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Matt Taibbi writes, "Courtesy of good friend and Supreme Court of Assholedom justice David Sirota comes this revolting list of Marie Antoinettoid moments from recent years, in an article called The New 'Let Them Eat Cake!'"

Portrait, Rolling Stone contributing editor and author Matt Taibbi. (photo: Robin Holland)
Portrait, Rolling Stone contributing editor and author Matt Taibbi. (photo: Robin Holland)

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-52 # forparity 2011-07-13 17:23
Well, it was difficult to reverse the trend created during the Clinton era:

http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/images/2010_trend_chart_2.gif

Interesting that Nancy Pelosi's net worth incresed by 62% last year -- from richer to filthy rich.
 
 
+20 # LeeBlack 2011-07-14 12:06
This is an ad hominen argument - the point is we'd tax Pelosi at the same rate as Schwarzman, not raise the tax on the grandmother living on social security or the firemen who has risked his life for 30 years.
 
 
-13 # for parity 2011-07-14 15:00
Look I get my comment. On the other hand the piece, as so many do leans to the shift of fortunes. We never had that conversation as the major shift took place - the late 90's.

I'm on record here - that the top end of the tax cuts should have been reversed back in the mid-2000's or so. Still should.

I'd imagine that Pelosi is already in the same tax bracket as Schwarzman.

But not most of the other 82% of the Bush era stimulus, er, tax cuts. Why? Reversing them would greatly hurt the middle and lower classes as well - both directly, and as a result of further economic depression.
 
 
+8 # Oligarch 23 2011-07-14 14:49
thanks so much for keeping the real reasons our Republic is foundering-the commie Union members-in your sights! For a poor person like me-barely a million in assets and not all of them pulling in income-it is really appreciated! I am sure the poor can make do with beans and rice-they can scrounge in dumpsters too-it is their own fault for neglecting to choose the right parents like we did! And yes, it was all Clinton's fault-Reagan and Regan had Nothing to do with it!!!!
 
 
-15 # for parity 2011-07-14 17:33
You blurted out . ."And yes, it was all Clinton's fault-Reagan and Regan had Nothing to do with it!!!!"

I guess you meant Reagan and someone else?

What a weird thing to say. Everyone has a lot to do with it - especially Clinton.

I'd never blame Clinton, personally, for looking the other way, as did Bush, as their respective bubbles blew out of control. The 90's would have been much the same w/ Bush at the helm, as the 2000's would have been with Clinton, or Gore, at the helm.
 
 
+14 # karenvista 2011-07-14 20:14
Quoting for parity:
You blurted out . ."And yes, it was all Clinton's fault-Reagan and Regan had Nothing to do with it!!!!"

I guess you meant Reagan and someone else?


You seem to have all the answers. I'm surprised you are not aware that Donald Regan was Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury and Chief of Staff. No Oligarch 23 didn't mean Reagan and someone else.
 
 
-11 # for parity 2011-07-15 01:04
No, and I don't have all the answers.. but he got me; that's not a name we hear very often, although yes, I do remember him.
 
 
+27 # angelfish 2011-07-13 22:56
GREAT article Matt, you're so right about the Mega-wealthy being out of touch with REAL Americans, 90% of whom are poor working stiffs or unable to find any gainful employment at all these days. I keep wondering, HOW can we wake them up to reality? Thanks for all you do in exposing the egregious cry babies who have a loaf under each arm while the rest of the populace can't even get bread, let alone, cake!
 
 
-63 # Robt Eagle 2011-07-14 05:55
So, Mike Taibbi, is it your theory that making money is a bad thing? Isn't that the American dream? These ultra fat cats somehow made it big and it is your contention that they should be taxed to equalize their success back to the others in our society? That sounds like the political theory of eastern Europe behind a wall that existed years ago, isn't it? This is America and the ability to make it big is what makes America great. Redistribution of wealth is either socialism or worse communism. The fat cats earned it, and if they spend it extravagantly, some one is employing people at their lavish parties, and the last time I looked being employed is a good thing.
 
