Legendary investor to Obama: Is all this class warfare rhetoric really necessary?

posted at 8:38 pm on November 30, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Whew. I haven’t read a letter this profoundly accurate since I read Ali Akbar’s Tea Party invitation to Morgan Freeman.

In New York City, Leon Cooperman is a legend, the quintessential self-made man. His parents were Polish immigrants, his father a humble, hard-working plumber. Cooperman became the first in his family to attend college — and, when he started work at Goldman Sachs, fresh out of business school at Columbia University, he had no money in the bank. He worked his way up to eventually run Goldman before he founded his own private investment firm, Omega Advisors. Today, he’s worth $1.8 billion — and has the philanthropic chops to prove it. He’s given away more than he’s ever spent on himself — and he has committed to the Warren Buffett Giving Pledge, which means he has promised to give the majority of his wealth to philanthropy.

Over the years, Cooperman has been inspired by the wise words of men who have counseled charitable giving, from the Talmudic injunction “A man’s net worth is measured not by what he earns but rather what he gives away” to Andrew Carnegie’s oft-quoted reminder “He who dies rich, dies disgraced.” But the investor has been less than inspired by the president’s repeated condemnatory remarks about capitalism; by his repeated appeals to envy, one of the basest of human instincts; and by the thoughtless lashings he’s administered to the American people out of his own political desperation (“lazy,” “soft” and “bitter” we are!). What’s more: Cooperman has taken the time to compose an open letter to the president to tell him just how disappointed he is.

In fervid, forceful, expressive prose, Cooperman excoriates the president for his lack of leadership. Here, a few excerpts, but the letter is absolutely, 100 percent worth a complete read:

Dear Mr. President,

It is with a great sense of disappointment that I write this. Like many others, I hoped that your election would bring a salutary change of direction to the country, despite what more than a few feared was an overly aggressive social agenda. And I cannot credibly blame you for the economic mess that you inherited, even if the policy response on your watch has been profligate and largely ineffectual. (You did not, after all, invent TARP.) I understand that when surrounded by cries of “the end of the world as we know it is nigh”, even the strongest of minds may have a tendency to shoot first and aim later in a well-intended effort to stave off the predicted apocalypse.

But what I can justifiably hold you accountable for is you and your minions’ role in setting the tenor of the rancorous debate now roiling us that smacks of what so many have characterized as “class warfare”. Whether this reflects your principled belief that the eternal divide between the haves and have-nots is at the root of all the evils that afflict our society or just a cynical, populist appeal to his base by a president struggling in the polls is of little importance. What does matter is that the divisive, polarizing tone of your rhetoric is cleaving a widening gulf, at this point as much visceral as philosophical, between the downtrodden and those best positioned to help them. It is a gulf that is at once counterproductive and freighted with dangerous historical precedents. And it is an approach to governing that owes more to desperate demagoguery than your Administration should feel comfortable with. …

But what I do find objectionable is the highly politicized idiom in which this debate is being conducted. Now, I am not naive. I understand that in today’s America, this is how the business of governing typically gets done – a situation that, given the gravity of our problems, is as deplorable as it is seemingly ineluctable. But as President first and foremost and leader of your party second, you should endeavor to rise above the partisan fray and raise the level of discourse to one that is both more civil and more conciliatory, that seeks collaboration over confrontation. That is what “leading by example” means to most people.

Capitalism is not the source of our problems, as an economy or as a society, and capitalists are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be. As a group, we employ many millions of taxpaying people, pay their salaries, provide them with healthcare coverage, start new companies, found new industries, create new products, fill store shelves at Christmas, and keep the wheels of commerce and progress (and indeed of government, by generating the income whose taxation funds it) moving. To frame the debate as one of rich-and-entitled versus poor-and-dispossessed is to both miss the point and further inflame an already incendiary environment. It is also a naked, political pander to some of the basest human emotions – a strategy, as history teaches, that never ends well for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists.

