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


By iwog   Follow   Thu, 3 May 2012, 10:10am PDT   13,802 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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drew_eckhardt   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 8:55am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 44

iwog says

The U.S. senators and representatives who refuse even to consider raising taxes on the richthey squall like scalded babies (usually on Fox News) every time the subject comes upare 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. Dont ask me why; I dont get it either, since most rich people are as boring as old, dead dog shit.

The situation is self-explanatory.

Senators and representatives are not super rich.

The average successful Senate campaign costs $10,000,000 which is about $1.7M/year although the job pays barely 1/10th that at $174,000 a year for a net $1.5M / year loss to play government at that level.

The arithmetic only works because of the 0.4% of Americans who make campaign contributions large enough to be reportable and those who jump through hoops to legally spend more on the process. Those people (both natural and corporate) are super rich and like the quid pro quo.

tatupu70   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 9:15am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 45

CBOEtrader says

History is very clear on the benefits of a free market for every level of participant in an economy

Could you share those historical examples?

iwog   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 9:50am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 46

CBOEtrader says

History is very clear on the benefits of a free market for every level of participant in an economy.

I agree, as long as that free market is heavily regulated at the top and functioning in the context of a strongly progressive tax regime. Otherwise it's a failed system that creates just as much poverty and misery as communism.

Remember that the end result of a totally free market is revolution and communism, not freedom.

ArtimusMaxtor   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 9:53am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 47

I guess they get the loans and wait for the donations to pay off the campaign debt to come in. 10,000,000 is a lot I guess. I know I wouldn't check off a fucking dollar. Even if someone dangled some raw meat in front of me and said I'll be your new buddy. You got one friend on the earth. It's not Jesus. Its your sense.

m1ckey6   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:22pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 48

leoj707 says

m1ckey6 says

I have offered literally dozens of opportunities to people who would have become wealthy if they had put in any effort. I have put up my own capital and knowledge to every one of these people. Not one person has bothered to follow through.

Let me guess: Amway, Herbalife, Avon, Mary Kay...?

You sum up what I am talking about nicely. No attempt to find out what the areas of business may have been, no attempt to answer any of my points with a thought out rebuttal: just mindless personal insults.
I am sure your finances reflect the intellectual quality of your reply.

m1ckey6   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:29pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 49

iwog says

m1ckey6 says

You don't know what you aren't getting as a society by turning the screws on the wealth creators.

This society was rich and afforded people who worked with a high standard of living when the top tax rate was 90% and dividends, capital gains, and interest were all taxed at much higher rates.

So I think I know exactly what I'm getting when I turn the screws on the "wealth creators". Do you?

You are missing the point iwog. It is not that society ceases to function, it is that society can function better when people who are good at managing capital don't spend half their work day on avoiding taxation.
This is not a productive use of entrepreneurial capital.
Wall street has cloaked itself in the entrepreneurial flag while engaging in rape of the US economy. If people can't tell the difference things will get worse.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 12:58pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 50

m1ckey6 says

Why exactly does this system need more cash?

IT doesn't, and you are right we need to spend less and have less corruption. But instead of the borrow and spend policies of the past decade, we need to raise taxes up to where we generate enough revenue to cover our spending, with a promise that taxes can come down, when and only when we are spending less. Then watch how fast we figure out how to spend less.

But as long as we are borrowing to spend more than revenue, and everyone is competing for their piece of the excessive spending, we can never get it under control. The republican mantra of "never raise taxes" is paradoxically a recipe for never getting spending under control.

Think of an individual who thought that borrowing money and living beyond his means and running up the debt to near bankruptcy levels was a good strategy for learning how to live within his means ? "I know, I'll run up so much debt, until eventually I'll have to spend less."

Brilliant.

m1ckey6 says

just mindless personal insults

Hey, I think leo was just responding to:

m1ckey6 says

I have offered literally dozens of opportunities to people who would have become wealthy if they had put in any effort. I have put up my own capital and knowledge to every one of these people. Not one person has bothered to follow through.

So you backed people and they "didn't bother to follow through." SOrry but Leo's response to this sounded kind of right. If it wasnt multi-level marketing or some kind of pyramid scheme, then, you sure were generous to back people like that.

Care to share what business it is or was ?

leo707   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 1:18pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 51

m1ckey6 says

No attempt to find out what the areas of business may have been, no attempt to answer any of my points with a thought out rebuttal: just mindless personal insults.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply of high intellectual quality.

Asking you if multi-level marketing is your business is the least insulting option based on what you posted.

When you make claims like that you should be more specific and detailed from the get go, lest you be misunderstood. The way you stated your experiences, the other options are, either your story has the same accuracy of Joe the Plumber's story -- and a similar purpose -- or you are the worlds worst manager, ever.

Before you get you panties in a bunch, I don't intend to insult, but if you have had literally "dozens" of people fail under your management/mentor-ship and not one succeed that says more about you than them. Anyone in a management/mentor-ship position should know that the success or failure of those under them is in no small part due to the training and guidance given by their mentor. Even very poor managers will have people under them succeed (then often surpass them). This is of course also assuming that you are choosing who to manage/mentor. If someone else is picking who works for you and they are only picking imbeciles, that is another problem entirely (and still your fault for not doing anything about it).

