"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Hypocrisy of Liberal Elites

Today on NRO Victor Davis Hanson analyzes the phenomenon of liberal elites preaching about raising taxes on the 1% while taking pains to avoid taxes themselves:

Take former vice president Al Gore. He has made a fortune of nearly a billion dollars warning against global warming — supposedly shrinking glaciers, declining polar-bear populations, and the like — while simultaneously offering timely remedies from his own green corporations, all reminiscent of the methodology of Roman millionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus, who profited from fires and putting them out. Now Nobel laureate Gore has sold his interest in a failing cable-television station for about $100 million — and to the anti-American Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the fossil-fuel-rich royal family of Qatar. Gore rushed to close the deal before the first of the year to avoid the very capital-gains tax hikes that he has advocated for others less well off. That’s a liberal trifecta: enhancing a fossil-fuel consortium, attempting to beat tax hikes, and empowering an anti-American and anti-Semitic media conglomerate run by an authoritarian despot — all from a former vice president of the United States who crusades for ending our reliance on fossil fuels and for raising taxes on the wealthy.

If I were a Republican, I would propose a federal law saying that any Congressman, Senator, or executive branch official who leaves government service and enters the private sector must for a period of ten years thereafter pay a 50% surcharge on any salary, stock grants, stock options, director's fees, capital gains, dividends, etc.   That's a millionaire's tax I could get behind.

Re Gore too:   it occurs to me that someone ought to analyze whether Current TV actually had a market value of $500 million.   It seems to me that OPEC would have a significant interest in a payoff to the world's most prominent supporter of global warming hysteria.   Has OPEC profited by America's unwillingness to exploit its own natural resources in offshore oil, oil in Alaska's ANWR, shale oil, natural gas (via fracking), etc.?   You bet they have.   Will they continue to profit if America continues to throw roadblocks up in front of development of our oil and natural gas fields?   Sure.   Would I put it past them to play a long game of propaganda, getting the West to adopt draconian environmental policies while at the same time remaining dependent on Middle Eastern oil?   No, I would not.

In other words, is Gore being paid for the value of his TV network?   Or is he being paid off to continue to propagandaize for a position that helps OPEC?   A real news organization would pursue these questions.

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