With due respect, Mr. President, it’s time for you to throttle-down the partisan rhetoric and appeal to people’s better instincts, not their worst. …

Sincerely,

Leon G. Cooperman

I’m not even the president and I feel chastised by the letter. As many a kid has been wont to proclaim, “I can handle it when my dad is angry with me, but when he’s disappointed … That’s the worst.” The searing disappointment that licks through this letter stings as anger never could.

Cooperman reminds me: It’s pretty easy to knock civility, especially as calls for it always seem to come at inopportune times or as a way of silencing the opposition — but it really doesn’t hurt anything to proceed from the assumption that the majority of folks want what’s best for the country and to appeal to that desire in them, rather than to accuse them of intentionally wanting what’s worst.


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Put some ice on it, Barry.

stenwin77 on November 30, 2011 at 8:46 PM

nice billion $tash you got there Mr C….be a shame if something …happened to it.

/the Party

ted c on November 30, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Wow, I’d love to be a fly on the table at THIS beer summit! What a thoughtfully written letter! Good for him!

herm2416 on November 30, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Mr. Cooperman wrote a great letter.

Unfortunately, it won’t make a difference to Obama. He’ll chalk it up as racism. Obama doesn’t care if anyone is disappointed. He just doesn’t care.

manateespirit on November 30, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Any idea where this was published, besides Geri Willis’ web site? The article stated “open letter”, presumably that means in a newspaper?

herm2416 on November 30, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Methinks Obammy just got beech-slapped.

predator on November 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Objectivism never looked better.

WordsMatter on November 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

It’s amazing that all these smart people belatedly recognize O for what he is. In 2008, most of us lowly commenters predicted exactly this behavior. And it wasn’t difficult. All one had to do was read Rules For Radicals, O’s guide to life.

casel21 on November 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

That was beautiful.

thebrokenrattle on November 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

more leadership in that letter than from the White House the past three years.

rbj on November 30, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Think about how simple the 1% form of class warfare is. It is 99 v. 1. Of course it works with many people. They are not having fingers wagged at them.

CW on November 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM

We may be facing Hillary, or someone else as yet unknown in the general.

sharrukin on November 30, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Obviously a racist.

/

Hog Wild on November 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I’m guessing he’ll still vote for Barry.

txag92 on November 30, 2011 at 9:03 PM

less than inspired by the president’s repeated condemnatory remarks about capitalism; by his repeated appeals to envy, one of the basest of human instincts; and by the thoughtless lashings he’s administered to the American people out of his own political desperation (“lazy,” “soft” and “bitter” we are!)
====================================================

Hopey’s rhetric,of git in your neighbours faces,the Joe the Plumber
moment,and instigating,that you should board bus’s,and occupy CEO’S
homes,front yards and threatening the CEO’s families,was the start of Changeys,ginning up of the Union Goonions,and laying out the Lef
ty Social Justice Tinderbox narration!!

canopfor on November 30, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Spitting in the wind, unfortunately.

Obama is like the original Terminator. He accuses and agitates. That’s what he does. It’s all he does.

rockmom on November 30, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Obama’s answer– You’re the one perrrceeeeent, you’re the one perrrceeent. (singsong voice, pointing)

tinkerthinker on November 30, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Now, I am not naive.

No, Mr. Cooperman, you are.

rrpjr on November 30, 2011 at 9:16 PM

The only millionaires are know are self-made, who created their own businesses and worked 100 hours a week for 10 years to create their wealth. Why would they want to give their hard-earned money to those who didn’t do anything for it.

Paul-Cincy on November 30, 2011 at 9:18 PM

I guess 100% of Wall Street no longer agrees with Bayam

Chuck Schick on November 30, 2011 at 9:18 PM

He either has no clue or doesnt care or both. Every day I think he cant get any more pathetic and every day he proves me wrong

ldbgcoleman on November 30, 2011 at 9:19 PM

One IRS anal probe coming up!

trigon on November 30, 2011 at 9:21 PM

But as President first and foremost and leader of your party second, you should endeavor to rise above the partisan fray and raise the level of discourse to one that is both more civil and more conciliatory, that seeks collaboration over confrontation. That is what “leading by example” means to most people.

