        • http://jacobsmits.freehostia.com Jacob Smits

          Yeah, those dang teachers, going to school for 7 years. They’ve earned they’re 30k a year starting salary! Give us a break Aida, no one’s buying what you’re selling.

          • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

            FYI: Teachers making $30K do not go to school for seven years. Their pay increases once, and if, they achieve their Masters’ degree. Their salaries incrementally increase with most teachers making about $90K annually by the time they reach their 20th year. And don’t forget those generous tenure policies. I’d love a guarantee within 3-5 years that I could never be fired. Moreover, teachers work an average total of 8.5 months per calendar year. And MOST states and counties have the most generous pension and health benefit plans for teachers who can retire with full bennies when they reach 20 years. What private sector employee has a great gig like that? Oh, and another point here, teachers are fully aware of the pay/bennies when they sign on to be teachers. If they are unsatisfied with that, no one is preventing them from changing careers. I did. From a floor nurse in a nursing home and hospitals to an attorney. Anyone can do whatever they want to reach their goals. Gotta love the U.S!

          • MarioP

            Am I surprised Aida didn’t have an answer to how many weekly hours anyone earning tens of millions annually has to work? Not surprised at all.

            Aida’s logic about working hard = large salary may make sense when one’s high salary isn’t outrageous and appears attainable to the average Joe. But once we start talking about annual salaries beyond a million or two, then one has to admit that the hard work explanation goes out the window and the entitlement of being at the top of a firm sets in.

    • Douglas Hakes

      OK maybe I was being a little dramatic but the facts are the facts. Maslovs first three needs have to do with self preservation. The tea party wants to foment revolution but they don’t have the brains to understand that they can’t just unravel what they don’t like and leave it there. The left, since, the great Depression has understood the need for a safety net for those, and this I got a real laugh over, who are not yet millionaires. What you don’t get is that 90% of the bottom 97% have no delusions of becoming rich. Look at all the suckers that play the lottery and never win. Sure, someone will win but most of them won’t. I’ll never be rich because I don’t have what it takes to get there. Am I a bad person for not trying? Was my father a bad person for working a blue collar job and raising his family off a weekly paycheck? The rich need to wise up and understand that they have a responsibility. What I find funny is that there are many among their ranks that understand and agree, with the left that, until the economy gets rolling again that they need to step up. Remember, when the unemployment rate goes up…so does the crime rate.

      • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

        The “rich” are the responsible ones here. The top 10% of income earners pay 70% of all the income taxes in this country so that the other 90% can live a life of relative equality when it comes to education, health care, and access to a better life. Douglas, you seem to think you don’t “have what it takes” to be rich. That’s fine but doesn’t absolve you of your own responsibilities to take care of yourself, your family and not take from others. If the “rich” aren’t forcing you or telling you how to live your life, you shouldn’t be telling them how they should be living theirs. You father wasn’t (and isn’t) the only one who worked a blue-collar job to support his family. In these hard economic times everyone can step up in their own way and stop expecting “everyone else” except themselves to shoulder the responsibility. “Rich” is not some far-of galaxy that you can achieve “only if I had a space-ship.” It is merely a financial level that one must work slowly to achieve. It is SO possible in this country that it is almost too easy with the right roadmap! When you have been around the world like I have, it is almost laughable how easy it is to become wealthy, if that is your goal. No wonder so many illegals come here, risk their lives and pay gangs through indentured servitude just to live here. Perhaps we are in such dire straits because for so long our society tells children “don’t do anything that makes you unhappy.” Really? Perhaps that is why there are so many listless adults lining up to audition for American Idol that going to pursue degrees in engineering, sciences, mathematics, medicine, and other highly-employable fields? Perhaps that is why we need to import so many foreign workers in these high-paying fields because our own society has allowed our youth to get lazy? Shirking our duty to produce highly-skilled, flexible, hard-working adults is why our debt keeps rising! More people are living off entitlements and expecting others (the “greedy rich”) to keep working hard so they can live nice and easy. Well, those hard-working innovators are now fighting back b/c they see no end to this abuse. Have some pride, man, and don’t fall into the slave-mentality of accepting handouts.

  • joann zarnke

    We must protect not only the rich, but more importantly, those who _desire_ to be rich. What incentive is there for those who aspire to be rich, if we tax them, and confiscate there rewards?

    • MarioP

      Actually Joann Zarnke,

      I personally prefer there to be less desire to be rich and the drive to prosper. This way there will be less competition for me to succeed. If I have the only carpet cleaning business in town, I don’t care if I’m paying 50% of my profits to the government; I get all the town’s business. But if I have to compete with twenty other carpet cleaners, I may just break even, even with minimal or no taxes. So if you believe high taxes lessen the drive to succeed, consider it a job security for the ones that have the right business plan.

      • Berg

        For started, Mario, your idea of human beings with no drive for material success isn’t new. It’s called socialism. They’ve tried it, and failed. It’s against human nature.
        As for you dry cleaning example, it’s hard for me to belive that most people won’t care to pay 50% taxes, as in your example, just because they have all the business in town: most people wouldn’t like to give away their hard earned dollars to politicians. Probably to charity, but to politicians? Next, most people would think of extending their business to other locations, and save some profit for both a rainy day and for future generations. Won’t you?

        • MarioP

          Berg states:

          “…your idea of human beings with no drive for material success isn’t new. It’s called socialism.”

          Uhm, I’m not the one saying that high taxes are killing the human drive to succeed. That is the belief from the Right. I just replied to Joann’s view. She must be the one who believes in Socialism, since according to you berg, people who believe there is no drive to get rich live under Socialism. I on the Left believe that there is still way more will to succeed left, so don’t worry about loosing it.

          But believe me buddy, if you were the CEO of a company making $10M a year, you would not step down even if you had to turn over that 50% in taxes. And even if you did decide to step down in some crazy protest against high taxation, your former company would fill your spot in a heartbeat, and probably with someone even more qualified than you were at that job.

          Regarding your comment about expanding into other locations with my theoretical, one-town business where I control the whole market… I’m making pretty good living, making about $500 annually. Do I really need more to live comfortably? Do I really need a country club membership? Do I really need a car over $100K or a house over $2M? Why not give the chance of success to someone else in the next town? Should I be so greedy that I need to expand into a giant firm so I don’t know what the left and right hands are doing? I’m living pretty comfortably, so I’m giving my fellow man the same chance. (Of course this is an unrealistic ideology, since it takes only one greed driven individual to buy out, or force out, all the competition. But that is why we have the government to protect with regulations the ones that have their greed under control from the ones that can’t control it themselves.)

          And what is this talk about “hard earned dollars”? I keep hearing this from the Right. How hard are you guys working for your money? Are you daily bent over for hours, picking strawberries in the field? Are you doing some labor intensive job, like lifting timber? Are you endangering yourself in a mine, inhaling air born particles? How hard do you really have to work to earn, let’s say, that $1M a year? You must be very fast at picking those strawberries, replacing a team of 30 field laborers with such a salary. Maybe you’re that good at your mining job that you can replace 10 miners since you’re getting paid 10X the average miner’s salary. If you are in a managerial position, are you working harder than everyone below you, since you’re probably getting paid more than the employees you supervise? REALLY! How hard are you guys working?!?! I doubt very hard, especially to justify that huge salary of yours. Who knows, maybe you do work long days every week, spend endless hours in meetings with your design teams brainstorming new products, do you then deserve a multi-million salary? Maybe you do, if those products are so great that your company is making billions each year (Apple, Google, Microsoft). But even if you spend tons of your time in the office and your leadership just drives the company into bankruptcy, do you still deserve to get $16M the year before you go belly up? Rick Wagoner of GM did. It wasn’t for his performance; it was due to his CEO entitlement.

          So obviously hard work doesn’t equate large salary. But maybe hard work equates the ability to raise capital or profits for your company. Ok, let’s play along with this idea. If you’re a CEO of a pharmaceutical firm employing a successful team developing state of the art drugs, if you’re not the one directly responsible for the new discoveries, meaning performing the lab tests and directly observing the studies, or very successfully selling the new drugs to hospitals, you better get paid way less than the scientists and marketers on your payroll. Because again being the CEO doesn’t entitle you to the highest salary in your firm. And if you believe it took talent to get the funding to start your firm, isn’t pretty much anyone with some investment partners able to get a loan?

          And finally regarding my future generations, they can sell my $2M house, which will double in price every 20 years or so, with the fictitious business and live comfortably from that. But hey, since when does the Right care about the future generations? They don’t seem to care about the environment nor about the national debt. Are you aware that the last three Republican presidents racked up over 70% of the TOTAL national debt, even though the Congress was mixed (Reagan), Democratic (Bush1) or Republican (Bush2)? I’m sure you don’t worry much about the future generations, since all you care about is lower taxes, regardless whether the deficits grows each year.

          Thank you for your reply. I always appreciate and enjoy a good discussion.

      • Mike In Iowa

        But Mario,
        If you ever desire to have 20 carpet cleaners working under you so you don’t have to clean all the carpets in town personally, you need the cash to be able to expand that carpet business. People require cash payment for their hard work. And unfortunately, you’ll never be the only carpet cleaner in town, you’ll always be competing against other carpet cleaners, lowering your margins to get the work. Then, the 50% your happy to give away becomes a lot more critical to your business plan in the real competitive world. And when my taxes go up as a cleaning solution manufacturer, I am going to pass that decrease in revenue caused by the increase in taxes, on to you, the carpet cleaner. And since you have to by my product to clean your customer’s carpets, you’ll have to now have to do it for lowered profits. Of course, your customer’s taxes went up, so they are shopping you harder now than they were years past, so you’re going to need to drop a couple % to keep the business you had before. So you, in the middle of the food chain as the small business owner, are now getting it from both ends.

        • MarioP

          Mike from Iowa,

          I think you missed my point. I was pulling Joann’s leg, since she believes that high taxes will diminish the drive to succeed. Understandably there will aways be competition, because even with taxes at 50 or more percent, people will still rather make over $250K, even if paying high taxes for all their profits over that $250K rather than work for peanuts. And don’t forget about all those business deductions you can write off, like the company car, office furniture and equipment, business lunches and trips, all of which can easily be used for private and not only for business use. So, that $250K bracket can easily reach beyond $300K due to all such tax deductions that only the business owners can benefit from. Don’t pity yourself too much.

        • http://jacobsmits.freehostia.com Jacob Smits

          Yes mike, and when all the cash is in the hands of the few, no one has money for business. When all the cash is in the hands of illegitimate fraudster bankers and “investor” types, trust fund baby’s who’ve never worked an honest day, then no one has cash for your service. Then there is no dry cleaning, unless your cleaning the suit of some rich asshole who has a different one for every day of the year.

          • KD

            Jacob, can you truly be that naive? Where do you think the rich are hoarding all that money? In a mattress?

      • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

        Uh, MarioP, what you proposed in the carpet-cleaning business is closely related to creating a monopoly, which is unlawful. You want there to be less competition so you won’t have to work so hard to stay successful? The slippery slope there is that you will begin to employ harder tactics to prevent other entrepreneurs from forming competing business lines. Where does it end? When your goons begin attacking the employees of other upcoming carpet cleaning businesses? History has shown that this is what happens when monopolies are allowed to thrive. Read the history behind the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. As being rich, everyone in this country is entitled to live their lives they way they want to. Some people think being rich is a great goal, some people think having five kids is the American gream. Hey- who am I to tell others what their goals should be?

        • MarioP

          Hey Aida,

          You too don’t understand my point? I’m not creating a monopoly with my carpet cleaning business, even though I hope to be the only carpet cleaning company in town. I’m not going to force anyone out, nor will I buy anyone out. Per you and the Right, the high taxes discouraged everyone to participate in my business, and that is how I’m the only one still willing to work and pay 50% in taxes. That’s not monopoly. Anyone willing to start a business and pay those 50% in taxes is free to join me.