 
+33 # Saberoff 2011-07-14 09:26
Come on Robt; it is your interpretation of the American dream (amassing personal wealth on the backs of the middle class) that is making us a dictatorial, third world country. We were once a model for the world: healthy, rich, admired. I think we should go back to The New Deal model of taxation, based on ability to pay. I understand the argument that these people earned (or somehow came by) their money and it should be theirs to blow to their heart's content, but what, may I ask, is wrong with having them taxed at least at the SAME RATE as everyone else?
 
 
+17 # shagar 2011-07-14 09:46
robert eagle , you poor sad victim of brain washing. Even if you are one of the elites, which I doubt ( they have no interest in debate, like you do, they have ample mouth pieces like you championing their dreary recession proof lives). Its called the american "dream" for a reason. Sure a little money gets trickled down to the hard working, true entrepeneurs that flock to america's (and Canada's) shores everyday, but the notion that there's some revolving door of the worthy at the top of the income pyramid is laughable. Have you been asleep for the last 3 years, 3 decades, wtf three centuries? of course you have, you stalwart flagbearer for capitalism, you. But I have news for you. while you were sleeping , or "dreaming", they changed the official title to Corporatism and gave personhood to its true subjects, the corporations. And you ain't one of them.
But good luck with that dream of yours, there will be room for you in the welfare lines when the next recession hits , if you're not too proud. Or do you have some crazy notion that the 2nd amendment kicks in at that point? ... And we actually believed the Eastern Bloc used mind control on its citizens. (Call me a comrade any day, just don't call me a consumer.)
 
 
+15 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-07-14 10:19
Quoting Robt Eagle:
So, Mike Taibbi, is it your theory that making money is a bad thing? Isn't that the American dream? These ultra fat cats somehow made it big and it is your contention that they should be taxed to equalize their success back to the others in our society? That sounds like the political theory of eastern Europe behind a wall that existed years ago, isn't it? This is America and the ability to make it big is what makes America great. Redistribution of wealth is either socialism or worse communism. The fat cats earned it, and if they spend it extravagantly, some one is employing people at their lavish parties, and the last time I looked being employed is a good thing.


They (THE FAT CATS) are NEITHER RICH NOR WEALTHY! They are greedy, covetous, and pernicious! The so-called "redistribution of wealth" has STOLEN from the working and middle class to feed the FAT CATS! And now, when they are called upon to pay their fair share, they morph into Daffy Duck and declare his motto: "Fair sssharre of taxes? Me? NO! It's MINE! ALL MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE! HU-HU-HU-HU-HA- HA-HA-HA=HA-HA- HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! !!!!!!!!! Besides, I, AM GREEDY!! Daffy says what most of these greedmonger say amongst themselves!
 
 
+18 # angelfish 2011-07-14 13:07
Yes, Robt Eagle, They DID earn it. WHY won't they pay their fair share of TAXES to the Country that afforded them the opportunity? What do they do? They ship their Corporate Headquarters to the Bahamas, send jobs with liveable wages overseas to third World Countries to. again, avoid paying payroll taxes, or having to adhere to OSHA rules or provide benefits to their foreign employees. I'm glad they have wealth and success, BUT, I have to pay Taxes even though I'm retired and on a FIXED income. I probably pay more in taxes than does Exxon/Mobil and so, Probably, do YOU! ...and you think this is fair that they DON'T?
 
 
+6 # juldol 2011-07-17 07:52
Many of these extremely wealthy have broken laws to acquire their money, most pay large numbers of employees too little to survive- whose incomes have to be subsidized in the form of food stamps, and housing vouchers. We the middle class have to give supplement to their employees to live, while they run away with the bank all the while buying power and influence so the laws and tax structure continue to shift more and more wealth to the top. Let me know when these guys actually earn the money instead of stealing it and I will applaud.
 
