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Krugman Rails Against ‘Entitlement Rich’

From the champion of the little guy at the New York Times:

The Angry Rich

September 19, 2010

Anger is sweeping America. True, this white-hot rage is a minority phenomenon, not something that characterizes most of our fellow citizens.

“White-hot” sounds like a racist codeword to us.

But the angry minority is angry indeed, consisting of people who feel that things to which they are entitled are being taken away.

Oh, finally Mr. Krugman is addressing the ‘entitlement class.’ And, yes, who can deny that they are causing unsustainable deficits across our nation and everywhere around the world.

And they’re out for revenge.

No, I’m not talking about the Tea Partiers. I’m talking about the rich.

What a laugh. Is this the same “rich” who pay the bulk of all taxes so that the elected and self-appointed elites like Mr. Krugman can live like no aristocrat ever has in the history of the world?

These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can’t find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they’ll never work again.

All stories ripped from the pages of the New York Times. So why doesn’t the New York Times hire more people? More 50-somethings? Is it because they can’t afford to? Why is that?

Because ‘the rich’ are not buying their newspapers, or more importantly, the things advertised in their newspaper. Because the rich are not buying their stock.

Indeed, we would not even have a New York Times to kick around anymore if it had not been for ‘loans’ by a certain ‘rich’ Mexican by the name of Carlos Slim, who is currently considered the richest man in the world.

Yet if you want to find real political rage — the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason — you won’t find it among these suffering Americans. You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.

What a sick fantasy this is. The truly rich, like the Kennedys or the Sulzbergers,  don’t even pay income taxes. Their accountants have found ways around that inconvenience. And they vote uniformly for Democrats like Mr. Obama.

The ‘rich’ who have to worry about "modestly higher taxes" are the same ‘rich’ who the people who will or won’t hire the very people that Mr. Krugman pretends to care about.

The rage of the rich has been building ever since Mr. Obama took office. At first, however, it was largely confined to Wall Street

There is another New York Times article that Mr. Krugman should read, buried in the ‘Business Day’ section: ‘Wall Street’s Engines of Profit Are Slowing Down.’

But of course Mr. Krugman doesn’t concern himself with such mundane matters.

Now, however, as decision time looms for the fate of the Bush tax cuts — will top tax rates go back to Clinton-era levels? — the rage of the rich has broadened, and also in some ways changed its character.

For one thing, craziness has gone mainstream. It’s one thing when a billionaire rants at a dinner event. It’s another when Forbes magazine runs a cover story alleging that the president of the United States is deliberately trying to bring America down as part of his Kenyan, “anticolonialist” agenda, that “the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s.” When it comes to defending the interests of the rich, it seems, the normal rules of civilized (and rational) discourse no longer apply.

It sounds to us like Forbes magazine was quoting from Mr. Obama’s first autobiography, ‘Dreams From My Father.’ After all, Mr. Obama’s father was a 1950s Kenyan anti-colonialist Marxist of the Luo tribe. And Mr. Obama insists he is carrying out his ‘dreams.’

Is Mr. Krugman unaware of that minor detail?

At the same time, self-pity among the privileged has become acceptable, even fashionable.

Tax-cut advocates used to pretend that they were mainly concerned about helping typical American families. Even tax breaks for the rich were justified in terms of trickle-down economics, the claim that lower taxes at the top would make the economy stronger for everyone.

These days, however, tax-cutters are hardly even trying to make the trickle-down case.

What is more ‘trickle down’ than Keynesian economics? 

Keynesians, like Mr. Krugman, believe that if the government takes enough money from some pockets, and spends it on what it thinks is important, it will end up in some other ‘more deserving’ pockets.

That is ‘trickle down’ economics via the Robin Hood method. (Except in reality, Robin Hood came about as a reaction to overly high taxes.)

Yes, Republicans are pushing the line that raising taxes at the top would hurt small businesses, but their hearts don’t really seem in it.

So Mr. Krugman has now added mind-reading to his other accomplishments?

Instead, it has become common to hear vehement denials that people making $400,000 or $500,000 a year are rich. I mean, look at the expenses of people in that income class — the property taxes they have to pay on their expensive houses, the cost of sending their kids to elite private schools, and so on. Why, they can barely make ends meet.