Of course if you are into mult-level marketing, then a massive failure rate is to be expected.

WillyWanker   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 3:25pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 52

So let King write a check for whatever millions he wishes to donate to the US government. Nothing is stopping him from doing just that, but it's my pockets he wants to pick. F*ck him.

leo707   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 4:35pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 53

WillyWanker says

So let King write a check for whatever millions he wishes to donate to the US government. Nothing is stopping him from doing just that, but it's my pockets he wants to pick. F*ck him.

I hope that you at least realize that this statement demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge in most basic principles regarding a tax system of any kind. It identifies you as one who is unable to participate, in any meaningful way, or be taken the least bit seriously in a discussion on taxes.

But, no doubt it sounds pretty clever when it is repeated on FOX "news".

tatupu70   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 9:20pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 54

WillyWanker says

... it's my pockets he wants to pick. F*ck him.

Sounds OK to me. If you are truly one of the super rich, you've been picking my pockets along with the rest of the middle class for about 35 years now.

Don't you think it's about time the gig was up?

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 11:22pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 55

leoj707 says

But, no doubt it sounds pretty clever when it is repeated on FOX "news".

Please don't pretend that both sides of the conversation aren't dictated by propoganda. The liberal side isn't any better than FOX news. Frankly, I'd take comical blatant lies, over subtle obfuscation any day--

The "liberal" side of the discussion consistently equates government with charity. From King, "What charitable 1 percenters can’t do is assume responsibility—America’s national responsibilities: the care of its sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts." I don't doubt his intent. However, this is misleading by design, or by another word, it is PROPOGANDA. King is merely repeating the misleading meme-- as all partisan people do.

You never hear these guys say, "Out of every tax dollar 15% gets wasted, 30% goes to killing people around the world, 30% goes to buying votes for ourselves, and the other 25% goes to creating barriers to entry into our friends' indistries."

The republican side is VALID in telling any rich liberal who suggests we give the aristocracy more of our money and more of our power to cut the US government a check. Be a leader and show the rest of us what you feel is appropriate, rather than trying to force us to support your confused moral code.

Furthermore, follow the money. IF the US were a valid charity, as the left consistently implies, why does NO ONE give their money to the US government? You can't call the US government a charity, then never support that charity with your discretionary donations, AND call foul when the other side of the conversation suggests you should give your money to the US government first-- if you want to equate it to a charity.

The left is flat out wrong in this discusion.

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 11:29pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 56

iwog says

I agree, as long as that free market is heavily regulated at the top and functioning in the context of a strongly progressive tax regime. Otherwise it's a failed system that creates just as much poverty and misery as communism.
Remember that the end result of a totally free market is revolution and communism, not freedom.

I think I agree with what you are saying.

We have different definitions of words here-- I would say that the free market stopped being free well before it resulted in revolution or communism, but I understand what you are saying.

Allow me to paraphrase, "Anytime a small group gains too much wealth/power, it snowballs until a revolution changes the power structure."

We must find a way to keep money out of politics, squash monopolies/oligopolies, and create strong government limits so polticians can't buy votes with public money.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Mon, 7 May 2012, 11:49pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 57

CBOEtrader says

and create strong government limits so polticians can't buy votes with public money.

Isn't that called a dictatorship?

Buying votes is what America is all about.

iwog   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 1:54am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 58

CBOEtrader says

The republican side is VALID in telling any rich liberal who suggests we give the aristocracy more of our money and more of our power to cut the US government a check. Be a leader and show the rest of us what you feel is appropriate, rather than trying to force us to support your confused moral code.

Again......this is just as useless as deciding not to drive on public roads because you want to see government spend less.

Taxation is a means to an end, not a political statement or a protest. Raising taxes to help balance the budget is a legitimate goal. One person voluntarily paying more taxes doesn't help accomplish that goal, it simply reduces that person's influence to effect change.

Do you really think anyone would listen to Warren Buffett if he put all his billions towards interest on the national debt? Of course not. He'd be reduced to a nobody, he would no longer be in a financial position to donate to liberal candidates or pay for charity he supports, and it would be a complete and total waste.

Anyway you still haven't addressed my position. How does a Monopoly game end if you refuse to redistribute wealth?

freak80   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 2:35am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 59

iwog says

Do you really think anyone would listen to Warren Buffett if he put all his billions towards interest on the national debt? Of course not. He'd be reduced to a nobody, he would no longer be in a financial position to donate to liberal candidates or pay for charity he supports, and it would be a complete and total waste.

Ah Warren Buffett. Loves the cigarette and banking businesses, but donates to "liberal" candidates.

leo707   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 2:40am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 60

CBOEtrader says

The republican side is VALID in telling any rich liberal who suggests we give the aristocracy more of our money and more of our power to cut the US government a check. Be a leader and show the rest of us what you feel is appropriate, rather than trying to force us to support your confused moral code.

*WHEW*

That was a lot of words to say the exact same thing as the Wanker. At least the Wanker is more efficient in communication.