 
+14 # BishopAndrew 2011-07-14 06:51
I once told a local Democrat activist that when you have people who make minimum wage voting Republican then you have your work cut out for you! The fact is, and it is the dirty little secret of the Republic, that the words of Cal Coolege has become the only reality in America. Old Cal said the business of America is business and so it is. As far as the Republicans and the Rich Barons that sleep with them in the body politic are concerned the poor, or the sick , or the elderly, or the student be damned. The Democrats are not much better and under this President have let the Republicans and the Rich pig out at the troth that is the symbol of their class!
 
 
+1 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-16 12:31
Bishop Andrew,
You have said it so well. This is the most intelligent comment I have read in some time. Do you have any solutions?
 
 
+18 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-07-14 07:38
A half century ago, I learned while attending Mother McAuley Liberal Arts School in Chicago (sounds a bit Irish, and so it is) that missionaries bring the people they are hoping to convert out of the poverty of no food, clothing, shelter, etc. before starting to preach and instruct. When folks are suffering without life's essentials, they can do very little other than survive.

Today, I question if this obviously manipulated, massive poverty inducing recession/depre ssion, effecting millions of we the sheeple while the villainaires make unprecedented profits, is perhaps a ploy to keep we the sheeple inactive with revolting/prote sting. Too busy we are merely surviving. Could also explain the Kochsucking pols refusals to do what's necessary to bring us out of this recession/depression.

It's now absolutely obvious the villainaires wish to totally enslave us, and what better way to do it? Time we revolt and fight like hell to.....UNDO THE COUP!
 
 
+37 # reiverpacific 2011-07-14 09:22
To "Robt Eagle" -You are totally deluded about wealth and individual opportunity. You are talking about Medievalism, in which the privileged few rule at a whim and dictate the degree of misery of the rest, which is pretty close to what the USA is becoming. It is no longer "Great" which it was post WW11 when most people were in work with fair living wages and benefits, and a degree of union representation and which it was when I came here in the 1970's, when one could do well with a vision, decent work ethic and a degree of creativity . The "Fragmented States" is no longer "Great" but just "Powerful" with a bloated aggressive military, over-incarcerat ion rate, the worst medical non-system in the modern world and gradually sliding into another dark ages at the hands of those very fat-cats whom you seem to worship.
I have known only one billionaire, the late Bill "Jeep" Daniels who made his money being the first to broker cable TV and should be an example of a good rich person. One of his more pertinent statements was "It was fun making a lot of money but it was even more fun giving it back!" which he did in too many ways to list here -and not just to get tax breaks. I have had relatively well-off times and that was the main pleasure; helping others including needy friends.
Excess and social imbalance is disgusting and is what is dragging this country down!
 
 
+6 # tomhanigan@gmail.com 2011-07-14 10:07
Thank you!
 
 
+4 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-16 12:34
High 5 to reiverpaific!
 
 
+28 # trussia 2011-07-14 10:46
That damn Schwarzman cost me and 1500 others our jobs at the healthcare company where I worked for years. The SS Blackstone came sailing in, flying the jolly roger flag and looted the entire company. They sent 1500 jobs to Maumbi, India (I wonder how that's working for them today)half the employees in my dept were over 50 and had many years of service in as did I. Care to speculate how many of them found new jobs in this business climate. We had to stay for three months and train our replacements or they wouldn't let us file for unemployment insurance (this particular practice should be illegal)

Of course everyone lost their health insurance coverage and after a few months I was diagnosed with cancer and now have no way to pay for treatment.

Here's my plan for this twerp, I'm going to come back and haunt that bastard daily for the rest of his life.
 
 
+10 # Glen 2011-07-14 12:32
You and thousands of others in the same boat. Folks won't take too much of this or they will rise, no matter the consequences. I'll be with you when you come back, and we will hang out in his bedroom. The vacuum cleaner will come to life at most inconvenient times. Or worse.
 
 
+3 # Dona Quixote 2011-07-14 14:55
I am so sorry for your health condition. down here we use Black Salve (still available by mail order from CA) for skin and prostate cancer-the latter remedy is to put the black slave in empty capsules and then swallow. I have seen it work and met people for whom it has done the job a removing the cancer. I sincerely hope you can find something-other things are to stop eating milk and anything with sugar, which apparently feeds the cancer. I do have minimal health coverage but I know if I have something serious it will not help so I do alternative things-Chinese medicine might also help. Best wishes and prayers-D.Q.
 
