The Corner

Multimillionaire Donor Decries Obama’s Class Warfare

Here’s Ted Leonsis, multimillionaire internet pioneer and majority owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics, on President Obama’s class warfare:

My dad was a waiter. My mom was a secretary. Neither attended college. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and Lowell, Massachusetts. I attended public schools. My parents – in their best year – earned $31,000 combined. My dad worked for tips – often received in change – as he worked a counter for breakfast and lunch at a diner. My dad, too, once lost his job. I remember the angst in our household.

I attended Georgetown University which at the time wasn’t a need blind school via college loans. I paid them all back five years after I graduated.

I have great empathy for middle class or lower middle class America. My horizons as a young adult were not expansive. I was programmed to be a produce department manager at a grocery store in my neighborhood. That was my dad’s aspiration for me. I would have been proud to work hard to become a leader in a grocery store and I bet I would have been good at it, too. By luck and hard work, my career took a different path.

I say this as I read all of the rhetoric about Class Warfare, the rift that is being created between economic middle and lower class and as the President said “those millionaires and billionaires.”

The real rift in philosophy though is do you want the Government to create jobs and stimulate the economy or do you want America’s small business to be the engine of growth?

Economic Success has somehow become the new boogie man; some in the Democratic party are now casting about for enemies and business leaders and anyone who has achieved success in terms of rank or fiscal success is being cast as a bad guy in a black hat. This is counter to the American Dream and is really turning off so many people that love American and basically carry our country on their back by paying taxes and by employing people and creating GDP.

This is a bad move all designed by some pollster who said this is the way to get votes during the re-election. It should be stopped. We should be healing and creating teams NOT dividing and pitting people against one another.

I know the President isn’t speaking to me specifically when he talks but many times I hear stuff and I cringe personally. As a friend told me the other day who lives in China, “Every time your President talks of late, it costs us billions in market cap and in confidence in your country and your economy.” Why do we devalue success in the US when the rest of the world is trying to emulate what we have created as an economic system?

Typical greedy Republican corporatist, right? Nope. Leonsis says he, too, would be willing to pay more taxes — if he were sure the revenue would go toward things that actually stimulated the economy. (He should read the Corner for a week to realize just how colossal of an “if” that is.) Then there’s this:

I voted for our President. I have maxed out on personal donations to his re-election campaign. I forgot his campaign wants to raise $1 billion. THAT is a lot of money–money–money–money! Money still talks. It blows my mind when I am asked for money as a donation at the same time I am getting blasted as being a bad guy!

Someone needs to talk our President down off of this rhetoric about good vs. evil; about two classes and math.

Our country was founded on the premise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Is anyone happy right now with all of this?

Hit a reset button ASAP.

Rethink how to talk to businesses and sell business leaders on your plan to make America great!

Many of us want to be a part of the solution. We aren’t the problem.

If POTUS is losing folks like Leonsis, he’s got a big problem.

Look, resenting the rich is nothing new in America, and it doesn’t — in and of itself — constitute “class warfare.” Hell, I resent the rich, just like I resent the good-looking and anyone who can throw a serviceable 12-to-6 curveball. But there was an America I’ve heard about — I wasn’t around to see it — where that resentment was countered and constrained by admiration and ambition. That is, by the desire to one day be rich oneself. That desire should, ideally, comport with a set of beliefs about political and economic relations and institutions that gives us all a fair crack at making a dollar and a cent. But the America I grew up in is increasingly conservative in the worst possible sense of that term. That is, it is increasingly concerned with protecting the ramshackle middle-class living afforded us from cradle-to-grave by the welfare state: entitlements, housing and health-care subsidies and the like. But because the welfare state over-promises and under-delivers for all the familiar reasons, it is unsustainable and imperiled. Enter class warfare, and the belief that the rich, the most convenient boogeymen, “aren’t paying their fair share.”


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