Quit Waffling, Obama, and Stand Up to Bazillionaires

The mega-rich are sucking America dry, pay less taxes than ever
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2010 7:29 AM CST
Quit Waffling, Obama, and Stand Up to Bazillionaires
President Barack Obama, left, laughs with Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, center, and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera at the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

(Newser) – The electorate may have little love for wealthy, would-be politicians like Meg Whitman, John Raese, and Linda McMahon, writes Frank Rich for the New York Times. But maybe they should: Whitman and Co. were at least trying to give back, unlike most obscenely wealthy folk. The top 1% of American earners gobbled up 23.5% of the nation’s pretax income in 2007—up from less than 9% in 1976—and to stem this growing chasm between the überrich and the rest of us, Rich says the president must simply and decisively let the Bush tax cuts expire for the top 2%.

"The resurgent GOP has vowed to fight to the end to award this bonanza, but that may hardly be necessary given the timid opposition of President Obama and the lame-duck Democratic Congress," Rich writes. "Now he and what remains of his Congressional caucus are poised to retreat from even this clear-cut battle." You know things are bad, Rich says, "when you start wishing that the president might summon his inner Linda McMahon." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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