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From "The Far Side" by Gary Larson

I used to think the progressive left was little more than a bunch of lemmings, determines to leap en masse off the cliffs of fiscal insanity. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that comparison just doesn’t work. Here is a recent example (via memeorandum)

If President Obama’s deficit-reduction speech today includes a call to end the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, there will surely be pushback; Republicans have already begun a preemptive attack on raising taxes. One group of millionaires, however, is saying that they are more than willing to pay more for the good of their country.

The “Patriotic Millionaires” penned a letter to Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner, urging them to “increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000.”

The Millionaires—a group that includes producer and director Doug Liman, actress Edie Falco, the founder of, and top Google engineers—wrote that the United States has helped them succeed financially, and they are willing to help the country do the same.

That sounds pretty lemming-like, doesn’t it? A bunch of rich left-wingers believe that big, intrusive government actually helped them become rich and they want to give back by granting that government permission to take even more from them so it can grow even bigger and more intrusive. It does make sense, assuming you believe that you can’t be prosperous without large amounts of government intervention, but it is lemming behavior?

It is not, and here’s why. Lemmings, so the legend goes, are content to fling themselves over the cliff. These rich left-wingers don’t want that at all. As Moe Lane notes, these folks can send the government as much of their money as they please, but they don’t. If these rich progressives were really lemmings, they wouldn’t be part of an organization that is itself exempt from most federal taxes. Instead, they would make themselves more open to taxes (perhaps by incorporating and fully disclosing their donors and assets) and would provide plenty of links to the relevant sections of the tax law so that  like-minded cliff-divers could send as much money as they wanted to Washington.

That’s not what they’ve done, though. If you visit their web site, all you’ll see is their letter, a slick video, and a petition sign-up form where you can ask your members of Congress to help them force the unwilling to do what they want.

And what is it that these alleged Patriotic Millionaires really want? Why, they want the government to toss them off the cliff along with every other rich person in the country, whether that person wants to be tossed or not.

They’re not lemmings; they’re hijackers. We should treat them with the same amount of caution and scorn as we would anyone else who kidnaps a bunch of unwilling hostages and takes them where they don’t want to go just to fulfill their own selfish political desires.

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One Response to “The Problem With the Left Is Not that They’re Lemmings but that They’re Hijackers”

  1. lizbuddie says:

    Since he's so concerned with all the rich people who want to pay more, it is a pity that President Obama didn't even mention that folks don't have to wait for him to raise taxes to pay more, much less make an actual request that they do so. President Bush did mention this at least once, that I recall. [Non-lazy person would insert link here.]

    Here is a tax law blog that has some interesting posts on the issue. (Yes, I said "interesting" and "tax law" in the same sentence.) I'm particularly interested by an idea he suggests in this post:[ ] wherein he proposes a check-off box where the rich (or non-rich, for that matter) may elect to pay an extra 10%, 5% or other percentage they enter. I'm confident that adding such a feature to tax forms would increase the incidence of doing so.

    So, my question(s) is: why haven't we (additional pay feature) and why hasn't he (Obama ask for voluntary extra)?

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