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This three page open letter has to be read to be believed.  It's written by Leon Cooperman, ex Goldman Sachs bigwig and founder of Omega Advisors, a $5.4 billion hedge fund.  He simply embarrasses himself with this rant, and seems more interested in complaining about the points Obama is making that aren't in his personal economic interests than in providing any real solutions to our problems...  

Cooperman's first whining point....

(but) what I can justifiably hold you accountable for is your 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".

"So many"?  Who, may I ask, is Cooperman referring to when he says this?  Why, of course, corporatist Republicans who don't want to pay more taxes!  It's easy for Cooperman to cite these people who support people like Cooperman, who is reported to be worth $1.8 billion.

It gets better.  He supports his whiny point with...

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.

Umm, what tonal qualities in Obama's speeches or press conferences have sounded so divisive and polarizing?  He may not like to hear it, but Cooperman's sensitivity to Obama's call for shared sacrifice and for millionaires and billionaires to "pay their fair share" is overwhelmingly supported by the public, including by a large block of rank-and-file Republicans.  Where, in Obama's call for tax fairness, has his tone been so toxic?  I'd really like for Cooperman to cite specifics, but he doesn't.

However, Cooperman insists that...

it is an approach to governing that owes more to desperate demagoguery than your Administration should feel comfortable with.

Now, Mr. Cooperman does not state where Obama is being a demagogue by advocating a tax policy change, but he sure sounds like a demagogue himself by charging the President of this infraction.

I'd suppose when a policy prescription is in alignment with his self-interest, he'd call it a "strong use of the bully pulpit" to advance changes to public policy.  But, when it hurts in the bank account, it's suddenly "desperate demagoguery".

We are supposesd to have sympathy, though, for Mr. Cooperman.  After all, he is the son of a plumber from the South Bronx as he details in fine detail in a following paragraph.  When someone comes from working class roots, makes it big, and gives away large sums to charity (as Cooperman brags about), I guess it allows him to complain about "class warfare" and get away with it.

To be fair, Mr. Cooperman isn't simply complaining to Obama.  He has a suggestion...

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.

Raise the level of discourse?  Be more civil?  WHAT is he talking about???  It sure would be nice to see specific examples or quotes that offended Mr. Cooperman, because he doesn't give them.  Instead, he immediately lectures Obama that...

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.

Did Obama EVER say capitalism IS the source our our problems?  What is Mr. Cooperman implying here?  Could it be that he fears the President is a socialist?  Just wondering where that came from.  But maybe we have a clue....he then says...

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.

So Obama is really a totalitarian and anarchist sympathizer!  Must be, since Cooperman warned him that his rhetoric gives comfort to such riff-raff.

You get the idea, now.  Cooperman is disgruntled because he's a hedge fund manager, and has to vent.  After all, Obama used the incendiary rhetoric that hedge fund managers need to pay taxes at the rate their secretaries are paying, something so controversial that Warren Buffett has said virtually the same thing!

Leon Cooperman is a member of the 1% who is scared.  So scared that he dared to publish a letter to the White House for public consumption.  What he doesn't realize is that his very words will further enrage the 99% who can see all too clearly just how out of touch and self-interested such people are on Wall Street.  He really is just hurting his own cause!


Did Leon Cooperman make ANY good points?

32%35 votes
54%59 votes
12%13 votes

| 108 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  He drew his line in the sand here: (13+ / 0-)
    a widening gulf, ......between the downtrodden and those best positioned to help them.

    That's a pretty clear "us" (we who are positioned  to distribute bounty" vs "them" (the downtrodden rest of you).  'nuff said, I'd think.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:08:02 PM PST

  •  Roxpert - here is the scary part (5+ / 0-)

    The letter is nonsense, however the intensity will lead to action. I have been very surprised by members of the professional investment community, many whom voted for and funded the President in 2008, who are committed to his defeat in 2012. This is a group who typically stay out of politics although they make occasional campaign donations and in 2008 the donations went overwhelmingly to the President. This cycle they are in the GOP camp with both feet and very deep pockets. It's not just the Koch Brothers who will spend $200 million in 2012, but lots of people who will spend $10 million each like Leon Cooperman, and hundreds who will send smaller seven figure checks. For some reason the President has kicked a sleeping dog and he has come out full of fight. This will be a very tough, and nasty, campaign with most of the heavy punching on the GOP side coming from independent groups.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:10:22 PM PST

    •  Good point... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and Newt Gingrich is just the kind of "bomb thrower" that these elites would love to support.  They need a water carrier who is shamelessly elitist.  Someone who calls on Obama to stop with that 99% versus 1% stuff.

    •  It's not the President that kicked the dog (9+ / 0-)

      Obama is firmly for the corporatocracy the 1%, he couldn't be more so than if he was the CEO of Goldman Sachs.  I can also say the same about a ton of Democrats as well.

      What's happening is that we are slowly reaching the point where something has to give.  As a nation we have to accept lower corporate profits and much higher taxation all around in order to ensure most citizens don't end up almost in third world style living conditions.  That's where we are.  Companies and the rich have to start paying their taxes, get rich quick off fees banking systems have to go.  We have to invest massively in infrastructure.  We must stop outsourcing everything for even greater profits and return things back to the US.  If we don't, the middle class will be finally and utterly obliterated permanently.

      It's a stark choice.  Either the rich become less rich and this country works for everyone.  Or we go back to people starving in the streets, no medical treatment, shitty infrastructure, and people in wage prisons.

      The thing is, nobody at the top is willing to become less rich.  What they want is the political leadership to praise them constantly and stand up and tell all the little people to shut up.  What they want is a permanent hardening of their gains, and the system that allows them to do it in steel and concrete so that it can never be undone.  What they want is the locked and gated houses as they exist in Brazil and everybody else in the slums.

