The Myth of the One-Percenters

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 09:29 AM

By James Walsh

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President Barack Obama is busy campaigning against Republicans, the “rich,” the tea party (Tea = Taxed Enough Already), those with traditional values, and anyone opposing social-restructuring of the country. His threadbare solution is to tax the “one-percenters” (the nation’s richest) to spread the wealth to the mushrooming numbers of those on welfare.
 
The myth that only the rich “one-percenters” are enjoying life at the expense of the 99 percent is concocted to promote “wealth redistribution” which, in turn, provides a cover for socializing the country.
 
Many people are earning large salaries, a majority of them in the fields of entertainment, high tech, news, fashion, and wealth management. Many are Obama supporters, such as Robert Redford, Matt Dillon, Mark Zuckerberg, Dana Milbank, Tom Brokaw, Anna Wintour, Howard Schultz, George Soros, and Warren Buffett.
 
However, many of these one-percenters have their money offshore or in protected investments.
 
The myth that only one-percenters will be taxed to pay for welfare is debunked by a visit to a major airport. There you will find the 99 percenters buying heavily taxed tickets. On a recent business trip to Europe, I boarded a jet at Charlotte, N.C. It was fully booked with some 300 passengers, about half of them Americans.
 
During a 2-week stay in Europe, it was apparent that Americans are personally well-liked, in spite of the United States now being seen as yet another “banana republic.” Gone are the graffiti and posters proclaiming down with American imperialism. University students in these countries issued a mere murmur of anti-Americanism and that was about climate change.
 
Europeans opine that Obama and the Democrats have achieved their goal of downgrading the USA to just another so-so country. Although European students are concerned with future employment prospects, they do not bear the student-loan burdens that U.S. college students carry.
 
I heard concerns expressed in Poland that the United States may not come to their aid as a NATO member should Putin choose to further expand his Soviet-styled imperialism. The failure of Obama’s “red line” in Syria is still fresh in Europe’s consciousness.
 
According to European news reports, the Baltic states of the old Soviet Russia regime also are nervous about Putin’s intentions, as they suspect that the United States has no will nor might to stand up to him. The man in the street, if he does talk politics, can be heard saying that America has lost its spunk, its pride. Eastern Europeans seem resigned to yet another involuntary change in government control.
 
Even in Germany, a 1920s aura permeates the air with an anything-goes state of mind. Morals are for the elderly and the religious. The mix of foreigners, with young women prominent among them, is noticeable. Rude street behavior and lack of civility is common-place.
 
On the other hand, there appears to be a rising German nationalism, also reminiscent of the 1920s, which should alert students of history. Poland also appears to be experiencing a rising nationalism.
 
My return flight landed first in Chicago. The plane was packed with 380 passengers of all descriptions. About half were Americans returning home from roaming Europe, which increasingly is an expensive roam. The friendly fellow in the seat next to me was a naturalized American who makes good money as a truck driver. He had been visiting family and relaxing back in “the old country” and noted that he would not be so free to travel, if he still lived in “the old country,” nor paid so well. After saying that Russia’s Putin was the man of the hour, he concluded, “Obama has never lived under communism or socialism.”
 
Upon landing, the U.S. Immigration inspection point was organized chaos, apropos for the current lax enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. Thousands, yes thousands, of men, women, and children waited to be inspected. Of these, about 40 percent were Americans, native-born and naturalized.
 
The scene was a snapshot of but one weekday. Could these thousands of U.S. citizens landing in Chicago on one weekday all be wealthy one-percenters? Not likely. Waiting for my connector flight, I saw that flights to Buffalo, Cincinnati, Orlando, and elsewhere also were full, and many over-booked.
 
Might these thousands of 99 percenters be traveling on their retirement money? Could they be saying the heck with it, the government will take care of me? If Obama and the Democrats want to redistribute the wealth, have at it, and I will be in line? More likely, knowing that their wages are good, if not great, they are choosing to ignore Obama’s pessimistic palaver. While one-percenters pay relatively low taxes, the 99 percenters see their taxes rising, along with the cost of travel tickets. They refuse, however, to buckle under. The myth of the one-percenters looks to cost the Democrats dearly.
 
James H. Walsh was associate general counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1983 to 1994. Read more reports from James Walsh — Click Here Now.
 
 

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