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Barack Obama thinks higher taxes are a good thing

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama went after the "We're not paying enough taxes to the government" vote today during a television interview in New York.

First, he said the Bush tax cuts ought to die. He likes that top marginal rate of 39%. Although the non-partisan National Journal recently declared him the most liberal of the 100 senators, Obama denied being a "wild-eyed liberal," which wasn't what the Journal called him, but it sounds good on TV where everything moves by so quickly.

Maria Bartiromo on CNBC's "Closing Bell" asked, "Who should pay more and who should pay less?" Predictably, the politician chose to talk about who would benefit from his higher tax plan, not who would get socked the hardest. But from his answers it sounds like the "wealthy" in his mind are those making more than $75,000.

"I would not increase taxes for middle class Americans and in fact I want to....

provide a tax cut for people who are making $75,000 a year or less,'' he said. "For those folks, I want an offset on the payroll tax that would be worth as much as $1,000 for a family.

"Senior citizens who are bringing in less than $50,000 a year in income, I don't want them to have to pay income tax on their Social Security. And as part of my overall approach to housing, I actually want to provide an additional 10% mortgage deduction, a credit, mortgage interest credit, for those who currently don't itemize."

"Why raise taxes at all in an economic slowdown?'' Bartiromo asked. "Isn't that going to put a further strain on people?"

"Well, look," said Obama, "there's no doubt that anything I do is going to be premised on what the economic situation is when I take office.''

Obama said, "I'm going to be sworn in in January -- we don't know what the economy's going to look like at that point."

He was asked about the liberal tag. "I believe in capitalism and I want to do what works,'' the senator replied. " But what I want to make sure of is it works for all America and not just a small sliver of America."

"Obama’s completely disingenuous dodge on whether he would raise taxes during a time of economic slowdown is belied by his vote earlier this month," said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. "Obama’s claims to the contrary, his votes to raise taxes on people earning as little as $31,850 are straight from the Democrats’ tax-and-spend playbook."

-- Andrew Malcolm and Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington Bureau.

Comments () | Archives (59)

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Europeans pay more in taxes than us, the rich pays more taxes than the lower income families, everybody has access to health care .... and social benefits are one of the best specially for meddle class and down.

But... the government is strict in handling the taxes that people pay !!

... in a sense... Obama has a good point on this issue.

to make a (not very) long story short(er): he doesn't care?

now isn't that just what we need, paying more taxes?
what are these candidates thinking?

people in this country are being taxed to death.
every state in this country has been spending money they do not have, at the expense of the taxpayer, supporting their ridculous spending on the backs of home owners.


It amazes me, given the hostility in this piece towards Obama, BLATANT hostility, that anyone thinks the LAT is a "liberal" paper. The clowns who wrote up this article are partisan Republican hacks.

And no, the National Journal is not "non-partisan". It's conservative.


Obama was talking about raising the capital gains tax, not midrange income taxes, and he also advocated rolling back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy -- which would affect only the richest 1%of the country

He did NOT say he would raise taxes for people making over $75k/yr. He said he lower taxes for those making less. There's a difference; people making $75k/yr would probably see no change in their tax rate.

The bias in this article is startling, and ending with a quote from an RNC spokesman with no remarks at all from Democratic spokesman? That's lazy and irresponsible.


"And as part of my overall approach to housing, I actually want to provide an additional 10% mortgage deduction, a credit, mortgage interest credit, for those who currently don't itemize."

Yeah, let's give people more incentive to borrow even *more* money they can't afford to repay. That's worked really well so far...

I think that the taxes should stay the same and government should try not to spend so much like 500 dollars for a lousy bolt.

FINALLY the rich people in america might just have to pay their fair share of taxes just like the rest of us, instead of just using loopholes to pay less taxes than people making 10x less than them!

Am I the only one to see that the masks are finally falling.
Going after The Wë're not paying enough taxes to the government vote ¨ says it all. Welcome to the goulag and Stalinist blood bath years. Does anyone recognize the
George Soros/Marxist Leninist spectre ?Vote Obama if
you agree that welfare recipients need to get $50000.00
a year before they start paying income tax. Thats the
liberal way.