Mr. Krugman is manufacturing straw men. The above argument has been raised by people living in places like New York City, where a couple earning $250,000, often from a small business, are not ‘rich’ in the usual sense of the word.

And among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it’s their money, and they have the right to keep it.

How very belligerent of them, to think that they are entitled to the money they have earned. (Even Mr. Lincoln was wrong about that, apparently.)

“Taxes are what we pay for civilized society,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes — but that was a long time ago.

Our nation came into existence because of a series of taxes that amounted to practically nothing compared to what we pay today. And those taxes were not used for social experiments.

But that was a long time ago.

The spectacle of high-income Americans, the world’s luckiest people, wallowing in self-pity and self-righteousness would be funny, except for one thing: they may well get their way. Never mind the $700 billion price tag for extending the high-end tax breaks: virtually all Republicans and some Democrats are rushing to the aid of the oppressed affluent.

That Mr. Krugman equates tax cuts to price tags shows just how devalued Nobel prizes have become. And never mind that even the highly partisan CBO has grudgingly admitted that extending the Bush tax cuts for all would help the economy.

You see, the rich are different from you and me: they have more influence.

Mr. Krugman isn’t rich? Mr. Krugman doesn’t have influence? (Hint: Mr. Krugman is a liar. A professional pathological liar.)

It’s partly a matter of campaign contributions, but it’s also a matter of social pressure, since politicians spend a lot of time hanging out with the wealthy.

We seem to recall that ‘McCain-Feingold campaign reform’ took the influence of money out of politics. The New York Times, and probably Mr. Krugman, told us so.

So when the rich face the prospect of paying an extra 3 or 4 percent of their income in taxes, politicians feel their pain — feel it much more acutely, it’s clear, than they feel the pain of families who are losing their jobs, their houses, and their hopes.

Certainly taking another $700 billion dollars out of the market place and putting into the the hands of government will not save or create any real jobs, nor will it save anyone’s houses or hopes. Except perhaps for the people who are directly or indirectly on the government dole.

But even the Castros in Cuba are discovering that such an economic model does not work for long. Again, this is something you would think Mr. Krugman would have noticed by now.

And when the tax fight is over, one way or another, you can be sure that the people currently defending the incomes of the elite will go back to demanding cuts in Social Security and aid to the unemployed. America must make hard choices, they’ll say; we all have to be willing to make sacrifices.

But when they say “we,” they mean “you.” Sacrifice is for the little people.

And Mr. Krugman and The Times and the rest of the Democrat Party are all about saving the little people.

After all, you can’t be lords without any serfs.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 20th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

18 Responses to “Krugman Rails Against ‘Entitlement Rich’”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    I don’t like Krugman at all – when I’ve seen him on tv – he gives me the creeps – sort of like our old hound dog used to be – if his hackles came up – I knew the guy was a bad person – you can just feel it.

    As has been said often (but apparently Krugman only reads himself and Obama drippings) – my hubby & I got one of those tax checks – we are not only not the evil rich – last year (which was about 3 years after we got that check (maybe more)) was the first year in our 26 year marriage – we made more than the average income in America. This year we will probably have my $100./state check and my 1/2 trust fund inheritance (don’t let those words trust and fund fool you – the total was less than 5K) – as our only income this year – what a difference a year makes.

    I do not oppose assisting the elderly, the disabled and those who through no fault of their own – can not help themselves – that is assist only. It is the rest – Poor people can learn trades and skills or even get a college education, not everyone is cut out to own a home – it is more than the mortgage and it is a costly thing to do- not everyone is up to it (and certainly not if others have to ‘assist’ you in paying for it all) and as far as Poverty – since 1965 – the percentage is now at its highest point – proves that all the great society programs haven’t solved the problem, but made it worse

    So I’m all for every single American tax payer – NOT PAYING A DIME next Tax Day – come and get us – The morons already said that they ‘can’t’ round up and deport every illegal alien in America (so let’s just make them citizens) – how are they going to arrest every tax paying American?

    And never forget people – these are the same morons who want to ban cigarettes and legalize marijuana – the stunning hypocrisy of that concept – appears to be the basis of every damn thing they do – Sc*w America, the American Dream and the American way of life – I know what is best for you, just give me your tax money and I’ll do the rest.

    YOU FIRST – When You are paying 50+% or more of your income in taxes, then we’ll talk

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  2. proreason says:

    Mr. Krugman, the “ferret”, is mentally ill.

