OVER THE YEARS, I’ve made it clear millionaires and billionaires should pay their fair share of income taxes. But I’ve also said we should not demonize all of them, and call them sinister and evil. Success is to be celebrated. Successful people are usually rainmakers for the rest of us.

They should be held to a high standard, but not targeted with animosity as some politicians have proposed. Who should voters trust to invest their money? Self-serving politicians or the people with a track record of accomplishment and vision?

Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank cofounded The Home Depot company with the help of Kenneth Langone. With hard work and good timing, they all became billionaires. They lived the American dream. They don’t feel they have anything to apologize for. Marcus recently penned a column in the Wall Street Journal.

These men and their families fully expect to pay their fair share of taxes. They have in the past and they will in the future. In fact, they’ve probably paid more than a billion dollars each. Because of their record of success, they know they can spend their money more wisely and in ways that benefit their communities, than politicians can.

They got wealthy by creating businesses and foundations that help Americans by providing millions of jobs, growth, goods and services at prices consumers were willing to pay. That’s the win-win miracle of the free market. Remember, this is after paying their fair share of income taxes.

These men also have given more than $2 billion to charity. After careful study, they awarded the money to worthy causes. By doing so, they avoided the waste and graft that government programs are known for, however well-intentioned they were.

Their enterprises better promoted values associated with virtue and success, and they are helping cure terrible and painful diseases from cancer to multiple sclerosis. Langone is a major financial supporter of the prestigious New York University School of Medicine, which trains new doctors.

They are grateful to live in America and fully support government efforts to help the less fortunate and battle the effects of inequality. Marcus noted that he is the son of an immigrant who came to these shores with almost nothing.

The three men became wealthy by making bold plans, taking big risks and taking huge chances. “You can’t say we grew up privileged as some ‘tax the wealthy’ proponents are alleging,” wrote Marcus.

Marcus said his friends are troubled by the obstacles that many millions of young Americans face today: poor schools, drugs, single-parent homes, discrimination, broken and dangerous communities, and inequality, but the best way they can tackle those problems is to support the causes they choose, not the ones liberal politicians choose.

Not all billionaires are so honorable. But many of them support community charities, invest in expansions and start-ups that produce innovations, employ workers, make life easier and improve the quality of life for everyone. They should not be taken for granted or targeted by the radical left to promote divisive class warfare rhetoric.

There are about 600 billionaires in the United States with almost half living in California and New York. There are about 2,250 worldwide. The second highest number are in China.

According to current Federal Reserve data, there are almost 15 million American households with a worth of $1 million. That’s about 12% of all households. The $1 million figure includes home value, investments and retirement accounts. That doesn’t mean they are rich. Also 7.7 million households have a worth of $2 million (6.1%), 4.7 million have $3 million (3.7%), 3.6 million have $4 million (2.8%), 2.9 million have $5 million (2.3%) and 1.4 million households have a worth of $10 million (1.1%).

Aug. 21, Fidelity Investments reported that they had 196,000 investors with at least $1 million in their 401(k) accounts and another 180,000 individual retirement account millionaires at the end of the second quarter. Both numbers are a record. This is good news for America.



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THE EXPERTS are calling American gymnast Simone Biles an athlete for the ages. Sports fans are lucky to witness incredible talent from time to time. Biles possesses “once in a generation” skills in the field of gymnastics.

Biles is 22 years old. Born in Columbus, Ohio, she lives and trains in Texas. She’s a 4-feet, 8-inch dynamo. At the Rio Olympics, she won gold medals in the individual all-around, vault and floor. She won a bronze medal on the balance beam. Her performance helped the Americans to a gold in the team event.

Aug. 11, Biles won her sixth U.S. national title. She has won more world titles than any other gymnast, male or female. People in the sport say she is so amazing and awe-inspiring, that you are reminded you are watching greatness never before seen.

Aug. 11, she showed the world a historic triple twisting-double somersault pass on her floor exercise. She did it kind of “matter of factly.” No other woman has ever done it and few men have even tried it. It is that difficult.

A few days earlier, Biles did a double-twisting double somersault off the balance beam. She now has skills named after her on the floor and vault in international competition. What will she do next? Only she knows.