Not quite right…..First and foremost it’s Obama, then party 2nd. Nothing after that.

Excellent letter. I will be sharing that tomorrow with many.

Ditkaca on November 30, 2011 at 9:27 PM

With due respect, Mr. President, it’s time for you to throttle-down the partisan rhetoric and appeal to people’s better instincts, not their worst. …
Sincerely,
Leon G. Cooperman
==========================

The scapegoat strategy
Oct 13 2011
************

But above all: Find villains.
——————————–

President Obama first tried finding excuses, blaming America’s dismal condition on Japanese supply-chain interruptions, the Arab Spring, European debt and various acts of God.

Didn’t work. Sounds plaintive, defensive. Lacks fight, which is what Obama’s base lusts for above all.

Hence Obama’s new strategy: Don’t whine, blame. Attack. Indict. Accuse. Who? The rich — and their Republican protectors — for wrecking America.

In Obama’s telling, it’s the refusal of the rich to “pay their fair share” that jeopardizes Medicare. If millionaires don’t pony up, schools will crumble. Oil-drilling tax breaks are costing teachers their jobs. Corporate loopholes will gut medical research.

It’s crude. It’s Manichaean. And the left loves it. As a matter of math and logic, however, it’s ridiculous. Obama’s most coveted tax hike — an extra 3 to 4.6 percent for millionaires and billionaires (weirdly defined as individuals making more than $200,000) — would have reduced last year’s deficit (at the very most) from $1.29 trillion to $1.21 trillion. Nearly a rounding error. The oil-drilling breaks cover less than half a day’s federal spending. You could collect Obama’s favorite tax loophole — depreciation for corporate jets — for 100 years and it wouldn’t cover one month of Medicare, whose insolvency is a function of increased longevity, expensive new technology and wasteful defensive medicine caused by an insane malpractice system.

After three years, Obama’s self-proclaimed transformative social policies have yielded a desperately weak economy. What to do? Take the low road: Plutocrats are bleeding the country, and I shall rescue you from them.

Problem is, this kind of populist demagoguery is more than intellectually dishonest. It’s dangerous. Obama is opening a Pandora’s box. Popular resentment, easily stoked, is less easily controlled, especially when the basest of instincts are granted legitimacy by the nation’s leader.

Exhibit A. On Tuesday, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed punitive legislation over China’s currency. If not stopped by House Speaker John Boehner, it might have led to a trade war — a 21st-century Smoot-Hawley. Obama knows this. He has shown no appetite for a reckless tariff war. But he set the tone. Once you start hunting for villains, they can be found anywhere, particularly if they are conveniently foreign.

Exhibit B. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin rails against Bank of America for announcing a $5-a-month debit card fee. Obama echoes the opprobrium with fine denunciations of banks and their hidden fees — except that this $5 fee is not hidden. It’s perfectly transparent.

Yet here is a leading Democratic senator advocating a run on a major (and troubled) bank — after two presidents and two Congresses sunk billions of taxpayer dollars to save failing banks. Not because they were deserving or virtuous but because they are necessary. Without banks, there is no lending. Without lending, there is no business. Without business, there are no jobs.

Exhibit C. To the villainy-of-the-rich theme emanating from Washington, a child is born: Occupy Wall Street. Starbucks-sipping, Levi’s-clad, iPhone-clutching protesters denounce corporate America even as they weep for Steve Jobs, corporate titan, billionaire eight times over.

These indignant indolents saddled with their $50,000 student loans and English degrees have decided that their lack of gainful employment is rooted in the malice of the millionaires on whose homes they are now marching — to the applause of Democrats suffering acute Tea Party envy and now salivating at the energy these big-government anarchists will presumably give their cause.

