Monday, October 1, 2012

Billionaire's Blues

Said a mogul of stock-market dealing,
His support for Obama repealing:
"I don't mind paying tax,
But this President lacks
Due regard for my sensitive feeling."

In this week's New Yorker magazine, Chrystia Freeland poses the pertinent question: Why do billionaires feel victimized by Obama? "The growing antagonism of the super-wealthy toward Obama can seem mystifying, since Obama has served the rich quite well," she writes, supporting Wall Street rescues and resisting calls for bank nationalization. "The economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty have found that 93% of the gains during the 2009-10 recovery went to the top one per cent of earners... the top 0.01 per cent captured thirty-seven per cent of the total recovery pie..."

If there is a leader of the hedge fund opposition to Obama, it may be the Bronx-born, billionaire Democrat Leon Cooperman, manager of the hedge fund Omega Advisors. Cooperman seems to have taken personal offense to President Obama's rhetoric regarding "millionaires and billionaires not paying their fair share of taxes." Says Cooperman: "It’s a question of tone. The President makes it sound like the problems of the ninety-nine per cent are caused by the one per cent, and that’s not the case." Of course, having made comparisons between Obama and Hitler on a couple of occasions, Cooperman may have tonal problems of his own.

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