 
+18 # Lulie 2011-07-14 12:13
The obscenely rich don't seem satisfied to merely be rich -- they are hell-bent on destroying all social safety nets that protect those who are not rich. It's bad enough if you don't pay your fair share, but please don't take the fair share that I paid and spend it on such things as corporate welfare and no-bid defense contracts. Talk about redistribution of wealth!
 
 
+10 # reiverpacific 2011-07-14 13:45
It's been referred to and rightly as"Corporate Socialism" (there's that so-hated-here word again in an inverted and perverted form)!
Go figure.
 
 
-27 # Robt Eagle 2011-07-14 15:03
Where do you get this way of thinking? Get out and make it happen for yourselves. Are you jealous? America gives you the opportunity to make great things happen, if YOU make it so. If you just want the government to take care of you, then you should leave the good old USA and go to a socialist country or a communist country and see how well you have it there. I had nothing at the age of 16, got thrown out of my house and made it on my own. what is with you folks? I'd much rather have opportunity than have it "taken care of for me" by the government. America is based on the possibility of getting out there and making it big. You just want to complain that those that did should give it back to you as if you "deserve it". How about these fat cats giving to charity? Bill Gates has given huge sums to charity and that kid who started Facebook has also done that. Much better to give than get taxed because you did well. Get up of your ass and make something great, or be mediocre for the rest of your life...it is your choice!
 
 
+18 # karenvista 2011-07-14 21:34
Mr Eagle,

You are like a dry alcoholic. Because you "made it" whatever that means, you despise anyone who hasn't reached whatever mark you have set for them. I'll bet you don't know that there is less social mobility in THIS country now than there is in those "snobby European countries, which I'm sure you despise. You apparently have never traveled outside this country because you harbor so many ignorant delusions about the outside world. How have you avoided all the collapses in investments that cost other people so much of their savings? Have you ever been disabled? Have you or any member of your family ever had debilitating uninsured medical expenses? Have you ever lost a job? Nothing unfortunate has ever come along to knock the wind out of your sails? Well, aren't you lucky? You are a self-righteous ass. I find it astounding that someone like the hedge fund multi-billionai re John Paulson who made $4.9 billion last year (as much as the annual income of 184,000 average Americans) and you and he think he should pay 15% tax while all those families pay twice that. BTW Both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg came from wealthy families and they both dropped out of Harvard. Don't think that the poor, socially unconnected will ever become Bill Gates. Many of us have worked our 30-40 years and just want to retire with the Social Security we paid for!
 
 
+5 # Ivis 2011-07-15 12:17
Right on girl. You tell him.
 
 
+5 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-16 12:59
You go, girl! You have empathy! You have knowledge and understand there is a much higher meaning to life than "making it" on the EAGLE sense. EAGLE is spiritually challenged and does not understand what it is to be an authentic HUMAN BEING in the highest sense.

God Bless You!
 
 
+5 # Lulie 2011-07-15 11:08
Eagle: Boy, have YOU drunk the Kool-Aid!
 
 
+8 # Hermes 2011-07-15 21:40
Number one - we are doing just fine thank you -- if you don't realize that the system is set up so that maybe you and I can make it BUT EVERYONE CANNOT then your understanding of economics is lousy. It's a pyramid as structured. There can only be those that fit on the point on top. Using Bill Gates as an example is a terrible mistake. Bill's father is a strong advocate for taxing the rich - of which he is one even without Bill, and coauthored the WA state income tax bill, which Bill Jr. strongly supported.