Except that the real Tea Party actually had a program — less government, less regulation, less taxation, less debt. What’s the Occupy Wall Street program? Eat the rich.

And then what? Haven’t gotten that far.

No postprandial plans. But no matter. After all, this is not about programs or policies. This is about scapegoating, a failed administration trying to save itself by blaming our troubles — and its failures — on class enemies, turning general discontent into rage against a malign few.

From the Senate to the streets, it’s working. Obama is too intelligent not to know what he started. But so long as it gives him a shot at reelection, he shows no sign of caring.
(More………………..)
===========================

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-scapegoat-strategy/2011/10/13/gIQArNWViL_story.html

canopfor on November 30, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I’d say the guy nailed the Bastard cold!

Hope his tax returns are clean. Something tells me his company is going to get audited.

GarandFan on November 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Dear Mr. Cooperman,
 
Please enjoy your audits.
 
Sincerely,
President Barack H. Obama

rogerb on November 30, 2011 at 9:38 PM

O/T
====

GOP sources: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli expected to announce run for Va. governor – @washingtonpost
18 Mins ago

http://www.breakingnews.com/
==============================

Cuccinelli will announce governor’s run within days, GOP sources say
Updated Nov 30 2011 8:06PM
****************************

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/cuccinelli-will-announce-governors-run-within-days-gop-sources-say/2011/11/30/gIQADUqKEO_story.html

canopfor on November 30, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Hey, how come there wasn’t a letter somewhere in the archives for the evil Boosh?

I guess GW wasn’t as divisive and didn’t need a dressing down. Its a shame the dressing down doesn’t mean anything to Obie, because his agenda is diametrically opposed to what Mr. Cooperman admonishes him about. It also comes quite a bit late to have affect the widening gap.

belad on November 30, 2011 at 9:43 PM

I’m sorry Mr. Cooperman but you and every other idiot and deluded fool who voted for Obama deserve what you get for voting for the biggest Socialist Marxist to ever run for POTUS…I personally could care less you are disappointed..as a matter of fact I’m gald you realize how much of a tool you are…

CCRWM on November 30, 2011 at 9:45 PM

“…for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists” Well, Duh! Welcome to the party, Mr. Cooperman!

DocinPA on November 30, 2011 at 9:46 PM

Yes, this is a wonderful letter.

But I tire of people finally, belatedly, figuring it out, after so many of us did years ago. I mean, it’s not like he didn’t tell us.

And STILL they think that he has the good of the country at heart, somewhere.

All the American people now begging him – I hate that.

Alana on November 30, 2011 at 9:56 PM

I think he misses the point.

The plan is not to “spread the wealth around” or have the rich “pay their fair share”; these are merely poll-tested phrases used to incite the progressive base and strike an air of maturity with the too-often casual political observer independents. Besides, not one single proposal put forth by progressives relative to increased taxes on the rich will have any meaningful effect on the nation’s economic woes. Sure, IF it were all directed at deficit reduction, we’d probably see a couple trillion go away, but firstly, it won’t be used for deficit reduction, and secondly, the amount of reduction is negligible given the scope of the problem.

What’s going on here -and Mr. Cooperman did touch on it even if in the wrong context- is the “greater concentration of power in a central government”. Demonizing the rich, spreading the wealth around and paying their fair share isn’t about income equality or closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots -and it certainly isn’t about raising the standard of living for the poor and downtrodden- it is simply about concentration of wealth and power into the hands of political allies.

Making the rich poor will not enrich the poor, it will simply make more people poor and dependent on central government. Progressives are trying to create a permanent ruling class in Washington; the only way to ensure success is by eliminating the threat: individual wealth beyond their control; i.e. regulation and revenue collection.

Oh yeah… The other threat? An armed citizenry. In this context, what Obama is doing makes perfect sense.

BKeyser on November 30, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Had the privilege to meet Mr. Cooperman some ten years ago in a proxy fight in which we were on the same side. He is beyond brilliant and eloquent, as his letter shows, but with a heart that matches, probably why he threw in with an Obama to begin with, given the other choice of a boorish McCain.

The easiest people to flim-flam, as always, are those who started poor, like Leon, and made it big. It is the targeted class of the Obamas of the world. When you’ve made it, from nothing to something, your natural inclination is to always go and cheer for the underdog, because you were once that underdog. Hence, Buffett, Gates, Jobs, etc., supporting the Democrats. The liberals know this, so damn well, and why you see so many self-made billionaires dancing with the devil.

Kudos to Cooperman for this letter and finally understanding the true nature of this failed president. I can only hope that more will follow his lead.

TXUS on November 30, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Sorry Leon, the dude is a Marxist-Leninist. Who would have thought?

AshleyTKing on November 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Excellent!!! Thanks, Tina….

Buy Danish on November 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Obama’s Plan B is to raise revenues off those who are irritating.

It’s motto: Tax the b*tch!

(You can recycle all the old placards with a single word paste over.)

profitsbeard on November 30, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Mr. Leon G. Cooperman, you might have just as well written your letter to the Man in the Moon. I do not believe Obama thinks of himself as a good man, nor a bad man. I don’t think he thinks in those terms. He believes himself to be an entitled-to-rule-all man, as did the kings of old, like King George III and King Louie XVI. Present day examples would be someone like Kim Jong Il or Hugo Chavez. Concepts like good and bad are for mortals, not gods.

If you think he hasn’t recognize the economic disaster he has created, you are mistaken. He does not care. Gods do not concern themselves with such trifles. Once you realize that Obama has a god complex, all else falls into place. See “God Complex” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_complex Also see “Narcissistic personality disorder” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Progressives are trying to create a permanent ruling class in Washington; the only way to ensure success is by eliminating the threat: individual wealth beyond their control; i.e. regulation and revenue collection.

Oh yeah… The other threat? An armed citizenry. In this context, what Obama is doing makes perfect sense.

BKeyser on November 30, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Succinct, well-articulated, true.

troyriser_gopftw on November 30, 2011 at 10:44 PM

Good letter but for a smart guy, he sure had blinders on about Obama. Anyone paying attention knew this Obama’s heart is in leftism.

Hummer53 on November 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM

That and 3 bucks will buy him a cup of coffee. Don’t see Obama paying any attention to it. It’s Cloward-Piven or nothing, after all.

Christian Conservative on November 30, 2011 at 10:53 PM

Great letter but Cooperman wasted his time. King Barry’s most prominent personality trait (well, maybe second most prominent) is that he is utterly impervious to experience or wise counsel. The man is unteachable.

Cicero43 on November 30, 2011 at 10:54 PM

…it really doesn’t hurt anything to proceed from the assumption that the majority of folks want what’s best for the country and to appeal to that desire in them, rather than to accuse them of intentionally wanting what’s worst.

Wrong, Tina: It hurts Obama, who needs to make utterly asinine detached-from-reality statements in order to whip up his oh-so-weary base.

Him, and Nancy Pelosi, to name just two: Republicans “want women to die on the floor” … “The Republican plan comes down to this, ‘Dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.’”

The worst part? She probably believes it.

And so does The One.

Paul_in_NJ on November 30, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Not that I didn’t appreciate the finer points of this letter, but he was far too kind to Obama. And to the idea of higher taxes.

Sharke on November 30, 2011 at 11:25 PM

but it really doesn’t hurt anything to proceed from the assumption that the majority of folks want what’s best for the country and to appeal to that desire in them, rather than to accuse them of intentionally wanting what’s worst.

Then explain the 53% that voted for Obama. He told us what he was going to do before they elected him. Why are we surprised now that he is doing it.

chemman on November 30, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Is all this class warfare rhetoric really necessary?

Yes, because it works. Just because we think it’s a lame argument, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t resonate.

The question is, what does Obama do with this ideology exactly to turn it into votes?