          And about one’s goals, some people’s goal is to have the rich pay their fair share in taxes. So don’t be preventing them achieving their goal.

  • Kenneth McKinney

    Tax System explained in beer….

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beers and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

    If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

    The fifth would pay $1.

    The sixth would pay $3.

    The seventh would pay $7.

    The eighth would pay $12.

    The ninth would pay $18.

    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.’

    Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

    So the first four men were unaffected. They would still
    drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying
    customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).

    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
    continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    ‘I only got a dollar out of the $20,’ declared the sixth man.

    He pointed to the tenth man,’but he got $10!’

    ‘Yeah, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!’

    ‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should
    he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the
    breaks!’

    ‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison.
    ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!’

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, this is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics
    University of Georgia

    For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
    For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

    • MarioP

      Prof. Kenneth McKinney,

      That is a nice fable, which any layman should be able to follow. But I do have a question. What should the bar owner do about that $20 he is not going to receive from these bar patrons? He still needs to pay for his own bills. Should he just charge it on his creditcard?

      • KD

        MarioP, you could not have missed the point any more if you had been deliberately trying. Clearly you fall into the “for those who do not understand, no explanation is possible” crowd. I strongly suggest a move to Cuba. They think a lot like you there.

        • MarioP

          KD,

          You mean many Cubans are responsible spenders and they care about how much is being charged on their creditcards? Good for them. I wish more people here would have that same mentality and not just charge deficits to new heights so the next generations have to worry about it. Do some research and see the massive federal debt the last three Republican presidents left us with. They cared more about buying off the public with lower taxes rather than paying for their ever increasing budgets.

          And since you’re doing your research, why not educate yourself even further. Average out for the last half a century the annual unemployment rates, unemployment rate changes, GDP changes, inflation rates, federal deficits, and the stock market changes by combining the presidents of the two political parties and see how peachy those numbers come out for the last five Republican presidents compared to the last four Democratic ones. I can just see you trying to blame the Congress for the Republican incompetence.

    • J. Miller

      This is one of the simplest and yet brilliant arguments I’ve ever seen on the current tax debate (or the tax question in this country generally). I’ve been lamenting recently that not even the conservative media seem to be able to talk intelligently about your subject but continue to use the stupid “tax cuts for the rich” arguments or my favorite: Dick Gephardt’s famous line that the rich are those “who have WON life’s lottery” as if they just “fell into it”. This country, up until recently, used to praise the hard working man (or woman) who worked their proverbial asses off and became rich or, as in the case of even Steven Spielberg, not only worked his ass off but was “lucky” enough to do something he loved and just happened to become a billionaire because of it.
      THANK YOU for this post. (By the way, I’m not even close to being rich myself and have had some serious financial setbacks in the last decade, but I sure as hell don’t want to “take from the rich” that they’ve worked so hard for to help me out).

      I know this would be unconstitutional, but I wish schools would make kids take mandatory economics classes to explain to those liberal idiots how the economy really works and, of course, not espouse silly socialist “Robin Hood” redistribution of wealth arguments.

  • Pingback: Thank God for Rich People - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

    • tal

      Bernie Goldberg says, “…the bottom 50 percent of tax filers pay a paltry 2.7 percent of our federal income taxes. How many poor people do you think their tax dollars are taking care of?”

      That’s a pretty low blow considering the bottom 50% of households earn less than $33K… they ARE the poor, and I bet many even give part of that paltry income to charity.

      In fact, ‎”…The latest survey of consumer expenditures by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the poorest one-fifth of American households contributed an average of 4.3 percent of their income to charitable organizations in 2007, while the richest fifth donated 2.1 percent of their income. The pretax household income of the poorest fifth averaged $10,531 in 2007, while the top fifth averaged $158,388. The discrepancy is even more notworthy because charitable gifts from the poor are effectively not tax-deductible because the poor don’t earn enough to justify itemizing their deductions…”
      http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=253300040

      Let’s just be decent human beings instead and look for the common ground, so we can begin to fix the problems we face rather than just attacking one another.

      Has anyone considered that, instead of over-taxing the rich, common solutions might be found in a major overhaul of our tax code? Or that income inequality might be addressed through lobbyist reforms, and campaign finance reforms, and other improvements, such that create not less / not more / but BETTER government regulations for fair market practices?

      Our crooked government officials are happy to see us distracted by infighting. But what we REALLY NEED TO BE DOING is holding THEM accountable to real transpartisan solutions. Let’s unite ourselves for solutions that allow us to return to a level of peace and harmony amongst each other.

  • http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/ Ellie Velinska

    Thank you for your opinion on the Bible – it was very refreshing.

  • Benny

    Thank you Bernie for that great article, please continue keeping the Left chasing their tails. There is nothing we can do to help them if they’re clueless about wealth, they don’t get it and they never will.

  • Maria

    All I know is that I worked overtime last month. My gross pay was 141 dollars of which I saw a whopping 80 dollars. It might only be 2.7 percent of the overall tax income but I am definitely paying more than my fair share and I don’t make near to 250,000 a year! I don’t vilify the rich but I sure am jealous of them. They don’t have to worry about how to get their kids to college or how they will buy presents for Christmas.

    • Konrad Lau

      There is no crime in wanting to improve your lot in life. One of the great motivators to excel is seeing examples of what can be achieved.

      Keep working, you will get there if you apply yourself!

    • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

      hey Maria- I submitted the below comment last night. There is no cause to be jealous of seeing others with more material wealth when you know what some people went through to have what they have. This is an incredible country in that you can be born poor and minority and make a lot of $$$, if that is what you are determined to do! I started out with a nursing degree from City University of NY (community college) and planned (and PAID FOR) every step of my career. I don’t make a million dollars a year but I am VERY SATISFIED with what I have in life and share it now with those that helped me, namely my family and friends! Instead of envy, take it as a ROADMAP:
      Way to go Bernie! Finally someone fighting back hard against the class warfare that the lefty libs are waging. Since when are rich people not Americans, deserving the same rights against government taking as anyone else?? I was born a poor Asian-American in Harlem, NYC. My parents NEVER took a dime of government assistance. My father had a science degree and worked in a lab at a Harlem hospital. My mom was a waitress. They saved every penny, had no TV or car, and saved enough to buy a house in Queens. They put every penny they saved into my education and extracurricular music lessons and tutoring. I went on to nursing school (which elevated me into middle class income) and worked as such through my way in law school at night. Today I am considered one of the “rich” by the liberals’ standards ($200K+). Nobody in the government helped me with any tuition/rent/food/books/subway assistance. I wiped patient butts and suctioned body fluids through my way in law school. This government could have cared less about me then. But now, that I seem to have some money in my pocket, the government is all over me sticking their hands in my pocket? The government can TAKE A HIKE as far as I am concerned. I have done my part AND THEN SOME and I don’t owe the government, the middle class or the poor one more dime that the 40+% in taxes I already pay between federal, state and local taxes. Oh, and my property taxes. I give to charities I -not the phony 501(c)(3) organizations set up by crooked politicians- deem worthy. I do MORE than most Americans so they can kindly remove their hands from my pocket. Other than that, I don’t owe anyone but my family and friends and I take care of them. So, Bernie, a big AMEN to what you wrote!

  • John

    Mr. Goldberg, do the rich get rich by trade in America? Doesn’t the money have to come from someone like a customer? If the poor spend their money, are there not sales taxes? If the poor do not spend their money, is income created elsewhere? Does the richest people not have employees? Do they not labor for his benefit in addition to their own?

    To put it simply, your argument exist in a vacuum where there is no movement of capital. While I agree that we should salute our industrious business leaders, to think they create wealth without labor or customers is to oversimplify the economy.

  • Chaya

    As soon as that sentence about Jesus came out of your mouth and that you don’t care what the Bible says, I knew you’d get flack for that! For the future, I found this web site which talks about religious tradition and wealth. http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2010/09/jewish-thoughts-on-wealth.html

  • Lowell Harward

    I was disappointed in Bill O’Riley’s missing the correct “God” perspective about rich and poor, poverty and wealth. The Parable of the Talents as described in Matthew 25:14-30 shows that God gives “talents” to all based on their respective abilities. Talents were considered money, but could be any personal resource. A person with a “talent” or gifting actually honors God by applying his personal resources to make money, to do personal exploits in Science, or any kind of significant achievement. In this parable the servent who does NOTHING with his talent, is condemned while those who make their talents grow are awarded even more. Bernie, you are “right-on” about this.

  • MarioP

    I can not believe so many of you are so shocked that Mr. Goldberg does not care about what the bible says. Let me give you all a hint:

    “GOLDBERG”

    Now, what religion do you all think Mr. Goldberg is?

    • Victor

      I agree. Do Christians care what the Torah says? I doubt the average Joe even knows a single verse from the Jewish holy book.

      • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

        FYI: The Jewish holy book is the Christians’ Old Testament.

    • Cam

      This comment is unjustified. Mr. Goldberg was simply making the point that a secular state (albeit under God) does not operate on theological principles. Read your Bible I think Jesus said “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s.”

      • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernie

        Cam

        THANK YOU!!!! That was precisely my point. I hope you send an email to O’reilly at OReilly@foxnews.com

        Bernie

    • Melissa Scribner

      You have missed Mr. Goldberg’s point. He may have seemed tactless in the way that he stated that we do not have a theocracy in this country, like Iran, but all he was saying is that the Bible was IRRELEVANT to the issue being discussed – not that he doesn’t believe in the Bible. Remember, stoning for adultery is in the Bible. Do we really want to incorporate everything in the Bible into our Constitution?

  • Cam

    Bernie; While the Democrats are attempting socialist class warfare which has been largely discredited in other western democracies years ago … the Republicans should think outside the box. They should at least CONSIDER switching to a consumption tax. May view on taxation, at least for the past decade, is very simple:

    Abolish Income Tax, Estate Tax, Property tax, and business licensing taxes and replace it with one single consumption tax which is then divided between the three levels of government.

    Reasons:
    1. Unless you are a devoted Socialist imposing a tax on “making money” is completely irrational. If the purpose of the State is to serve the people why would you impose a penalty on people and corporations who are successful in making money? I note that the owner of the New York Yankees does not impose a tax on his players for every home run which they hit.

    2. A consumption tax which exempts necessities is intrinsically equitable. It may come as a complete shock to Washinton but the fact is that the poor consume less than the wealthy. Therefore the high income earner will ultimately pay more tax than the person who is operating near the poverty line. This reality will eliminate all the complexities now existing in our tax act which are proclaimed to socially engineer a “just society.”

    3. As the income tax act currently stands corporations have to continuously adjust their business plans to minimize their taxes and if they fail to do so they will ultimately pay the price as their shares plummet on the market. This produces a vast misallocation of funds by corporations as they try to harmonize their business plans with the social engineering which comes out of Washinton. The net result is a slowing of growth, increased unemployment, lower wages for workers etc. All this misallocation of funds and resources would be eliminated and focussed on making money under the consumption tax regime.

    3. A society funded by a consumption tax would dramatically reduce the lobbying and corporate cronyism. After all, much of the lobbying is directed towards obtaining a special tax consideration for a specific industry. [check out the so called “green industries” if you are looking for empirical proof]

    4. A consumption tax is infinitely more fair to the lower income bracket. Under our existing regime a large corporation can through the use of tax lawyers and tax accountantants find a plethora of perfectly legal techniques to minimize their tax whereas non of these tools are available to the average wage earner even if he could afford the tax accountant. I invite you to complete the following formula: Chase Manhatten’s actual tax paid/Banks total income x 100 = x% —– Bernie Goldberg’s secretary’s actual tax paid/Secretary’s total income x 100 = y%. I strongly doubt whether x will equal y.

