RUSH: I mentioned going into the break at the top of the hour that one of the best ways the ruling class stays exclusive is the progressive income tax. It’s very simple, and Phil Mickelson illustrates it, in a way. The progressive income tax is the number one obstacle to individuals accruing wealth — and wealth equals power, and vice-versa. Power equals wealth, or translates to wealth. It’s a closed club. It’s a very small bunch of people, in truth, compared to the population. The way you get into this club is usually via your university or your family legacy, family name, what have you.
Once you’re in the club, the objective is to keep everybody else out of it. You don’t want the club to grow. You don’t want the clique getting bigger, and one of the quickest ways to keep people from becoming powerful is to make sure they don’t become wealthy. The best way to keep people from becoming wealthy is to raise their taxes, their income taxes. The progressive income tax is the number one tool that the ruling class has to protect itself. If Phil Mickelson’s paying 62, 63% of his income in taxes, even if he makes $45 million a year, that is still a huge chunk, and at some point Phil’s gonna say, “It’s not worth it.” He’s on the verge of it.
Now, contrast Phil Mickelson with Warren Buffett. Contrast Phil Mickelson with Bill Gates. Phil Mickelson’s money is not even pocket change for those two guys. However, Mickelson was out saying, “I had to give up my dream of owning part of the Padres. I might have to leave California. Sixty-two, 63%, it doesn’t make any sense for me to live here. The roads in California are not that much better than they are anywhere else. The weather, I can find it somewhere else.” I mean, what’s anybody getting for their 63% in California? That’s one way of looking at it.
But Buffett and Gates, what do they do? They run around and claim they’re not taxed enough. They run around and say, “Ah, my secretary’s paying a higher tax rate than I am. That’s not fair,” blah, blah, blah. And what happens? Everybody’s sympathetic to those guys, and nobody cares how much money they have. In fact, they’re respected and admired. Buffett, Gates. And what do they do? They run around and they advocate higher taxes on the rich. And in the process, they inoculate themselves from the treatment Mickelson got. It’s all a game. They’ve mastered it. So the screaming hordes who are upset at all the people who have money are not gonna be upset at Buffett or Gates, and they’re not gonna make a mad dash for their money because Buffett and Gates are on their side, they think.
Buffett and Gates are out there basically saying, “I shouldn’t have the money.” The Clintons do the same thing. (Bill Clinton impression) “Yeah, I don’t need that tax cut. You know, Hillary and I, we’re making more money than you. We got more money than we need. I mean, we’re set here. Wealthy people like us, we don’t need this tax cut.” So people say, “Oh, the Clintons are wonderful people. They realize they have more money than they need.” Now, nobody ever sees the Clintons giving any of it away. Liberals don’t spend their own money on stuff.
They spend everybody else’s money. They don’t give much to charity. They make us do it, with taxes and all the rest. They get the credit for it, when they don’t give much. But while all this is going on, all of these ruling class people are out there ripping and trashing themselves, essentially. “I got more money than I need! I don’t need all this. I don’t need that tax cut.” So, by extension, neither does Phil Mickelson and neither does anybody else in the top 1%. They don’t need that tax cut. So the screaming hordes who are upset at the wealthy end up living Buffett and Gates and hating Mickelson.
But of the three, who’s being the more honest, or the most honest? Mickelson. I don’t see these guys giving away their money. I mean, they’re not giving their money to government. Gates and Buffett, you know, they’re putting their money in Gates’ charity, but they’re not giving it to Obama, and they didn’t give it to Clinton. Clinton isn’t giving his money to the government. They want everybody else to, but they don’t. But they talk the talk, “Well, I don’t need any more money. I got everything I need,” and so they are exempted. They’re exempted from media criticism. The whole notion that the rich are a bunch of sleazebags, they’re exempted from all that, ’cause they criticize it. The Kennedys did the same thing.
Mickelson made the mistake of being natural, honest and normal. “What the hell is this, 63%? This is absurd!” and he’s the guy that has to apologize.
RUSH: I mentioned earlier today that Mrs. Clinton miraculously, this week, retired $25 million of campaign debt from her presidential run in 2008. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she retires her campaign debt and does the Benghazi congressional appearance the same week. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. But about the debt, the Clintons wouldn’t even pay off her debt. They raised money, they asked others for donations to pay off her debt. They’re not even gonna use their own money for that. And yet the Clintons are thought to be compassionate and wonderful and friends of the little guy, when in truth the Clintons and every other Democrat believes in income tax policies that prevent the accrual of wealth by individuals. And that’s what the progressive income tax is.