Stephen King – “Tax Me!”
I just wanted to take a moment to give a little more credit to Stephen King for recent financial comments he made in an interview conducted by fellow author Neil Gaiman for the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine, and much more elaborately in a piece for The Daily Beast. The King of Horror not only acknowledged his tremendous good fortune and wealth, but expressed exasperation that he is not required by law to take more societal responsibility by sharing more of it.
And while this is no way meant to make light of or detract from the enormous amount of hard work and talent that goes into a professional career such as King’s (King spends such an enormous, diligent, consistent and disciplined amount of time writing that it’s highly impressive), it is always refreshing to see someone extremely high-paid really acknowledge that fact (we don’t see that enough from, say, professional sports players or movie stars):
“They pay me absurd amounts of money,” he observes, “For something that I would do for free.”.
“At a rally in Florida (to support collective bargaining and to express the socialist view that firing teachers with experience was sort of a bad idea), I pointed out that I was paying taxes of roughly 28 percent on my income. My question was, “How come I’m not paying 50?” “
and while King acknowledges and applauds the fact that many of the ultra-rich elite 1% do donate varying amounts of their wealth to charity, he insists that philanthropy doesn’t cut it in terms of social responsibility and repair of the economy:
“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, “OK, 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.”
This has to be the first thing King has ever written that’s only terrifying to 1% of people who read it.