January 09, 2013
Matt Welch on Obama’s fantasy economics:
Democrats are in denial about the true cost of their ideological commitments. If we taxed Americans enough to cover the cost (or even 90 percent of the cost) of what Democrats consider the minimal level of government, the result would be recession. That should, but won’t, give big-government apologists pause.
Somewhat related: “Tax revenue has been falling despite a sharp increase in the rate.” Despite?
Jonah Goldberg on imaginary opponents:
When will [the left] accept that they aren’t all that stands between a wonderful, tolerant America and Jim Crow? I was in the room when, during the Democratic convention, civil-rights hero John Lewis suggested that Republicans wanted to “go back” to the days when black men like him could be beaten in the street by the enforcers of Jim Crow. I thought it an outrageous and disgusting bit of demagoguery. The audience of Democratic delegates cheered in a riot of self-congratulation... To watch MSNBC is to think the hosts see themselves as the official newsletter of the Underground Railroad.
And Victor Davis Hanson on the ‘progressive’ aristocracy:
The medieval concept of offsetting your sins through public penance is back in play: The more loudly you talk about helping the proverbial people, the more you are allowed to live quite apart from them without guilt… Hollywood still seeks hundreds of millions in tax breaks unavailable to small businesses without shame because it is so manifestly compassionate. Occupy Wall Street does not camp out in Beverly Hills or Malibu, although the likes of Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio make more per year than do most Wall Street fat cats… For the overpaid and pampered Hollywood movie star, calling for raising taxes, banning guns, ending global warming, and legalising gay marriage means never having to feel too bad about living on the beach and making, under our capitalist system, more money in a month than do many Americans in a lifetime.
For some, professions of egalitarianism and socialist belly fire are a kind of rhetorical chaff – a way to elevate oneself as More Compassionate Than Thou, while deflecting envy from below. (“Please don’t hate me for being richer than you. Look, over there – they have even more, or almost as much – let’s all hiss at them!”) Vicarious philanthropy – giving away freely other people’s earnings – is a remarkably effective ruse, so much so it seems to encourage a certain disregard for dissonance, as demonstrated, for example, by the Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger in this comical exchange with Piers Morgan. And by the Guardian’s imperious class warrior Polly Toynbee, whose rhetoric was contrasted with her actual lifestyle and was promptly reduced to indignant spluttering on national television. Similar obliviousness is also displayed by the millionaire actor Jeremy Irons, who denounces consumerism and asks, “How many clothes do people need?” All while owning no fewer than seven houses, one of which is a peach-coloured castle. No, you’re not allowed to laugh. Because his wife is also very Green and “deeply socialist.”
Feel free to add your own links and snippets in the comments.