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Rabbi Samuel April Headshot

Class Warfare?: No Class, No War, No Fair

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The president has been accused of class warfare for trying to raise the taxes on the wealthy. His reply was "This is not class warfare, this is math." My observation is a switch on the old "Holy Roman Empire" critique ("It isn't Holy, it's not Roman and it's no Empire"): "It's no class, no war and no fair." In the present fiscal predicament of distributing entitlement monies to the poor without receiving more tax receipts from the rich, both sides are posturing, showing no class. This is classless, it is not war, nor is it fair.

First of all, the president should have responded that he is not "raising taxes" but merely restoring the tax cuts instituted by his predecessor that would have run out except for his foolish acquiescence in extending them as a sop to his political foes. Secondly, his goal of redistributing the wealth will never be fully realized. The Bible postulates, "For the poor shall never cease out of the land" (Deuteronomy 15:11). Throughout the history of mankind, this has proved to be true. That is why it is our duty to help them. Thirdly, this is not war, but a constant battle to maintain the middle class which is steadily shrinking and on the verge of disappearing. What made America great is its unique regard for all people and their potential to succeed. That is rapidly deteriorating as polls show that this is the first generation in America that believes that its children will live a less affluent life than their own.

A recent issue of New York Magazine had a picture of President Obama on the cover wearing a white yarmulke (skullcap) with the caption "The First Jewish President." The best explanation of that apparently confounding statement may well be tongue-in-cheek for the type of Jewish philosophy as manifested in "Fiddler on the Roof." Tevye the dairyman wonders if it would upset some colossal heavenly plan "If I were a rich man." Berel says to Shmerel, I could solve all the world's problems. "Why do people smoke?" He asks and answers himself, "The poor to drive away their hunger, the rich to settle their stomach after a heavy meal; if the poor had more to eat and the rich less, neither would have to smoke." So how would you fix that problem? Simple, came the rejoinder, "Convince the rich to give more to the poor." How will you accomplish that? I'll convince the poor to accept the money; you persuade the wealth to give."

The strange part is that Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and other billionaires are already contributing millions and want to give more in taxes. The indigent are certainly prepared to accept government aid. Just convince all those freeloaders who have been getting away with paying a pittance for years because of inequities in the tax code for individuals and corporations that they must now begin to pay their fair share. By restoring power to the unions, strength and buying power to the reemerging middle class, we will eliminate the fierce battle being waged in Washington and regain our rightful place as the preeminent military and economic leader in the free world.

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