It's each man for himself,said the elephant dancing amongst the chickens. Senator and soon to be president
Obama is about to eradicate this greed culture.It's about
time those earning $75000.00 and over start paying for
the rest of us and that the USA pay back to the UN the
billions and billions plus interest that we are in default.The
UN must assume it's role as super government if we are
to have social justice on this planet.Private property and
so-called free-enterprise are about to be redefined for the
people and by the people's true representative.Wealth
redristribution is coming soon to a theatre near you.Amen.

Much higher taxes and stricter regulating from goverment
is what our nation needs if we want to do away with
junk food and obesity.$7.00 a day per adult and $5.00 for
minors has to be the maximum legal amount for food.
Ground breaking legislation is nearly completed and
Senator Obama has set aside $100. million for an October
media blitz on this. Real change will not be an empty slogan.

The scariest part of this interview is how absolutely clueless this man is about the economy. He was obviously ad libbing his comments and had no idea what he was talking about. He is completely unqualified to be President.

Higher taxes are never, ever the answer. The biggest dirty little secret that the lib's don't want you to know is that since the Bush tax cuts, government tax collections are at record HIGHS. It's amazing what happens when the government lets people do what they want with their money. Keeping more money in the actual economy meant more jobs and better pay. Obama is absolutely clueless about capital gains. He talks out of both sides of his mouth, saying whatever sounds good in a particular situation. Change indeed: Just more liberal garbage. One last comment for the class-warfare crowd. The rich will always pay more in taxes than you do, even with a flat tax or national sales tax.

For all the libs or just the anti war, politically and economically clueless obamamites, check out this website to understand how important the bush tax cuts are.

This is the most recent IRS release of personal income tax information and who is paying what. The top 1% of the richest people in the country paid more taxes, under the bush tax cuts, then has ever been paid before. The top 25% richest people in the country pay for 86% of all income taxes paid. The poorest 50% of the people in the country paid a measeley 3% of the total federal income tax revenue. So, tell me again how the rich need to start paying their fair share of taxes like everyone else?? Ignorance is bliss I imagine!

Liberalism is not free..Entitlements cost money, and all those cry-babys earnibg 75k and more need to put aside
another 10 grand to meet their social responsabilitys and
duty to the less priviledged of this planet. We need to wage war on poverty wich is the root cause of terrorism.
Obama is our man and increasingly higher taxes the only
recipe for achieving world equality.

I live in Michihan, We have the worst unemployment in the country. So the Dem. Gov. Jenny Granholm had the same idea and tax us even more now .people are moving out of the state. Same idea that Obama has tax the rich then go after the middle class because there is not enough rich so in order to get more...... soak us All.
Hey his pastor taught him that what do you expect?

How about the two Godless mercenarys running the
campaign of the untalented bowler, racist pastor apologist
slum lord sycophant....yes Axelrod and Plouffe raking in
tens of millions before their ¨client¨starts realy punishing
all the achievers earning 75K and over ?I guess Soros
will have to resume his criminal foreign exchange speculating operations and so long to all the suckers of
moove on dot org.

Raising taxes and a government administered economy
has already been tested and prooven the best way to
bankrupt a national economy.Obama is oblivious to the
teachings of history like all dogmatic socialists who have
little or no experience in the private sector of the economy.
Add to this the backing of the low morality democrat left wing
nomenclatura and you get an ACLU monstrosity as a
government that will preside over the destruction of the
better aspects of the American miracle. Rank and file
democrats have a choice between the precipice and
Hillary. Should Hillary fail to get the nomination...MCCain
of course.

Loss of virility and strict discipline have taken this nation
closer to chaos than at any time in the past. We are beeing
taken over by the spiritual pestilence spewing leftists and
racist anti-America pro civil unrest rabble rousers. Time
has come for another J.Edgar Hoover no nonsense

For those who do itemize...Do not pass not collect
$200.00. Brace for a serious meltdown and repeated
audits by the IRS wich is Obama's pet gov. agency that
will play a major major role in your miserable lives.This
man aint no Santa Claus for the achievers.

About the only thing scarier than Obama possibly being President is the absolute cluelessness of some of his followers who have posted here. You people really are ignorant, aren't you? Who pays your salaries (assuming you actually work)? Where do you think jobs come from? People in trash cans? Good grief. I fear this country won't last much longer if Obama gets elected.