    5. Under a consumption tax regime the message from government is (a) we don’t care how much money you make just pay the consumption tax if you spend money (b) get out there and do lots of buying and selling because we need the tax dollars to cover our salaries and our pensions.(c) we don’t even care whether you keep financial records since we no longer tax based on income. The psychological boost to society would be such that inflation would become the prime concern.

    6. It would enhance social mobility which all these politician continuously say is one of their concerns. That is, if Suzie and Billie marry and have a dream to open up a restaurant they are immediately confronted with the problem of seed capital. Under our current tax regime saving is problematic. Under a consumption tax regime they could simply elect not to spend and the tax savings would ultimately generate the seed capital required.

    7. Under the present regime it is actually doubtful as to how much control the federal government has over the economy. With the advent of credit cards, they no longer have control over the supply of money in the system. With the abandonment of the gold standard and the movement to fiat money there is no external control over government’s printing of money. Since all of keynsian economics is premised on the fact that there is a fixed amount of money in the system which is the result of a defined monetary policy … the sad fact is that the Keynsian tools are completely disfunctional. [check out how well the Obama stimulus program has worked if you doubt this proposition] In contrast a consumption tax regime provides the government with tools which are more refined than a sledgehammer. Example: If the fishing industry is suffering they can reduce the incidence of tax temporarily on fish and seafood. If asbestos [which science has shown causes health problems] is flooding the market the incidence of tax on asbestos could be increased to a prohibitive rate. If socialists became a nuisance the tax on Karl Marx’s books could be increased etc.(I jest) This would provide an infinitely more refined tool to effect monetary policy than currently is employed.

    8. The collection of tax revenue would be greatly simplified and tax evasion would almost be eliminated except for the black market which will exist in any event. You will note that not even the Chase Manhatten could devise an effective scheme to avoid the G.S.T. It occurs at the time of sale of the goods or services and automatically through bank transfers finds itself in the Government Treasury.

    9 Government would have a continuous cash stream which would obviate the costs of interim borrowing while they wait the flood of tax money at tax time.

    10. Government efficiency would occur since municipal and statel tax bureaucracies would become redundant.

    11. The bureaucrats would have to change their mind set. If they want taxes to flow to the government so that their bureaucracy can operate, they can get their guaranteed salary and pension, they have to ensure that the society is doing lots of buying and selling. Under the present regime, when Suzie and Billie decided that they wanted to start a restaurant the bureaucracies sets up a variety of hurdles they have to jump over, business license, licquor licence, health inspectors, and a myriad of forms to complete. All of the foregoing justifies the bureaucrats existence. Under the consumption tax scheme the bureaucrat’s mindset is as follows: I want my salary and pension which is entirely dependent upon Suzie and Billie doing lots of buying and selling. I have to get Suzie and Billie out buying and selling as quickly as possible for my own self interest. ” Here are a few simple forms to complete … oh let me help you so that you can get out there buying and selling and I can get back to sleep.”

    Closing note: I suspect I have a few detractors namely (a) all those corporations which survive because of preferential tax provisios (b) every accountant who now would be forced to earn a living by assisting people and corporations to increase their profits rather than making endless amounts of money on income tax returns and writing financial history otherwise called accounting records, (c) tax lawyers (d) all the bureaucracies at every level of government, (d) left wingers who thrive on ensuring that the people are dependent upon the government, (e) the unemployed who now would have all kinds of job possibilities, (f) Liberals and progresives because the paradygm shift would simply be too much for this “intellectual elite” to absorb (g) labour unions because wages would ultimately be related to productivity (h) a plethora of government workers who would find their jobs redundant and would be forced into the real economy.

    Other than those insignificant groups I can foresee my plan being accepted with overwhelming enthusiasm.
    Cameron.

    None of the foregoing suggests that the Government would be expected to run on less

  • http://bdschutt@embarqmail.com DiAnn Schutt

    Bernie,
    I agree with Kurt in Tennessee in some of the things he had to say. As a Christian,
    however, I believe the verse in the Bible we are discussing means. .. ‘ Often when one
    becomes rich, they forget who allowed them to be so blessed and they no longer
    need God and the path that He has laid out for us in His Word.’ I’ve witnessed it for
    myself and have known men to wake up before it was to late. I’ve also known those who are rich who give not only 10 percent, but much more. If it wasn’t for men & women like the rich, this country would not have the schools,
    hospitals, parks, churches, museums, Olympics for Handicap Children, etc. etc. etc..

    Bernie, $250,00 a year is not rich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When you have a husband &
    wife both working, living ing in a city, paying taxes, raising a family………….$250,000
    is middle class not rich. So does one get a divorice so that the husband can then
    make $125,000 & the wife make $125,000 a year and escape a tax hit? I might
    add, this is while paying back college loans!!!!!!!!!!

    This is all so crazy, it makes me want to scream at these FAR Left!!!!!!!!!

    Thank You, Thank you Bernie. Keep up the good work. God loves you & so do I.

    My husband of 45 years is Bernie & he is in your camp as well.

    I thank God for You, Bill O’ for looking out for those of us who have worked our butt’s
    off for what we have and regret the jealous ‘Far Left’ for their blind eyes that is tearing
    our country apart.

    Di from WA.

    • talers

      If you think $250,000 is not significant, try living like the majority of Americans on less than $70,000 annually (yes, that is the average median income for dual salary families in the US). And, yes, many of these folks also have to struggle with paying for some amount of college loans.

      I don’t support wealth redistribution, but your whining above is not pretty. Be thankful for what you DO have, because believe me, at $250,000 annually, you are VERY FORTUNATE.

  • Earl McKinney

    Thanks Bernie! I would donate to a statue for the rich. Maybe we need several of them, say, one in California, one in Nevada, one in Massachusetts and maybe several more for them to look at daily and have a conipition (spelling) fit and make it without a microphone so the rest of the country doesn’t have to listen to them. It is not about the rich and redistribution of wealth….it is a money grab and a source of revenue for them. I hope the rest of the country wakes up to their socialist agenda and put them oout on the streets where they belong. Maybe we should send them a cup to use to raise revenue.

  • Tate

    I consider myself a Tea Party conservative, and I understand that rich folks make the world go around, but Mr Goldberg’s comment on The Factor, “If Jesus were alive, he would be a liberal Democrat” is deeply offensive. I’ll remind you Mr. Goldberg that in Christianity Jesus is without sin. He transcends any notion of politics, which is run by man, not God. In my prayers I thank God for my family, health, friends and never do I thank God for rich people bailing out other rich people. Your article is a train wreck and I one day I think you will regret writing it, if you don’t already.

    • Larry

      Amazing. The religious zealots waste time and energy quoting the Bible. It seems there are those that have forgotten the separation of church and state, as part of our constitution, and mainstay of the Democratic left wing position, doesn’t exist. The reality is, the Bible has no role in the economic affairs of this country, as opposed to theocracies in other parts of the world. The Bible and God has everything to do with the moral code and fiber of our country and is the foundation for this great nation ABSENT the economy. As for the rich ( count me in ), many like myself support an array of charities without being asked, and when asked, support even more. My only requirement, that 75 % of every dollar raised go to those in need. By the way, the $64 question to all your brilliant people out there that seem to be so enlightened, intelligent and self-impressed: How much of every dollar raised by the U.S. government taxed and raised for purposes of welfare, or any particular program to help the needy actually finds its way to the needy? ANSWER: 5 CENTS. The remaining 95 cents is buried in administrative costs to pay an array of unnecessarily hired and lazy federal employees to finally deliver the nickle to someone in need. THAT’S WHY WE NEED THE WEALTHY !!! The well to do make things work, make things work efficiently, give bonuses, promotions, and give to charity. Don’t believe the class warfare subterfuge……its simply used to garner votes from people who can’t think for themselves due to media and political brainwashing ultimately keeping them dependent and un-employed, and their children and grandchildren in the same place, for votes. No different than causing someone to be kept as chemically ( drug ) dependent.

      • John

        Larry, you claim that economics is not influenced by religion. You claim that religion has a role in morality. Is our economy not made of business like your own? Do you therefore run your business devoid of morality? If so, why do you give to charity? In an environment absent of morality, would it not make more sense to reinvest that money into your business to reap the highest return? If you are able to reap a higher return by giving to charity, why then do you own a business?

    • Richard Warangel

      Tate your correct. Jesus would neither be democrat or republican, socialist or capitalist . . . he would believe in stewardship and his allegiance would be to God not Milton Friedman or Sol Alinsky. Bernie’s comment was ignorant. Likewise, his comment on the rich man on heaven which has a lot of layers to it and is not simply a religious verse but has a generalist commentary on the difficulty of people to give up material things and focus. Here’s a case where Goldberg was faced with things he did not understand and instead of saying so or that he would have to read up on the context, etc. … instead attacked, i.e. when you don’t have a good answer, attack. That’s pretty repugnant and stupid to alienate others for no reason.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernie

      Sorry, Tate. I do NOT regret writing it. Not at all. And I don’t think I will.

      Bernie

    • Melissa Scribner

      I, too, am a tea party member, and I am quite comfortable with Mr. Goldberg’s comments, except that I disagree that Christ would be a liberal democrat. Christ would support a good work ethic, such as that exemplified in the Parable of the Talents. I am not resentful of the rich. If wealth is honestly gained, I admire them, and am grateful for their generosity to society. Why do you say they limit their generosity to “other rich people”? That is bigoted.

  • Cmbmedic

    Mr. Goldberg should be ashamed of his “disregard for biblical scripture,” cited on Bill O’Reilly on Monday December 13, 2010 referencing his “Thank God for Rich People.” I detest his comment about Jesus being a ultra liberal advocating social justice. Please remember our mandate as humans is to be close to God and live in holiness which Jesus preaches. Our treasures lie in heaven and where all people accumulate based on their free will. These are the people we should thank our God exist.

  • B

    The rich should thank the poor, because in the vast majority of cases the houses they live in, the cars they drive, the clothes they wear, and the food they eat were prepared by the sweat of the poor. From a spiritual perspective, the NT early Christians consecrated all their wealth to the entire community, as did the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(Mormons). The latter changed the name of the city they had gathered to from Commerce to Nauvoo(which means beautiful in Hebrew) in a symbolic move after they rejected capitalism and adopted the law of consecration, a cooperative economic system. They quickly, as a community, out prospered the surrounding neighbors. The way they looked at it was none of us own the riches we have, its all Gods. None of created a particle of sand on the earth, or a hair on their heads. The talents we have are a gift also. Its all God’s and He wants us to share the material riches of the earth equally with His sons and daughters. Anyone who has more than their true needs, who pamper themselves with unneeded luxury is stealing from God and love riches more than the needy. Looking at it another way, the market is not fair. Ten guys enduring 100 degree heat and framing a building may make 10 bucks an hour and can barely feed their families, while an architect makes 1000 an hour working in a comfortable air conditioned office. Neither likely could do the others jobs, the architect may take ten minutes to hammer in a nail and have to go to the emergency room after a few hours in the heat. All parties are needed to succeed in creating the wealth, the hands and feet are just important as the head, yet one is paid far more than he needs, and others don’t have enough for their needs, yet if the architect would just keep what he needs and the rest is spread out to those in need, everyone would have enough to cover their needs.

    • Melissa Scribner

      As a Mormon, please note, readers, that the Law of Consecration was and will be (we believe it will exist again in the millenium) completely VOLUNTARY. People can live amongst such a community without participating. Force, such as government taxation, is non-existent in such a way of life. Christlike love is the operative motivation, and only spiritually evolved people can live it. The American people as a whole are not there yet.

