Who are 'they'?

It’s hot outside. Too hot for a summer stroll or any sort of outdoor activity. So yesterday morning, I settled in for some riveting Sunday talk show action.

Aside from the usual histrionics surrounding the Sherrod racial episode and the “necessary dialogues” on race the mainstream media feels compelled to hold every other month just so it can sleep well at night, the latest argument to follow in Washington is what to do over the expiring Bush tax cuts.

Specifically, in a matter of months, the tax rate cuts President George W. Bush and the Republican-led Congress pushed through in 2001 are set to expire, returning the top bracket to its 39.6 percent rate, up from today’s 35 percent.

I laughed out loud when talking heads such as Sam Donaldson of ABC News dismissively said of those who would be affected, “They don’t need the money. They won’t miss it.” Then others cackled in unison on the various shows. Talks of “them” and “they” and, occasionally, the disdain in the pundits’ voices of the “mega-wealthy.”

So just who are these folks Donaldson and others refer to as “they”? I presume these journalists-turned-social judges are referring to top 1 percent earners in America, particularly those making over $250,000 as a family.

Folks, in Washington and other major urban areas, that’s a lot of money, but it’s not “mega-wealthy.” It might surprise our president that $250K jumps up real quickly, even for two GS-14 federal employees here in town. Would the labor unions really like to see federal workers referred to as the uber-wealthy?

I’d wager that Sam Donaldson and many of his colleagues fall into the richest-Americans category themselves. Yet how come we never hear of Sam saying, “I’d be willing to pay more for … ”? He won’t, because it undermines the value of his point and those like him if primetime journalists start referring to themselves as part of this elite income class. There's something surly about that, and prevents them from attacking said profiteers.

If they remain silent, they can parrot the Marxist rhetoric of Speaker Pelosi and others when referring to “Wall Street bankers” who cashed in million-plus bonuses. Yes, those payouts do occur. But it’s more the exception than the rule.

Think about it. Most of us know of at least two or three families who may make close to $250,000 in income. But many can’t name a Bill Gates or Warren Buffett just down the street in their neighborhood.

The point here is the mainstream politicians and media elites love to live in glass houses and throw stones at the folks in bigger glass houses, disregarding the glass while fixating on their relative size.

What apologists such as Donaldson fail to realize is that many small-business owners, for example, don’t pay corporate income taxes. Their businesses aren’t big enough or structured that way. Instead, they earn “millions” on the books and are pushed into the highest individual tax brackets.

How will that spur investment and job creation? Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said yesterday that tax hikes on the richest Americans will have a negligible negative impact on this economic recovery. If I were advising President Obama, I’d fire him before some USDA employee. This is the same Cabinet member who told a congressional panel he was an expert on the Great Depression, yet still managed to keep us in the ditch of America’s Great Recession.

It’s time to stop the politics of pronouns and start putting a face on “they.” It might surprise all of us that those individuals are the same ones we sat next to in church yesterday, and they don’t deserve what Obama wants to give them.

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