If taxing the rich at an even higher rate is a good idea, why not just take ALL of their money and give it to the poor? That would be equality, right? However, what do you do then? You now have a country where those who know how to create jobs and create wealth have no capital from which to operate. This is why Reagan's tax cuts had such a huge effect: it gave money back to everyone, even the rich. The poor took their money and just blew it (as predicted), but the rich responded to the less regulatory, lower taxation environment and spurned economic growth at a pace unrivaled in history. I know this makes no sense to a liberal, but at least it will be something for the rest of you to consider. Raising taxes is never a good idea, because the government is horrible at efficient management and wealth generation.

Remember: The New Deal PROLONGED the depression. By no means did it help.


Wow there are some posters here that have a clue... People with wealth make it possible to create wealth for others. Ever heard of investment? Try and start a business without any capitol.

So this old Democrat mantra of high taxes and calling
middle class the rich is on again. Obama's economic acumen is as lazy as his patriotism . Xtreme hate and
xtreme socialism go together like a horse & carriage,
just as Soros,moove on org,Wright and Farrakhan make
for a very explosive cocktail.

So giving rich companies and people tax breaks so they can outsource american jobs to pay less money to employees and benefits helps out America... how?
You rethugs and demo just kill me! It's not the things you say it's the things you don't say that is the problem.

Jesse Ventura for President!!

Hack article. The $31,850 number is proof. This is only true when combined with their spouses $31,850. Come live in my shoes and I'll show you how I'd love to pay higher taxes on an income of $75,000.

Social responsibilities???? Duty to the less privilaged??!!! If you idiots want to take you''re money and give to charity that's you're business. But dont tell me that I have a responsibility to give the government X amount of dollars so it can be redistributed irresponsibly. Give to charity as much as you want. Keep the government out of my pocket. You people truly are morons. You celebrate the government taking more of you're money and giving it to those who refuse to work for it. YOu people are mindless idiots who need to be led around by the hand like a child by the liberal media because you lack the ability to think for yourselves and use a little common sense.

Well after years of working my tail off, all the overtime and second jobs, I finally broke the 100k ceiling last year. I also am apparently wealthy, hence screwed tax wise. Guess I should scale back and try remain middle class. But that would mean losing my home and sending my kids to community college. Why the hell is middle class not redifined geographically? My 100k helps keep my head above water here in California. It wont have me sailing around in a yaught.

Obama's a Marxist period. Read some history about Marxism folks, befor you embrace it.

When he says raising the Capitol Gains tax he is in effect raising taxes on the middle class and I don't care what he says,because he's just a worthless liar.He voted to raise taxes to 50% on everybody making $31,850/year or more and goes around telling the LIE that he will cut taxes.Just face the facts,he's just another worthless tax and spend Liberal that's good at telling lies.

Raising taxes and having government doll out that money for needs is actually more efficent than having corporations do them. This is fairly obvious. A governmental system has Budget X dollars and their objective is to see that Y citizens receive Z number of dollars. They can be straight-forward in the dolling out and the satisfying of NEEDS (see: NOT DESIRES. Healthcare, insurance safety nets, etc). Whereas corporations might have a Budget of X dollars. Their objective however is to make more dollars, not actually provide healthcare or see toward the fulfilling of needs. They’re objective is to fufill the DESIRES of the shareholders, not the NEEDS of the stakeholders.

Government is useful. Its high time people stop being dogmatic and short sighted about its uses. It works where the market cannot.

So the BMV and Post Office are better than Honda and Fedex? Get real.

And when he talks about raising the capitol gains tax,that includes your retirement package and he did vote in the senate to raise taxes on people making $31,850/year or more and that's a fact of what will happen if that liar is elected.

Why the envy about the top 1%??? They provide the jobs for you people. Tax them more and they will pay you less, hire less of you, and cut your benefits to make up for the higher taxes. The only people who benefit from taxing the rich are the power hungry politicians that want to spend your money on their pork projects. Be happy that the rich are keeping you employed. It is never good to bite the hand that feeds you.

I love all these geniuses who think that the top 1% pay less in taxes, let's see last year I paid $163k in taxes and this year I've already paid more than $98k. Let's think about this for a moment... the more I pay in taxes means the less money my company has to higher people or to give in the form of raises and bonuses.

