Sheila Bair describes herself as "a capitalist and a lifelong Republican," and she thinks a reasonable level of income inequality makes for a healthy economy. But the current disparity between the uber-rich and the rest of us is ridiculous, writes the former FDIC chair in the New York Times. More than that, it's un-American, and she doesn't understand why many of her fellow Republicans not only stand for it but actually back some of the policies feeding the disparity. "Government’s role should not be to rig the game in favor of 'the haves' but to make sure 'the have-nots' are given a fair shot," she writes.
GOP lawmakers can start by demanding real tax reform as part of sequester talks, specifically by calling for an end to "preferential treatment of investment income." Instead of creating jobs, these kinds of "unjustified tax breaks" merely create more wealth for hedge fund mangers. That's just the first step. "I remember a time when Republicans stood up to special interests and purged the tax code" of such abuses, writes Bair, but now they're too worried about primary challenges. "It’s time for the Grand Old Party to return to those roots." Click for Bair's full column. (Read more income inequality stories.)