Joe Lieberman Visits Bill O'Reilly,
Part II: The Senator Runs Away from the Dreaded "Redistribution of
August 4, 2001
As discussed yesterday, Joe Lieberman shamelessly
attempted to ingratiate himself with Bill O'Reilly the other day when
Lieberman appeared on O'Reilly's cable talk show. Yet there's something even
more objectionable about Lieberman's appearance.
O'Reilly was at one point
criticizing Lieberman's contention that in addition to people who paid
income taxes, people who paid payroll taxes should also have been sent the
recent tax "rebates."
O'REILLY: [Y]ou would be
taking money away from other people to give them money because they didn't
pay tax in the first place.
And that's the redistribution of income that many working Americans don't
like the Democrats for.
LIEBERMAN: Yeah, no. We always say, I said it last week at a Democratic
Leadership Council meeting, we're not for redistribution of income. We
want to grow the economy.
"redistribution of income."
Any economic system that is
not totally static winds up redistributing the relative proportion of income
and wealth that different segments of the population enjoy. Even when
the economy grows. The question is, from whom -- and to whom -- will
the money flow.
Lieberman and his ilk who
condemn "redistribution of income" use that term to mean a money
flow from the middle class and/or the rich, to the poor. O'Reilly says
"working Americans" don't like it, with the assumption that the
redistribution of income is from them to those who don't work.
But that's not what has ever
happened, certainly not in the last few decades. In other words, what
about redistribution of income the other way, from the poor and/or the
middle class, to the rich?
Any economic system designed
by the wealthy will be set up to transfer an increasingly higher percentage
of income and wealth from all others to them. That's how the wealthy
became so, and they certainly aim to continue that process. That's human
And that's exactly what has
[O]ur economy has been
getting increasingly unequal. Whether measured by wages, income or wealth,
for 25 years the share of the privileged has increased, and everyone else
(a roughly 80 percent majority) has become relatively worse off. [from United
for a Fair Economy]
In future days I'll present
illustrating this outrageous ongoing process.
For now, however, let's open
our eyes and understand that when those like Lieberman and O'Reilly express
their opposition to redistribution of income, they are really only opposing
redistribution of income that would come from the rich and go to the middle
class and the poor. They are quite happy with redistribution of income
in the other direction -- from the poor and the middle class to the rich --
which is precisely what has been happening, and which is a subject that
Lieberman, O'Reilly et would make verboten.