Buddy, Can You Spare a Diamond? - 12 Reasons to Extend Tax Cuts for the Rich

Some point to the widening gap between rich and poor in this country, like it's a bad thing. If grinding poverty beside fabulous wealth is such a turnoff, why does everyone vacation in Rio?

Me, I think paying the entry-level employee one-fourteenth as much as the company CEO, as the average Fortune 500 firm did in the 1970s, contributed to that decade's infamous lack of respect for societal betters.

Nowadays, the difference is a healthy 1,000-to-1, which is the kind of long-shot odds that makes going to work as exciting as a day at the races. Just knowing he's got that one-in-a-thousand chance of not living out his golden years in a refrigerator box, dining on Frisky's Savory Shreds, puts a little extra spring in your average working slob's step, if not an actual pole up his ass.

Yet Obama and the Democrats are proposing to let the law take its course in 2011, allowing the tax rates on the top 2% of incomes to rise from 36% back up to a confiscatory 39%. I don't know about you, but if I were an insurance CEO, worn to a frazzle, staying up nights trying to figure out new excuses to deny children coverage, I would consider netting $1 million a month the minimum acceptable compensation. You're telling me I now only get $970,000? I'd rather stay in bed.

Besides, making a tiny percentage of our population wealthy beyond all imagining turns every panhandler into a potential Lotto winner. Imagine that as the mooch with the Will-Work-4-Food sign grovels at the freeway offramp, he's rewarded not with some middle-class cheapskate's Starbucks change, but with a small diamond! The rich guy feels like Santa Claus, and the bum thinks he's died and gone to Heaven. And if he couldn't afford a checkup for a while, maybe he has.

The important thing is, we must not sacrifice the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich (or as I call them, the Super-Deserving) to fund impractical social engineering like "continued Medicaid benefits" or "unemployment insurance." If something must be allowed to expire this New Year's Eve, let it be all those shiftless losers who didn't bother to track whether the cold-weather shelter got funded this year.

Want more reasons to save our endangered billionaires? Then check out Doug's Dozen: 12 Reasons to Extend Tax Cuts for the Rich.