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Stirring resentment against the rich.

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Crass Warfare

Stirring resentment against the rich.

Barack Obama has referred to Afghanistan as America’s “war of necessity.” But with his incessant attacks on “the rich,” Obama has made it clear that it’s the class war that he’s most interested in waging.

By stoking class resentment against financially successful individuals, Obama and other liberals may be contributing to a rise in violence by people susceptible to the Left’s divisive rhetoric.

President Obama is an ardent practitioner of the politics of class division. He has blamed America’s problems on “Wall Street fat cats” and big banks, on the oil industry and “special interests.” He regularly accuses Republicans of wanting to “cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations.”

In Milwaukee on Labor Day, Obama said “Now, anybody who thinks that we can move this economy forward with just a few folks at the top doing well, hoping that it’s going to trickle down to working people who are running faster and faster just to keep up, you’ll never see it.”

Class warfare was at the root of Obama’s and congressional Democrats’ deceitful attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as they railed against “very wealthy special interests” in the run up to the election.
 
Even as he announced a “compromise” that would extend tax cuts for all Americans for two years, Obama couldn’t help but toss a few barbs at congressional Republicans, whom he compared to “hostage-takers” who were holding unemployment benefits “hostage” to their demand for the upper end tax cuts.
 
With well-off Americans constantly cast as villains by the Left, it’s not surprising there has been a rise in violence against them.

In Cape Cod, Mass., last week, two upscale homes were burned down by arsonists with a distinct political message. Police reported finding, according to the state fire marshal, “offensive graffiti that was written and very visibly displayed at both sites.’’ Among the graffiti were anti-rich slogans written on walls such as “**** the rich!”

Also last week, a gunman opened fire at a school board meeting in Panama City, Fla. Incredibly, though just a few feet away, the gunman, Clay Duke, failed to hit any of his targets.

Police were reluctant to talk about a motive. “I think it’s just safe to say at this point that, obviously, Mr. Duke had some mental health issues,” Deputy Police Chief Robert Colbert told reporters.

But according to police, the school district had employed Duke’s wife as a teacher and her employment had recently been terminated. And in what he called a “last testament,” Duke lashed out at the wealthy on his Facebook page. He writes about being born poor and how the rich “take turns fleecing us.”

He blames both “Rich Republicans” and “Rich Democrats,” before stating, “The 95% . . . the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us.”

It would be wrong to suggest that by stirring up class resentment the Left caused any of these crimes. What seems fairly clear, however, is that the Left is turning the anger and frustration that many struggling Americans feel about the economy into resentment against those who have succeeded.

On his Facebook page, Duke includes a list of links under the quote “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” The list includes several far left Web sites including the George Soros-funded Media Matters.

When Joe Stack flew his plane into an Internal Revenue Service building in Texas earlier this year, our media elites were quick to blame anti-government conservatives. Newsweek piece called “Joseph Stack and Rightwing Terror: Isolated Incidents or Worrying Trend?” When late-term abortionist George Tiller was murdered, the mainstream media wasted no time in blaming Fox News for inciting violence.

But now that it’s the Left that has a loose connection with violent crime, the media are silent.

In much of the world, corruption and flawed political and economic systems prevent people from achieving or even from being able to climb out of poverty. Part of the promise of America, however, is that if you work hard and play by the rules, there’s a good chance you will become successful. Social mobility is at the heart of the American dream.

Liberals obsess about dividing the economic pie “fairly.” Conservatives want to make the pie bigger, but they also understand that wealth differences are inevitable. Most of us work for someone who is well off. These entrepreneurs and risk-takers are the “engine” of U.S. job growth. Most Americans don’t resent the wealthy; they want to become wealthy themselves.
 
There are roughly 5 million households in the United States whose assets total $1 million or more. And, contrary to what many on the Left suggest, most of America’s millionaires made their own money — they didn’t inherit their wealth from their parents.

By constantly suggesting that “the rich must pay their fair share,” liberals have convinced many people that well-off Americans pay less in taxes than middle class families pay.

But the reality is that nearly half of Americans don’t pay any income tax, and that the top 5 percent of earners pay 59 percent of all income taxes collected by the federal government. What’s more, millionaires make the majority of donations to charity.

Fortunately, most Americans do not believe the country’s economic problems are the result of the so-called greed of the wealthy. Rather, as the Tea Party movement and last month’s elections proved, most understand they are a direct result of the greed of government.

Written By

Former presidential candidate Mr. Gary Bauer is president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

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