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All right, so we have a story here about the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor based on one one-thousandth of the population: 145,000 taxpayers. “The average income for the top 0.1% was $3 million in 2002, the latest year for which averages are available. That number is two and a half times the $1.2 million, adjusted for inflation, that group reported in 1980. No other income group rose nearly as fast. The share of the nation’s income earned by those in this uppermost category [the top 1/1000th percent] has more than doubled since 1980, to 7.4% in 2002. The share of income earned by the rest of the top 10% rose far less, and the share earned by the bottom 90% fell,” and they go on. They’ve got stats. “Next, examine the net worth of American households. The group with homes, investments and other assets worth more than $10 million comprised 338,400 households in 2001, the last year for which data are available. The number has grown more than 400% since 1980, after adjusting for inflation, while the total number of households has grown only 27%. The Bush administration tax cuts stand to widen the gap between the hyper-rich and the rest of America. The merely rich, making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, will shoulder a disproportionate share of the tax burden.” So it’s an attack on the Bush tax cuts; it is an attack on the “hyper-rich.” A new category has been created now: The hyper-rich — and, by the way, those of you in the 150 to $250,000 income range are now being called “rich.” Now, I wonder if when you were making say 65 or 70 if you considered rich to be 250 thousand dollars. I don’t know if you did or not but I bet far fewer people did consider it rich than the New York Times would like us to believe.
But basically what we have here is a class envy story designed to depress and anger people over Bush tax cuts to continue to give the left ammo. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why the super-rich…? I betcha these numbers are no different from the superrich categories of old days. There have always been the super-rich, the hyper-rich. We’ve always had the Kennedys. We’ve always had the W. Averell Harrimans. We’ve always had these people, the George Soroses. I mean, who are we talking about here? We’re talking about a bunch of rich Democrats, largely a number of people who inherited their money, are we not — from old time families that started railroads or imported 159 whiskey or whatever it was that they did? But the premise that is missing here — or the element that is missing is this. The New York Times and obviously a bunch of liberals consider all of this to be a zero-sum game. They look at the pie that is the American economy as a finite pie. “It’s of one side, and it never changes. All that changes is some people get a bigger piece than others, and that’s not fair, so we need income redistribution. We need tax increases on the superrich, and all of these things that are designed to lower their share of the pie.” Well, there’s another word for this. They look at the US economy as a “static” entity rather than “dynamic.” The US economy is always growing. Does it not stand to reason that if you have a million dollars invested someplace, that it’s going to grow faster than somebody who has $50,000 invested someplace? Does it not make sense? It certainly does, if the investments are responsible. There’s nothing unnatural or abnormal about this whatsoever.
In fact, the truth probably is that American prosperity is increasing across the board, contrary to what the New York Times would want you to believe. Taxes for the middle class basically don’t exist, not income taxes. You can look at the income taxes collected. For all this talk about the 90% whose share of the pie went down, take a look at their share of the income tax bite. The bottom 50% pays something like 10% of the total income tax bite. We’ve got the table on our website. It’s never going away. Just on to counter stories like this, and it’s got much more recent data than what the New York Times was able to get. So we’re back to the same old page in the playbook: Class envy. “The rich are getting richer; you’re getting screwed. The rich are taking money from you and putting it in their back pockets because Bush is cutting their taxes.” It’s the same old thing, and it’s not working, and it hasn’t worked for the Democrats for a long time. However, last week at the Take Back America Conference in Washington, Celinda Lake — who is one half of the Battleground poll, she works with Ed Goeas, who is the Republican. Celinda Lake did a poll presentation to the Democrats, and she said based on her polling data, class envy may be making a comeback. Class envy may have gains for Democrats if they make the arguments right. So they believe, obviously, that the class envy business is going to work again — and I find the timing of this New York Times story quite interesting given the results of Celinda Lake’s poll. This whole story on class, for example, is nothing more than an effort to make you mad, make you depressed, make you feel like your effort to get anywhere in life is futile because the real power in this country is taking all of your money through Bush tax cuts, and not giving you a chance to go anywhere.
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RUSH: And, by the way, one other thing about this New York Times story. Don’t fall for this. They are making a comparison with one one-thousandth of taxpayers to all the rest, one one-thousandth. They’re taking 145,000 taxpayers, getting their data, and then compare it to everybody else. I’ll bet it’s never been done that way before. By the way, the bottom 50% pay only 4% of federal income taxes. The top 10% pay 90%, is the way it boils down. That’s what the number is. But you can’t — what you need to do, if you want to actually get a more accurate reading of whatever gaps between classes there are in the country, you take five income groups — the quintiles, if you will — and compare the top 40% of today with ten years ago or 20 years ago or whatever you want, the top one-thousandth percent compared to the rest of the country is always going to be so out of whack you can paint any kind of a picture you want using that small a sample. Now I’m going to tell you something else, folks. Now, hear me on this. There is a new level, there’s a new type of money that is being earned in this country — and that’s the key: It’s being earned. Have you heard the terms “old money” and “new money”? The old-money crowd is basically the trust fund group, these aging derelicts who inherited all their money. They were the Lucky Sperm Club, we call it — and these people are considered the upper crust, the aristocracy of America, and they’re quite aged now, but their offspring are equally as useless, and got all their time on these hands. So they run around and do big charity balls and so forth to make themselves look good and seem important. They’ll have a big charity ball that costs a million dollars to put on with all of their ball gowns and all the decorations and the net to the charity will be $10,000, but the news will be that they raised a million because it did. That’s what it cost all the attendees to go but the net to the charity will be ten or $20,000 or a hundred grand or whatever out of the whole million. But there’s a whole new group of people out there, and they are younger, and they’re not old money.
They’re called new money, and it’s new money because they’re earning it, and the new money crowd is moving into the neighborhoods of the old money crowd — and the old money crowd has their nose in the air, a little snooty about this because the new money people don’t bring a legacy, a family legacy that can be traced to their money. No, they’ve gone out and earned it, actually worked, they’ve actually worked? Some of the old money crowd, W. Averell Harriman, his father was big in the railroad business and he was one of Lyndon Johnson’s big advisors. You never hear these people get ripped to shreds but they inherited it all. What’s wrong with this New York Times story is the money we’re talking about is earned income on which taxes are being paid. If you read the story, it’s earned income; it’s not trust funds throwing off coupons that are being clipped out there on the beach watching turtles here in Palm Beach. These people are working at it and they’re earning it. They are people like Bill Gates. They’re people like <a target=new href=”http://www.paulallen.com/default.aspx?flash=true&contentId=1″>Paul Allen</a>. They are people that are starting companies. You know how many millionaires work for Bill Gates? Are we going to complain and bitch and moan about all the millionaires at Microsoft simply because they have all the money? No, they created it. It’s a market-generated wealth. I mean the computer industry, the right companies, is going through the roof and there are a lot of other businesses like this. So a Times story comes along like this and its intent is to discredit these people and to make you mad that you don’t have a chance to become one of them. They’re just like you were at some point. They might have gotten lucky at who they knew, might have had a good opportunity, might have been lucky about the job they got. You know, luck has a great definition: “It’s where preparation meets opportunity.” A lot of people think luck is like winning the lottery, and it’s not. Preparation meets opportunity. So there’s all kinds of money. The Sulzberger family owns the New York Times, old money. Old money! Maybe they’re a little resentful of a bunch of new upstarts are coming in like Rupert Murdoch, working at it, making more money than they are. You never know but you have to factor it in.
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