Tapping the Golden Vein

posted at 1:10 pm on November 21, 2009 by Doctor Zero

Centuries ago, at the beginning of the Obama Administration, we were told that the “obscene” bonuses of AIG executives should be taxed away, with special taxes that amounted to bills of attainder. This is not the first time we’ve seen specific industries targeted with massive taxes because they were deemed immoral. The outstanding example is the tobacco industry, which the government uses as a trained vampire, sending it forth to suck tax revenue from the lungs of smokers. Big Oil gets soaked with a lot of taxes, too, justified in part by the merciless profiteering and environmental disdain of its chief executives. Of course, Big Tobacco and Big Oil still make money, but the government makes more from their products than they do.

One industry has thus far been able to escape punitive taxation, despite routinely employing shadowy accounting practices, spending fantastic amounts of money, and reaping obscene profits. It produces a product that often causes significant damage to the social environment. It raises its price to the consumer relentlessly, with no measurable increase in quality. Top employees can rake in $20 million or more in a single year, while frequently maintaining foreign residences to escape high tax rates. They often extract fat paychecks from their companies, even when their failures cost the company staggering amounts of money. While it generates much of its income in the United States, it’s one of the worst industries for outsourcing jobs overseas.

It’s time to tap the last untouched golden vein in the American economic bloodstream. Let’s tax the crap out of Hollywood.

Hollywood actors are generally outspoken in support of “social justice,” so they shouldn’t mind picking up the tab. Will Ferrell, recently named Hollywood’s most overpaid actor by Forbes, is an aggressive advocate of socialized medicine – but strangely enough, he hasn’t used any of his millions to buy insurance for the poor. We can change that with some carefully targeted taxes. After pulling in $20 million a pop for a string of lousy movies, Ferrell is Salvation Army kettle full of undeserved loot just waiting to be rolled into the soup kitchens.

Canadian actor Jim Carrey railed against “personal greed” after collecting millions to record the voice of Scrooge in this year’s computer-animated A Christmas Carol. Carrey’s not dumb enough to submit himself to the wonders of Canadian health care or economic policy, but he thinks you should. We could help him overcome his bad feelings about personal greed by grabbing seventy or eighty percent of his huge fortune, and using that money to fund emergency medical services for the poor.

Let’s just ponder Michael Moore for a moment, and move on.

Big-name actors aren’t the only sources of golden fleece in Hollywood. Studio executives could teach the Enron crowd a few things about creative accounting. They spend gigantic amounts of money on awful big-budget “tentpole” films, while some of the biggest hits in recent years were modestly-budgeted movies like The Hangover, District 9, Paranormal Activity, and the Twilight films, to name a few titles from this MSNBC article. Those huge budgets obviously aren’t buying proportional amounts of quality.

Hollywood is a source of both social and political corruption. Its movies are often toxic waste thrown in the faces of parents trying to raise their children with decent values. Its stars and directors gain disproportionate influence within the Democrat party, and relentlessly shove their politics into the faces of their audience. They’re certainly entitled to their opinions, but perhaps a little fiscal restraint would focus them more on the business of entertaining, and give them less money and idle time for proselytizing.

Why should actors and directors be the super-wealthy patrician class of America, gazing down upon toiling masses they claim to speak for, but scarcely understand? Why should the guy who brought you Land of the Lost be hauling in twenty times the loot of a top surgeon, brilliant inventor, or hard-working businessman?

You might wonder if our entertainer-monarchs would give us the same level of performance, after we began confiscating their huge salaries. The price controls and fee limits on medicine in the Democrats’ health-care proposals assume doctors will provide the same care and effort if their incomes are controlled, so why wouldn’t actors? They constantly claim to have a high degree of devotion to their art, so wouldn’t they give their best even if we limited them to a handsome upper-middle-class lifestyle? And would the cinematic arts really suffer if some of the dreary, overpaid Hollywood elite stopped appearing in all our movies, making way for more young talent that would be overjoyed to receive a mere five or six-figure paycheck?

