“Over all the years since the Reagan administration, whenever I mentioned the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and between the rich and the middle, certain people in the room threw the class warfare flag, marched off a 15-yard penalty and accused me of making stuff up. And it was always Republicans, conservative independents, or self-described libertarians who complained — pretty much the same people who now stand on the wrong side of history as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act becomes law. Class warfare, they claimed, was uncivilized and un-American. One shouldn’t engage in it…If you held up — as The New York Times did most recently — Census Bureau data showing median income rising by only 12 percent since 1979, while that for the top percentile went up nearly 400 percent, you were uncouth. Mention that income taxes for the top earners fell nearly three times further than that for the middle class — class warfare! Personal foul! Fifteen yards and loss of first down! So, at various times over the years — when Republican presidents proposed further cutting taxes on the wealthy, for instance, or when Senate and House Republicans voted against raising the minimum wage for, among others, people who clean the CEO’s toilet — I guess I’ve been uncouth and subversive, bringing up the breathtaking divide between the wealthy and everyone else.”
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