      And they are paranoid as fuck that people are going to actually revolt.  Not this protest sissy crap that can be brushed off.  But violent confrontations in the streets and an actual over throw of the system.  And they are scared shitless that we are moments away from it.  And since they are unwilling to give any of what they stole back to people to avoid it, they want a government that will side with them in public and violently crack down on people who seek to change it.

      Make no mistake, this is more directed at the concept of a new New Deal style Democrat or Independent reformer rising out of the ashes, than it is at any of the current bought and crooked Democratic leaders.

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:30:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Their real fear... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MeToo, Timaeus, jimreyn

        is that their wealth gets confiscated in a sort of "wealth" tax, or asset tax.  People like Cooperman made excessive income off their carried interest, the 2 and 20 hedge fund fee structure.  It's really easy money as long as you can gather assets and generate returns.  

        You know the saying, "easy come, easy go".  That's what someone like Cooperman really fears.  He's smart enough to know of the 3rd world divide happening in the USA, and is freaked out at the protests happening where he works.  So, he feels he needs to chide the President to "tone it down".  Really an "air of fear" in his words when you think about it.

        And I agree with your assessment of Obama as a Wall Street tool.

        •  Roxpert - they don't fear a wealth tax in the US (0+ / 0-)

          Most constitutional scholars believe it would take a Constitutional Amendment to initiate a wealth tax, that's a long road with many opportunites to block it.  In the countries that have wealth taxes the rates are 1-3% per year and more countries are dropping them than adding them.  Those who are dropping wealth taxes believe that long term they hurt overall tax revenue by encouraging capital flight and discouraging domestic investment.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:53:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for pointing that out, however... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I've spoken to many in the 1%, and I get that fear uttered to me repeatedly.  It's an irrational fear and not one founded on reality, but a fear nonetheless.  They call it "tyranny of the majority", and worry they will lose their way of life.

            •  Roxpert - that is cleary true (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              They do very much fear the "tyranny of the majority" as did the founders who only allowed property owners to vote. They beleive it will manifest itself in much higher marginal tax rates on income, higher capital gains taxes, and some adjustment in carried interest rules, all to their detriment. That's why they are going "all in" to elect a Republican in 2012. To them it's an investment decision, not a political one.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:03:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Nonsense! You don't need a "wealth tax". (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            One simply needs to adjust the Internal Revenue Code. That is, change tax rates for income and for capital gains, among other things.

            No constitutional amendment required! We already have a constitutional amendment that supports that.

            "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow." -- last words of Steve Jobs.

            by Timaeus on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:14:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Timaeus - that's true to a point (0+ / 0-)

              You can certainly slow the accumulation of wealth by higher marginal tax rates, including higher capital gains rates. However, that does nothing to tax the wealth already accumulated. It's not that hard to structure a portfolio that has little income, but strong appreciation potential. Unrealized capital gains are not taxed, but can be used as collateral to borrow, deferring any tax liability until death.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 04:17:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  overclocking - you make some good points, however (0+ / 0-)

        I know some of these folks and none of them fear violent acts here in the US or some type of violent overthrow.  However, they do believe in diversification and have legally moved assets outside the US and in currencies other than dollars. They also have homes and offices in other parts of the world, so they do have a backup plan.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 06:58:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Too bad all of the candidates they might support (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are idiots and fools. Bit of a miscalculation there by the so-called masters of the universe.

      We have only just begun and none too soon.

      by global citizen on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:00:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  global citizen - don't count them out (0+ / 0-)

        The GOP will have a formidable ticket and lots of money. The President is the favorite, but does not have the luster he had in 2008.  Senator Obama outspent McCain 4 to 1. This time around, if you include the independent groups, it is likely he will be outspent.  This will be a much more difficult election for the President to win.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:08:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Translation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Ya gettin' a bit uppity, boy"

    The gall is simply stunningly unmitigated.

  •  Whenever they open their mouths... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, MeToo

    they prove our point.  Any criticism of the 1% is anarchism and class warfare.  Their 30-campaign to gain control of the nation's wealth and its government is simply God's plan.  Up against the wall, buddy.

  •  10,000 Years of History of Those "Best Positioned" (6+ / 0-)

    shows that they NEVER "helped them."

    We arrived at 1933 with most of our elders dying in poverty of exposure, same as they did in Jesus' day, same as they did in Neanderthal days.

    --And that was also the end result of 1,900 years of Christian charity.

    In the time it took one 1933 newborn to reach voting age, we had turned that completely around with liberalism.

    The data's in.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:21:57 PM PST

  •  Omega privilege (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB, jimreyn

    Cooperman: "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,..."

    OK, for the record, if someone is working to produce in an actual job, then they earned that payment. You, Mr Cooperman did not give them the money in their paycheck out of charity. Healthcare coverage is part of the cost of doing business, and starting new companies only counts if they are actually located in the USA.

    The sense of wealth privilege, Omega Level Privilege, is the only shield Mr Cooperman has from the sling and arrows of people saying classist things? hahaha! That's cute.

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 08:54:36 PM PST

  •  Straw meet man (0+ / 0-)

    Build it.  Then knock it down.

    “If you think I can be bought for five thousand dollars, I'm offended." Rick Perry.

    by Paleo on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 10:04:19 PM PST

  •  let them eat PI. (0+ / 0-)

    Fund managers deserve 3.14 slices each and every day.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 01:23:58 AM PST

  •  let's take these motherfuckers down (0+ / 0-)
    those best positioned to help them [but yet never will because they are heartless, elitist bastards who will never do anything not in their self-interest]

    Kick a "job creator" in the balls today!

    by memofromturner on Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 02:43:53 AM PST

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