    • John Hess

      Complete and utter hogwash. I’m sure an Architect could hammer in a nail. Who do you think these people are? Many of them probably put themselves through school in construction. Besides, given a few days of training, he could frame a house just as well as the unskilled workers who are paid 10 dollars an hour to do it. The unskilled workers would have to go through years of expensive schooling in engineering, mathematics, and aesthetics to do what the Architect does.

  • kevin

    I always thought you were a stand up guy in the past. You’re comments about the bible are unacceptable, but I’m glad you said them so we can all know the real Bernie Goldberg. I will NEVER buy or support anything from you, and we will turn O’Reilly off immediately when you appear. You are a true dirtbag.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernie

      Kevin

      For a guy who professes to love Jesus, your comments are very UN-Jesus like. Very UN-Christian. Very Mean-Spirited.

      Bernie

      • kevin

        Well you know what, what you said was totally shocking. Why don’t you think a little more about what you said. And the thing about it was that you didn’t even realize what you said at the time, you just carried on, no slip of the tongue, no poor choice of words. It was exactly what you meant to say. No big deal, right Bernie.

      • kevin

        The obvious problem with what you said Bernie, is to first understand you as a political conservative that doesn’t think too highly of liberal democrats. I would tend to agree with you so far. Then what you did was to put Jesus into the category of people you don’t think too highly of (liberal democrats). I don’t think I need to explain this deductive reasoning to you because I’m sure you’re a smart guy. You know what you said, and I’m assuming you meant what you said. Therein lies the problem that I have with you. You’re right that I could have made my point in more Christian-like manner.

    • Dino

      Yes Kevin I was hurt too.

  • http://dispensationalcalvinist.blogspot.com Pastor Matthew Ervin

    Bernie,

    Christ is not a democrat but holds to a pure theocracy. You should study kingdom issues in Ezekiel 40-48 and Zechariah 14.

    In any case, your insulting tone about the Savior shows me who you really are. I won’t be watching any segments with you in them anymore.

    • John Hess

      Wow – the Christian right shows it’s ugly face. PC police on the left, Christian moralists on the right.

      I totally agree with Bernie on O’Reilly. The government is not in the business of saving souls. We may borrow some ideas for Judeo-Christian tradition but this government is not a theocracy. And no, I don’t need to read history – the 1st amendment is pretty clear about the separation of church and state.

      • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernie

        John

        Thanks a million for your intelligent post. I hope you write to Bill O’Reilly’s show … Oreilly@foxnews.com

        You nailed it!

        Bernie

    • Larry

      Amazing. The religious zealots waste time and energy quoting the Bible. It seems there are those that have forgotten the separation of church and state, as part of our constitution, and mainstay of the Democratic left wing position, doesn’t exist. The reality is, the Bible has no role in the economic affairs of this country, as opposed to theocracies in other parts of the world. The Bible and God has everything to do with the moral code and fiber of our country and is the foundation for this great nation ABSENT the economy. As for the rich ( count me in ), many like myself support an array of charities without being asked, and when asked, support even more. My only requirement, that 75 % of every dollar raised go to those in need. By the way, the $64 question to all your brilliant people out there that seem to be so enlightened, intelligent and self-impressed: How much of every dollar raised by the U.S. government taxed and raised for purposes of welfare, or any particular program to help the needy actually finds its way to the needy? ANSWER: 5 CENTS. The remaining 95 cents is buried in administrative costs to pay an array of unnecessarily hired and lazy federal employees to finally deliver the nickle to someone in need. THAT’S WHY WE NEED THE WEALTHY !!! The well to do make things work, make things work efficiently, give bonuses, promotions, and give to charity. Don’t believe the class warfare subterfuge……its simply used to garner votes from people who can’t think for themselves due to media and political brainwashing ultimately keeping them dependent and un-employed, and their children and grandchildren in the same place, for votes. No different than causing someone to be kept as chemically ( drug ) dependent.

    • jim

      When you can create a strawberry, acorn, BABIE, the waves on the seas , then maybe you do not need to care about the Bible. SAD.SAD.Please make this right,
      . Thank you

  • Nick

    Utterly amazing when you told Orielly tonight that you don’t care what the bible has to say because we aren’t governed by it. Sir, you are not a young man and will be seeing the Creator face to face sooner rather than later. I don’t envy you having to explain that comment to him. I only hope that you do not hear these fateful words ” Depart from me for I know you not!”

    • Beth

      My sentiments exactly. It was not even so much that he said what he said. It was his tone in the way he practically spat out the words. Unfortunately for Bernie, he WILL care some day, but it will be too late.

      • MarioP

        hmmm

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernie

      Nick,

      Your sanctimony would makes Jesus sad.

      Bernie

  • http://www.grossinternational.com Kurt Gross

    Bernie,

    You missed a great chance to address the point that the Biblical word in the bible has many, many references to how God wants us to prosper. And Jesus was rich, not poor. That’ll surprise a lot of people, but they need to re-read (or is that “read”?) their Bible.

    Jesus even had a treasurer to manage his money. All too much to address here, but it’s scripturally accurate to say that God wants us to be wealthy, not poor.

    Yes, Jesus was negative about how rich people ACT but not about them actually BEING rich.

    As for the difficulty of a camel to go through the “eye of the needle”, it’s not what most people think. The “needle” that is referenced is what they called the gate into the border around the city.

    There was a gate that was closed at night and those who wanted to pass into the city after dark had to come to the gate, or the “eye of the needle” and ask for passage. It was a smaller gate than that used during the daytime.

    It’s hard to get a camel through that small gate, and it’s hard for rich people to get into heaven, not because they are rich, that is not a sin nor held against you. In fact, that has nothing to do with whether you get into heaven.

    The reason it’s hard for the rich to get into heaven is probably because they find it hard to be humble and submit their ego to God. They tend to get the “big head” and think they are god-like, etc. They can get into heaven the same way everyone else can, but it’s just hard for them to do because the money tends to corrupt their spirit.

    Finally, our country and the Bible are very much connected, and you threw that under the bus tonight. You didn’t hurt the Bible and you didn’t hurt the USA, but your credibility was hurt by your lack of understanding of the connection between America and God.

    The USA is the only country in the world that DOES put God as a central part of it’s makeup, and I think that’s part of why America has been blessed. Just my opinion, ok?

    Despite all this, I like your article, your perspectives on O’Reilly and your work. And now you know even more, so keep up the good work Bernie.

    Kurt in Tennessee

    • Eileen James

      Bernie be careful saying “I don’t care what the bible says” God can strike you dead (if he chooses to do so). You breath because of him, show some respect!

    • Cindy Elliott

      Thank you Kurt in TN for clarifying the Bible verses mentioned. I appreciate Bernie’s wisdom in appreciating the contributions of the wealthy. Besides their huge tax “donation,” many museums and libraries have been built and/or donated by the wealthy for us to enjoy and learn from. Let’s respect every individual and learn from those that have used business sense to make their money and resoures work for them. Was it not Jesus who encouraged thankfulness!

    • Melissa Scribner

      Your point about the “Eye of the Needle” is why I logged on, so I could make that exact point. Now that I have found it expressed, I don’t need to. Readers, it’s critical to understand this interpretation of the Bible, and O’Reilly needs to know this as well. Wealth is not an evil thing. And it is not IMPOSSIBLE for the rich to attain heaven.

  • Bernie

    Bernie, Isn’t there something just basically wrong for a TV personality, sports figure, CEO, hedge fund manager, etc. to earn more in a week or month than an educated, hard working person will earn in 50+ years of working? The divide from top to middle has gotten a bit extreme especially when you consider that the money that pays the salaries mentioned earlier comes mostly from the middle class. All advertising & CEO pay gets passed from corporations to the consumer in product prices, programming fees get passed to consumers in their cable bills, and what chance does the average Joe’s 401K plan have against the Wall Street guru’s. The average person lost a lot in their 401K plan while Wall Street traders made multi-million dollar bonuses. Did you ever wonder where the money came from to pay those bonuses?

    As for the jobs … the only jobs created by the positions mentioned above are the jobs that the CEO’s created in other countries and perhaps a few house keepers, maids, butlers, and gardeners. The vast majority of the jobs that were lost are now overseas and I don’t see any being returned by “rich”. So you’ll have to pardon me for disagreeing and basically saying you’ve got it reversed. The rich should be thanking the middle and low income for paying their enormous salaries.

    • Phalen

      No, there is nothing wrong with someone making tons more than someone else. We have economies of scale so few dollars from one willpay the salaries of those few, and those CEOs can make tons because the increase the value of their corp and Joe middle class can invest his 401k in that company. I want the companies I invest in to have extremely well paid, competent leaders. Those rich people get richer by creating products and services that make our lives better. The richer they are, the more they can invest and I’ll never be as rich, but instead of being envious, I choose to just be thankf for what I have and maximize my own potential.

      • Eric

        Those ‘rich people’ get ‘richer’ by owning your government, and firing as many people as they can when they merge with other companies.

        There’s nothing noble about worshiping wealth or corporations at all.

        It’s pretty despicable actually.

    • Phalen

      By the way, you use the word “divide” which insinuates that the pool of money is divided and the more the rich get the less there is for the poor. That isn’t the case. If I have $300k and have a house built for $300k then I break even. I put $300k into society and I have an asset, a house, worth $300k. My $300k has turned into $600k when you look at my asset and the money
      Axe by the builder and contractors and willpower, etc. Same is true for the rich. Those guys get rich by creating a bigger pie, not by taking another piece.

  • Frank

    Nice beat-down on the liberal, Steve~

    Just FYI, the private sector has transferred over $14 TRILLION dollars to the non-profits and charitable causes over the past 40 years. That is more than the combined budgets of the last 200 administrations and all of the Congresses! The philanthropy of the wealthy is the only thing we can be proud of in that period…because 40 years of LIBERAL policies are what have created all the other serious ‘problems’ in this nation. I think that every liberal should be sentenced to a one-year minimum sentence in a third-world or impoverished nation. Maybe when they got home (and kissed the ground), they might be more thankful, and less demanding and hateful.

  • Ron

    The liberals simply want to control major spending so all citizens will be dependents…They had their chance, spent our money on everything except
    producing jobs…The so-called ‘rich’, filthy rich and super-rich are the supporters
    of our economic system because of where they put their money…they are capitalists of the highest order and without them we can surrender to socialism..

    If you want to see what 6 or 700 billion dollars ( that were not taken from the rich to be squandered by the government ) can do for the economy, just watch !

    This is what the Obama administration is now whining about…they had the USA
    populus all set to fade away into the socialism that the rest of the world is choking on….Liberals don’t understand how the economy works but starving the engines of investment is a sure and deliberate way to shut it down, take it over for conversion to a welfare state entirely…

    People are not spending until they have confidence in the economy…letting private capital lead will at least slow down the printing presses that are quickly eating away the value of dollar ! Thank God for the rich, the so-called rich, and all other descriptions of those who save and invest in our economy…for it benefits all citizens… Yes it increases tax collections and that is a prime benefit to the government that has scant ability to run anything except currency printing presses.

    And Thank God for the Tea Party for standing up and voting for America to have another chance…but most of all, thank Obama for causing citizens to wake up and take back what makes America unique in all the world !

