Warren Buffett said a few years ago that America is in a class war and his side, the rich, started it and is winning.
Republican presidential hopefuls, however, say the Democrats, notably President Obama, are the ones waging class war. For good measure, Mitt Romney also accuses Obama of being a socialist with a European mindset.
Asked about people who question Wall Street practices, Gov. Romney said they were envious
and accused them of trying to divide America -- that they are class warriors. No one yet has asked Romney if Pope Benedict, who issued an encyclical on economic immorality, also falls in the category of an envious socialist.
The topic is heating up. Pressed by his Republican opponents and reporters, Romney on Tuesday said he "probably" paid around 15 percent in taxes and explained that this was the rate for the last 10 years, when most of his income was from investments.
Meanwhile, ABC News reports that Romney stored millions of dollars in tax havens in the Cayman Islands. This is likely legal but hardly the type of conduct expected from a candidate for president. At a time when 146 million Americans live in or close to poverty, it screams a message of greed and unconcern.
Meanwhile, the Romney tax plan is coming under scrutiny. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center says the Romney plan extends the Bush tax cuts, lowers corporate rates, and eliminates the estate tax.
Ezra Klein says in the Washington Post that the Romney plan will mean an average tax cut of $164,000 for those in the top one percent and $69 -- no, that's not a typo -- for the bottom. 20 percent.
Klein goes on to note that the total Romney tax cuts will, "come to six trillion that will disproportionally help the richest Americans, and he intends to pay for it through spending cuts...that will disproportionately hurt seniors and low-income citizens. That is not a political attack, by the way, it's math."
Klein may not be launching a political attacks but others will.
There is no doubt that the issue of class warfare will play a role in the presidential election.
There is also little doubt that President Obama will argue it is the Republican Party that is waging war against the American working class.