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Summary: "The iconic writer scolds the superrich (including himself - and Mitt Romney) for not giving back, and warns of a Kingsian apocalyptic scenario if inequality is not addressed in America."

Stephen King is willing to pay more taxes. (photo: Steven
Stephen King is willing to pay more taxes. (photo: Steven

Tax Me, for F@%&'s Sake!

By Stephen King, The Daily Beast

01 May 12


The iconic writer scolds the superrich (including himself - and Mitt Romney) for not giving back, and warns of a Kingsian apocalyptic scenario if inequality is not addressed in America.

Chris Christie may be fat, but he ain't Santa Claus. In fact, he seems unable to decide if he is New Jersey's governor or its caporegime, and it may be a comment on the coarsening of American discourse that his brash rudeness is often taken for charm. In February, while discussing New Jersey's newly amended income-tax law, which allows the rich to pay less (proportionally) than the middle class, Christie was asked about Warren Buffett's observation that he paid less federal income taxes than his personal secretary, and that wasn't fair. "He should just write a check and shut up," Christie responded, with his typical verve. "I'm tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check - go ahead and write it."

Heard it all before. 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?" The governor of New Jersey did not respond to this radical idea, possibly being too busy at the all-you-can-eat cheese buffet at Applebee's in Jersey City, but plenty of other people of the Christie persuasion did.

Cut a check and shut up, they said.

If you want to pay more, pay more, they said.

Tired of hearing about it, they said.

Tough shit for you guys, because I'm not tired of talking about it. 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 tools 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, "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.

And hey, why don't we get real about this? Most rich folks paying 28 percent taxes do not give out another 28 percent of their income to charity. Most rich folks like to keep their dough. They don't strip their bank accounts and investment portfolios. They keep them and then pass them on to their children, their children's children. And what they do give away is - like the monies my wife and I donate - totally at their own discretion. That's the rich-guy philosophy in a nutshell: don't tell us how to use our money; we'll tell you.

The Koch brothers are right-wing creepazoids, but they're giving right-wing creepazoids. Here's an example: 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 dipshit oil drillers) from doing it again. It won't repair the levees surrounding New Orleans. It won't improve education in Mississippi or Alabama. But what the hell - them li'l crackers ain't never going to go to Deerfield Academy anyway. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

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 stuff is 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.

In America, the rich are hallowed. Even Warren Buffett, who has largely been drummed out of the club for his radical ideas about putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to patriotism, made the front pages when he announced that he had stage-1 prostate cancer. Stage 1, for God's sake! A hundred clinics can fix him up, and he can put the bill on his American Express black card! But the press made it sound like the pope's balls had just dropped off and shattered! Because it was cancer? No! Because it was Warren Buffett, he of Berkshire-Hathaway!

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.

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+202 # MJnevetS 2012-05-01 14:03
Stephen King is a fantastic writer of fiction. Now it is apparent, he is also an excellent writer of non-fiction, who (as a 1%er) is willing to stand up for what is right. I actually laughed out loud upon reading the line: "But the press made it sound like the pope's balls had just dropped off and shattered." In fact, I just gave money to RSN (for the first time, sorry to say) based upon this article! More people of financial means and influence should take up the banner as Mr. King has so eloquently done!
+62 # soularddave 2012-05-01 17:25
I sent my $30 in because it's May Day, and I wanted RSN to be the FIRST bill I pay this month. I see 99 others responded in like manner. Thank you!

There's no other obligation I'd rather pay, if for no other reason, I know I won't get cut off if I don't pay.

Mr. King is a JEWEL! How is it that we have all the good guys and gals on OUR SIDE?
+45 # doneasley 2012-05-01 21:58
Quoting MJnevetS:
More people of financial means and influence should take up the banner as Mr. King has so eloquently done!

Oh, but there is a group of millionaires who are willing to do their fair share. Their web site is:

As you know, Paul Ryan, Chair of the House Budget Committee, submitted the Republican budget, which would shred the Social Safety Net as we know it. Now this is deep! Ryan tried to defend his budget in a speech at Georgetown U using his Catholic faith as a foundation. But he was soundly rebuffed by the Catholic bishops. Ryan, a devout follower of the psychopathic atheist author, Ayn Rand, had to renounce Rand because of the tremendous pressure. But watch this guy who demands that his entire staff read Rand's works - The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are the best known. Rand railed against government social programs, preached the virtue of selfishness, but, when she became eligible, she applied for Social Security and Medicare.

If Romney wins, it's more than likely that the GOP will win the Senate and retain the House. Bush/Cheney did enough damage, but can you imagine an America with these guys in control?

Get your passports!!!
-43 # edge 2012-05-02 06:31
So let's see, did Warren Buffet write off his F@%&'s charitable deductions?
Did YOU Mr. King write off your F@%&'s charitable deductions?

The PROBLEM is not that we don't tax enough, it is that the F@%&'s tax code is so F@%&'s up!

