Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

CROSSROADS COMMENT -- Ben Stein Promotes Class Warfare!

Here's Ben Stein, a certifiable conservative if ever there was one, writing in his _New York Times_ column 5/7/06. Yes, despite rumors and lies to the contrary, the NYT does regularly publish conservative views.

"In the same way, even I was startled when I read about the pay of Lee R. Raymond, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, who recently retired. His retirement package was in the neighborhood of $400 million — a breathtaking sum, even for those of us who admire the job that Big Oil does and think that the industry gets a bum rap.

"Still, that's between him and his stockholders, not a matter for Congress. And it would not even remotely be addressed by a windfall profits tax — an idea that has been tried and has failed miserably."

This should go down easily with mindless dittoheads and thinking conservatives alike. But here is how Ben "I never met a free market I didn't like" Stein ends his column:

"America is becoming a nation of many rich people. I recently read that there were close to 10 million millionaire households. I read that there were hundreds of thousands who made more than $1 million a year. Good for them.

"But it's unlovely for them to pay as little tax as they now pay. The real problem in this country is only temporarily about oil. That will right itself, or we'll get used to it and adjust.

"The real problem is saving a nation that is beset by terrorism, and we cannot do that unless we feel that we are all in the same boat, pulling at the oars together. That includes the rich.

"Whatever rationale there may have been in 2001 for lowering their taxes is long gone. It's time for them — us, because it includes me — to pay their (our) share.

"It's not about oil. It's about fairness."

Whoops! Do I hear "class warfare" and the "politics of envy and resentment" in this? Ben, how could you?


Blogger Bill Lama said...

Ben Stein is one of my heroes. I saw the article and thought that the NYT published it for the very same reason that you did... because it shows a kinder, gentler, liberal side of the Steinmeister. He has a few other ideosyncracies, such as animal rights (I happen to agree) but on this one he is just a-knee-jerkin.

Fairness has nothing at all to do with it, as Ben knows in his heart, and government revenues that help the poor are increased by the tax cuts. That's right, Laffer was correct, and it happens every time it is tried.

The class animosity will end when the intellectuals and the media remember that we are all Americans, that business and the entrepenural class create jobs, and that every man has the opportunity to succeed, beyond anywhere else on earth.

As Ben Franklin said, "the Constitution guarantees the pursuit of hapiness, you have to catch up with it yourself."

Best Regards,

9:53 PM  

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