There is never a shortage of pundits willing to stand up against mindless hatred of the rich among the political class, however nonexistent the phenomenon may be. Here is Politico conventional wisdom-monger Roger Simon against insidious prejudice against the most fortunate people in the country:
The rich are different from you and me. They are swine.
So say many of the Democrats in the House of Representatives who would rather that jobless people lose their unemployment checks and middle-class people lose their income tax breaks than that the rich get a dime extra.
Note that Simon's column consumes 871 words, but none of those words is a quote of a Democrat expressing hatred of the rich. I'll leave it to my readers to decide whether this is because no such quotes could be found, invalidating the premise of Simon's column, or because he simply couldn't bear to steal any space for them away from precious anecdotes like this:
I got a job and slowly, without noticing it much, I put money in the bank every week and a small amount accumulated. I bought a black-and-white TV and a used Fiat 850 Spyder. (They were about the same size.) And I began hearing about things like IRAs and certificates of deposit, which seemed like pretty good deals.
I paid taxes, but I never went crazy with resentment over them. I was not pleased that my taxes were being used to fund the Vietnam War, but I was pleased that they were being used to fund the Peace Corps and VISTA.
Interest accrued. I bought a color TV that had a remote control, and I traded in the used Fiat for a new Toyota, because I learned that Toyotas ran during all four seasons. Every now and then I would see people driving Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs and Jaguars.
Fascinating stuff. Tell us more about this color television, because it really helps us understand the tax debate.
Simon proceeds to advance some novel arguments against progressive taxation. For instance:
Only half of the wealthiest people in America inherited their wealth. The rest earned it. But whether their wealth is earned or inherited, I just want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, not some kind of punitive share.
Isn't it great how you can use words like "only" to do the entire work of your argument for you? Another way to phrase that first sentence would be, "Only half of the wealthiest people in America earned their wealth. The rest inherited it." I'm especially tickled by Simon's disclaimer that he wants the rich to pay a fair" share of the taxes, not a "punitive" share. Right -- that's the whole debate. What is a fair share? Are Clinton-era tax rates on the rich fair or punitive? Simon has nothing to say about this at all.
Perhaps the most unintentionally funny part of the column is this:
Don’t like the way wealth is distributed? Then you can join congressional Democrats and grump about it, or you can get some wealth for yourself.
I honestly have no idea how to respond to this point.