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Mike Jorgensen, Published January 09 2011

Let rich spread their wealth

How fortunate we are in this area to have such a generous person in Denny Sanford. It’s very fitting that he be recognized for his philanthropy. But isn’t this in contrast to the message out of Washington, D.C., and from those on the left, that wealthy people deserved to be punished for making all that money? Sanford is a great example of someone who has gained a great deal of wealth and is spreading it around to benefit others.

The argument I’ve heard from government leaders is that people of wealth don’t deserve equal taxation or tax breaks. Any honest person, when asked, would love to be well off financially and in fact goes to great lengths to secure good education and take risks to try to become financially free. Yet when a person in our country acquires wealth legally and ethically, they are supposed to be taxed unfairly as if they don’t deserve what they’ve earned.

Another observation I’ve made over the past few years is the frequent use of the term “middle class.” I thought we were all Americans and that there was no difference, no red states, no blue states? No, it seems that people who make over $250,000 are evil, and they don’t deserve to keep the same share of what they’ve earned. That is the message I keep hearing from Washington.

I would make the case that there are evil rich people and evil poor people. There are wonderful and generous rich people and wonderful and generous poor people. It’s not the amount of money we make that determines our character but the condition of our heart born out in how we treat our fellow citizens and give back.

I hope the new message from our leaders in Washington and in our culture is one that encourages all Americans to be as successful as their talent and hard work will take them and a tax code that treats everyone equally. Hopefully, we then can produce more people of such means to benefit the whole of society.

Let’s lose the attitude and policies of trying to financially punish people who have done well and focus on ways we can bring out the best in all of us so we can find more examples like Sanford instead of fewer.