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Jim Hightower examines Rick Santorum’s failure to recognize economic inequality in his column, “America’s Class Divide:”

What planet does presidential wannabe Rick Santorum live on? When it comes to grasping the situation of America’s hard-hit workaday majority, this sweater-vested ultra-right-winger is further out than Pluto.

In a recent debate, Santorum assailed a tax plan proposed by front-runner Mitt Romney. It wasn’t the plan’s details that caused Rick to stamp his tiny feet, but Romney’s expressed intent to help the “middle class.”

Tut-tut, chided the ideologically-pure Santorum, Republicans mustn’t use such language, for it creates an impression of class warfare. After all, he lectured: “There are no classes in America. We don’t put people in classes.”

Sure, Rick — today’s jobless economy, a national epidemic of union busting and wage knockdowns, absurd tax giveaways to the super-rich, the ongoing Wall Street bailout, inexcusable corporate subsides, rising poverty, the slashing of anti-poverty programs and a decade of falling incomes for the vast majority, while the elite 1 percent makes off with triple-digit increases in its wealth — there’s no class war happening. Just close your eyes, hum a happy tune … and live on Pluto.

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