It's no secret that the rich, especially the super-rich, in the United States don't pay a higher tax rate than other Americans (as they were meant to do when our progressive tax system was created). In fact, many of them don't even pay as high a tax rate as most of the middle class do. The president and his fellow Democrats would like to address this, but the Republicans are fighting any tax raise on the rich. They tend to think the rich should get a free ride in this country (since they are the "job creators"). This ridiculous idea has been repeatedly debunked, but the Republicans cling to it anyway.
Now a new voice has stepped into this discussion over whether the rich should be required to pay their fair share of taxes -- novelist Stephen King (who is very wealthy in his own right). He has written an article that is well worth reading. I post only a part of it here:
Here?s another crock of fresh bullshit delivered by the right wing of the Republican Party (which has become, so far as I can see, the only wing of the Republican Party): the richer rich people get, the more jobs they create. Really? I have a total payroll of about 60 people, most of them working for the two radio stations I own in Bangor, Maine. If I hit the movie jackpot?as I have, from time to time?and own a piece of a film that grosses $200 million, what am I going to do with it? Buy another radio station? I don?t think so, since I?m losing my shirt on the ones I own already. But suppose I did, and hired on an additional dozen folks. Good for them. Whoopee-ding for the rest of the economy.
At the risk of repeating myself, here?s what rich folks do when they get richer:they invest. A lot of those investments are overseas, thanks to the anti-American business policies of the last four administrations. Don?t think so? Check the tag on that T-shirt or gimme cap you?re wearing. If it says MADE IN AMERICA, I?ll ? well, I won?t say I?ll eat your shorts, because some of that stuffis made here, but not much of it. And what does get made here doesn?t get made by America?s small cadre of pluted bloatocrats; it?s made, for the most part, in barely-gittin?-by factories in the Deep South, where the only unions people believe in are those solemnized at the altar of the local church (as long as they?re from different sexes, that is).
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.
This has to happen if America is to remain strong and true to its ideals. It?s a practical necessity and a moral imperative. Last year during the Occupy movement, the conservatives who oppose tax equality saw the first real ripples of discontent. Their response was either Marie Antoinette (?Let them eat cake?) or Ebenezer Scrooge (?Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses??). Short-sighted, gentlemen. Very short-sighted. If this situation isn?t fairly addressed, last year?s protests will just be the beginning. Scrooge changed his tune after the ghosts visited him. Marie Antoinette, on the other hand, lost her head.
Think about it.
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