Vote Obama, pay more taxes, lay off more people. Democrats, the destructors of the small business owner. You people are dumber than a bag of hammers.

I am amazed at the ignorance of the people here in this blog blasting Obama for wanting to raise taxes. How come that the "Highest standard of living" in this world is in the Scandinavian countries where taxes are much higher than here in the U.S.? The U.S. only ranks about number 12 in the world. Yeah, that much for the best place to live on earth - LOL.
With higher taxes the economy is boosted, the healthcare system is sound and people are HAPPY. I have never met so many cry babies as here in the U.S. Get over it. Learn from other countries and realize that the current system in the U.S. does not work. Smart and intelligent people like Obama are pro-active, all others won't move on and it shows. Vote for McCain if you like since he was such a great soldier....oh wait, what was so great about getting caught in the war? I guess he wasn't that smart afterall:)

Response to FINALLY above who wrote,
"FINALLY the rich people in america might just have to pay their fair share of taxes just like the rest of us, instead of just using loopholes to pay less taxes than people making 10x less than them!"

WHERE is the fact? where is the research? Idiots like this will continue to help erode our wonderful liberties in America!

A report just came out that the top 1% (The ultra rich) in 2005 paid 39.4% of the entire nations income tax! And the bottom 50% paid ONLY 3.1% of the entire county's income tax in 2005! check it out here:

To all you who are duped and fooled, ignorant or willfully blind like Finally above: DON'T YOU EVER say that the RICH don't pay enough taxes in America!!

That kind of talk is FLAT out LIES!!

I am totally amazed at this IGNORANT crazed wealth envy!

I DO NOT have ANY social responsibilities. I DO NOT OWE YOU ANYTHING! I am responsible for myself and my child ONLY. NOT YOU OR your kids.

vote mccain if you want to hold on to your money
read into his satatements. we will all be paying

If you don't think the High price of gas and food are a back door tax, then you have been distracted by the usual tax rhetoric. This is the direct result of bad fiscal policy i.e. cutting taxes during a war on an oil producing country.

Taxes support a civil society. Without the system of government and laws that taxes support there would be no opportunity to gain wealth. Those who have become wealthy, have done so because our system supports that. They owe a larger amount of tax because it this structure that enabled them to obtain and keep that wealth. Taxes have been used wisely to extend a ladder of opportunity to those with talent and ambition who otherwise would not have been able to climb socially or economically, money equals opportunity. If we are going to have a tax debate, let’s frame it properly. The alternatives to civil society can be found today in places like Mexico where kidnapping is the ladder of opportunity, or Russia where no one can be rich except the oligarchy insiders.

The poor do not need more money, that is just more of a incentive not to achieve. There are many programs out there, VERY MANY that give one a chance to gain a education and gain a portion of wealth. 75K... Some of you call that wealthy? Are you insane? I make the amount of money I make because me and my wife busted our asses through school and full-time work to achieve where we are. How about instead of popping out kids you can't afford and expecting others to pay for them, you take responsibility of your own lives? I had no help from mommy or daddy, and I joined the military to pay my way (I am currently still in). We need to stimulate the economy by increasing our GDP and giving companies more incentive to not outsource. We also need to give benefits to lower our shadow economy so that more illegal immigrants start paying taxes. Right now we are giving WAY too much to the poor, un-achieving class. There is really no reason to be poor anymore in this society if you have ingenuity and a average intelligence. Obama would just increase the deficient between the classes while putting all the weight on the hard-working middle-class. Middle-class individuals do not just receive money off capital gains from investments or dividends, they receive their salary because they have a large amount of human capital (needed skills and knowledge in providing, making, or distribution certain goods or services). Do not be fooled by this man, he has no experience or idea at how to run a nation. He does not even have any outlined policies on how he is going to achieve any of the ideas he has promised! We are not a socialist country, we are a society where you get what you earn. If you do not like it why not try a communist or socialist society?

Let me give you an example of what Obama's ideas will do. I live in the DC area (Alexandria). My wife and I are wealthy -- by Obama's definition. I work for a consulting firm and my wife is a nurse. Together, we make a bit over $200,000 a year. We live comfortably in a nice house in Alexandria with a large mortgage. We put about $20,000 a year into our combined 401(k) accounts, since we have no pension plans at work. That reduces our taxable income to about $180,000 a year. We own another home that we rent out at a considerable loss every month because we cannot sell it in the current market. Sure, someone would buy it, if we decide to take an enormous loss on it.