  • http://www.yahoo.com Aida

    Way to go Bernie! Finally someone fighting back hard against the class warfare that the lefty libs are waging. Since when are rich people not Americans, deserving the same rights against government taking as anyone else?? I was born a poor Asian-American in Harlem, NYC. My parents NEVER took a dime of government assistance. My father had a science degree and worked in a lab at a Harlem hospital. My mom was a waitress. They saved every penny, had no TV or car, and saved enough to buy a house in Queens. They put every penny they saved into my education and extracurricular music lessons and tutoring. I went on to nursing school (which elevated me into middle class income) and worked as such through my way in law school at night. Today I am considered one of the “rich” by the liberals’ standards ($200K+). Nobody in the government helped me with any tuition/rent/food/books/subway assistance. I wiped patient butts and suctioned body fluids through my way in law school. This government could have cared less about me then. But now, that I seem to have some money in my pocket, the government is all over me sticking their hands in my pocket? The government can TAKE A HIKE as far as I am concerned. I have done my part AND THEN SOME and I don’t owe the government, the middle class or the poor one more dime that the 40+% in taxes I already pay between federal, state and local taxes. Oh, and my property taxes. I give to charities I -not the phony 501(c)(3) organizations set up by crooked politicians- deem worthy. I do MORE than most Americans so they can kindly remove their hands from my pocket. Other than that, I don’t owe anyone but my family and friends and I take care of them. So, Bernie, a big AMEN to what you wrote!

    • m.kitty

      Aida, I loved reading your letter. And by the way, these liberal-types keep saying or implying that people who make $250.00 a year are ‘millionaires’. I’ve heard oodles of them say it. By the time people finish paying Big Government, there isn’t a whole lot left anyway. Yet they still want more!

    • Bruce A.

      Great post! This is our current state of affairs. You are punished for your hard work by the govt.

  • Rick Rel

    When my parents came to the USA (legally), they wanted a better life for us kids. We came from a poor farming family in a 3rd world country. My parents instilled in us the value of hard work, education, and self reliance. It was once the “American Dream” to work hard and aspire to be successful and rich. I became a successful physician (not necessarily rich!). Now I see people proud to get some of Obama’s “stash”(money) or how they were able to dupe the system to get some kind of gov’t handout. What happend to the “American Dream”?…or is this the new American Dream?…God help us all if it is!!

  • Mickey

    Bernie,,,,,the Bible does govern our country. We were founded on Biblical principles and men of faith and prayer. I love you…you are wrong on what you said on Bill O’Reiily though.

  • Jim

    I asked a young, liberal friend of mine what he thought “rich” people did with their money. Do they squirrel it away in savings accounts in banks or just what do they do with their money? He’s young and smart. He agreed with me that most rich people put their money to work in investments; mostly in the markets. I then asked him what he thought would happen if all of the so-called “rich investers” in this country suddenly “cashed out” of the stock market -all at the same time. Devestation and panic of course would ensue. There would be more “pink slips” issued than anyone could possibly imagine – in short, widespread unemployment many times greater than what we are seeing now. Then I asked him, “OK, now why wouldn’t you think that the opposite happens when these people invest the money that they receive?”. His answer, “I don’t know, I’ll have to think about that a while. Sometimes when you take things to an extreme, you can see more clearly a particular point.” My answer to him, “Now you’re beginning to getting it”.

    • Ron Mead

      Jim, I would have agreed with you 5-6 years ago about rich people and investments. The ironic thing is that virtually all conservative talk radio programs and TV including Fox News urge their viewers that the free market (i.e. big business) is our key to getting out of recession rather than big government intervention BUT when their commercials come on these same radio/TV personalities are constantly advertising that their audience should invest their money in GOLD (which is effectively like stuffing your cash under the mattress). If these conservative pundits have so much faith in the free market economy, why are their advertisements telling people to take their investment capital out of american businesses and instead put it into shiny metal coins?

      • mGc

        Ron, Fox News (and others) aren’t telling their viewers to buy GOLD. They are letting a sponsor tell the viewers to but it and Fox News is collecting a fee for allowing the sponsor to state their business. You can apply this to any of the advertisers on any network. The network isn’t selling the product, the sponsors are and the networks are collecting a fee for the service. It’s called capitalism, and free market. The individual who sees this advertising is then FREE to choose however they want with respect to the product. Again, capitalism and FREE market.

  • George Pickersgill

    Just finished watching you on O’Reilly. I was starting to see your point (about the rich), until you made the sad statement that you “don’t care what the Bible has to say on this issue”. Let me see if I have this straight…. “Thank God for the Rich”, and you have no concern for God and His Word?

    In all fairness, Bill somewhat sucker-punched you with his scripture quote (taken quite out of context). Your response however was….. sad, at best.

    • Ron Mead

      On the contrary, I loved Bernie’s comment on O’Reilly saying he didn’t care what the bible has to say about the rich, and that Jesus would be a liberal democrat on all but 1 or 2 issues today.

      Bernie has hit the nail on the head of one of the most offensive conservative hypocrisies: somehow, the far right feels the need to break out the bible on any number of social issues such as same sex marriage, but conveniently fall Biblically silent when it comes to protecting their wealth from the least of their brothers. Does anyone honestly think that Jesus would be leading the way with today’s Tea Partiers to fight for the wealthiest 2% to have more money?

      Gotta love pick-n-choose Biblical morality.

      • Cathy

        The Tea Party is in favor of smaller government which translates into less spending of everyone’s money and lower taxes for everyone, i.e., people not being REQUIRED to render as much of their money to Caesar. I suspect you would find a high rate of charitable giving by individuals associated with the various Tea Party groups.

        I strongly disagree with Bernie that Jesus would be a liberal democrat. Jesus cared for individuals. Liberal democrats would take us all down the socialist/totalitarian road to serfdom in which only the collective is valued. Dissenting individuals are “re-educated.” Conservative principles enable individuals, families, communities, and nations to become their best and to come to the aid and defense of those unable to care for themselves.

      • John Hess

        We’re not a theocracy. We are a republic founded by men who had a strong beliefs – but we are not governed by a religious doctrine.

        And there is a difference between the government coercing the rich to give and the rich giving on their own accord.

  • http://atlantafirearmstraining.com Brian

    I am a small business owner. We are looking to expand our business next year and we have determined that we need approximately $500,000 to accomplish what we want to do and create more jobs.

    Tell me you liberals out there – think I am going to find investors among the poor and the lower middle class? Think the poor and lower middle class have the excess money to pour into venture capital groups? Or for that matter, pour significant money into the banks in the form of deposits from which I can tap into in the form of a business loan?

    The rich don’t stuff their money into bed mattresses and sit on their yachts eating bon bons. They put their money to work helping entrepreneurs like me who one day hope to be rich ourselves and who in turn hope to use our riches to help others through our investments.

    You wealth envy/class warfare kooks have no idea NO IDEA, how the larger economy works, nor do you learn from the lessons of history.

  • Danny

    Being rich is not a crime. (Where have I heard that before?) The person making millions a year should be taxed the same percentage as the person making $100.00 a week. The rich would still pay more but the same percentage ass the poor. And get rid of ALL the loop holes.

    • http://BernieGoldberg Rick in NC

      I have a friend who is out of work. If I had some money, I would hire him to fix my car. What is that they say, “I have never been given a job by a poor person??”

    • Mario

      I agree with everything said in this post. Only thing i want to comment on is the conversation Bernie had on O’Reilly Factor. He said Jesus would have been a liberal and thats pretty far from the truth. The bible is very conservative. The scripture O’Reilly quoted was not complete and actually says this (just to set the record straight):
      Mark 10:24-27 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
      26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
      27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

      meaning if you have God in your life then its possible to goto heaven regardless of if you are wealthy. The reason its hard for wealthy people to goto heaven is because of the temptation to worship their money and not God. That’s it! Put God first and dont worship money. when you worship money you will do anything to get it even when it hurts others to get it.
      Not trying to preach but just want people to know whats up.
      Go Get Rich!!!
      M.

  • http://www.citiumwealth.com J Todd Larson

    I wrote about this exact issue in the NYT two weeks ago…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/business/05backpage-THANKTHERICH_LETTERS.html

  • http://ThankGodforRichPeople Bill Millico

    Erect a monument? Well, not necessarily but to resent those who have more, to ostrasize those who are successful, or have achieved a level of income greater than our own, to make “them” pay simply because they have more money than we do, is a true reflection of petty jealousy!! The rich are entitled to keep as much of their money as those who are categorized as middle class and lower income individuals.

    We already tax “them” at a higher rate and the progressive income tax rates are just that, i.e., “progressive” which perhaps is a word the left should become more familair with.

    • Lana Schott

      You are right, “the have nots” are jealous, irrespective of the facts that corporations and rich people create all the jobs and pay the highest taxes. But it is not good enough for these blood thirsty,bleeding heart liberals! They want to drain the rich so that no one has anything and America slips further into A broken nation, Obama’s Dream!

  • http://hemingwayreport.blogspot.com/ MerchantofVenom

    This was a first.

    The Press Conference with Bubba.

    The Messiah had to hand the ball to Clinton to advance his agenda. Then stood on the sideline and watched. Just who the hell is the President of the United States?

    A friend of mine emailed this:

    I loved it when The Omen said he had to go because he was already late getting back to My Belle Michelle. Bubba said, “I’m not stopping you from leaving” and didn’t even look back as The Omen exited stage left. That was the strangest moment I’ve ever witnessed in politics. As The Omen walked off he had the look of a man who just resigned from office. And Bubba kept on going like he never left office.

    • Bruce A.

      I thought I was seeing things. This makes our president look weaker than he actually is.

  • http://www.blurb.com/user/store/DanFarfan Dan Farfan

    While the “personal income tax” numbers appear compelling when considered in isolation, the pesky not-so-little secret about economics is that almost anything viewed in isolation will be misleading.

    Consider the gibberish currently being slung about the so-called “tax plan” and the “tax rates.” Focusing only on tax rates while discussing taxes makes about as much sense as betting on a horse based on its name. Claiming (as is so often done) that a tax policy caused an economic boom time is simply ridiculous. No tax policy could’ve stopped the PC boom or the Web boom any more than a tax policy created the PC or the Web.

    Sure “the rich” pay lots of taxes and “the poor” consume lots of services. Build a monument or not, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of a far more serious (and continuous) question, “How can America’s version of capitalism be improved?”

    If one believes that America “has got it going on economically and politically,” then “don’t need to improve it” is the answer. Fine. If rich people are heroes, then idolize them (with an idol). Also fine.

    If one believes there is room for improvement in capitalism itself, then more important and more fundamental topics (such as the role of government and the role of employers) get put on the table. Let decisions about tax rates, exemptions, incentives, credits and tax policies be consequences of applying underlying principles that derive from a philosophy, not a battle of will, negotiation or politics.

    And no, “Low tax good. High tax bad.” is not a principle, a philosophy or even a particularly clever bumper sticker. Together, we must be able to dig deeper.

    Dan
    – “The Next 10 Amendments”

    • Jim

      I recommend “Personal Responsibility” as a fundamental principle. That should really torque some people off.

  • http://dailyhowler.com/ Wil Burns

    Bernie, What I find amazing, is how the wealthy get the less fortunate folks to vote against their best interests. The efficacy of the right-wing noise machine is really a sight to behold.

  • Jeff

    Jon Stewart was right about you!

    • EMF

      Bernie, you are correct about where the money comes from. In addition, the conservative rich, middle class and poor all give more to charity than the liberals who complain so much about taxes, according to http://blog.beliefnet.com/castingstones/2008/04/conservatives-give-more-to-cha.html

      The people that are writing on this site about how self-serving, etc, etc, rich people are, remind me of spoiled kids that get Christmas gifts and only ask for more. No matter what people do for them or for others, they always want more and never say thank you. The best way to decide if you should be thankful for something is to imagine it gone. Measles? Not so much. Rich people and their tremendous contribution of tax money for the poor? Absolutely. Imagine the poverty, death, low standard of living, hopelessness and unemployment if not for the rich people and their contribution. Thank you, thank you so much for having the courage to tell the truth and even if you are vilified, the selfish, ingrates will still benefit from the rich, despite their ignorance. And by the way…. Jon Stewart is rich!