I can see nothing but upsides to dropping massive new taxes and regulation on Hollywood. To those who object that I’m supposed to be a champion of free markets… well, I am. But why should Hollywood be the last one?

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Sounds like a plan to me and I’m sure all those hollywood idiots would just love to contribute 60% of their cash to the government they believe so highly in.

Defector01 on November 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Great column as usual, Doc.

Jeff2161 on November 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Let’s just ponder Michael Moore for a moment, and move on.

Every time you consciously think about Michael Moore, the saints cry. ;)

Kent18 on November 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Hollywood Dems are sacred cash cows.

BottomLine5 on November 21, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Yes! Give them enough for a handsome upper-middle-class lifestyle and take all the rest…or at least force them to defend why we shouldn’t. It would be an interesting to see what reasons they come up with.

Same for all limosine liberals.

Nosferightu on November 21, 2009 at 1:21 PM

I can see nothing but upsides to dropping massive new taxes and regulation on Hollywood. To those who object that I’m supposed to be a champion of free markets… well, I am. But why should Hollywood be the last one?

There in lies my problem, with all the smut, propaganda and anti-American attitudes coming out of Hollywood how do you reconcile that except for the immoral state of Hollywood.

fourdeucer on November 21, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Reverse this whole notion and stop taxing US ALL!!! They do not get their money by stealing or cheating, whatever the market will bear ,baby.

bbz123 on November 21, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Bwaaa! Very few have any devotion to their art, Anthony Hopkins and Sidney Poitier come to mind and any number of past actors, the rest are mostly human trash looking for a payout.

The likes of Will Ferrell and Megan Fox wouldn’t so much as slow down if they walked past a poor person begging for a measly dollar.

Bishop on November 21, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Besides, if they are taxed more, they can’t bundle huge sums for dems.

Jeff2161 on November 21, 2009 at 1:29 PM

“Big Tobacco and Big Oil still make money, but the government makes more from their products than they do.”

This is the case for any company. Look at their balance sheets. If they make a profit, it’s typically less than 10% of revenue. Taxes will definitely be higher.

perroviejo on November 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Wow, a tax I actually like!

RedbonePro on November 21, 2009 at 1:33 PM

ROTFLMAO…………….. Good call Doc… I cant wait to hear the perverts in Hollyweird start screaming once they are forced to live the bull$hit they have been spreading for years…

doriangrey on November 21, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Doctors are already going Galt. Wait until the monstrosity passes.

I’m against high taxes on anything. It’s like the free speech thing “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death…”

No worries, I do understand what the good Dr. Zero conveys.

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2009 at 1:36 PM

It’s only FAIR! Aren’t they the ones always crying how “unfair” big business is?
Seems to me, they should welcome big taxes. In fact, they should be asking for more since they love Big Brother so much.

Hobbes on November 21, 2009 at 1:37 PM

So long as Al Gore can make over a billion, in no time, by selling “carbon credits”, a pure fiction, capitalism is still alive. Let’s encourage it, even the bad forms of it. The free market will sort things out, way better than Obama and his goons.

Instead of taxing the buffoons/hypocrits, ridicule them, as this editorial attempts to do.

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Bwaaa! Very few have any devotion to their art, Anthony Hopkins and Sidney Poitier come to mind and any number of past actors, the rest are mostly human trash looking for a payout.

Bishop on November 21, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Indeed. Barbra Steisand said a while ago that she hates to sing “People”. The fools are those who sustain them.

Schadenfreude on November 21, 2009 at 1:40 PM

It’s time to tap the last untouched golden vein in the American economic bloodstream. Let’s tax the crap out of Hollywood.

Do you seriously propose that the Americans increase the power of their “federal” government even more?

Kralizec on November 21, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Umm why would he tax his propaganda arm?

Octavia on November 21, 2009 at 1:50 PM

From each according to his ability! You first, Michael Moore.

