All hail the United Front of Steve Schwarzman!
Steve Schwarzman is a Wall Street tycoon with a net worth of about $6 billion. Like other tycoons in our gilded age, the man has no real use for his massive hoard beyond unlimited self-aggrandizement. A good example per Wikipedia is a recent birthday celebration in which he paid Rod Stewart $1 million for a half hour performance. How noble and rewarding it is then to read in today’s FT that he’s extending an “olive branch” to Barack Obama and is ready to “share the pain”!
Surveying his fiefdom from his $37 million Park Avenue condominium and perhaps shielding his gaze from the poverty surrounding the lower half of Manhattan, he proclaims we must “end targeted class warfare in the US” in order to avoid “the long-term pain of another recession, social unrest, or worse”. Wise words indeed. We must, Schwarzman now writes, form a “united front” with “everyone” from “business leaders, to hardworking hourly wage earners, to retirees, to farmers, to small business owners”. One big United Front! A dramatic call for unity from a man who compared Obama’s threat to end the 15% tax rate on carried interest to Hitler’s invasion of Poland.
So what will be the basis for Schwarzman’s United Front? Well, here it is in all its grandeur – something I’m sure all average Americans will eagerly fight for! The United Front will demand “serious thinking about a flat tax regime with few or no deductions”, cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits along with increased contributions, and unspecified other cuts in the federal budget. That’s it! Long live the United Front of Steve Schwarzman!
What chutzpah! Schwarzman writes that he wants to end class warfare and then offers a United Front idea that provides his class of tycoons a flat tax while cutting vital programs for average Americans. No mention of such trite things as unemployment, stagnant / declining wages, insecurity, inequality, or the like. It’s actually pretty funny; we should all pause for a good laugh – not only for the stupidity of the article but for the never ending inclusion of these kind of articles in the “serious” mainstream press.
Good luck with your United Front, Steve. I look forward to seeing the masses marching on Park Avenue!