  • RBShea

    Riiiight, Bernie. Monuments to “rich people”. What a self-serving pile of bilge.
    You didn’t name names, did you? I mean the names of all the “rich” you claim have made such huge contributions to our society that we should be deeply grateful. Who exactly? Seems that history shows it was immigrants, working people, slaves who built this country with their blood and hands. Kevin Phiilips, that noted liberal, in his book Wealth and Democracy documents how the wealthy in this country have…surprise…most often built their fortunes with government contracts and monopolies. People who’ve become wealthy through actual invention and discovery understand it’s the society that enables them to succeed with their talents. If that society shrinks opportunities to only the inbred offspring of the elite…well, you wind up with Russia, China, and too many countries to name. The US is on its way to joining that list. And apparently Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and a few of their more enlightened friends don’t agree with your fawning and bowing to the “rich”. They believe taxes support us all and aren’t “philanthropy’. Your attitude would make you a fine syncophant in the court of medieval kings.

    • Tim N

      RBShea I’m sure I don’t understand your comment. I didn’t read Phillips book but I trust he mentioned Bill Gates fortune he made off of the government?

      You should find this read interesting about paying taxes:

      http://crosscut.com/2008/02/02/microsoft/11167/Microsoft-s-$528-million-Washington-tax-break/

      Although I have no facts to support this statement I would accept the fact that Microsoft’s largest customer worldwide is probably the U.S. government. So I guess Bill Gates fits the mold Phillips is speaking of.

      Or did I not read your comment correctly?

      • EMF
        • Tim N

          Bill Gates has said for years that his entire fortune will go to charity. This is not the issue. The issue is that he is an excellent business man and took advantage of every tax advantage he could to support the growth of Microsoft, just like other CEO’s. His success has also provided excellent paying jobs for thousands, world wide. And I stand by the point that Microsoft has and continues to make a fortune off of government sales.

          I don’t see the great evil that Shea references in the book by Phillips.

      • http://dailyhowler.com/ Wil Burns

        Tim, Bill Gates stole the idea for Windows from Xerox, whom Apple paid for the very same idea. He is a thief.

        • Tim N

          My understanding is that the Mouse and GUI was developed by Xerox and was released as open architecture. Xerox also developed ethernet that is the standard for networking today. Great companies often develop technologies that they permit others to duplicate. IBM did this with their personal computer and it’s basic architecture is the foundation of every PC today. This is why you see airbags, disc brakes, and other technologies developed by one company across all brands of cars.

          Apple’s products today are also a result of other companies technologies. I may be wrong but I don’t believe that the flat panes displays on Apple devices is their technology.

          Where’s the great evil in this Wil?

          • CCNV

            But Wil, Without Al Gore, we would not even have the internet.

        • Jim

          Bill Gates made his money from MSDos

    • m.kitty

      RB, you spelled ‘sycophant’ wrong.

  • Pingback: Thank God for Rich People..... - Southern Maryland Community Forums

  • Pamela Owens-Judah

    If China and India, among many others, only pay substandard wages, then is the United States partly to blame for this? We may indeed redistribute the wealth, however, it clearly does not go to the workers in these places. By allowing every Country to make what we should and used to make here in the USA, are we not contributing to this problem of low wages and poverty?
    I watched while my hometown of Mt. Airy, NC went under. Communities devastated because China makes all the textiles, socks, clothing and hosiery and just about everything else that Mt. Airy and surrounding areas’ used to make. Trade agreements? Not good for America while they are so unfair and favor others. It has cost us dearly while others reaped the wealth and the jobs. If the government didn’t want it this way, it would not be this way. Period. They make the legislation and when they complain, I cringe. They did all this. Not the American people. I also want to add that there are 300,000,000 million of us and only 545 of them, meaning Congress. If we don’t like things as they are, we can CERTAINLY change it. More power in numbers and voices. Let yours be heard instead of cowering and being fearful. Remember, 300,000,000 of us versus 545 of those idiots. Who do you think would win if we all stood up and let our voices be heard? They should be afraid of us if they had any sense at all.

    • Rick Steele

      Great Column, Bernie! I have two suggestions however. Washington D.C., a town dedicated to taking and spending OPM (other people”s money) is not the correct venue to honor the rich. The statue should be located in some bastion of capitalism, say New York or Chicago. A place dedicated to profit and freedom, not socialism. And why only one statue? There could be an entire hall of great men and women who worked their butts off to make a buck and keep the government from stealing it. One of the first should be John D. Rockefeller. Without Rockefeller’s drive and business smarts, we would not have the society we have today. Another large statue should be built to honor Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged. Her philosophy of self over state should be required reading in all high schools.

      • http://dailyhowler.com/ Wil Burns

        Ayn Rand never did a days work in her life!

        • SueT

          Writing is not work?

    • Jim

      Pam,

      In economics, it’s called the law of comparative advantage. Each country is better off if they do what they do best rather than trying to do everything themselves. If China can make textiles cheaper, then let them. Those displaced workers will eventually produce something China cannot. Everyone comes out better. In much the same way, it is better for you to focus on your job to the best of your ability and use that income to buy the other things you need, rather than trying to produce everything you need yourself. It is no different with countries.

  • Pamela Owens-Judah

    I listened to Bernie today on Schnitt and Limbaugh, also read what he had to say regarding wealthy people. I understood his meaning and know what he was saying. Without wealthy and rich successful people, where would we be in this world? In this economy? I shudder to think. People who make this kind of money do a lot for the economy and jobs, not to mention charities and investmenta in their communities. Why would we even want to take that kind of industrious person out of the picture? We do owe a lot to these rich people and I begrudge them nothing. They went out on a limb, made hugh sacrifices and give back in jobs, jobs, jobs. I have owned a business for 38 years and I give jobs to many in my community and they depend on me. I made sacrifices to start my business and done without so I could do for them in hard times. The government has their hand out every time I turn around. If it was up to the government, I would have NO business and could not serve my community and help others. The biggest job reducer is the Federal and State governments who have made it nearly impossible to realize the american dream and reap a little profit from hard work and self sacrifice. One last thing, I didn’t spend more than I took in and I didn’t take it from others so that I could spend it on nonsense and give it away to other countries while borrowing every penny I could from China to carry my entitlements. Why is the government any different than me when it comes to balancing their books and doing what’s right? The difference is, I do not have a license to steal it from others who earned it but I do pay back the community in the form of jobs and spending.

  • http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/ Ellie Velinska

    We should let Obama tax the rich for a couple of months so they can finally stop donating to the Democratic Party. May be Obama’s next campaign will be with food stamps donations.

    • John D

      Greetings,

      I applaude the rich, however I deeply applaude the middle class as they are the true back bone of the country, they are the ones who carry out the orders/desires of the rich, they too are the ones who for there whole lives have paid into social security and are now being faced with a fact they may never recieve any of the benefits….. but they are still paying (by law) into a system that has been raped, ravaged and pilvaged by who????? Only a select few who have the juice to get into the vault and its not the small time majority.
      So yes the rich “pay” a lot…. but look at the middle class without life insurance….without upcoming social security retirement benefits soon to come into there world as well as the other medical insurances that they won’t ever get even though they paid and are still paying into the system…. the takers of our society are reaping our harvest and getting richer everyday….the takers are getting everything the middle class has paid for for generations and the citizens are given an IOU card or promises of the next leadership of our country will fix everything…. well America still waits and seems to have trouble seeing the forest through the trees and is it because we spend too much time being politically correct in all we do today as well as being told many fractured fairey tales of what some say is reality and how the economy is getting stronger. It is really something when people who illegally come here in dark shadows demand our government to hand out the benefits the middle class has paid for for so long.
      God Bless America!!!!
      Merry X Mas to All who care!!!

      • Rick Rel

        John D, I agree that the middle class has done alot for the country. I think the point here is that most of the rich are not villains and actually do good for the country. We should not give into the class warfare the Left is waging.

  • Kevin Dixon

    Where does anyone think a rich person’s money goes, under their mattress? It must be put to work to be protected from the erosion of their estate. It is constantly being used in the marketplace and others are constantly benefiting from the available capital. When the dot com crash occurred in 2000 Larry Ellison, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs’ fortunes were constantly scrutinized in public because of how many billions they lost. Their money was at risk in the marketplace just like everyone else’s 401K if only a fraction of their risk. If one would counter that most of it was their own stock and options, that is the whole point. Their genius created the value of those stock options from nothing but ideas that turned secretaries in the same companies into millionaires because they too owned those same options in smaller portion. Thus, is it only envy that causes those who decry the rich to do so because the decryers are not in direct charge of more money? I say to them go out and earn your own money. Shut up and get a job. Are they angry at the consumerism of the rich? Who makes the things rich people buy? The working man. Without the rich person consuming, many people do not have a job. I live near the Viking Yacht company. When the 10% luxury tax was enacted in 1991, rich people slowed down Yacht consumption. One of two plants closed and over 900 people lost their jobs. Ancillary businesses like engine manufacturers lost business and some closed. Every ripple from that tax hurt the working person not the rich person. This soak the rich mentality is really a sickness foisted upon us by redistributionists who will not honestly admit that wealth confiscation is another (not the first) step toward tyranny.

  • frank miller

    “Millionaires” aren’t as “rich” as they used to be!!!
    the egregious “Keynesian” economic practices over the years have fractionalized the paper currency so badly that a Hot Dog shop, Ann’s , in pasadena ,MD, would be classified as “rich” because they sell over one million dollars worth of hot dogs, shakes and fries each year!! Another small business that would take a grievous hit, if the threshold is set at $1,000,000. Opressive destruction of a “successful” small business

  • M. A. Rosenthal

    It is utterly amazing how so many of you will vote against your own best interests. This is another case in point. Let us stand on the roof tops and praise the rich! What is wrong with you people? The rich is this country have paid the lowest rate of taxes in the last 10 years in the history of this country. The rich have more than doubled their income while the middle class and poor have stagnated income and made no progress in the last ten years. Maybe if the rich had paid a LIVING WAGE to their employees in the last 10 years, then maybe the taxes would be paid more equitably, because people in this country would be treated more equitably!!! Andrea Mancus – who do you know can bring up a family on what someone can make cleaning houses and trimming a rich person’s lawn? What is wrong with you? Why are your questions not more like, “Rich people why have you shipped all the good jobs out of this country? Where have all the good engineering and technical jobs gone in this country? Where have all the manufacturing jobs gone in this country? Why have you turned this country into a service country to countries like China, and Japan? Rich people what have you turned our once bustling economy into? Why have you let hedge fund managers and the banks and financial institutions in this country to cheat and gamble with American’s money, and then ask us to bail you out, only to go back and award the largest bonuses to the rich people in your company this country has ever seen, and to only go back and do what got us into this mess again? ” I just think you all have been asking the wrong questions!! I think if this country was great like it was 30 years ago, we would not be talking about rich, and poor and middle class people. We would just be talking about Americans. I think you all who think Bernie was such a great guy talking about the rich who are giving us wonderful jobs like cleaning their houses and trimming their lawns, need to rethink what the rich in this country really have done and do for us!!

    • frank miller

      opressive uS govt. regulation, unfunded mandates, taxes and tarriffs, labor union demands, and employee lethargy cause most of the business shifts to foreign nations. Your patron saint Lyndon B Johnson got the ball rolling on those!! He stole $180,000,000,000 from social security funds and his replicant bill clinton monitized the social security I,O,U.’s and by some magical incantation, paid off the deficit!!wonder of wonders!!!,now, “W” ic daily crucified for trying to do the same thing!!, it’s all Bush’s fault!!, right??