OhioCoastie on November 21, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Great idea, but needlessly modest and short on the requisite Constitutional underpinnings. Clearly, “entertainment” is a public good (even rumored to be recession-proof–an especially attractive feature for the foreseeable future), and thus embraced by the general welfare clause; right up there with subsidized housing, health care, food and Buicks (to name but a few). Therefore, the tax proceeds should also fund a public option for the less fortunate: movies, DVDs, live theater, streaming audio and video, whatever. Live performances you say? Of course. If government already owns the airwaves, what’s the argument against the right to tax ALL audio and light transmissions?
Concerned about blowback from the entertainment community? The Chicago Way has a way: threaten to exempt entertainment from copyright and trademark protection.

Send your lobbying dollars to RatPAC.com.

Barnestormer on November 21, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Watching Will Farrell pay confiscatory taxes would be the only thing he’s ever done that would make me laugh.

PackerBronco on November 21, 2009 at 1:59 PM

They pay very little tax….they have those very good accountants and lawyers that fix all of that pesky tax stuff….

How silly of you to think they will feel any pain. And with amnesty they will have even more personal slaves…it is a win win for hollywood…they are special you know.

nondhimmie on November 21, 2009 at 2:04 PM

NFL First. Obama commercials by NFL are beyond the pale.

PrezHussein on November 21, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Moore shouldn’t mind–he doesn’t approve of capitalism anyway. He should be delighted to give it all to the government.

jeanie on November 21, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Add to this, a liberal attorney tax too.

jack herman on November 21, 2009 at 2:06 PM

All of professional sports should be subjected to a tax, on the same principle. Why are we enamored with paying athletes such large sums of money to hit other people?

catlady on November 21, 2009 at 2:06 PM

But!!But!! if they had to pay all those taxes think of how the drug market would collapse.(oh my)
They offer their famous names to help the “Bourgeois” masses.
How could anyone expect anymore of the beautiful people, I think they had the right idea when commies were blacklisted in Hollywood THEERREE BBAAACCKK!!!!!!!!!!

concernedsenior on November 21, 2009 at 2:16 PM

It’s time to tap the last untouched golden vein in the American economic bloodstream. Let’s tax the crap out of Hollywood.

Sorry Dr. Zero.
Hypocrisy is the foundation and platform of liberalism so you can bet that when it comes to sacrifice and higher taxes,democrats are going to enact their usual “pay for play” policies.

Most of Obama’s own administration does not pay their taxes so you can bet the big spenders for democrats are going to want their pass to.

….and Obama is giving it to them:

Raiders of the Lost Taxpayer
A tax break for Tinseltown.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123327820048831571.html#

National Journal reported this week that the Senate’s economic stimulus bill includes a provision that would make Hollywood studios eligible for a special 50% write-off of equipment purchases. According to the report, “the provision is backed by firms like the Walt Disney Co., and the industry trade group the Motion Picture Association of America.”

So let’s see: Democrats object to cutting the U.S. 35% corporate tax rate — which is higher than in all of Europe, undermines economic growth and discourages job creation — for all companies on grounds that it favors the rich and powerful. But Democrats will carve out tax loopholes for businesses they like and that write them campaign checks.

That’s right.
Tax the he!! out of the people that create jobs and grow business but give a total pass to the people who push your agenda night and day in the entertainment industry.

Not only does Obama give the elites in hollywood tax breaks but we the tax payers have to pay for him to go on his “pay for play” campaign trips:


Presidential Fundraising Trips Leave Taxpayers With Hefty Tab

President Obama left Tuesday for a two-day fundraising tour in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The Democratic National Committee is expected to pick up part of the cost, but if history is any gauge, taxpayers will pick up most of the tab. 

By Judson Berger
FOXNews.com
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/27/presidential-fundraising-trips-cost-taxpayers-thousands/

But when the president hit the road Tuesday for a two-day fundraising tour to pack the party coffers, he also was racking up a $265,000 partisan bill for just one leg of the trip, according to a watchdog group — part of which taxpayers, regardless of party affiliation, will have to pay. 

“Hope and Change” baby….”Hope and Change!!!!”

