"I Am a Fat Cat:" The Most Horrifying, Out-of-Touch "Defensive" Quotes from the 1%

The internet is abuzz this morning with this story by Max Abelson at Bloomberg News, in which he approaches some of the most one-percenty of the one-percent, eager to defend themselves from the slander of the masses--and finds out that many of these billionaire bankers and CEOs really do despise the plebes as much as they appear to.

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan offers this humorous (but not really) summary of the piece: "In this story, Max Abelson quotes a variety of America's best candidates for being put up against the wall when the revolution comes, explaining why they are, I don't know, not evil, evil, fuckers. 'Hey, I'm talking to a Bloomberg reporter, I can just fire off my stupid fat rich idiot mouth at will,' is the thought process that many of the individuals in question utilized. " 

Ouch. And yet, here are some of the choicest quotes obtained by Abelson:

  • “If I hear a politician use the term ‘paying your fair share’ one more time, I’m going to vomit,” said [Tom Golisano, billionaire founder of payroll processer Paychex Inc. (PAYX)], who turned 70 last month, celebrating the birthday with girlfriend Monica Seles, the former tennis star who won nine Grand Slam singles titles.
  • “I am a fat cat, I’m not ashamed,” [ Ken Langone, 76, Home Depot co-founder and chairman of the NYU Langone Medical Center] said last week in a telephone interview from a dressing room in his Upper East Side home. “If you mean by fat cat that I’ve succeeded, yeah, then I’m a fat cat. I stand guilty of being a fat cat.”
  • “Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive,” [John A. Allison IV, a director of BB&T Corp. (BBT) said. “This attack is destructive.”
  • “Acting like everyone who’s been successful is bad and because you’re rich you’re bad, I don’t understand it,” [Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO] told an audience member who asked about hostility toward bankers.

Instead of the rich, it's the poor who should be paying their fair share, one one-percenter told Abelson.

  • Asked if he were willing to pay more taxes...Blackstone Group LP (BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman spoke about lower-income U.S. families who pay no income tax. “You have to have skin in the game,” said Schwarzman, 64. “I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”

Still, a few like Warren Buffet and the other members of his patriotic millionaires group volunteered that they thought their taxes would be raised.

But  the rest of this article's subjects seemed to be trying their best to make Occupy Wall Street's job a lot easier.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at December 20, 2011, 5:36am

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