    As a classic beta male, he overcame his tiny size and ferret-like looks to achieve status as an economist, the modern line of work closest to the medieval alchemists. It seems he was able to make his economic fantasies more compelling to his fellow alchemists than most others. Or perhaps they pitied him the most.

    With that background, he tranfered to an even more magical line of work…..NY Slimes political columnist, where he is best known as someone who trolls the lunatic fringes of the far far left blogoshpere, and steals ideas and direct quotes for his columns. He then makes up some numbers to support whatever foolishness he is peddling today, and pretends that, as an ‘economist’, he believes them. In fact, he is a toadie for the uber rich of the country, who have exempted themselves from paying taxes and are currently frantically trying to complete the political coup they thought was a done deal when their puppet Obamy tricked the American public into thinking he was something he is not.

    Like his masters, the ferret is becoming increasingly desperate. His life work, turning himself from the butt of every joke into his master’s favorite lap dog, is falling apart in front of his very eyes.

    He is going insane.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    My biggest complaint about paying taxes has always been that there is NO accountability for where the money goes. In this day and age, it should be possible to track where every single penny has gone. Instead, humans being what they are, have found ways to hide the money in ever more deceptive little ways.

    Both democrats and republicans are guilty of this. For, if we could account for every farthing, the collective gasp uttered by the citizenry would result in a temporary loss of air throughout the entire country.

    Waste, waste, waste. Graft, payoffs/payouts, bribes, slush funds, etc etc. The joke about “every year my taxes go up, but that pothole I hit every day has been there as long as I’ve been alive”. But the sad truth is, for all the empty rhetoric we hear about “accountability” they are just words and NOBODY in the government really wants anyone knowing where the money goes.

    It is the most loosely managed money in the world. If a business managed its money the way the federal government does, the business would fold in a month. Or, at the very least, would hemorrhage funds the way the federal government does.

    In a way, though, when it comes to human frailty, one of the only ways people can really have influence over others is monetarily so throwing money at this thing or that is nothing new. But, there is a complete lack of accounting for it. Control of it is a nebulous term at best. It is controlled…but improperly. Plus, the entitlement class in our government has NO trepidation whatsoever in scheduling a C-32 (Boeing 757) to haul Nancy’s fat ass all over the nation twice a week. I dare say that at least 50% of the elected members of our government might think differently if they actually had to pay for it themselves.

    I would love to see some real, genuine, actual fiscal responsibility. I’ll bet if you go to DC and visit a congress-critter’s office, you’ll find the best of everything. No presswood office furniture, no BIC pens or wooden yellow pencils. No bulk paper for printers and copiers…no. In fact, I’ll bet every single one of their cellphones is paid for with tax dollars.

    Then, they tell us all that we have to make sacrifices. The mantra of the socialist minds….do as I say, not as I do.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Your first two sentences are why I truly believe that the 16th Amendment needs to be repealed yesterday. These people are unethical, incompetent and truly do believe that they are so much ‘better’ than us that they do not have to account for how/where this money goes – it needs to stop now. It must stop now.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

    • proreason says:

      Withholding is pernicious. It makes it seems that you are paying nothing, because the average taxpayer never sees what he or she pays. Then at year end, most get a small refund and they are happy for that.

      If instead, taxpayers had to pay the total amount at some point during the year and actually deduct that money themselves from their checking or savings accounts, people would actually understand how much they pay in taxes, and there would be a revolt against Big Government.

      For most taxpayers, the only things they really get from federal income taxes is national defense and the cost of the branches (which is a rounding error from a tax perspective). Most people would be perfectly willing to pay for those two things. Everything else the federal government is essentially a waste and is unconstitutional as well, because the other powers are reserved to the states.

      FICA and Medicare taxes are another topic entirely. Yes, they are called taxes, but in fact they are pre-payments into retirement systems. In that sense, they are no different than saving money in IRAs or Health Savings Accounts. The Ruling Class loves to lump them with Income Taxes because that makes it seem like everybody pays taxes. If FICA was correctly labeled, then it would be clear that Social Security and Medicare are retirement programs not “taxes”. Plus, of course, our criminal politicians have use FICA and Medicade payments to buy votes for themselves. It’s a huge crime. The $60 trillion unfunded liabilities of those programs are many times larger, perhaps a hundred times larger, than any other economic crime committed in the history of the United States. In Europe…it’s even worse.

    • jobeth says:

      “Withholding is pernicious. It makes it seems that you are paying nothing, because the average taxpayer never sees what he or she pays.”

      You are right…That’s why a VAT tax is so dangerous to us.

      When you buy something in the UK for 4#s (sorry no pound sign ;-D) that’s what you pay…no additional taxes show up on your ticket. What they don’t realize is they are over paying the value of an item in those hidden high taxes…including that hidden VAT.

      The politicians only have to weather the few days as they pass those tax raises. People forget quickly what they are paying in taxes if they aren’t reminded with every receipt.

  4. Mithrandir says:

    The rich, the Tea Partiers, and everyone else SHOULD BE ANGRY.

    ….and anyone who views this video:

    America: Freedom to Fascism:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1656880303867390173#

    • wardmama4 says:

      I did not watch beyond the intro – so here is my question to all the li(e)brals – chief among them anti-Wall Street/Banker Obama – if the bankers were behind the lie that the 16th Amendment passed and thus ‘is law’ – why does no one want to overturn it, ignore it, repeal it – shouldn’t it be obvious that it was just an evil plot of ‘evil’ bankers to hoard more money for themselves?

      Of course being as it was one of the most repressive POTUS American has ever had in office at the time this scam passed (NOT) – it is no wonder all of his fellow travelers who talk about freedom and the ‘evil’ rich are really just attempting to take it all for themselves and leave the rest of us to beg for handouts. And using the Federal Income Tax scam to do it.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

    • Mithrandir says:


      …but to follow the history and paper trail to the truth of the matter, would be as difficult as finding someone’s certificate of live birth in Hawaii.

      To wardmama4, the reason no one (in power) wants to overturn the 16th Amendment, is because everyone gets a share of the money and power it generates. The military, schools, judicial system, the federal gov’t, ALL would have less ability to dangle money over everyone’s head. –Think about it. . .

    • jobeth says:

      Every one needs to see this. In my opinion about 2% or less of the material is either not accurate or is slow in taking place, but so much of it is obviously accurate that it will chill your blood.

      If those that closely follow politics as we do, watch this, it explains the what, why and how of what is taking place right now in Washington and the world.

      It answers a lot of questions that don’t make sense to the ordinary folks. And many of the quotes by people we trusted is chilling.

      I see the Tea Party should have another huge task in all the future. Never before has America needed to wake up…we did…and there is MUCH work to do!!!
      We can’t stop now.

      This movie is 1hr 51 minutes long and I promise you will be glued to it the whole time. Grab the coffe pot, and ban the kids from interruption for a couple of hours.

      Its that important. Then share it with others who need to know this info.

      I’m going to vet this as much as I can, but I expect I won’t be able to prove anything wrong.

  5. retire05 says:

    Mr. Krugman clings to his Keynesian economics like a drowning man clings to a ship’s plank. But even Keynes did not agree with throwing a nation into unsupportable debt during an economic downturn. Krugmen, like many of his fellow travelers, cherry picks Keynes to suit their agenda; soak the rich.

    What does work is the Austrian philosophy of economics. Hazlitt, Von Mises, Hayek,ect. who warned your can’t spend your way out of debt.

    But Mr. Obama seems to think that he is the reincarnation of FDR, and intends to throw us into third-world status by spending money that will take us generations to pay back. He is not smart enough to know that the New Deal was actually the Raw Deal.

    Krugman attributes more power to the rich thnt is warranted. Perhaps he should look at the power of the “little” people who fixed elections through ACORN and helped contribute to the number of people who are now losing the homes they could not afford in the first place.

  6. NoNeoCommies says:

    Most people have, or need to have, a definition that clearly delineates between those that just happen to have large salaries and those that are truly wealthy.
    The truly wealthy are the ones who seem h*ll bent on preventing the high wage earners from EVER reaching true wealth.
    Demonizing people who have large salaries simply for that lone fact is just wrong!