    • Tim N

      Dear M. Rosenthal, if you are cleaning houses and doing lawns, your problems are not the rich. If you are attempting to raise a family in such jobs, you are the problem. The Mexican Immigrant who cut my grass 15 years ago now owns the service plus several other companies. He praises this country that gave him the opportunity to a person who couldn’t speak english when he first came and didn’t care what his ethnic background was.

      As someone who travels the world consulting in manufacturing, your ignorance to the real issues is offensive. Please explain to me how you would fix the wage disparity between Chinese factory workers at .50 cents an hour to ours here at over $50.00 per hour with benefits. Please explain this to me.

      American companies do their best to keep jobs here. But the fact is, you will not buy an Iphone if it costs $3500.00. When you take a major assembly and apply .50 cents across the components and compare it to those costs to build it here, it is astronomical. If you look at a company like apple’s employment rate in the last 10 years in the U.S. it is substantial. Even though they manufacture overseas, this has resulted in enormous growth in employment here in the U.S. And these jobs are excellent paying jobs. The fact is that the manufacturing in China helps employ people here.

      To bring jobs back here is not an easy solution. You cannot compete with .50 cents an hour. But the government can help to return many jobs back to the U.S. I won’t waste my time explaining here as based upon your text you would never accept what is neccessary.

      • M. A. Rosenthal

        First of all, you are not talking to someone who has no knowledge of the business community. I have owned and ran, successfully 3 businesses in the last 30 years, and I am one of those rich who would not benefit with a higher tax rate. Look in the past historically how they always equalized unfair trade. Tariffs. I know many of you don’t like an isolationist policy, but it is somewhat necessary right now if you have any allegience as an American and if you feel your country is worth saving financially. And no Tim these are not good jobs in a mostly service economy to a manufacturing economy as China is now. No country worth its salt lets its economy fall from manufacturing as this country has. So now we service, service, and these jobs are not nearly as good as jobs that come from a primarily manufacturing economy. Take a look at what Canada is doing presently and you will get a way to successfully solve some of these problems. So, don’t tell me about ignorance! Why don’t you do a little reading?

        And Frank M. if you want to throw the unions at us, why don’t you look at how dissipated Union membership has gotten in the last 30 years. Unions are not your boogie man anymore – they do not have the clout, money or membership. The right took care of that. They also took care of deregulation which resulted in the financial crisis in the last 2 years.
        I own a employment business for high tech occupations. I cannot tell you how many well educated engineers, accountants, etc have lost their jobs to greedy companies who have sent those portions of their companies oversees. Guess what no jobs for the upper middle class, middle class, or lower class. In an economy that makes things, there are jobs for everyone.

        Yes, Tim, the government has to be the main adjustment in bringing jobs back to America!

        • Kevin

          The government will bring back jobs? How? In Canada where I spend a lot of time, you need a minimum 20% down on home loans. Barney, Dodd Waters and other Libs/socialists pushed for same day 0% down loans so all can share in the American dream. Is that the same government that’ll save us? Get real.

        • Tim N

          Raising duty rates and taking an isolationist stance as you state is destiny to disaster. Canada is a member of the G8 but their exports of natural resources provides them the ability not to have the trade deficits as us and take a look at their land mass in comparison to population. They don’t have the social problems we do. Our welfare numbers dwarf theirs relative to population. Check out their labor rates! I was laid off 30 years ago by a company that sent the manufacturing to Canada for that very reason.

          Never is the answer to raise taxes as you suggest. You want $3500.00 Iphones and $700.00 vacuum cleaners. I consult with American Manufacturers and they are not your enemy.

          Why don’t we try something new. Why don’t we eliminate taxes for public corporations or in fact all companies. If you owned a business you would know that inventory is derived from two methods, profits or debt. In MN the corporate tax is 50%. How can a small business build and expand in an economy where there profit structures are half what they were before the crash and what is left, half is taken by the government.

          Start raising duty rates and all you will do is start trade wars worldwide. When the U.S. takes action as this, consequences occur. Smaller countries like Canada can take independent approaches. The U.S. can’t because the size of our market and economy dwarf’s countries like Canada.

    • EMF

      I can tell you why the jobs left to other countries. The liberals imposed suffocating regulations, union wages and benefits, and an excrutiating litigious business environment in the U.S. that gave business owners no choice but to globalize labor to be able to compete with the rest of the world. It is a huge risk and hassle to build products in other countries, but just like oppressive taxes on rich people that provide jobs, if you discourage something enough… it will vanish.

    • Jim

      Taxing the “Rich” more does not earn the “Middle Class” one cent more.

  • pkd

    YOU are 100% right. Too bad so many Americans cannot see the logic of your statements.

  • frank miller

    Bernie, you should be given the “Sophia” Award (Wisdom).
    you are one of the rare few that understand!
    Please convey the premise that a “millionaire” as understood in 1968 could buy a million dollars worth of goods or services …today he would only receive $100,000 worth, .eg a loaf of bread was $0.25, today it is $2.50, gasoline and heating oil is worse, etc. To match that “millionaire” status today, he would have to have $100,000,000. and WORSE than that, the louses, contumelious reprobates, in congress are themselves, “millionaires”!

  • Hypocrisy Alert

    Bernie, why is it that common sense has disappeared? Thank you for setting out the facts for all to see. Sometimes I really do believe the world has turned upside down. All that is good is vilified, and the gross, unrefined, obnoxious and ‘gangsta’ is glorified. Do people have NO shame these days? Later on the same day he was impeached, Clinton was lauded on the grounds of the White House as the best President ever by Gore. Your column is a breath of fresh air, I only wish more people would seek it.

  • http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/ Ellie Velinska

    We should let Obama to tax-hike the rich for a couple of months. May be they will finally stop financing the Democratic Party.
    I would like to see Obama campaigning on donations of food stamps money.

  • JT

    Well said, Bernie. Keep up the great work on highlighting the statist left for what they are.

    All this D.C. rhetoric over the past few weeks just SCREAMS for implementation of the FairTax, H.R. 25. It is the result of $22 million of privately invested research in developing the best method to fund the Federal government. If you are not aware of it, check out fairtax.org.

  • vidita montano

    in a time a social warfare it takes courage to write your article. Thank you for your courage.

  • Teddy

    As far as taxes go, the top one percent of American wage earners (adjusted gross income) pay about 38 percent of all our federal personal taxes (according to the National Taxpayer Union). The top one percent of American wage earners also control about 35-42%of the wealth in the nation (depending on your data source) . I will not thank a rich person for paying their fair share. The bottom 50% control anywhere from 1-2.5% of the wealth in the nation (again, depending on your data source) I will not thank them for paying their fair share either (before the screams of “what income tax!?” pour fourth – think sales tax)
    The rich should not be ashamed of having their wealth (unless it was built through nefairous means) but your article shows very little reason why they should be praised for it.

    • Mark

      Thank You Bernie. All Americans should pay the same percent tax. Why are there different rates. If everyone paid the same percent with no breaks, maybe everyone would care where the money is spent.

      • http://dailyhowler.com/ Wil Burns

        Mark, Of course we want the government to redistribute wealth. That’s what a progressive tax does and it is what we want it to do. The other option is the French Revolution.

  • Joseph

    I like stuff. I work hard for stuff. It motivates me. It’s amazing when you are successful, and you “get stuff” how everyone around you changes and becomes jealous. If it’s true…that the majority of people who buy lottery tickets are lower income…then their resentment of the rich is hypocrisy. Thanks for saying it.

  • AL Budd

    Thanks Bernie, a farmer isn’t rich, necessarily, with cash but has assets in land, equipment and maybe cattle. Should he die his family will have to sell his estate to pay the taxes. And then we will have one less family farm supporting many employees and ending a whole way of life. Our legislators should have spent a summer on a farm growing up and they might have a different point of view of businesses. We would have a lot different way of thinking for the future of our families and our country.

  • ron

    it,s amazing! i have been saying the same exact thing since i was 21 years old!
    the rich have made an investment in this country and they are employing 100% of the employed and their millions or billions,as an investment are at risk! what do you think would happen if they just closed shop and banked their money! unemployment would be 70% not 9.8% and the majority of us would be damn poor!
    no cars no tvs not even welfare would be available! we tax them more and they leave the country!. more unemployed! liberal politics has undermined this country and made it difficult for the average person to survive! i thank the investor that allowed me to be employed for the past 50 years.

  • Bruce Kennedy

    Read the”Big Short” go and see the movie “Inside Job”, middle class people did not bring down economy down, the wealthy on Wall Street did. That is a fact!! So they are also responsible for a huge part of our $14 Trillion debt and it is not crazy to not want to give these people more. It is rational to expect them to help lower the huge deficit. Also if tax cuts for the rich creates jobs why hasn’t that happend in the past eight years since these tax cuts began?

  • Michelle

    YES! I want to praise the rich, because well…. hmm….
    (1)They LOVE LOVE LOVE to give themselves raises (even when their company is make hundreds of lay-offs.) But who am I kidding? I could NEVER imagine them having to fly commercial, private is the only way to go!
    (2) Middle class tax cut, ABSURD! I want to make sure that the wealthy get tax cuts but the suburban, struggling, blue collar citizens of this country MUST pay full price. Sorry Sally, can’t pay for you to go to college, we make too much money for grants, and too little to get a tax cut.
    (3) Do you rich guys go to H&R Block to do your taxes? No…. You have Harvard, Yale, MIT grads doing your taxes. And they will find you every loophole they can possibly find.
    Rich people of America, let me make it clear, I do not hate you. But as I watch people in my “middle class” bracket, almost come to tears because they don’t know how these holidays are going to turn out, then I turn on the TV and am being told that the rich NEED more tax breaks, its disgusts me. We are in a difficult time where we really need to start acting like compassionate human beings, not greedy fools. We are not asking for a stimulus package, we’re just asking for a level playing field. Most of us middle class are not trying to be millionaires, its not about that. We want to live in our modest homes, with our families, and provide food and shelter for them. Yea, maybe getting my daughter those new shoes from the mall for school she’s been dying for. Maybe pay off our 30 year mortgage a little easier. Or maybe I want to be able to start up girl’s night again and go out to dinner once a month. But no, I need to make sure that golden statue goes up for Mr. Hedge fund.

    • kevin

      Michelle,

      Who is greedy here. They already pay a higher percentage of every dollar they earn. Why should you have a paid off house….when others are renting. Are you Greedy ?

      We are in a difficult time where we really need to start acting like compassionate human beings, not greedy fools. We are not asking for a stimulus package, we’re just asking for a level playing field. Most of us middle class are not trying to be millionaires, its not about that. We want to live in our modest homes, with our families, and provide food and shelter for them. Yea, maybe getting my daughter those new shoes from the mall for school she’s been dying for. Maybe pay off our 30 year mortgage a little easier. Or maybe I want to be able to start up girl’s night again and go out to dinner once a month. But no, I need to make sure that golden statue goes up for Mr. Hedge fund.

  • Andrea Mancus

    Absolutely thank god for rich people – I know a lot of people who are leading much more comfortable lives working for rich people in small capacities. Cleaning, mowing lawns, clearing snow, running errands, babysitting etc. The average person can’t afford to hire people to do those things for them anymore. So God Bless the rich, may they continue to spend money, I’d rather they have the money to spend than the crooks in Congress.

  • J Hale

    Hugh Jidette should promise to cut back the duties of any Pay Czar so that there will be more income tax revenues to redistribute.

    Keep up the good fight Bernie.

  • Carol

    Thank you. You, Charles Krauthammer and Newt Ginghrich should be President – too bad we can’t have three, although just one of you is all we would need to get this country back on track. Your web page is now on my favorites list.