Here is a taste of what is in store for the working class that is not so lucky to be big donors for the Obama administration:

The Obama plan: massive tax hikes

Jake Tapper took a look at the fine print in Deadbeatonomics yesterday, and discovered a lot of tax hikes among the Hope and Change.  His plan for revitalizing the economy relies on sucking about a trillion dollars out of it over a ten-year period, starting in 2011:

1) On people making more than $250,000.
$338 billion – Bush tax cuts expire
$179 billlion – eliminate itemized deduction
$118 billion – capital gains tax hike
Total: $636 billion/10 years

2) Businesses:

$17 billion – Reinstate Superfund taxes
$24 billion – tax carried-interest as income
$5 billion – codify “economic substance doctrine”
$61 billion – repeal LIFO
$210 billion – international enforcement, reform deferral, other tax reform
$4 billion – information reporting for rental payments
$5.3 billion – excise tax on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas
$3.4 billion – repeal expensing of tangible drilling costs
$62 million – repeal deduction for tertiary injectants
$49 million – repeal passive loss exception for working interests in oil and natural gas properties
$13 billion – repeal manufacturing tax deduction for oil and natural gas companies
$1 billion – increase to 7 years geological and geophysical amortization period for independent producers
$882 million – eliminate advanced earned income tax credit

Total: $353 billion/10 years

….and for the government takeover of health care:

Americans for Tax Reform has culled the 1990-page Pelosi health-care overhaul bill to find the taxes that will supposedly collect over $540 billion in revenue over 10 years.  It’s quite an impressive list of new burdens on Americans and their health-care providers and producers — but that’s redundant.  After all, who do you think will end up paying for the medical-device taxes?  It won’t be insurers or doctors:

Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages.  Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).

Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium.  MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.

Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324)
Cap on FSAs (Page 325)
Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326)
Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327)
Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336)
Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339)
Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344)
Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345)
Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346)
Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349)
Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357)

Pretty much look like everybody is going to take it up the Wazooo except the unions and hollywood.
What a surprise!!!!


“Yes We Can!!!!!!”

Baxter Greene on November 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

David Stockman, Reagan’s first budget director before he went native:

[Reagan] had once been on the Laffer curve himself. “I came into the Big Money making pictures during World War II,” he would always say. At that time the wartime income surtax hit 90 percent. “You could only make four pictures and then you were in the top bracket,” he would continue. “So we all quit working after four pictures and went off to the country.” High tax rates caused less work. Low tax rates caused more. His experience proved it.

It is tempting, though, to make artists pay for the NEA rather the NEA paying artists. Ironically, it was another Hollywood troglodyte who saved the NEA: Charlton Heston.

In a dramatic moment in January 1995, Charlton Heston (who had served on the National Council for the Arts in its earliest years) teamed up with Ronald Reagan’s NEA head, Frank Hodsoll, to convince Congress that the endowment did other things beside cultivate art that stumbled over the line into pornography and blasphemy. Heston cited the work being done by “little theaters, little orchestras, little museums” in places away from the big cities, organizations that simply wouldn’t exist without the NEA’s help. He noted that, at its best, the NEA had the potential to preserve and showcase America’s (and the West’s) artistic and cultural heritage. “I think conservatives generally agree that such a result is a public good,” Heston said. “Certainly this one does.” Heston was pointing the way forward for the embattled agency, one that would be seized on by two of its chairmen: Bill Ivey (1998-2001) and Dana Gioia (2003-09). It was a matter of necessity.

If Rocco tries to bring back the bad old days–and especially with any Obama propaganda–he’ll quickly find Americans are in no mood to be insulted with their own tax dollars, especially in a tight economy.

There is, of course, one other Evil Growth Industry that could be taxed: Big Lawsuit.

And we really should find a way to tax and regulate the biggest and most pernicious industry of them all:

Big Government.

Noel on November 21, 2009 at 2:24 PM

I agree 100%!!!

becki51758 on November 21, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Do you what Hollywood really needs? It needs a Fairness Doctrine to make it more diverse and make it look more like America.