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 30, 2011 at 11:54 PM

a strategy, as history teaches, that never ends well for anyone but totalitarians and anarchists.

And BO’s strategy seems eerily similar to one used by a South American tin-pot dictator who has been sporting big ears and a shorn head as of late.

chickasaw42 on November 30, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Cooperman tax audit 5… 4… 3…

petefrt on December 1, 2011 at 2:22 AM

Barry will take it as a badge of honor… Proof that he is actually doing what he set out to do.
-
That is all.
-

RalphyBoy on December 1, 2011 at 2:29 AM

I did not like Cooperman’s use of the word “downtrodden”. In America!? No wonder he voted for Obama.

OldEnglish on December 1, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Great, now get out and mobilize a group of wealthy former Obama supporters to say the same thing.

SC.Charlie on December 1, 2011 at 6:25 AM

P.S., Enclosed is my campaign contribution for $1,000,000. Best of luck whipping those awful Republicans Mr. President.

FalseProfit on December 1, 2011 at 7:21 AM

I imagine BO’s response was ” They were mean to me first.”

katiejane on December 1, 2011 at 7:29 AM

by his repeated appeals to envy, one of the basest of human instincts;

Gosh, now it’s instinct to envy? For thousands of years in western civilization it was considered to be a serious sin. Relativism is like a plague which doesn’t care who its victim is.

Some of us, I would remind you, still are humans (albeit fallen) but still haven been made in the image of our Creator (the constitution call Him, Nature’s God) have free will, and driven by a well formed conscience -use the danged thing.

To claim envy is instinct is to verify the left’s Godless insult of biodiversity that claims mankind to be no better of a species than a rat or a cockroach.

Don L on December 1, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Is all this class warfare rhetoric really necessary?

Yes, because it works. Just because we think it’s a lame argument, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t resonate.

The question is, what does Obama do with this ideology exactly to turn it into votes?

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 30, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Precisely! The right sooths its frustration by saying it is logical while the left wins converts by emotion (and sin), greed, envy, sloth, guilt free abortion, free lunch etc.

Don L on December 1, 2011 at 7:41 AM

The real 1% is people in the government with power, the 99% is the rest of us.

Government has too much power, has too much influence, too much prestige, is too much a celebrity in our society, and has too little responsibility for consequences of their acts.

The US Constitution was written to protect the people from the Government, not give the Government more power over the people.

Why shouldn’t government officials be held responsible for failed decisions or stupid laws, rules and programs? For example: Is it not criminal the fraud that was aided in the case of the Energy department and Solyndra? Put the government people on trial for fraud and the money wasted.

Barney Frank? Put him on trial for the stupidity he abetted regarding mortgages at Freddie and Fannie…

albill on December 1, 2011 at 7:51 AM

It’s amazing that all these smart people belatedly recognize O for what he is. In 2008, most of us lowly commenters predicted exactly this behavior. And it wasn’t difficult. All one had to do was read Rules For Radicals, O’s guide to life.

casel21 on November 30, 2011 at 8:55 PM

I don’t know why smart folks like this couldn’t see what so many of us saw more clearly early on. I am happy enough that some of them are coming around and lending the weight of their names and reputations to the truth, however belatedly. Welcome aboard, Leon.

Extrafishy on December 1, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Personally I found this letter pathetic. ‘Oh I’m so disappointed in you Mr. President.” Cooperman is an idiot if he didn’t see this a long time ago. What did he think Obama was talking about in his book or when he was a community organizer or sat in Wright’s church. This means nothing.

Here’s how I read it…’I am disappointed but I know you can do better. I know you will listen to me because I give money to the Democrats. I still love you.’

Barf!

Deanna on December 1, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Proof positive you don’t need wisdom to acquire money.

He voted for Obama and is now surprised at how he behaves. Did you listen to ANY of the comments not read from a teleprompter?

DavidM on December 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Capitalism is not the source of our problems, as an economy or as a society, and capitalists are not the scourge that they are too often made out to be.