  • Janet

    I have been so frustrated about this very thing. I have wondered why demonizing the rich was being tolerated and why no one was standing up and saying the very things you are saying. When I heard your explanation on Fox’s Megan Kelley show, I was saying go Bernie go. I hope more people both the right and left listen to you and then may just maybe positive changes in this country can help us not hurt us. Thanks for speaking out.

  • Keri R

    On the mark. I’m so tired of the liberal media and democrat representatives vilifying the “rich”. They complain that by not raising the tax rate for upper income earners we ( the government) are giving them billions of dollars when in fact we are simply not taking their money and redistributing it. When Bill Gates gives away billions he worked hard to earn it is charity. When we impose unfair taxes on that same individual it is simply theft. By the way, which do you think does the most good and has the biggest impact on our society?

  • Connie

    I just watched you on Megyn Kelly’s cast on Fox News and I just have to say that I completely agree with you, Bernie. I am a Hispanic Republican and our household doesn’t make more than $65,000 a year, and I have to say that your comments about why we should be thankful for the rich are so true. Anyone who is willing to listen to reason and use wisdom will realize that we don’t need to continue to raise taxes on the rich, much less demonize them for being rich.

  • W. Orrin Eldred

    Bernie,
    Thank God for people like you. I love rich people. They provide me some extra income each year. The last year, it has been terrible. I used to work part-time for 8-10 weeks in the spring and fall. Not so this year. Just the fall. So your piece on rich people is to be applauded and lauded over and over. You are a HERO. Hurray for Bernie.

  • Susan Jessup

    Right out of Atlas Shrugged Bernie – well done – good on ya! The left have done good job of indoctrination of the idea that the poor and so-called middle class are some how more “virtuous” than those who have earned wealth. Yes, there are those who are wealthy by being cheats and robbers (like Bernie Madoff): I’m not talking about them. They should rightly be vilified. But the majority of the wealthy (especially if they are defined as those earning more than $250K a year) have created businesses, taken risks, invested their money, created jobs, produced something, built something, donated to charity, and, of course, paid the largest percentage of the total taxes. Its about time we made them heroes and shouted it from the rooftops!

  • Mike B

    Just one other thing, I didnt hear all this indignation about raising the deficit when all these Democrats in Congress wanted to pass a Trillion dollar Health Care Bill, but then when it comes time for the Bush Tax Cuts to expire they are all for it because they say it will add billions to the debt! What a bunch of phonies in Washington they are! No wonder Congress has such a horrible approval rating!

  • Consiglieri

    Just a great article with a concept that these days, takes tremendous courage to stand behind, backed up by empirical data that tells the story so much better than the tale being woven by our politicians to enrage the too large part of our population that is struggling. Shame on President Obama and his colleagues in Washington, playing to their electoral audience rather than standing up for the truth and what is right, despite that it might not be politically expedient. Let’s see who else has the courage to speak to their consituents and tell them that the rich,, the banks, etc. are vital to the ultimate overall economic health and well-being of our Country.

    • Donnie Head

      Well, this has to be the most stupid idea that I have ever heard of..Make a 150 million, pay your employees $7 an hour, hold their hours to 25 so you don’t have to provide health insurance…..set up fake charitiies so they can hire the family members and get a tax break on top of that. Don’t see many doctors, lawyers, rich people putting together bikes for the poor this christmas….I assume, Bernard, is and has been in the top 2% of the rich and is totally out of contact with most of the real world of the other 98%. And to think they pay him to come up with this nonsense about a staue for the rich…only in America.

      • kevin

        Donnie,

        It is called self employment that Bernie does…writing, publishing and advertising. He is probably more in touch than you are, and he probably does not have a salary.

        He makes money by folks like you and I reading his opinions…..and you must take him seriously cause you are reading it.

        By the way, who is it making 150 million dollars and paying the employees 7.00 per hour, or did you just make it up ?

        And if so, who is at fault ?

        Who is setting up fake charities and hiring family members ? You may want to check with one of the Dems….Mr. Conyers.

        And what business is it of yours as to someone’s net worth and the amount they pay someone else ?

        Do you pay others ?

        Just kinda wondering.

    • Marc

      Ya Bernie is certainly a profile in courage. He’s a journalistic coward who’s never taken to task. When I see him on TV he’s on only Hannity where the only thing being done is giving each other hand-jobs. Go on Rachael Maddow’s show Bernie because your such a know-it-all, like Racheal or not she would destroy him factually and everyone knows it. Intellectual coward is all he is.

  • Dianne

    This country is the best BECAUSE we all have the same opportunity to be rich. Why should we work harder to have to give more to government? If we spread the wealth, who is going to create new jobs? Fair tax is the best method. The rich buy more expensive things which will cost more in taxes. The cheaters, ie. drug lords, prostitutes, work for cash, freeloaders, etc. of the world will also be contributing to the system. All Americans would pay into the system, thus pay for all the things government provides!

  • maandrews

    Bernard Goldberg:

    Thank you for always telling it like IT IS!
    Time is on our side but the demographics now are not!
    What do you call a “fellow traveler” with out a rich persons’
    daughter as a girlfriend?………….Homeless!!

  • Laura

    Good for standing up. God will prevail with those with principles and gratitude.

  • Mike B

    I have to agree with you, I worked for one of the largest parcel delivery companies in the world for 36 years before retiring! I have a good retirement and where would I have made the money I did if it hadnt been for their expansion! In my 63 years of life I never received a job from a poor person! Just think about it, if taxes go up here in the United States then where will the money from these rich people as they are called go? It will go to other countries where there is a smaller tax rate! When is America going to stop listening to people like Bernie Sanders and start thinking for themselves?

  • Jim Hupe

    I read somewhere that our friend Bill Gates has produced more millionaires than any other single person in American History. He rewards people for their dedication and hard work. AND, I don’t believe any poor people provide jobs, except our government and they are poor, just look at their debt to income ratio.

  • http://www.DementedEnt.com Raul

    Being a poor person.

    I have yet to see anyone help me or any other poor person beside other poor people. Because we live it!

    Elitist!

    • Jim Hupe

      Raul,
      If you were to be offered a job, do you think it would be from a poor person or someone that has wealth enough to provide your wages, health and retirement benefits. Think about it. I’m not rich, I worked all my life and have a decent retirement.

    • ray

      God helps those who help themselves. The rich are not going to seek you out, you must have ambition and show your worth; then you will be rewarded.

    • Dianne

      Why are you poor? This is America and you don’t have to be if you choose not to be.

    • Kevin

      If you ever got a food stamp or a welfare check, a wealthy person helped you. Please don’t buy into the class warfare that is being waged. I’ve been employed by the wealthy my whole life. I’ll never come close to what they pay in taxes, with my salary, but I don’t begrudge them at all. As Bernie said God bless them.

    • http://berniegoldberg.com Wayne

      Raul your so poor your on the internet do you get that through your cable or satilite dish.

    • Keri R

      Your problem is your looking for someone to help you…help yourself! I spent 20 yrs in the USAF, got a masters degree, have worked my way up to where I’m now “rich”. Now I’m supposed to give half my salary to help ingrates like you, not if I can help it. Elitist, I think not. Hard working contributor to society, you better believe it.

    • Rosemary

      Are you serious??!! I run an Outreach Center to help feed the poor. It is all funded by “wealthy people”. The majority of clients I serve are second and third generation welfare. This government has enabled them and wants to keep control over them and you. I say get up, get out and get an education and work two and three jobs like my husband and I have done all our lives. I do not begrudge the rich, thank God for them or no telling where we would all be!

  • J. Vega

    I like this story, but I have some thoughts. He mentioned a goal of income re-distribution, as a central tenet.O.K., I agree, but let’s think that through. The real bottom line is to fundamentally change the U.S. society. Going after the “rich” is a very large part of this change.
    To that end, let’s consider the inheritance tax. Many of the “rich” are so because of ownership of a business. In many cases, somebody might be said to own a business, but it’s not as simple as owning something like a house or car. In the build up of that business, they need money to expand, and to get it depend on incorporation and the sale of stock. This gets them the money, but at a cost – in doing so they sold off some of the power to control what that business does. So in such a case, when somebody says a person owns a business it actually means that they own enough stock to control the actions of that business.
    In that light, let’s think about an inheritance tax that would be 50%. When a business owner dies, to get that 50% to py the government the heirs might very well be forced to sell stock. The tax would fundamentally change society by fundamentally changing the state of the “rich”, they would lose a significant part of what put them into that category, the amount of money that they have. But it can also take away something more important to a business, who controls it and decides what what it will or not do in the future. The heirs might want to continue the practices that made that business expand and grow great, but if to pay off that inheritance tax they were forced to sell a great deal of their stock that control might be lost and others would make those decisions.
    So the bottom line of my thoughts is that going after the rich with something like an inheritance tax actually in effect is an attempt to go after control of businesses. Now that would be a “fundamental change”.

  • Bruce A.

    This is one of the best columns I have read in a long time. Not only is it well written & full of facts it will drive the liberals up a tree.

  • Ron Kean

    One of your very best, Bernie!

    People in the USA and people all over the world think they can come to the USA and get rich. And many DO!

    I never did but my sons may be on their way.

    I lived in segregated neighborhoods for many years. I saw ethnic neighbors with dredlocks, braided rows and ethnic fashions and thought that if they would just imitate their President and dress and groom themselves just like him, they would have a better chance of realizing the dream of wealth.

    But with multi-cultural indoctrination saying everybody’s schtick is equally valid, they lose the opportunity. Then they complain of discrimination and racism.

    Obama was and still is the personification of success through conformity to the rich guy image/path (even thought both his ideology is off base, and also I don’t know a whole lot about him other than his look).

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  • CCNV

    Liberals do not understand that being “rich” is more than monetary. “Rich” is surrounding yourself with the unconditional love of family and friends…whether you live in a mansion, or a cardboard box. Liberals are so arrogant that they do not understand that the “rich” already ARE re-distributing their wealth.

  • Tim N

    Darn that Billionaire Bill Gates. Because of his technology a small business owner like me can have as much computing power as the multi billion dollar companies. And now he’s giving his money away to worthy needs. As a working Joe, I benefit from the technologies of Billionaires as do the poor. All I ask of Uncle Sam is to keep us Free!

    • Sidney

      Yeah Tim, darn that Bill Gates. If it wasn’t for our out of control GOVERNMENT spending your tax dollars to DEVELOPE the internet, billionaire Gill Gates would NOT be a billionaire. So mr. uninformed…you want Uncle Sam to keep you free from what?? Do some research, watch something other then Fox.

      • Steve

        Bill Gates fortune was derived from the creation of software.The internet didn’t exist when MSDos was invented. Nice try. Speaking of uninformed!

        • Hypocrisy Alert

          You go STEVE!

        • Tim N

          Right Steve, his first billion net worth was years before the internet.

  • EddieD_Boston

    Pretty much sums it up Bernie. But liberals are smarter than us, right?

  • Joyce

    As part of a couple who are both the first generation of our families to go to college and achieve ‘the American dream’, through hard work, 2 and 3 jobs, raising a family, etc., and who have given back through philanthropy (anonymously and otherwise), thank you for being the first one to acknowledge that not every ‘rich’ person in this country has inherited wealth and not worked for it. We pay more than our fair share of taxes, and are thankful that we can provide not only for our parents, children and grandchildren but for the common good as well.

  • http://lillian-davis.blogspot.com/ Lily

    Without the top 1-2% of the “wealthiest” Americans we would not have the wonderful libraries we have. Even my little neck of the woods benefited from the Carnegie libraries, and in fact still has one of the original Carnegie Libraries! That is just a small part of why we need and should respect those wealthiest among us.Oh btw the idgits in Congress who want to tax those earning more than 250,000 are many of the same ones who haven’t paid their own taxes!!!

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  • Kathy

    You go, Bernie! I hope your liberal friends stand up and take notice.