The Corner

Harry Truman He Ain’t

Even John Edwards of “two Americas” fame who built his mansion replete with a 3,000 sq. ft. inner playroom (“John lounge”) could not trump the otherworldliness of Al Gore. Most recently, Gore has been hammering income inequality, and in that regard, wrote the following:

In order to make the U.S. system of capitalism truly sustainable, we must tackle this unhealthy concentration of wealth. The wealthiest one percent of Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. The gap continues to widen as the top one percent receives almost 25 percent of annual U.S. income, up from 12 percent just 25 years ago. While some inequality is inevitable and even desirable, the levels of income inequality have reached dangerous levels in the United States. Too much wealth concentrated in the hands of too few disrupts societal stability and corrupts the wealth-creating incentives of our capitalist system.

A suggestion: Gore might have taken a $10 million profit instead of nearly $100 million for his share from the sale of moribund Current TV to the anti-Semitic, petrol-fed Al Jazeera, and instead have spread some money to his working-class employees. Or Gore might have not rushed (ineffectively as it was reported) to seal the deal before new increases in capital-gains tax kicked in. Perhaps he could have volunteered, in the manner that Warren Buffett often advises for others, to pay taxes on his gargantuan profits at the federal income-tax rate rather than the lower capital-gains rate—on the theory that a nearly insolvent federal government might at least get a spiritual lift in its efforts to ensure “societal stability” and avoid “this unhealthy concentration of wealth.”

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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