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The poor Left? Isn't that rich

| Friday, March 13, 2009

Are you sitting down• Obama plans to pay for his $3.6 trillion spending bill by raising taxes on "the rich." I know. I was pretty shocked, too.

The bad news is, by hiking taxes in a recession, Obama will turn a disaster into a catastrophe. But there's good news, too. The "rich" include most of Obama's biggest supporters.

While liberals love being praised for their looks, their style, their brilliance and their courage, the one quality they don't want talked about is their money. To the contrary, Democrats are constantly boasting about how poor they are -- as if that's a virtue in a capitalist society with no class barriers.

No matter how much money they have, liberals will be damned if they're giving up the poor's mantle of angry self-righteousness. This is especially true if their wealth came by inheritance, marriage or the taxpayer, the preferred sources of income for Liberalus Americanus.

Democrats' claims of poverty merely serve to show how out of touch elected Democrats are with actual incomes in America. At the Democratic National Convention, for example, there were tributes to the daunting self-sacrifice of Barack and Michelle Obama for passing up lucrative jobs to work in "public service" -- which apparently is now defined, as in Michelle Obama's case, as "working as a 'diversity coordinator' at a big city hospital for $300,000 a year."

Meanwhile, the average salary for a lawyer with 20 years or more experience is a little more than $100,000.

During the campaign, Joe Biden was also praised by the Democrats for being the poorest U.S. senator. Howard Dean, then-chairman of the Democratic National Committee, touted Biden as "a good example of a working-class kid," adding that Biden was "one of the least wealthy members of the U.S. Senate."

According to tax returns for Biden and his public schoolteacher wife, in 2006 their total income was $248,459; in 2007, it was $319,853 -- putting the couple in the top 1 percent of all earners in the U.S.

This, my friends, is the face of poverty in America. At least in the Democratic Party. The Bidens are yet another heart-rending example of America's "hidden poor" -- desperately needy families hidden behind annual incomes of a quarter million dollars or more paid by the taxpayer.

The national median household income was $48,201 in 2006 and $50,233 in 2007. Working for the government pays well.

If liberals are going to show how in touch they are with normal Americans by demanding a Marxist revolution against the rich, how about taking a peek at the charitable giving of these champions of the little guy?

According to their tax returns, in 2006 and 2007 the Obamas gave 5.8 percent and 6.1 percent of their income to charity. I guess Michelle Obama has to draw the line someplace with all this "giving back" stuff. The Bidens gave 0.15 percent and 0.31 percent of their income to charity.

No wonder Obama doesn't see what the big fuss is over his decision to limit tax deductions for charitable giving. At least that part of Obama's tax plan won't affect his supporters.

During his presidency, George W. Bush gave away more than 10 percent of his income each year. For purposes of comparison, in 2005, Barack Obama made $1.7 million -- more than twice President Bush's 2005 income of $735,180 -- but they both gave about the same amount to charity. That same year, the heartless Vice President Dick Cheney gave 77 percent of his income to charity.

Maybe when Obama talks about "change," he's referring to his charitable contributions.

As the great liberal intellectual Bertrand Russell explained while scoffing at the idea that he would give his money to charity: "I'm afraid you've got it wrong. (We) are socialists. We don't pretend to be Christians."

Ann Coulter, a political analyst and attorney, is a columnist for Human Events.

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