The F@%&'s tax code is well over 20,000 F@%&'s pages!
Nancy Pelosi says they need to pass a 2,800 page healthcare F@%&'s bill to find out what is in it! Are you F@%&'s kidding me!

Make the F@%&'s Senators and Congressmen write in long hand and with a quill pen ( in their own hands, no assistants ) and the laws will be about two sentences long!

Stop blaming people, whether rich or not for complying with the F@%&'s laws!
The blame lies in F@%&'s Washington.

Quoting MJnevetS:
Stephen King is a fantastic writer of fiction. Now it is apparent, he is also an excellent writer of non-fiction, who (as a 1%er) is willing to stand up for what is right. I actually laughed out loud upon reading the line: "But the press made it sound like the pope's balls had just dropped off and shattered." In fact, I just gave money to RSN (for the first time, sorry to say) based upon this article! More people of financial means and influence should take up the banner as Mr. King has so eloquently done!
+32 # PGreen 2012-05-02 10:30
When so much relative wealth is concentrated in the hands of so few individuals, it is obvious that society isn't structured right. This situation is unsustainable, and will lead inevitably to a kind of "Robin Hood" correction. Increased progressive taxation (91% top rate in the 1950's decade), which I favor, would be a far milder method then violence, which I do not advocate-- for all of us. As Stephen King writes: "Think on it."
+76 # wilhelmscream 2012-05-01 14:43
Thank You Stephen King from one Mainer to another
+93 # walthe310 2012-05-01 14:57
It takes two wings to fly. If the GOP has only a Right wing, it won't fly. Ask any bird.
-47 # dquandle 2012-05-01 22:35
Thats ok. We can rely on the right wing and deep redolent fundament provided by the "Democrats", to fly us right down he toilet. They are deeply engaged in that as we speak. Obummer is offing the constitution with the same relish he displays offing "insignificant" foreigners and their families, left and right, in his vicious unspeakably revolting little drone war...
+12 # Merschrod 2012-05-02 04:56
They are bottom feeders - no wings necessary
+62 # walthe310 2012-05-01 14:58
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: a Biblical Study by Ronald J. Sider. I recommend this book to all. The message is quite simple. God will judge us one and all by how we treat the poor among us.
+31 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:01
Jesus told the Apostle's when they turned away a beggar that they should not as it may be him.
For those who love their 'scripture revivals, and quotes at convenience; seems they do not practice what they preach.

I got involved with homeless, shut ins years ago, asked others too, as these were his Children. If he was amongst them it mattered not as a physical need but those faces I saw them in pictures of Children in Africa, India when I was growing up and taught by nuns. thanks will look it up
+19 # Texas Aggie 2012-05-02 00:17
Forget who it was said that, "No one gets to Heaven without a recommendation from the poor."
+117 # humanmancalvin 2012-05-01 15:09
A huge thank you to Mr. King for lending his voice to the argument for a just & fair taxation of the wealthiest of Americans. Now suppose that by some hook or crook ala W. Bush 2000 that Mr. Romney ascends to the presidency. There would be not just a continuation of the fat tax advantages to the wealthiest but unbelievably more breaks, shelters, & loopholes.
What else can I possibly say except without a scintilla of doubt: Obama/Biden in 2012. Period.
+92 # jack406 2012-05-01 15:10
Wish the Republican Party was even half as smart as Stephen King!
The nation would be far better off if everyone paid their fair share.
-77 # Lingtao 2012-05-01 18:22
Fair share!?!? "The nation would be far better off if everyone paid their fair share"?? What the fuck is "fair"? Half the country not paying anything? I'm forced to pay 38% in income taxes in Calif. as a self employed paper hanger. That's right,... 38%. We rent. We are month to month. We're grateful to barely make the rent and pay our utilities and hope we can accomplish the same next month,.. 38%??? Why?... the answers simple,... I have no power! No attorneys, no loop-holes. In Calif., this is what people who work for themselves have to put up with. So if we are blessed with Obama's presence for another four years perhaps my fair share can be 58%. Bitchen,.... I'll tear my eyes out and jump off a cliff.
+41 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:04
Welcome to the World according to GOP/TP Nice you finally found us. You are not the only one. You are not the only one...we pay over 33% here in Pa on wages...get less and less write offs

Jump if you want but the alternative will be your working for foreign company, the GOP will privatize America. Adios
+13 # DPM 2012-05-01 23:37
If those that could better afford it would pay what they should, people like you wouldn't have to pay so much. And, be fair, the Obama administration isn't the first one to have screwed us. They ALL do. However, if you do decide to jump off a cliff just remember, there are penalties for littering or water pollution. By the way, I did not give you a thumbs down...seemed like you could use a friend.
+18 # Texas Aggie 2012-05-02 00:21
Sure, raise taxes on the lower brackets. What does that mean for your own taxes?