    • proreason says:

      There is definitely a class of inherited wealth holders who prey on the country. They include Kerry’s odious spouse, the Kennedy crime family and many others who shirk publicity. This group of uber-wealthy are 100% dedicated to preserving their own positions. They don’t create businesses or jobs. Doing that involves risk, and people like the Kennedy’s don’t take risks. They are parasites. They have armies of lawyers who write the tax codes, so they pay zero taxes. The only marginal good that they do for the country is to spend, which they do extravagantly; but rest assured, not so much that they risk even a penney of their principle. This group is heavy into politics, sometimes directly like the Kennedy’s, but more frequently as the money-men behind any politician who will do their bidding. Currently, those politicians are Democrats, but don’t imagine for a second that these piranah are idealogical in any sense. Generally, they support marxists, not because they have love for any ideoogy, but because they believe marxist politicians will allow them to reign as commissar/aristocrats once the unwashed are firmly crushed. (note: in addition to being piranahs, they are fools)

      That group is far far different from the first generation wealth creators like the Gates, Jobs, Buffets and Trumps of the world, at least from the perspective of how they earned and what they do with their wealth. (notice that both Gates and Buffet are giving away more than 1/2 their fortunes. The Kennedy’s give a smaller percentage of their billions than you do). Many of the second group are extremely liberal as well, but since people in the second group create much of the wealth and jobs that the rest of the country enjoys, we should be careful not to blame them for any of the country’s ills. Some are geniuses, some are lucky, most have some combination of genius and luck, but all are valuable assets for the country.

      And also don’t be confused that people with a few million dollars are ‘wealthy’. Real wealth is self-sustaining. A genuinely wealthy person has a fortune that will support his family for generations. The reason is that inflation erodes capital at an average of 3% a year. So to be self-sustaining, the capital must be able to earn more than inflation plus the families living and operating expenses every year, with close to zero risk, FOREVER. That’s why the uber-wealthy invented Municipal Bonds. That is their vehicle to avoid taxes and make just enough interest to sustain their capital. Since no family with ‘millions’ is going to live a modest lifestyle, and since property also costs money to maintain, a fortune big enough to be self-sustaining is HUGE, much bigger than 10 million, probably even bigger than 100 million.

      Everybody under that limit is middle class.

      And btw, as VDH eloquently says, the hot water in your house is the same temperature as in the wealthiest houses. And the hugs of your granddaughter are just as enjoyable as the hugs of the wealthiest citizens’ granddaughters.

      The middle class is an extremely broad group in this country, and it would be even larger if not for the Kennedy-like predators who seek to grab even more for themselves at our expense.

  7. retire05 says:

    NoNeoCommies, I think I should advise you that 90% of the truly wealthy are first generational wealth; Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Hermain Caine, etc. They may not have come from poverty (although many have) but rather came from middle class families.
    The truely wealthy, like Teddy Kennedy and Jay Rockefeller, inherited their wealth and they are Democrats.

    I would also advise you that if it were not for the truely wealthy, we would not have things like the National Museum of Art and support for the many charities that help so many Americans.

    But so what if there are truely wealthy people in this nation? Isn’t the right to increase one’s wealthy part of the American dream? Those who stay in poverty, but are capable of learning and working, do so because it is the easy way.

  8. GetBackJack says:

    Entitlement Rich? Paul, I don’t think the leadership of the Democratic Party appreciate your calling them out like that.

  9. Reality Bytes says:

    Pro! Making fun of a guy who obviously suffers from TSD from his years in Gym Class isn’t funny! He’s just lashing out at those who used to take his lunch money & locked him in his locker for hours on end. He probably suffers from oxygen deprivation too!!!

    Paul Krugman is a mensch! A self loathing one who hires himself out to sell out to breaking the windows of the asset class (liberal code for other Jews – in particular those from New York & Boston) in exchange for personal gain & of course, ACCEPTANCE by his masters. Poor soul.

    He should read the history of his German Jew brethern who made similar deals with the NAZI Party during their amassment of power & influence in that country.

  10. Coco Q. Rico says:

    The fact that Paul Krugman is Jewish and possible got beat up in high school don’t matter much to me…. The guy is such a specimen of bad faith and bitterness. So unhealthy. Steeped in a sweet gig in Princeton, New Jersey, feted by the New York Times and welcome at any WASPy cocktail party on the East Coast, he lectures us about elitism?

    Oh my God, he and Melissa Harris-Lacewell need to stop already. I posted this on my site by the way:


    I think this is one of Sweetness’ best posts of all time.

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