by Michelle Golonka
The disproportionate and unfair tax rate disparity between the rich and poor is going to be a major hot-button issue this election, particularly when Romney’s meager 13% tax rate is even lower than Obama’s.
Over the past year, a number of one-percenters (led by Warren Buffett) have come forward, asking the federal government to tax them more, noting that the disproportionate taxation policy has made the country worse for everyone. Best-selling novelist. Stephen King, is the latest super-rich progressive to step forward. King has recently written a plea for the Daily Beast, called “Tax Me, for Fuck’s Sake!” King writes:
I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar. It’s true that some rich folks put at least some of their tax savings into charitable contributions. My wife and I 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 arts. Warren Buffett does the same; so does Bill Gates; so does Steven Spielberg; so do the Koch brothers; so did the late Steve Jobs. All fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.
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. Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny. That kind of salvation does not come from Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Ballmer saying, “Okay, I’ll write a $2 million bonus check to the IRS.” That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry.
Why can’t there be more generous individuals like Stephen and Warren? The equal taxation movement is garnering increasing attention. Perhaps one day this idea will become a reality?
Hey, a girl can dream.
[The full piece can be read here.]