AaronGuzman on November 21, 2009 at 2:35 PM

The only way Hollywood will ever be treated like other “evil” corporations is, we wake up one morning and Hollywood is populated with Conservatives.

Alabama Infidel on November 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM

The only way Hollywood will ever be treated like other “evil” corporations is, we wake up one morning and Hollywood is populated with Conservatives.

Alabama Infidel on November 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM

If they got hit with a special tax, they might turn into conservatives.

TXUS on November 21, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Let’s tax the crap out of Hollywood.

hear, hear!

I 2nd that Dr. Z

cmsinaz on November 21, 2009 at 2:42 PM

52% of America is the majority.
They want socialized medicine, cap and trade, and amnesty, and terrorists to be set free, and to bring our soldiers home…elections do have consequences and now we have to live with it.

nondhimmie on November 21, 2009 at 2:44 PM

Baxter Greene on November 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Do you have your own blog? If not, you should.

+1

CWforFreedom on November 21, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Why should we have to tax those people, Hollywood is supposed to be a great bastion of compassionate Leftists (Statists), why aren’t they willingly handing out their millions to help the people and ‘the children’?

Juno77 on November 21, 2009 at 2:49 PM

That was brilliant! It’s such a good idea we know it will never happen.

scalleywag on November 21, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Beautiful!

Wonderful idea that should be a priority of the soon to be Conservative majority!

The “Tokio Rose” types need to really feel the heat of the fire that they fuel.

blaque jacques on November 21, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Let’s just ponder Michael Moore for a moment, and move on

I only do that when I’m on the toilet.

royzer on November 21, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Why stop at Hollywood? The entire entertainment industry is rife with types like Bono–a wealthy panhandler who moved his wealth from Ireland to avoid a new tax increase there.

Actors and singers are always crying for ‘special taxes’, so why not declare their entire earnings taxable no matter where in the world they move their money? They all want to be special and noticed, so let’s notice them with special taxes.

The band Metallica fought against file-sharing, so let them pay a hefty tax for every dollar they make from people downloading their songs from the Net.

Amazing–the Leftists in entertainment rail against Big Business as if movies and music are somehow a cottage industry.

Liam on November 21, 2009 at 3:32 PM

You’ll know for sure when this happens… when he11 freezes over.

Griz on November 21, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Cali is going to ban big screen TV’s.

The only exception?

TV’s larger tan 58″. Can’t have Penn, Reiner (aka Meathead) and Weinstein…..etc go without their home theaters….

Caper29 on November 21, 2009 at 3:36 PM

DVD Demolition Day – sometime in 2010.
This could be fun. Anyone remember Disco Demolition Night, July 12, 1979, at Old Comiskey Park in Chicago? As part of a baseball promotion, thousands of people brought their disco records so they could be blown to smithereens on the outfield grass. This almost got out of hand but with some reasonable oversight a 2010 DVD Demolition Day could be a smashing success.

MayorDaley on November 21, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Obama’s tax policy is “Hope You’re Left With Change.”

NNtrancer on November 21, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Norman Podhoretz pointed out that Obama received 78% of the Jewish vote and that the Democrat party typically gets about 75% of the Jewish vote. He then asks why it is that Jews are predominately liberal. Meanwhile, Marlon Brando said that Hollywood is run by Jews and owned by Jews. Indeed, a survey showed that while Jews make up about 2.5% of the population, over 60% of all the significant positions in Hollywood (studio moguls, producers, directors, actors, writers and so forth) are Jews. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that to get ahead in Hollywood, it pays to be Jewish and liberal. Is it any wonder that Hollywood produces so many liberal propaganda pictures? Is it any wonder that it’s so rare for Christians to be portrayed at all, much less positively? Look at the trailer for the upcoming movie “Despicable Me” and you’ll see Hollywood’s version of the middle-American. Look at the trailer for the new movie “Avatar” (“Dances With Wolves” set in space) and you’ll see Hollywood’s view of what kind of country this is. See the trailer for “Brothers” to see how Hollywood views returning war veterans. Sadly, it’s this kind of contempt for conservatives and Christians (and I’m not a Christian so this isn’t anything personal) that is leading so many Americans to view Hollywood as a negative influence both morally and patriotically. But there are rays of light here and there lately since Hollywood has seen what a large market Christians are. See “The Blind Side” for a good example of the most positive Christian/Republican movie I’ve seen in ages. It’s also a terrific picture.

