Two years ago, Gabe Sherman wrote a classic story, "The Wail of the 1%," about the belief among Wall Street moguls that they were victims of the crisis. They regard anti-Wall Street rage with total incomprehension. And more than that, they see popular anger against Wall Street as not just completely unjustified but also completely manufactured by liberals in general, and Barack Obama in particular. Nothing else could have caused this bizarre animosity. A great example of this strange delusion is published in today's The Wall Street Journal op-ed page.
The author, David Moore, recounts a frightening incident that happened to him recently. After having been approached by a panhandler and offering a dollar, the ungrateful wretch hurled it to the ground and cursed, "Wall Street fat cats!"
Wall Street fat cats! The very phrase President Obama used that one time! What could cause a homeless panhandler, normally paragons of rational discourse, to act suddenly mean and crazy? Yes, it was President Obama arguing for higher taxes on the rich:
It was as if the class-warfare rhetoric of the left had surfaced on 55th Street, while I was just trying to show some goodwill and help a guy out. He didn't even ask for a little more, as sometimes happens. ("How about $5 for a meal? ... $20 for a bus ticket?") He simply judged that my $1 gift was not sufficient and threw it on the ground. I had not given my "fair share."...
The president's incendiary message has now reached the streets. His complaints that rich people must "pay their fair share" have now goaded some of our society's most unfortunate, including one who felt compelled to refuse money because it was not enough. ...
An isolated incident on 55th Street? Perhaps. But in a sample of more than a dozen people I know who have collectively given money to panhandlers well over 1,000 times in New York during the past few decades, not one could recall ever being turned down, much less having their money tossed away as insufficient. The rhetoric of class warfare has now invaded spontaneous charity.
How many horrifying incidents like this must occur before Obama stops tearing society apart with his demands for a deficit-reduction plan that combines entitlement reduction with a restoration of Clinton-era tax rates on the highest-earning 1 percent?