Up And Out: The Oppressed Billionaire Dissidents Of Obama’s America

Over the last few weeks, the real victims of Obama’s America have come forth with pleas to end their persecution.

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins fired a warning shot last month in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

“Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich,'” the billionaire Silicon Valley pioneer wrote.

Real estate investor Sam Zell echoed his fellow one percenter’s lament earlier this week.

“The one percent are getting pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so,” Zell said, adding that the one percent simply “work harder” than everyone else.

President Obama isn’t the only oppressor of the super rich. Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot, expressed concern late last year that Pope Francis’ criticism of capitalism made the wealthiest Americans feel alienated.

Of course, these dissidents have been swatting away at Obama’s iron fist for years. Langone himself accused Obama in 2011 of attempting “to divide us and make us look at each other with skepticism, with suspicion.”

But Langone wasn’t even the first Home Depot executive to speak out against Obama’s culture of intimidation. Bernie Marcus, who helped found the home improvement retailer, said in 2011 that many CEOs opted against criticizing Obama out of fear of retribution.

“They are frightened to death — frightened that they will have the IRS or SEC on them,” Marcus said. “In my 50 years in business, I have never seen executives of major companies who were more intimidated by an administration.”

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn likewise sounded off on these fears in a rant during a 2011 conference call with investors. Although he described himself as a “Democratic businessman,” Wynn said “those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear” of Obama.

“Well, this is Obama’s deal. And it is Obama that is responsible for this fear in America,” Wynn said.

“The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest, they are holding too much money,” he added. “You know, we haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody is afraid of the government and there is no need soft-pedaling it. It is the truth. It is the truth.”

Meanwhile, Wall Street finished 2013 with the biggest annual gains since the 1990s.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriter:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: