When congressional Republicans select a slogan to spin an issue, they recite it repeatedly, as in their calling President Barack Obama's proposal to tax the rich "class warfare."
Class warfare does exist in America, but it's being conducted against the poor and the middle class. Short-sighted and selfish rich people (a characterization that excludes many rich individuals) are using their clout to magnify their own wealth, while driving down the standard of living for everyone else.
It's class warfare from above when the richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans quadrupled their share of the national income from 2.6 percent in 1975 to 10.4 percent in 2008.
It's class warfare from above when, over the same years, the factor by which CEO salaries exceed that of average workers soared from under 40 to more than 300.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
It's class warfare from above when taxes on capital gains (80 percent of which go to 5 percent of Americans) are trimmed, while health programs for the poor and benefits for the unemployed are attacked.
It's class warfare from above when gigantic bonuses go to the bailed-out bankers who brought us the Great Recession, while collective bargaining rights of workers are eviscerated.
It's class warfare from above when profits pile up while American jobs are exported overseas.
Such outcomes show boundless greed and the indifference of some rich people to the overall welfare of America. They also might someday incite real class warfare from below.