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Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake! ~ Stephen King


By iwog   Follow   Thu, 3 May 2012, 10:10am PDT   13,785 views   123 comments   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/30/stephen-king-tax-me-for-f-s-sake.html

A couple of highlights:

The U.S. senators and representatives who refuse even to consider raising taxes on the rich—they squall like scalded babies (usually on Fox News) every time the subject comes up—are not, by and large, superrich themselves, although many are millionaires and all have had the equivalent of Obamacare for years. They simply idolize the rich. Don’t ask me why; I don’t get it either, since most rich people are as boring as old, dead dog shit. The Mitch McConnells and John Boehners and Eric Cantors just can’t seem to help themselves. These guys and their right-wing supporters regard deep pockets like Christy Walton and Sheldon Adelson the way little girls regard Justin Bieber … which is to say, with wide eyes, slack jaws, and the drool of adoration dripping from their chins. I’ve gotten the same reaction myself, even though I’m only “baby rich” compared with some of these guys, who float serenely over the lives of the struggling middle class like blimps made of thousand-dollar bills.

I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-fucking-American is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.

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freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 1:54am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 1

That's just it. No one's talking about raising the top marginal rate back up to 80 or 90% like it was in the 50's and 60's (assuming I have my facts straight). Only modest increases are being proposed. When we've got massive deficits and a shrinking middle-class, that's the only prudent thing to do.

We have to "tax the rich" because they're the only ones that have any money to tax in the first place. Everyone else is broke.

And if Republicans want to bitch about too much spending, they should look in the mirror.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 2:24am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 2

iwog says

These guys and their right-wing supporters regard deep pockets like Christy Walton and Sheldon Adelson the way little girls regard Justin Bieber … which is to say, with wide eyes, slack jaws, and the drool of adoration dripping from their chins.

Well said.

It's hard to comprehend how we got to this place, or how much further it has to go before we wake up.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 3:09am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 3

marcus says

It's hard to comprehend how we got to this place

It's hard to comprehend for someone who lives in the coastal California social bubble. For the rest of us, it's very easy to comprehend.

We got to this place because the Democrats went hard-left starting in 1968, alienating many working-class and middle-class Americans. At that point, the New Deal Coalition was destroyed.

marcus says

or how much further it has to go before we wake up.

It will keep going further until one of two things happens:

1) The Democrats give up their stance on the social issues that alienate much of America. Judging from some of the comments I've seen on Patnet, this will probably never happen. Maximum personal pleasure w/o consequences is the creed of the modern Democrat religion.

2) We have a third Great Depression and things get so bad that average Americans have no choice but to return to the Democrat party or risk starvation. The Democrats will become more socially conservative via demographic makeup, despite howls of protest from the party establishment.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 4:24am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 4

wthrfrk80 says

Democrats went hard-left starting in 1968

I don't see it. More like the rightward drift accelerated. Watergate contributed to the feeling on the right that they were at war with politicians on the left. Hence anti Carter propaganda, Clinton impeachment, and what we have now. The whole hippie anti war polarity of the sixties didn't help either (even if they were right).

wthrfrk80 says

Maximum personal pleasure w/o consequences is the creed of the modern Democrat religion

This is BS. On average it's much easier for many republicans to live selfish lives, only caring about themselves and their family, than it is for many democrats.

I think I know what you mean. Democrats are sometimes more likely to indulge in nice vacations , travel and so on if they can, and be less sexually repressed. And maybe sometimes not as good at delaying gratification as a conservative.

As far as materialism goes ? Not sure who gets that crown. I think that's generally an American thing.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 4:41am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 5

marcus says

I don't see it.

Of course not. Live outside of coastal California and you will see.

marcus says

This is BS. On average it's much easier for many republicans to live selfish lives, only caring about themselves and their family, than it is for many democrats.

The modern Republican party is run by wealthy sociopaths. I'm not advocating the Republican party.

I was talking about the sexual revolution and the social pathology it has caused.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 5:24am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 6

wthrfrk80 says

I was talking about the sexual revolution and the social pathology it has caused.

We are a bit messed up sexually, but I think blaming that on the so called sexual revolution might be an oversimplification. What about marketing, music videos and other business exploitation of the sex drive? I know the sexual revolution helped make that possible, but we were pretty repressed before that. It was inevitable.

In many ways regarding sex, things are healthier than they were in 1960.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 6:00am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 7

marcus says

In many ways regarding sex, things are healthier than they were in 1960.

Ever heard of AIDS?

msilenus   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 6:02am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 8

wthrfrk80 says

Maximum personal pleasure w/o consequences is the creed of the modern Democrat religion
...
I was talking about the sexual revolution and the social pathology it has caused.

