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21st-century Robin Hood advocates higher riches for poor to help middle class

Posted: October 26, 2011
By: Will Bunch
Source: Philadelphia Daily News

WHEN MILLIONAIRE Philadelphia lawyer Daniel Berger saw the protesters on his TV, they reminded him of Bolsheviks - "a vanguard of extremists who believe in an ideology." But Berger - a trial lawyer who has made a fortune in class-action lawsuits involving securities fraud and environmental and civil-rights issues - isn't talking about the new breed of protesters occupying Wall Street and elsewhere with signs reading "Tax the Rich."

No, Berger is talking about the right-wing tea party, a group that he said may share some populist rage about the collapse of the American middle class but that he sees as rooted in "white supremacist" and "anti-immigrant" elements. He even likens them to a modern Ku Klux Klan.

Berger may be wealthy, but he definitely is not the long-lost Koch brother.

In fact, if the 63-year-old lifelong city resident carried his own political sign, it too would read "Tax the Rich."

Berger is gaining national attention as a spokesman for a group called Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, which advocates for what would amount to at least a 13 percent income-tax hike on people like themselves - Americans making more than $1 million a year.

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