While we are successful by most people's standards, I have (due to my hobbies) the pleasure of knowing quite a number of LIBERAL but very wealthy elites. ALL OF WHOM favor income taxes, and fair ones. Even for me - and I am successful, but not ludicrously wealthy by any stretch, I see the inequity and consider it gross. My secretary would pay a higher percentage of her income (adequate but considerably less than half of my salary, say nothing of the income I get from our additional business - which is growing) than I pay of mine, if I allowed my tax accountant to do everything he says he could do. THAT is gross.

Reyn
 
 
+4 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-16 12:50
Have you ever heard of Laissez Faire,
Robert? It's a principle based on morality, gratitude and CLASS! Wealthy people who have more than enough money by inheritance or dilient work practice this out of gratitude for being fortunate, empathy for others and a as a call to civic duty because they are decent human beings who know that noone "deserves" good things more than anyone else. Why? Because we are all interconnected as human beings and real generosity and caring about others is what being a good person and living a good life is all about.
 
 
+13 # VSweet 2011-07-14 22:02
GOOD = Poor
In this status of society of which I am in will always thrive, because we are always finding means out of our meager income to help others less fortunate than we are.

BAD- Are those who try to demoralize the poor and disadvantage.

UGLY- Are those who are very selfish and prideful !! They splash their millions around on frivolous things like $400 crabs and $5 million dollar birthday splashes. They ran to the gov't to bail their tails out of hot water and turnaround to critize the poor who seek sincere gov't help for their health care, housing and financial help. How twisted can this UGLY society be!
 
 
+6 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-07-14 23:04
Quoting VSweet:
GOOD = Poor
In this status of society of which I am in will always thrive, because we are always finding means out of our meager income to help others less fortunate than we are.

BAD- Are those who try to demoralize the poor and disadvantage.

UGLY- Are those who are very selfish and prideful !! They splash their millions around on frivolous things like $400 crabs and $5 million dollar birthday splashes. They ran to the gov't to bail their tails out of hot water and turnaround to critize the poor who seek sincere gov't help for their health care, housing and financial help. How twisted can this UGLY society be!


WELL SAID!
 
 
+5 # 4yourinformation 2011-07-15 08:27
I read that NYT piece on "500K a year" in NYC. Cry me a river. They should take the advice that conservatives always give here in Idaho..."If you don't like it, move somewhere else."

That's right, go away. If it's too expensive, move to where your dollar buys more. Ahhh, but that means getting away from all those nice clubs and restaurants and Broadway shows and....oh yes, the big money game is in NYC. If they are having problems with the cost of being greedy, they should look at the main drivers...look up. The billionaires drive the prices up because they are paying those prices.

And to the trolls who think the NYT whine article justifies their comments...I ask, how many billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day? Go F@#K yourselves!
 
 
-5 # Robt Eagle 2011-07-16 00:55
Karen Vista, You have no idea how low is and what my background is. I suffered a horrible childhood at the hands of a physically abusive drunk father who beat me on a daily basis. I left that house at 16 to fend for myself. I have worked many jobs and currently work 7 days a week for most of the year at my regular job and two part time jobs on the weekend. My wife of 28 years died of breast cancer four years ago. I don't whine and cry about any of this. I took responsibility raised three fine children, two are Annapolis grads, currently serving in the Navy. As far as benefits, pay for them out of your own pocket...don't expect the government to hand you anything. If you depend upon the government for handouts you should be ashamed, like it was when I was younger. Don't be a taker, be a doer. I also volunteer a tremendous amount of time during the summer training children to save lives. I personally have saved hundreds of lives over 38 summers of ocean lifeguarding and have trained hundreds as well in CPR. Disability...th ere are very few bones that I haven't broken doing the many activities I engage in outdoors. So don't measure anyone by your low standards...yes I have high standards, isn't that an American way of thinking?
 
 
+6 # Dorian Brown 2011-07-16 13:06
You do not have HIGH standards, Eagle or you would not talk or think the way you do. You brag and you whine so please do not tell Karen Vista she has the low standards.
 
 
+8 # lark3650 2011-07-16 11:26
Where wealth accumulates, men decay.
 