Iwog already did a good job of clearly spelling out the issues for you, so I won't bother repeating.

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 3:27am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 61

wthrfrk80 says

CBOEtrader says

and create strong government limits so polticians can't buy votes with public money.
Isn't that called a dictatorship?

No, it's called the constitution.

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 3:29am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 62

leoj707 says

the Wanker.

more strawman, partisan crap. You associate a valid point with someone you and your group find less than intelligent. This is how the talking heads keep you in your team mentality.

You're better than this. Try again

freak80   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 3:31am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 63

CBOEtrader says

No, it's called the constitution.

LOL! Like that ever mattered. It's all about money, power, and propaganda.

Ask any black guy (or gal) how that works.

leo707   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 3:32am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 64

CBOEtrader says

...you and your group...
This is how the talking heads keep you in your team mentality.

Ah, ha yes and I am the one with a "team mentality".

leo707   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 3:40am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 65

CBOEtrader says

You associate a valid point with someone you and your group find less than intelligent.

The point is not valid, and yes you were making the same point as Wanker.

WillyWanker says

So let King write a check for whatever millions he wishes to donate to the US government.

CBOEtrader says

The republican side is VALID in telling any rich liberal who suggests we give the aristocracy more of our money and more of our power to cut the US government a check.

You just had a more long winded explanation before you got to the same invalid point.

Individuals, whether they identify with a "team" or not, can have differing opinions on what the tax structure should look like, and that is fine. However, if person A wants higher taxes than person B using the argument that person A should "donate" more money to the government in lue of actually raising taxes for everyone is INVALID and unconvincing and wrought with fallacy.

It is also...
leoj707 says

...demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge in most basic principles regarding a tax system of any kind. It identifies you as one who is unable to participate, in any meaningful way, or be taken the least bit seriously in a discussion on taxes.

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 4:07am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 66

iwog says

Again......this is just as useless as deciding not to drive on public roads because you want to see government spend less.

They are used as propoganda equally, but they are not the same. One is logically consistent whereas the other isn't.

It is perfecty consistent to disgree with being forced to pay for something, and still using that which you were forced to buy. Should a starving person in a communist country turn away bread, or shelter?

Is is not consistent to pay discretionary income to charity, then suggest or infer that the US is equal to a charity, then NOT give the US government some of that discretionary income.

iwog says

Taxation is a means to an end, not a political statement or a protest

Correct. We aren't talking about taxation itself. We are talking about equating taxation to charity giving, which it isn't. I'm glad we agree.

iwog says

Anyway you still haven't addressed my position. How does a Monopoly game end if you refuse to redistribute wealth?

The Monopoly game thought experiment is grossly simplified. Silly even. If I must play along, I'd say the government represents the rules forcing a monopoly on all players, then making them roll the dice, stay in a hotel not their choosing, eliminating any industry but travel/hotels, etc...

A free market must be protected with proper regulation. The governments most important role is to create a legal and regulatory environment which fosters competition. Instead, they usually do the opposite.

How do you redistribute wealth once the power is in a few hands? Typically it takes a revolution

CBOEtrader   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 4:12am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 67

leoj707 says

However, if person A wants higher taxes than person B...yada, yada, yada...

Why do partisan people do this? We aren't having a discussion on tax policy. The discussion is about how both sides use propoganda to influence the policy.

King equated the government to charity. Do you disagree with this?

Obama, in one of his recent speeches, equated the government to charity. (I'll find you a link later.) Do you disagree that this happens?

To pretend that the goverment is a charity, or that taxes should be discussed in any manner associating it with charitable donations is pure propoganda. It is dishonest and misleading.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 4:14am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 68

CBOEtrader says

The governments most important role is to create a legal and regulatory environment which fosters competition. Instead, they usually do the opposite.

Shocked! Shocked I tell ya!

All humans do what's in their own self interest, including government bureaucrats that take bribes.

It's all about the money. It's all a cynical power game.

iwog   befriend   ignore   Tue, 8 May 2012, 4:24am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 69

CBOEtrader says

The Monopoly game thought experiment is grossly simplified. Silly even. If I must play along, I'd say the government represents the rules forcing a monopoly on all players, then making them roll the dice, stay in a hotel not their choosing, eliminating any industry but travel/hotels, etc...

That's not really an answer. If there are no barriers to wealth acquisition and there is no redistribution, even in death as the Ryan plan calls for, what is to prevent one person from eventually owning everything in the country?

This is a very serious question and at the core of why unrestrained capitalism is a failed economic model.

We've already been through this once a little over 100 years ago when one man owned all the railroads, one man owned all the steel, one man owned all the oil, etc. and conditions were horrific for workers. What makes you think this can't happen again?

CBOEtrader says

The governments most important role is to create a legal and regulatory environment which fosters competition.

Dynamic competition is mostly a fraud. The only meaningful competition in an unrestrained free market is predatory competition. That means that two corporations compete until one is destroyed and absorbed by the winner. Eventually only one remains and can easily squash any upstarts.

Forced wealth redistribution is the only way to prevent eventual war. I can list all the historical examples if you like, but I think y