House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Sunday defended the richest 1 percent of Americans and suggested that the Occupy movement was engaging in class warfare.
“You look at Occupy Wall Street, I think you said you understand their frustrations,” ABC’s Christian Amanpour told Boehner. “People such as, let’s say Eric Cantor, called them a mob not so long ago. Do you agree with that? Are they a mob?”
“Listen, I understand people’s frustrations,” Boehner replied. “I understand their concerns. And I, frankly, understand that we have differences in America. We are not going to engage in class warfare. The president is out there doing it every day.”
“It’s not so much that redistribution of income the president is talking about,” Amanpour noted. “It’s a shared and much fairer sense of sacrifice. And there doesn’t seem to be the sense among people here that the sacrifice is being shared. Because they point to taxes and tax cuts and who it benefits and who it doesn’t.”
“Come on,” Boehner protested. “The top 1 percent pay 38 percent of the income taxes in America. You know, how much more do you want them to pay? Let’s take all the money the rich have, it won’t even put a dent in our current budget deficit, much less our debt.”
In 2010, the richest 1 percent of Americans owned 70 percent of all financial assets. Between 2002 and 2006, they captured three-quarters of the nation’s economic growth.
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, recorded Nov. 6, 2011.