"Wow," says Obama. "That's a LOAD of money. These guys need to pay more to support our government programs." Many of you on this blog say the same thing: "pay up, rich folks." Well, it might surprise you to know that between Federal taxes, Virginia state taxes, the Alternative Minimum Tax, FICA (Social Security) on the first $96K of both our incomes, Medicare (on all the income), very high Alexandria city property taxes on our home, and personal property taxes on our cars, plus sales taxes and other taxes, we pay over 45% of our income in taxes.

That leaves us about $100,000 in take-home pay. Still a lot, right? Until you look at the costs of living. Our mortage is nearly $6,000 a month, with utilities such as gas and electric very high as well, and going higher. We have to pay many other bills as well, like everyone else (car repairs, insurance, gasoline, etc.). The mortgage and utilities and our fixed expenses alone add up to about $7,000 a month. That is $84,000 right there, leaving us with $16,000 a year in disposable income. Assuming the car doesn't need to go in the shop.

Currently, we try to save about $5,000 of that for retirement in case Social Security isn't around, so that leaves $11,000. We try to give about $2,000 a year to charities. Fortunately our cars are paid off, but eventually we will need to replace them, which means payments, higher insurance costs, and higher personal property taxes (car tax) in Virginia.

That leaves us with less than $1,000 a month, total, for clothes, groceries, food, entertainment, travel, and incidental expenses (dry cleaning, our maid service, pest control, and so on).

If Obama rolls back the Bush tax cuts that benefit the "wealthy" like my wife and me, then our disposable income will be virtually eliminated. We will have to do one of two things: EITHER sell our house (good luck in this market, and we are likely to lose $200,000 in our hard-earned equity on such a sale, after we worked really hard to save up a large down payment on our house) and move to a cheaper place, OR fire our maid service, do our own ironing, stop traveling, stop eating out, cut our charitable donations, and buy fewer clothes. We will certainly have to delay buying a new car as long as we can keep the old ones running (a 1999 and 2003).

Anyone see where this is going? If you do what Obama wants to do to the "wealthy," then people like us, and there are a lot of us, will have to make major changes. Our maids will be out of work, restaurants will go out of business because we are not eating out (except McDonald's), we will not be staying in hotels or renting cars so tourism will suffer, and we can't even affort to patronize the dry cleaners. We will sure as hell not buy a new car, and if we do, it will be a less expensive one because we won't be able to afford large payments. We're stuck, and we don't even have any kids! Good luck to "wealthy" families like us who ALSO have kids to raise and have to worry about college tuition -- the tax "break" you get for kids doesn't even begin to cover the cost of raising them.

This real-life example should tell you everything you need to know about what rolling back the tax cuts will do to the economy. It will take more of our money, give it to the government (which always uses it so wisely), and stop our discretionary spending almost completely. The economic consequences are very real. If people like me can't afford to buy cars, eat out, stay in hotels, or go to movies, what do you boneheads think is going to happen to the economy? Whose spending keeps the average person employed or keeps the automakers in business? What will happen to America's small businesses, like shops and restaurants, if their customers can't afford to go there anymore?

I am hoping against hope that Obama is not elected. We can't afford him. If any of you folks on the left would like to explain to me what I am supposed to do if my taxes go up, and how my money is better off with the government than going to American businesses for goods and services, please let me know.

Remember people this is a democracy. This country needs less government.. not more government. Name one government program that works the way it's supposed to... I bet you can't because there isn't any.

When you tax the rich the money will just trickle down to the the middle and lower class. Meaning, less money, Less benefits, Less jobs, and charging more for product. What exactly will happen to the economy if nobody can afford to buy anything?

Give big companies the tax breaks so they can afford to give you these things. Some may not but most will.

My wife and I are quickly aproaching making $75K per year, and I can tell you it is far from rich. Because we both went through prolonged school to achieve this, we've yet to really start saving for retirement. On top of that we pay almost $1700 per month over the next 30 years on student loans. Calling us rich is ignorant and raising our taxes could put us out of our home, which is only the median price for the city I live in. But I guess since I hit this magic number that other people deserve my money more than I do.

