Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly engaged in a highly-entertaining and thoughtful debate last night. And while many solid points were made (as well as some false equivalencies from a certain party), the following quote by Jon Stewart stands out as perhaps the most important of the night:
"Why is it that if you take advantage of a corporate tax break you're a smart businessman, but if you take advantage of something so you don't go hungry, you're a moocher?While O'Reilly stated at one point that "nobody begrudges people who need a safety net," he revealed the true face of mainstream conservative thinking when he said that there is just too much entitlement these days. That people (those who are starving, mind you) just expect too much.
Those poor people expect food and shelter and good health. It's too much!
However, the corporate wealthy (and fictitious job creators) feel they are entitled to as much as they want. It's a view The Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein, satirically writing in the voice of an equity-fund manager, highlighted succinctly:
"I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.Superheros vs. moochers. This is the way conservatives and Mitt Romney continue to frame this hypocrisy.
"I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers."
It's class war through type-casting. And Stewart, with one, piercing question, blew it apart.
It's a question worth repeating to conservatives everywhere.