Sorry, Leon, but this particular belief is simply not in O’bama’s DNA.

Del Dolemonte on December 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM

“We are not amused Mr. Cooperman.” so sayeth Emperor Barack.

Old Fritz on December 1, 2011 at 10:17 AM

it really doesn’t hurt anything to proceed from the assumption that the majority of folks want what’s best for the country and to appeal to that desire in them, rather than to accuse them of intentionally wanting what’s worst.

The only way you can believe this is to ignore the mountain of evidence from the 60′s on. And proceeding from that ignorance has done untold damage to the country because it has allowed Copperheads to work unhindered.

SDN on December 1, 2011 at 12:53 PM

It’s a great letter, and should be taken seriously by the President, but I don’t think it will be. I don’t believe Obama has the capacity to “rise above the partisan fray”. In fact, I believe he is a small-minded, petty man with limited intellectual resources, who wraps himself in a cocoon of sycophants. I don’t think he’ll even read the letter, or let anyone tell him about it.

RebeccaH on December 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM

What makes this truth inconvenient is that the proposed remedy — tax these haves and redistribute that income to the have-nots — has an upper boundary. Indeed, blue states such as California and New York, where these superstar effects are most pronounced, are already trying to remedy inequality with some of the highest state income taxes in the country, and they have bumped up against the limits of economic reality.

It’s telling that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been a staunch critic of new tax increases, including on the wealthy, saying recently that “you are kidding yourself if you think you can be one of the highest-taxed states in the nation, have a reputation for being anti-business — and have a rosy economic future.”

Reasonable people can disagree about how many immigrants the country should welcome (I’m in the pro-immigration camp). But liberal supporters of Occupy Wall Street, many of whom have expressed solidarity with undocumented workers, must reconcile the fact that their embrace of large-scale immigration of unskilled workers is a driver of the inequality they denounce.

A third dynamic widening income disparities is in some ways the most inconvenient of all: the collapse of intact families. The explosion of out-of-wedlock births and of children living outside of two-parent households has widened economic disparities of all kinds, including income.

J_Crater on December 1, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Mr. Cooperman, I hope you can pass a Federal tax audit and have no skeletons, business or personal, in your closet. You are likely to get the full Chicago treatment for this. Nonetheless, I applaud your spirit.

Mason on December 1, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I only read the excerpts here, but this seems like a very weak, naive letter.

BTW, it’s “great” to be philanthropist. But, if he really cared about other people, GIVE YOUR MONEY TO A CONSERVATIVE THINK TANK, truly promote liberty and capitalism.

mockmook on December 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I should have said “GIVE YOUR MONEY TO A CONSERVATIVE THINK TANK, truly promote liberty and capitalism (if you aren’t prepared to promote them vigorously yourself).”

The wealthy who benefit from liberty and capitalism rarely want to publicly promote the growth of freedom.

I don’t understand it.

mockmook on December 1, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Wealthy prick indulges in whining persecution complex.

News at fricken 11.

AJB on December 1, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Class warfare towards the bankers who committed fraud on a grand scale and crashed the global economy is very bad.

It’s much better to get people lathered up with hatred towards immigrants, inner-city residents, low-income workers and women’s health providers.

AJB on December 1, 2011 at 2:58 PM

All these comments saying Obama is a Marxist because he says mean things about rich people once and a while are hilarious. Obama, through his actions, has proven himself to be a reliable shill for the wealthy and his occasional lip service to populism doesn’t make him a Commie-Islamo-Marxist.

AJB on December 1, 2011 at 3:02 PM

The only place you will see this letter is on the internet because the MSM will edit it out. It happens to some well written posts here and on other sites. You tube is another site that is watched closely by the White House. I’ve seen many videos vanish with no explanation. The present agenda in the White House is on top of the internet and we the public know for sure the news is filtered through the WH before we see it which explains why the news is generally a day or two behind sites here on the net.

mixplix on December 2, 2011 at 1:54 PM