Some of you people are pathetic. While your "boo hooing" over the fact that your taxes would be raised, Barack Obama is trying to get health insurance and Medicare for people who don’t have the privilege of having it otherwise. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for working families to pay for visits to the doctor and get essential medicine. It's pathetic how selfish you people are to only think about your best interest. The American people are becoming more and more of a lost cause everyday.

When did the government become resposible for everybody? I grew up poor, in a poor neighborhood. I realized early on that I did not like living like this, so I did something about it. I started by graduating from high school, the I paid my own way through colllege. I got a good paying job. When I chose my job, I chose based on benefits and income. My health insurance isn't the greatest, but guess what I have a medical saving account.

I have 3 children, a house, and 2 cars that I have to pay for. We barely scrape by every month, but we make it. I make $90K a year, but I work 2 jobs. I like my life, and can't afford more taxes.

When are people going to wake up, they set their own destiny. You alone control your dreams and amitions in life. People need to take responsibility for their own actions. I should not have redistribute my supposed "Wealth" to others that have no desire to become productive members of society. Somewhere along the way, we need to break this chain of government dependency.

We are the verge of becoming a socialist society. We need government control of this, government control of that. We have goverments by corperations with our tax dollars. National Health care, there's another one, watch you health care take a nose dive.

I could go on and on........

"Europeans pay more in taxes than us, the rich pays more taxes than the lower income families, everybody has access to health care .... and social benefits are one of the best specially for meddle class and down."

Who are you kidding? Socialized health care is lousy - ask any Canadian. In Europe, gas is $8 bucks a gallon. They tax e anergy to the point that people are dying of heat stroke during recent heat waves, as they can't afford to run air conditioning.

European taxes eat up as much as 42 percent of the GDP, compared to 29 percent for America. And what do they get for it? Long waiting lists to see a doctor? How much does the average person need to spend on seeing a doctor here in America anyway? It's not worth pissing away over 40% of our paychecks in taxes, I can tell you that!

"Tax increases are always bad. Tax cuts are always good."

Those are a set of chowderheaded notions. Government should impose enough taxes to support the programs that the people want from the government. You want a Katrina bailout? That will cost 10-20 billion dollars. You want an Iraq bailout? That's closer to a trillion dollars. A Wall Street/mortgage bailout? Probably several trillion dollars. Medicare? Social Security? God knows what that will cost over the next few decades.

If you don't want these programs, that's great. But here's the rub - we do want these programs. I don't know a single senior citizen who's willing to walk away from Medicare. I don't know a single senior citizen who's willing to walk away from Social Security. I haven't heard of a single person in New Orleans willing to "just say no" to Katrina relief. Very few people are willing to say that they aren't willing to "support our troops in harms way" (a nice euphamism making it very difficult to get our troops out of harm's way.

If you want the programs, you need to pay for them. I'd much rather have "tax and spend" Democrats in office than "borrow and spend" Republicans. So the real question that we should be asking is who the tax burden should rest more heavily on - the poor and middle class, who aren't sophisticated enough to dodge taxes, or the ultra-rich, who've been cheating the rest of us by exploiting fancy tax dodges.

I think it is wrong of Obama to desire to increase taxes for the wealthy. Many wealthy people, including my parents, have worked their way up from the bottom. It took discipline to refrain from splurging, hard work, long hours, and tough choices but their strategic savings now allow our family to be well provided for. It is not right for a man to try to increase our taxes when we are working just as hard as others with a lower income. True, the jobs we hold might not be physically intensive, but we have taken advantage of the education system and planned ahead.
You might be thinking, "that is selfish, many people can't go to school their whole life or afford college. Many people have to work multiple jobs to make a living." But if each person decides to make a change for themselves they can reach a higher level of wealth without depending on tax money from others. i feel it is each person's responsibility to take their life into their own hands and decide if they are willing to work hard for a better future. It is unfair for hardworking upper class people to provide for the lower class people, especially the ones who have potential to make their own money.
Overall, I truly believe that Obama's plans are wrong in several ways and unacceptable. Raising taxes for a certain group of people is unjust and unethical. We in the upper class work hard as well and should not be viewed differently.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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