A recent CNBC poll showed that a whopping 59 percent of the wealthy would support Elizabeth Warren’s tax plan on people worth over 50 million. Drop that number to only 10 million, and the plan still garners over 50 percent support. But billionaire and unapologetic Trump supporter Dan Palmer is trying to fight against anyone taking a cent of his precious wealth, and he made his thoughts known on the only network that would give him any legitimacy, Fox News.
Palmer went on:
“It’s gotten to be confiscatory. There’s really been an attitude against wealth creators. I don’t know anyone who has the talent or the good fortune to have, say, achieved $100 million dollars of wealth who thinks that the United States government is going to be a better allocator of that wealth than they are.”
Of course, Palmer forgets a few things in the coveting of his wealth like a Scrooge-like billionaire.
The rich like to tout a stat that claims that only 12 percent of millionaires inherited their wealth. But the way that statistic is gathered leaves out some very important information. The fact of the matter is that many of them were “born on third base and think they hit a triple.” Many more were at least born on 1st base. 95 percent of the rest of us, were born in the batter’s box. A recent study by “United for a Fair Economy” exposes the myth put forth by publications like Forbes and others that cater to the rich:
The basic conclusion from these findings: Forbes is spinning “a misleading tale of what it takes to become wealthy in America.” Most of the Forbes 400 have benefited from a level of privilege unknown to the vast majority of Americans.
In effect, as commentator Jim Hightower has aptly been noting for years, most of our super-rich were born on third base and think they hit a triple.
In its just-released new report, United for a Fair Economy extends this baseball analogy to last year’s Forbes 400. UFE defines as “born in the batter’s box” those Forbes 400 rich who hail from poor to middle-class circumstances. Some had nothing growing up. Others had parents who ran small businesses.
About 95 percent of Americans, overall, currently live in these “batter’s box” situations. Just over a third, 35 percent, of the Forbes 400 come from these backgrounds.
Just over 3 percent of the Forbes 400, the United for a Fair Economy researchers found, have left no good paper trail on their actual economic backgrounds. Of the over 60 percent remaining, all grew up in substantial privilege.
Those “born on first base” — in upper-class families, with inheritances up to $1 million — make up 22 percent of the 400. On “second base,” households wealthy enough to run a business big enough to generate inheritances over $1 million, the new UFE study found another 11.5 percent.
On “third base,” with inherited wealth over $50 million, sit 7 percent of America’s 400 richest. Last but not least, the “born on home plate” crowd. These high-rollers, 21.25 percent of the total Forbes list, all inherited enough to “earn” their way into top 400 status.[pullquote]The narrative of wealth and achievement that Forbes is pushing ignores the other side of the coin.
Last year, a rich American had to be worth at least $1.05 billion to make the Forbes 400. This year’s entry threshold: $1.1 billion, the highest ever.
Forbes, the United for a Fair Economy researchers sum up, has glamorized the myth of the “self-made man” and minimized “the many other factors that enable wealth,” most notably the tax breaks and other government policies that help the really rich get ever richer.
The narrative of wealth and achievement that Forbes is pushing, the new UFE study adds, “ignores the other side of the coin — namely, that the opportunity to build wealth is not equally or broadly shared in contemporary society.”
So Palmer’s assertions are essentially built on myths. Myths meant to protect a billionaire from actually paying their fair share.
In addition to that, like many in the privileged class, Palmer wants the rest of America to ignore the fact that when wealthy people acquire more wealth, they don’t do it alone. The “self-made millionaire” is by-and-large a myth. No matter what their industry, they use resources provided by the rest of us and our tax dollars. Giving back a little bit on those huge fortunes isn’t “devastating” — it is the right thing to do.
And ironically, Elizabeth Warren, who’s plan would apply a mere 2-percent tax on wealth over $50 million and 6 percent on a billionaire, sums it up best herself:
“I understand there are people who want to throw up a lot of dust around this because they don’t really have any comeback to that central question, and that is, why aren’t we asking folks at the very top to pitch in a couple of cents so that we can actually invest in opportunity in everyone else.”
Again, Palmer wants America to believe that at most a 6 percent tax on a billionaire is “devastating.” A fair analysis of the facts shows that argument to be very wrong. Whether or not someone supports Warren for President, the fact is making the uber-wealthy give back a little more won’t be devastating for them and can do a lot of good for everyone else.
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