Wall Street executives are under the impression that it's their world and everyone else is just living off them, according to Matt Taibbi.
"They genuinely believe that they are the wealth creators and that they should get every advantage and break whereas everybody else is a parasite and they're living off of them," Taibbi said in a recent appearance on Moyers & Company. "This group of people believe that all of civilization depends on their health and their wellbeing."
Taibbi said that "they've adopted this sort of Randian point of view" -- that is, the viewpoint of the late libertarian author Ayn Rand. Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said in 2005 that Rand's writings, popular among many conservatives, were "required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff."
Taibbi's comments come during an election cycle in which tax breaks for the wealthy have been a source of conflict. President Barack Obama has proposed extending the Bush tax cuts for only the first $250,000 of income, while Republican Congressmen are trying to extend all of them. Many wealthy businessmen, including the Koch brothers, are spending heavily on Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates, partly to try to keep their tax breaks and secure new tax cuts.
Taibbi isn't the first to accuse the super-rich of demanding special treatment. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said in an interview with Reuters in May that the wealthy "want economic theories that praise rich people as the salvation of the rest of us."