NNtrancer on November 21, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Sorry, Doc. I work in this business and you couldn’t be more wrong on several points. Typically it takes 10 years of struggling and starvation to break in. That’s a hell of an investment of opportunity cost to lay out when there is absolutely no guarantee you’ll break in. It is an extremely risky enterprise because 9 out 10 films lose money. For every “piece of trash” film you mock, there are plenty of family-oriented, pro-values, thoroughly conservative films — take a look at Pixar, Disney and Sony’s faith-based film division.

Hollywood is a myth-factory. It perpetuates its own myth that everyone outside looking in tends to swallow entirely. No, you do not simply sit down and write a script and make a million dollars. Doesn’t work that way. Young turks are always nipping at the heels of high-paid talent. There is tremendous churn. Development executives can have their entire careers ruined by a single bad film.

More than this, there is a substratum in Hollywood that is conservative and libertarian. You don’t hear from them because they know, and rightly so, that the way to present their ideas is through the medium, not talking to reporters like jackasses. But you see their deft touch when a film inspires. When profligacy is punished and personal sacrifice is rewarded. When true love and monogamy are celebrated, as they are in nearly every romantic comedy ever made. When the protagonist will do anything in his power to save his children and keep his family intact.

Why should these actors and directors be paid more? Because they are the only ones who can do it. They have the chops, they have the mysterious “it” factor, they have the talent. They have taken the risk. They have proven to sell tickets. How many Sarah Palins come around — individuals with that sort of powerful charisma that turns people to jelly and fills the theater seats? Are you saying Sarah doesn’t deserve her $7 million book advance?

Inventors make huge sums of money if people want to buy what they invent. Writers, directors, actors and producers invent every time they make a film. It is a well-coordinated invention with multiple moving parts and tremendous financial risk involved. It is an invention that can inspire people to change their lives for the better, to laugh, to cry, to learn, to dream and to escape for two hours the quiet desperation of their real lives.

I can’t tell you how many hard-working businesspeople secretly wish they had the chops to make it in this town. I can’t tell you how many beg me to read their script. I tell them, no, you have to move your life to L.A., ruin your marriage, pound the pavement for 10 years of grueling rejection, and then maybe, just maybe, a door may open for you. Chances are it won’t.

It’s easy to point at the buffoons like Will Ferrel or Jim Carrey. But there are hundreds upon hundreds of very talented actors in this town who hold all sorts of political beliefs, and they all have the right to speak their mind.

I guess by the logic of this post, your next tirade will be against professional athletes. After all, what are they contributing to society? Why should they make all that money? How dare football players gather in the end zone to pray to God — and tell the reporters that they won the game because they’ve been blessed by Jesus Christ — how dare they shove their values on everyone else!

John the Libertarian on November 21, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I always wondered what kind of social program Hollywoods has for young actors still trying to make it in the industry. You hear stories of people resorting to making porn just to make ends meet or living in poverty. How is that social justice?

How does that warrant Hollywood’s criticism of capitalism when Hollywood is the most unregulated capitalist industry in the world?

El Guapo on November 21, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Excellent article and I agree wholeheartedly! Let’s make it so however go easy on BIG Mikey; overtaxing this lard-ass-oaf would delete his stockpile of cream puffs and he might be forced to lose a couple hundred pounds. Oh, the horror, the horror…

jgdp on November 21, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Entertainment is one of the only businesses that is countercyclical. Exactly why taxes on it should be increased during a recession while other business taxes are reduced to help create jobs.

rockmom on November 21, 2009 at 7:21 PM

One might simply stop patronizing their films.