There is something very strange going on with sex and partisan identification. Going strictly by the numbers, liberals are better at conservative family values than conservatives. There's a correlation between statewide partisan voting index, and divorce rates, for example; and a similar one for teen pregnancies. States that vote for liberal presidents have fewer of these things. (Not that there's likely anything special about Presidential elections --this is just what PVI looks at.)

A number of causes have been floated to explain these phenomena and others, but it's hard to credit any of them much. It could be an education thing: you find more liberals amongst the college educated, which probably means a deferred marriage and more mature parents. There was an amusing piece out there some time ago with the thesis, paraphrased: "In blue states, families cause children; in red states, children cause families." Some folks suggest it's genetic. (But then, for some people, everything has to be genetic.)

Not that I credit any of that much. It really is one of those things that seems to work in practice, but there's no settled theory for it.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 6:06am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 9

msilenus says

There is something very strange going on with sex and partisan identification. Going strictly by the numbers, liberals are better at conservative family values than conservatives. There's a correlation between statewide partisan voting index, and divorce rates, for example; and a similar one for teen pregnancies. States that vote for liberal presidents have fewer of these things. (Not that there's likely anything special about Presidential elections --this is just what PVI looks at.)

I've heard that too from credible sources. And it's strange indeed. Maybe lots of folks are "conservative" when it comes to guns, taxes, the environment, the military, etc... but "liberal" when it comes to sex (but not quite smart enough to use contraception if they don't want babies).

iwog   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 6:09am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 10

wthrfrk80 says

I've heard that too from credible sources. And it's strange indeed. Maybe lots of folks are "conservative" when it comes to guns, taxes, the environment, the military, etc... but "liberal" when it comes to sex (but not quite smart enough to use contraception) if they don't want babies.

Well I'm not exactly a liberal, but I've been married 20 years without any divorces, I have a kid, no abortions, I like kinky sex, I have lots of guns, and I vote for Democrats exclusively in federal elections but often vote Republican in state elections.

Someone gimmie a label.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 6:52am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 11

iwog says

I've been married 20 years without any divorces

iwog says

I like kinky sex

lol, you must have a very understanding wife, ha ha

iwog   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 7:07am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 12

wthrfrk80 says

lol, you must have a very understanding wife, ha ha

She's a peach. =)

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 10:06am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 13

msilenus says

There's a correlation between statewide partisan voting index, and divorce rates, for example; and a similar one for teen pregnancies.

This is a good point. There is a direct correlation between availability of morning after pills and highy decreased rates of teen pregnancies. (Compare Europe to here, for example.)

Our conservative social values, combined with loose social support systems of teen mothers, results in a boat load of ghetto babies.

It's really quite sad

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 10:08am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 14

iwog says

Someone gimmie a label.

You're a demoquack?

iwog   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 10:14am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 15

CBOEtrader says

iwog says

Someone gimmie a label.

You're a demoquack?

Close enough.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 10:46am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 16

wthrfrk80 says

marcus says

In many ways regarding sex, things are healthier than they were in 1960.

Ever heard of AIDS?

I said in many ways. Besides, aids is a bizarre retrovirus that originated (I think) in Africa. Are you going to say that it's the result of our sexually liberated society?
Obviously it was spread more than it would have if we still had Victorian values. But I'm not sure that I could from that alone say that I wish we could go back to those repressed times.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 12:38pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 17

marcus says

But I'm not sure that I could from that alone say that I wish we could go back to those repressed times.

Repressed? How?

Are you talking about the bizarre idea that a male and female should commit to loving each other for life...instead of treating each other as consumer goods to be disposed of when they're no longer "useful"?

clambo   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 1:13pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 18

Stephen King lives in a poor state and he has a poor grasp of math.
1/2 of Americans don't pay income tax.
The "billionaires and millionaires" are very few people.
You can say for the sake of a twisted "fairness" that we should steal money from the richer guys.
The result will not be more jobs, more economic growth, more energy, more production, more wealth.
The result of consifcating more wealth from the rich will be 1. more welfare 2. better pensions for a. GSA b. Secret service c. EPA d. dept or energy, among the various goldbricks in our government service.
The Secret service duties should be sub-contracted out to some real badasses like Blackwater or similar.
I grew up on an island in summer where rich people came to visit. We envied them and then missed the money when they left after Labor Day.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Fri, 4 May 2012, 2:23pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 19

clambo says

You can say for the sake of a twisted "fairness" that we should steal money from the richer guys.

