Fair enough: Novelist Stephen King cries, ‘Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!’
posted at 12:30 pm on April 30, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
An article at Monday’s The Daily Beast by fright-a-minute-schlock novelist Stephen King demonstrates three things: (1) that Newsweek’s sister website countenances crass profanity from its writers, (2) that one doesn’t need that much gray matter to strike it rich in a capitalist system such as ours, and (3) that King should stick to fiction writing.
Actually, there is plenty that is fictitious underlying King’s curse-laden screed, such as the belief that taxing the rich till it hurts will solve the nation’s ills. As has been repeated ad infinitum, enacting the Buffett Rule would add $31 billion to the nation’s coffers over the course of 11 years. This would cover approximately 17 hours worth of new debt incurred on Barack Obama’s watch.
There is also plenty in King’s article that is dimwitted. Take the argument that if some rich liberals, like King, are willing to pay a disproportionate amount of the nation’s tax burden, then all rich people should be on board with that. King, who traffics in demented characters, should understand the idiocy of this argument, which might be extended to practices such as cannibalism or ritual murder. If some members of society approve of these acts, then what’s everyone else’s problem?
King writes that his current marginal tax rate is about 28% and asks why it not 50%. But why stop there? If 50% is fair, how much fairer would it be if King and his likeminded rich pals were asked to pony up 92% of his income? That was the highest marginal rate paid in 1952 and 1953. Imagine how far that amount of “responsibility” (King’s term) on the part of the rich would go toward taking “care of [the nation’s] sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts.”
The problem, as King eloquently notes, is that “most rich folks like to keep their dough,” adding memorably:
[T]he majority would rather douse their d**ks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar.”
But not all rich folks are so inclined. King acknowledges that “some rich folks put at least some of their tax savings into charitable contributions.” Ironically, that includes Stephen King. You’d think that for a man of King’s lofty moral standing would find taking charitable deductions to be as distasteful as dousing his member with lighter fluid, striking a match, etc., yet he and his wife “give away roughly $4 million a year to libraries, local fire departments that need updated lifesaving equipment (jaws of life are always a popular request), schools, and a scattering of organizations that underwrite the art. (Those “investments” should go far in helping the economy recover.)
Lest you think all charitable deductions are equal, King is quick to jump on the Koch Brothers (aka, “right-wing creepazoids”), who gave “68 million fine American dollars to Deerfield Academy. Which is great for Deerfield Academy. But it won’t do squat for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where food fish are now showing up with black lesions. It won’t pay for stronger regulations to keep BP (or some other bunch of dipsh*t oil drillers) from doing it again. It won’t repair the levees surrounding New Orleans. It won’t improve education in Mississippi or Alabama.”
Neither will King’s comparatively paltry $4 million do much for any of those causes, but he stopped making sense at the article’s title.
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