OneCleverCookie on November 21, 2009 at 7:50 PM

John the Libertarian on November 21, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Being a father with two children who want to make it in the performing arts, and who are staring into the eyes of that daunting sacrifice of which you speak, I feel your pain and passion (My son is performing on his college main stage tonight and I am aching that I cannot be there to see him). I’m a lawyer because I knew early on that I did not have the “it” factor to make it in music.

That being said, I think Doc is saying what you are. People of all walks and passions sacrifice their time, energy and emotions to create better, more fulfilling lives for themselves and their families. Hollywood seems to sneer at us with a moral superiority and judgmentalism that grates the nerves and conscience. I do not for a second begrudge the rewards reaped by a talented few — and yes, only a handful have the chops to make it work — but I do resent it when they preach at me from behind a cheap, condescending irony.

By the way, I have a script that ….

ObjectionSustained on November 21, 2009 at 8:59 PM

ObjectionSustained on November 21, 2009 at 8:59 PM

God bless you if you support them in their dreams.

John the Libertarian on November 21, 2009 at 9:38 PM

Sorry, Doc. I work in this business and you couldn’t be more wrong on several points. Typically it takes 10 years of struggling and starvation to break in.

I guess by the logic of this post, your next tirade will be against professional athletes.

John the Libertarian on November 21, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Its called satire. And, cry me a river. Hard working professionals in this country often go to school for 3-10 years, and leave with a mountain of student loan debt it can take decades to pay off. How do any of the stupid policies these leftards espouse incentivize anyone to go to school for so long and be saddled with debt, only to have the majority of their earnings taxed away?

Firefly_76 on November 21, 2009 at 10:59 PM

God bless you if you support them in their dreams.

John the Libertarian on November 21, 2009 at 9:38 PM

Thanks. There are times I have to back off and make sure it is their dream and not mine. Glad to know you and people like you are out there fulfilling yours.

ObjectionSustained on November 21, 2009 at 11:01 PM

Bravo, I’ve been saying this for years. 90% tax should work well. They produce nothing of value and while we’re at it let’s go after the remainder of the entertainment industry, like professional sports. Then we’ll find out their true feelings about free market capitalism.

larvcom on November 22, 2009 at 12:01 AM

Hard working professionals in this country often go to school for 3-10 years, and leave with a mountain of student loan debt it can take decades to pay off.

Firefly_76 on November 21, 2009 at 10:59 PM

Yes, but they get paid for their jobs. Big difference.

John the Libertarian on November 22, 2009 at 12:05 AM

Baxter Greene on November 21, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Do you have your own blog? If not, you should.

+1

CWforFreedom on November 21, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Thanks but I don’t have anywhere near the insight and writing ability of the Zero’s ,Captain Ed’s,Pattrico’s,Malkin’s,and Ace.
Until I could put together insightful,thought provoking,well written analysis, it would be best to leave it to the professionals and continue learning.

Let’s just ponder Michael Moore for a moment, and move on.

I just love the fact that Moore is not even taken seriously by most liberals now.
…as of 11/20/09:

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

$14,232,656

What an absolute bomb.

Moore was all over cable and primary channels with his liberal friends in the press pushing this movie along with major advertising.

Back to Back failures from Moore showing plainly that once his “Bush hating” cycle ran out of steam, the liberals did not need him anymore.
Just like Sheehan and Levi.

Couldn’t be happier to see it happen to a more pompous,narcissistic a$$hole.

Baxter Greene on November 22, 2009 at 12:08 AM

There are times I have to back off and make sure it is their dream and not mine.

ObjectionSustained on November 21, 2009 at 11:01 PM

Don’t back off! If you share their dream, they will surely succeed. You sound like a great person. Good luck!

