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Anyone who has read "Atlas Shrugged" recognizes the underlying subtext in Mitt Romney's appeal to those attending the $50,000/plate fundraiser: he's stroking those supermen egos and all but threatening to go Galt on 47% of the American population. He fed into their notions of how much these uber-wealthy are giving to the undeserving moochers.
Our buddy Rich Eskow explained it better than I ever could:
Their resentment is as great as their wealth. It seemed like an unfortunate slip from an unpleasant individual when another hedge funder, Steve Schwarzman, compared the loss of his tax breaks to Hitler's invasion of Poland. But we now know that this sense of outrage is shared by many, if not most, of his peers: Hedge funder Daniel S. Loeb. The unnamed CEOs of Fareed Zakaria's acquaintance. Scandal-ridden bank CEO Jamie Dimon.
You'd think they'd be kissing the ground Barack Obama walks on, given their embarrassment – or what should be an "embarrassment" – of riches.
But they're enraged. Why?
Because it isn't enough.
At no time in modern history has the top 1 percent – or the top 0.1 percent, or the top 0.01 percent – owned more of our wealth or paid less in taxes.
But it isn't enough.
The Wall Street executives who broke laws weren't indicted, and those who ruined their own businesses were saved – their wealth and incomes protected – by the very people who are being financially destroyed by their actions.
It isn't enough.
Our government relaxed the regulations, razed the rules, and leveled the laws so they could ruin both the economy and the Gulf of Mexico, and has left us vulnerable to their ongoing predations.
It isn't enough.
What do they want?
They want more – more tax breaks, more protection from the law.
They want more than that. They want--no, they are convinced that they should be exalted for being wealthy. There are studies that have come out that have shown that the wealthier a person is, the less altruistic and empathetic he or she is. Now that's a huge generalization and doesn't apply to many wealthy people I know.