Professional media person: Poor people have money but they just waste it on ‘benders’

In just a few years in existence, online mag Quillette has become a haven for bad faith takes, revanchist social stances, and a safe space for men accused of sexual assault to defend themselves.

So it’s no surprise that its founding editor is taking up the latest cause célèbre of conservatism: being against an increased marginal tax rate on people who make over $10 million.

It’s an idea pushed by the emerging Democratic left. But it’s a bad idea says Claire Lehmann, who thinks the problem with poverty has nothing to do with people having a lack of money. As she argued late Wednesday on Twitter, poor people will blow their money on drugs and get arrested, so rich people should get to keep their obscene amount of wealth.

Although the polls she’s quote tweeting say 45 percent of Americans support a 70 percent tax versus just 32 percent who oppose it, which would be a plurality of Americans, her insulting argument is that money is not a solution to “lack of money.”

“If you’ve ever worked, lived or spent actual time with people trapped in the underclass, the problem is not *lack of money*,” Lehmann says, going on to explain how poor people have money, they just spend it frivolously on “a 3 day bender.”

It’s not just an insulting take. It’s an idiotic one as well.

Not only do a great majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but studies also show 40 percent of Americans couldn’t handle an emergency payment of just $400 if the need arose. Not having money is a huge problem.

And money raised by implementing a high marginal tax rate wouldn’t just be handing money to poor people to buy drugs. It would be used to expand a social safety net so that a family living near the poverty line wouldn’t be crippled because a child got sick.

Naturally, that absurd lack of both empathy and understanding didn’t go over well.

Amazingly, Lahmann—who fashions herself a leader in the intellectual dark web, the movement of conservative brainiacs being driven undergrown by the “intolerant” left—didn’t even know the history of American tax rates.

She tried to walk it back a bit, saying not all poor people were not going on benders with their money, but her argument remains that rich people deserve their spoils, and poor people deserve their pain, regardless of how the system is set up to ensure people stay locked in their class structure for generations.

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David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]