John the Libertarian on November 22, 2009 at 12:09 AM

At the end of the day…

At the end of the day the retaking of America starts with the boycott of Hollywood. Ask yourself this. Would you donate a single dollar to the reelection campaign for Barack Obama? I wouldn’t and know most people here wouldn’t either. Why then would we devote any portion of our money to a Hollywood Socialist, Limousine Liberal whose aim it is to combat all the social injustices of the world with our money instead of theirs. At the end of the day, after you go to see a low quality Hollywood film (that more often than not is an object lesson in “Hollywood” morals) that is probably no less than 10 bucks a person for the ticket and after you pay 10 bucks for a drink and bag of popcorn (that probably cost less than a buck to produce) and multiply that times the number of people in your family and you have one of the most marked up products you can purchase in this country. And that money goes into the pockets of the very people who live in the most obscenely grandiose mansions and live the most decadent lives that they claim they are so disgusted with. These people have no compunction about handing over your hard earned cash to the reelection campaign for Barack Obama or any other Liberal Socialist who promises to right the wrongs of this world, WITH YOUR MONEY!

At the end of the day, I’ll be paying what I figure to be 13,000 dollars more a year for the government mandated health care insurance through either the premium and tax increase of the tax increase for my income level, if I’m even allowed to keep my existing plan. That’s an expenditure I did not count on as I planned my retirement. It affects how well I will live and what I may purchase and my very freedoms. I already had planned for my health care through different means. Now my budget and my life changes because these people organized and helped others to mandate that we all pay for those who didn’t plan.

At the end of the day, I will have had to make concessions with my future but Barbara Steisand will still live in a mansion that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the day, I’ll have to give up some of the dreams of travel I’ve had for my retired years but Madonna will still be living in a Mansion in Great Briton. At the end of the day, I’ll have to tighten my belt and cut back on how much electricity I can use while Al Gore runs a home than uses ten times what mine does. And at the end of the day, the only people who will actually be expected to made sacrifices for their fellow man will be those of us who have been doing anyway for all of our years.

Boycott Hollywood. I pledge to not spend a single dime in a movie theater this year. I pledge to not purchase a single DVD from a store. I pledge to make an impact on the pocketbook of the entertainment industry that would use those profits to benefit those who would take my freedoms away.

Let’s put them out of business.

hawkdriver on November 22, 2009 at 3:43 AM

Nic Cage making nice with somali pirates.
Annette Benning making nice with Iran.
Penn, Morgan Freeman, Oliver Stone, many more making nice with Chavez.
Paltrow telling Americans how stupid and ugly they are.
The list goes on.

Americans really love to be abused.

nondhimmie on November 22, 2009 at 3:42 PM

One industry has thus far been able to escape punitive taxation … Hollywood.

Hell, if I’ve heard correctly, they’ve also been able thus far to escape regular taxation.

Ask yourself why there are so many German-speaking Hollywood lawyers in L.A. making mega-zillions off of the movie business. Is the market for German talent or distribution really that good?

No… the real reason is, Hollywood exploits a loophole in the legal code (not sure how much of this is the U.S. and how much is Germany) that allows for substantial tax evasion by the film producers. I don’t know offhand how much it amounts to, but somebody somewhere has to know.

I’d argue (without any hard facts, mind you, so take it for what it’s worth :) that this — as with any industry given a special exemption from taxation — has allowed it to prosper, pass some of its largesse down to the employees (including some very well-paid actors) and generally keep them in a bubble of prosperity, buffered from the full extent of punitive taxation levied on the rest of us. Good for them. Too bad they haven’t earned it, or even espouse its virtue as they incongruously take full advantage of it.

You want to squeeze Hollywood? Start squeezing here. Then sit back and watch all kinds of crunchy-cons pop out the woodwork to claim a special need to protect their particular tax loophole, to argue at fever pitch how immoral it would be for We the People to revoke that tax break and ask that they live like everyone else.

Michelle, Glenn, O’Reilly, Rush or someone ought to look into this one. There could be part of a book in there somewhere. This is part of the ill-gotten gains that have enabled Hollywood to live seemingly above the fray in recent times.

…it’s one of the worst industries for outsourcing jobs overseas.

Not just jobs, apparently!

RD on November 22, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Dr Z is rapidly joining Jeremy Clarkson and Mark Steyn on the short list of ‘net editorialists I’d actually pay to read.

JEM on November 22, 2009 at 9:36 PM