I'm not for raising taxes on the rich because I envy them. It's because we have massive deficits and only the rich have any real money to tax. I'm not even saying the higher taxes on the rich should be permanent. But the debt is getting crazy and both parties spend spend spend.

iwog   befriend   ignore   Sat, 5 May 2012, 12:23am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 20

clambo says

You can say for the sake of a twisted "fairness" that we should steal money from the richer guys.

That's right. Rich guys should only be allowed to steal wealth from workers. Workers actually taking a larger share of their own production is immoral.

clambo says

The result of consifcating more wealth from the rich will be 1. more welfare 2. better pensions for a. GSA b. Secret service c. EPA d. dept or energy, among the various goldbricks in our government service.

As usual you don't attempt to actually support or explain any of these absurd assertions, you just say them and hope someone takes you seriously.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Sun, 6 May 2012, 5:50am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 21

wthrfrk80 says

Are you talking about the bizarre idea that a male and female should commit to loving each other for life...instead of treating each other as consumer goods to be disposed of when they're no longer "useful"?

I wonder in the old days, you know when sex drugs and rock'n roll were still referred to as "wine women and song" how many of the men who used the services of prostitutes were in lifelong loving relationships.

This is fascinating.

http:/s.canadiancontent.net/history/87237-sin-city-one-five-women.html

iwog   befriend   ignore   Sun, 6 May 2012, 6:32am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 22

MarsAttacks! says

And there's nothing stopping Cujo Boy from paying more to the IRS than he has too, either.

That wouldn't solve anything. It would be just as pointless as refusing to drive on public roads because you wanted to reduce government spending.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Sun, 6 May 2012, 11:32am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 23

I would never want to pay more taxes. Whats the point, when it all goes into a giant pool of corruption at the city, county, state, federal level.

I've seen too many people take bribes and kickbacks in exchange for sweetheart deals. Throwing more money into that system isn't going to make it better.

This system will only work if it will be demolished and rebuilt, it has no hope otherwise... too much corruption.... more taxes will not help.

cc0   befriend   ignore   Sun, 6 May 2012, 11:19pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 24

wthrfrk80 says

marcus says

In many ways regarding sex, things are healthier than they were in 1960.

Ever heard of AIDS?

Hmm ... replacing 5 deadly STDs with a single then-deadly, now-manageable STD is not better, you assert? And AIDS existed in the 1960s so it's not excluded from your hypothetical set. Yeah, things are better.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5450391

country_stroll   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:03am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

But what is FAIR?

Stephen King's argument boils down to the statement below, without bothering to state what he thinks the correct amount of taxation would be -- merely implying that the current rate of taxation is, on its face, implicitly unfair. But is this true?

"I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share."

When it comes time to pay taxes in April, everyone thinks that they pay too much, and that everyone else pays too little. This will always be so, regardless of which progressive tax structure we are currently using.

When we have a government with little or no fiscal restraint, all tax structures are unfair to those of us forced to pay taxes. I think we would all be better served by focusing on how our tax dollars are spent, or misspent, than on how much our fellow citizen is or is not paying into the kitty. What is worse, the one misspent dollar collected from the little old lady on medicare, or the one million misspent dollars collected from a CEO? Does Solyndra ring a bell?

As every household knows, it's silly to say that you need to earn more money without first looking at ways to cut your monthly expenses. We ran trillion dollars deficits the last few years because our financial obligations far exceed our revenues. We spend money we don't have. If we raise taxes, we cut into discretionary spending, or investment. What does that do to the job market?

The truth of the matter is that Stephen King isn't concerned about tax collection fairness, he is concerned about economic and wealth equality. But is it fair to use the tax system to take money from those who have legally earned the money within the confines of US law, and redistribute it to those who haven't? Not in my book.

positivedennis   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:20am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

On my blog I talked about this issue and referenced King.http://www.prophecypodcast.com/journal/2012/5/4/do-not-feed-the-beast.html

marcus   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:24am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

country_stroll says

The truth of the matter is that Stephen King isn't concerned about tax collection fairness, he is concerned about economic and wealth equality. But is it fair to use the tax system to take money from those who have legally earned the money within the confines of US law, and redistribute it to those who haven't? Not in my book.

I disagree. Taxes are the lowest they've been in 50 years. If we raise taxes ONLY on income above 250K, this has little impact on discretionary spending. And a 4% hike on income over 250K is not about equality. What are you talking about?

Simple rule: If you pay your bills, you're far more likely to manage your spending well than if you live on credit. It really is that simple.

For years we have spent too much on off books wars, tax cuts (mostly to the rich), and corporate welfare, and now we are going to be told we have to cut back on social spending? They starved the beast with credit based gifts to the aristocracy, and oh now we can't afford to honor our commitments?

tatupu70   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:35am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 28

country_stroll says

But is it fair to use the tax system to take money from those who have legally earned the money within