 
+3 # BishopAndrew 2011-07-16 13:56
Thank you for your kind comment. There has to be a groundswell or if you prefer a contemporary "great awakening" to the fact that progressive persons and just causes have allowed the market tricksters, bought and paid for by the wealthy barons, to demonize the concept and very label of "liberal"; that we must reclaim that beautifully human and I think divinely inspired concept of community and commitment without apology or reservation. We must shout it from the rooftops and in the streets. We must tell the working people and the sadly misled "religious" folke that they have been deceived, manipulated and used by forces of power and wealth to be kept in servitude to those forces. We must preach and teach at every opportunity that "the red, white and blue" are the rainbow colours of freedom and economic justice and stability.
 
 
+3 # Angortamor 2011-07-16 14:10
Eagle, Life didn't turn out like you thought? Kinda sounds like it - there's a lot of anger in your words.

There’s a remarkable study showing that about half of American social program beneficiaries believe that they "have not used a government social program." It's the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" phenomena battle cry: a society of people who subsist on mutual aid and redistributive policies who've been conned (and conned themselves) into thinking that they are rugged individualists and that everyone else is a parasite.

Sounds like you.

http://government.arts.cornell.edu/assets/faculty/docs/mettler/submergedstat_mettler.pdf
 
 
+3 # Angortamor 2011-07-16 14:19
Just as I thought - Mr Robt. "Got No Help from the Government" Eagle is one of those rugged individualists who pulled his family up by his own bootstraps, thank you very much. From

The following is from The Naval Academy website: "The Navy pays for the tuition, room and board, and medical and dental care of Naval Academy midshipmen. You also enjoy regular active-duty benefits including access to military commissaries and exchanges, commercial transportation and lodging discounts and the ability to fly space-available in military aircraft around the world. Midshipmen pay is $864.00 monthly, from which laundry, barber, cobbler, activities fees, yearbook and other service charges are deducted. Actual cash pay is less than $100 per month your first year, increasing each year to $400 per month in your fourth year. Midshipmen may voluntarily sign up for the Midshipmen Investment Fund (MIF), which will allow you to invest a portion of your monthly pay into your choice of participating mutual funds."

Your son must have been a fine young man to qualify for the Academy, but I must say, that was a nice leg up.
 
 
0 # Christina Marlowe 2011-07-16 15:34
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

~ U.S. President Abraham Lincoln,
Nov. 21, 1864

'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered..'"

~ Thomas Jefferson, 1802

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

~ Sinclair Lewis

Irritatedly, Hostilely and in Great Haste,
The Mostly-Honorabl e and NEVER-Vanquished
Christina "Harlow" Marlowe
RAPE VICTIM of the QUISLING U.S. Government and it's CORPORATE WHORE-MASTERS

SHAME ON YOU ALL!!!!!
 
 
+5 # kswsma 2011-07-16 17:38
Robt Eagle writes "it is your contention that they (the very rich and successful) should be taxed to equalize their success back to the others in our society?" tnen goes on the make the predictable comparison with communism and socialism.
At a 15 tax rate, the guy who makes 5,000,000 is left with $4,250,000 to squeak by on, and the teacher or social worker making $50,000 gets after taxes $45,000. This is "equalizing the rich guys success back to that of the teacher?? Hardly. After taxes he has $,4,205,000 more than the teacher. Under communism the'd both be making $45,000.
Which of these citizens makes a more valuable and significant contribution to the knowledge, health and well-being of the society? The teacher, the social worker, or the guy who move money around and gets filthy rich on commissions and bonuses while producing no product or service?.... and is pzid ONE HUNDRED TIMES the compensation of college-educate d professionals working in the arts, science, government industry, humanities, education and social services. You identify with and defend this rich guy because his brilliant contribution to society is so necessary and valuable to that he should be exempt from paying the taxes at the same rate of people who have real jobs? Give me a break.
 
 
+3 # Risa de Angel 2011-07-16 17:54
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
~ John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) Canadian-Americ an economist, author, professor, U.S. Ambassador to India, and two-time recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom (1946, 2000) for contributions and service to economics.
 

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