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America Still Remains Land of Opportunity, WSJ’s Steve Moore Says

By Sandy Fitzgerald and Kathleen Walter   |   Saturday, 24 Nov 2012 08:17 PM

America is still a land of great opportunity, but the country faces a dilemma over whether the government will take from the rich to give to the poor or if the nation is one where anyone can get ahead, Steve Moore, senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal told Newsmax TV’s Kathleen Walter in an exclusive interview.

“I looked at a lot of the data over the last 40 or 50 years and it’s still a very positive story that in America, just because you’re born rich doesn’t mean you’re going to be rich and just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you’re going to be poor,” Moore, author of “Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” told Walter.

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And Moore disagrees with President Barack Obama, when he says people can’t get ahead anymore.

“So, that’s the good news story of this book,” he said. “Anybody can get ahead. And when Barack Obama says, ‘You know that doesn’t work anymore. People at the bottom can’t get ahead anymore.’ He’s dead wrong.”

Moore also believes there’s a divide between what’s real in the tax system and what Americans believe.

“Americans believe what the media’s been telling them for the last 30 years: the rich don’t pay any taxes, they get all of the loopholes and the people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates and the Justin Biebers of the world are not paying their fair share,” said Moore. “And what I found just going through the official IRS data is exactly the opposite. We have a highly, highly progressive tax system.”

He noted that the richest one percent pay under 40 percent of the income tax, while the top 10 percent pay 67 percent and the bottom 50 percent only pay about two and a half percent.

Moore denies the rich are getting richer, while the poor get poorer, saying it’s only a myth.

“f you look over the last 35 years going back to the start of the Reagan administration, the middle class in this country has seen about a one third increase in their incomes when you include things like benefits,” Moore said. “The average middle class person today has a higher living standard than the average rich person did 50 years ago.”

Meanwhile, Moore says America needs to get serious about people getting out of the poverty cycle.

“I don’t think that’s an economic problem. It’s more of a kind of cultural problem,” he said. “Unfortunately, they don’t have a father in the home. Those kinds of things really create a strike or two. Another big strike against kids who are growing up in poorer households is the lousy government schools that we send them to.”

He said America shouldn’t strive to be a country of equal outcomes, but rather equal opportunities. This includes vouchers so poor children can go to any school they want despite opposition from Democrat-supporting teacher unions.

Moore believes the fairest tax system is the free market capitalist system.

“There is no other system that has created the most kind of opportunity — the most kind of increases in living standards and jobs — than the American free enterprise system,” he said.

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