Why Shouldn’t The Rich Feel Entitled?

SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 15:  Five-year-old Katerina Demetriades and her sisters attend an American Family Association (AFA)-sponsored T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already) Party to protest taxes and economic stimulus spending with their mother on the last day to file state and federal income tax returns, April 15, 2009 in Santa Monica, California. The protesters say that taxes and government spending are too high while the Obama administration contends that it is lowering taxes for 95 percent of the population and using stimulus money to save the nation from economic collapse. Several T.E.A. or Tea Party rallies are being held in southern California, a play on the name of the 1773 Boston Tea Party tax revolt in which disgruntled Americans rebelled against British colonial taxation. The American Family Association is a conservative Christian political activist group focusing on what it views as negative liberal influences of television, abortion rights, gay rights, pornography, and premarital sex. The group also owns 180 American Family Radio stations in 28 states.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Paul Krugman has a column today entitled “The Angry Rich” in which he derides America’s wealthy for having “a belligerent sense of entitlement.” He argues that the political rage that’s sweeping America is coming from the rich, not the poor who are the ones truly suffering:

These are terrible times for many people in this country. Poverty, especially acute poverty, has soared in the economic slump; millions of people have lost their homes. Young people can’t find jobs; laid-off 50-somethings fear that they’ll never work again.

Yet if you want to find real political rage — the kind of rage that makes people compare President Obama to Hitler, or accuse him of treason — you won’t find it among these suffering Americans. You’ll find it instead among the very privileged, people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs, their homes, or their health insurance, but who are outraged, outraged, at the thought of paying modestly higher taxes.

My question is: Why shouldn’t these people be outraged? Why shouldn’t the feel entitled to keeping their own wealth?

Shouldn’t we be asking why redistributionists like Krugman feel entitled to use other people’s wealth to fund their altruism?

Krugman’s narrative, which is hardly original in that it’s the same narrative we hear every day from the left, has it that the greedy rich should be willing to give up more to help their fellow man. But is it really so unreasonable for those who are secure in their finances to expect their less-secure fellow citizens earn their own way to prosperity?

And keep in mind, it’s not like the financially secure in America aren’t already being taxed. They’re shouldering most of the tax burden already. Of course they’re going to object to being asked to shoulder more.

It’s an unreasonable request, especially when there’s so much spending in Washington DC that simply doesn’t need to happen.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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