Scaramucci and Cooperman – both billionaire hedge fund managers – were boozing with the likes of Al Gore, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio, and top Obama fundraiser Orin Kramer, when Cooperman slipped Gore a copy of the open letter he wrote to President Obama last year not long after the supercommittee failed to strike a deal over the deficit.
The letter, which accosts Obama and his ‘minions’ for penalizing the super rich and setting the tone for class warfare, has become the rallying cry for the top 0.01 percent, who feel victimized by Obama’s so-called ‘anti business,’ ‘anti-private-aviation’ rhetoric, and believe they are at the receiving end of his ‘disdain toward wealth creation,’ according to Freeland’s big piece this week in the New Yorker.
The letter, which Cooperman crafted for weeks with the constant aid of a thesaurus and dictionary, ends on a punchy note:
With due respect, Mr. President, it’s time for you to throttle-down the partisan rhetoric and appeal to people’s better instincts, not their worst. Rather than assume that the wealthy are a monolithic, selfish and unfeeling lot who must be subjugated by the force of the state, set a tone that encourages people of good will to meet in the middle…You are likely to be far more effective, and history is likely to treat you far more kindly for it.
But in fact looking at the evidence, Cooperman’s argument doesn’t bear out. For one: In the aftermath of the 2009 recovery, the top 0.01 percent pulled in 20 percent more income, as Freeland points out, which means they earned roughly $4.2 million each. The super rich aren’t victims; they’re a privileged population of beneficiaries Second, look at the historical record: During JFK’s presidency, for example, the top 0.01 percent paid higher taxes than they presently do, and actually rebooted economy. In the 20′s and 30′s, slight tax hikes on the highest possible income earners also stimulated the economy, benefiting all, and not just the top 1 percent.