And why do I doubt that you pay 38% on your whole income? I suspect that at the very most, you pay 38% on the very tip of it.
+36 # b_niles57 2012-05-02 07:15
Lingtao- Umm, you missed the point. Fair share refers to the ultra rich, not you. Obama thinks it is UNFAIR that you pay that much, while gazillionaires pay next to nothing. The 99% movement was formed specifically to address your kind of concerns, yet I would guess you'd call them Socialists. Did you even read King's article?
+43 # pbbrodie 2012-05-02 09:04
Half of the people paying no taxes is complete right-wing BS. These "people" you refer to must be ones like GE, right?
What these propagandists actually mean is that their claimed 50% pay no FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. Of course they pay taxes. Most taxes are unavoidable, like Social Security and Medicare. Also, a family of 4 living off of $30,000 a year from 2 minimum wage jobs may pay no federal income tax but they sure as hell pay sales taxes on nearly every dime they make because they spend every dime on buying necessities subject to sales tax.
Anyway, there's no way you pay 38% in taxes, especially if you are referring to federal and state income taxes. Even if you pay an overall rate of 38% including all taxes, federal income, state income, FICA, and sales tax, big deal, that's supposed to make you special or something?
But, if you are claiming to pay 38% in federal taxes, there is simply no way. You get the same standard deductions as everyone else and that automatically exempts $11,900 for a married couple filing jointly. Then, you get personal deductions of $3,700 each for you and your spouse. So, $19,300 of your income is not even subject to taxes. If you want to know the percentage of tax you really paid, divide the amount of tax you actually paid on your income tax form by your AGI, adjusted gross income. It definitely will not be anything approaching 38%.
If you wish to be taken seriously, try writing something at least a tiny bit believable.
+9 # Richard Raznikov 2012-05-02 10:07
Thank you. Exactly right.
+5 # pgobrien 2012-05-04 14:18
Not only what he said (and said well!), but the wealthy may pay most of the income tax, but they earn and keep an even greater portion of the income that is generated in our economy. Any way you look at it, they're getting away with moyda.
+15 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-02 11:19
Half the country doesn't earn enough to pay...that is much different and even the poor still pay taxes...sales, excise tax on gas and so on...the issue is America gives people the opportunity to get rich, but the playing field is not level...and the very wealthy are getting massive tax breaks that do not relate to the earning MIDDLE CLASS that is disappearring.. .but when you are bomb barded by Faux Noise and believe just do not see ot get the message. So Eat Cake, and off with thier heads...the time is coming when changes will have to occur.
+5 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-03 09:54
Tea Party friend thinks same rate for everybody is fair, I do not see it that way because not everybody can rise to the 1%...if we were all 1%ers, there would be nobody to grow the food, pck, prepare it etc...but using the same "reasoned" would be equally "fair" to charge for everything th egovernemnt provides on the same rate basis...tolls based on your total earnings, medical bills based on your total earnings (just use the Medical "fair rate")food cost limited to the correct % based on your rate...and we can all eat the same.
We all are grateful we make the rent...that is the bain of the 99%...even those who think they are rich. They are still living paycheck to paycheck. Lingtao you should be happy that you live in a place where the governement affords you the opportunity to work for yourself.
Get over it.
+7 # pgobrien 2012-05-04 14:15
Obama did not drive your "fair share" up to 38%. (and, seriously, that IS after your deductions and business expenses are taken out -- I know, because I'm also self-employed). That burns my butt is that I pay self-employment taxes (Social Security and Medicate) on every penny of "income" (after expenses) and people who earn w-a-a-a--heh-ha -a-a-a-a-y more than me get to stop paying that tax after $108,000 or so. If they make a million, they don't pay on 90% of it! Day-em! Mr. Obama is not filching from your pocket. People at the top of the ladder -- who get all the free checking accounts for keeping a ton of money in there, and all the really low-interest credit for not really needing it, and perks up the whazoo like that -- they're the ones keeping your paycheck low and your taxes hight. Don't kid yourself.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:01
I would be glad if they were 1% as smart as a child
+63 # bugbuster 2012-05-01 16:00
Even if the rich gave all their money to charity, that's beside the point. Charitable giving is done by whim. It is biased and unreliable. The giver gives himself power over who eats and who starves. All the charitable giving in the world and $3.50 will buy you a cup of bad coffee if you're not a cute puppy or a gun club or the darling of the country club.

A just society *commits* itself to neighbors having each other's backs. That's what a tax is.
+28 # Texas Aggie 2012-05-02 00:22
Besides, we've seen in the past just how much good depending on charity did. The reason for FDR's whole program was because charity just wasn't working at all.
+8 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-02 11:23
What are you talking about? My great grandparents were well off but times were so bad even they collected everybit of string, big balls, every piece of tin foil...more big balls, grew and canned thier own form the gardens and squeezed every penny...and took in the cousins as needed, the safetu net was family and FDR's programs.
-15 # pbbrodie 2012-05-02 08:17
Were you TRYING to repeat what Mr. King wrote?
+8 # bugbuster 2012-05-02 10:21
No, but if I did, good. It's worth repeating.
+41 # srf123 2012-05-01 16:13
Fantastic! Articulate, funny (there's humor in everything)and so true. I am going to forward this to all those I know that are stuck in some kind of twilight zone.
By the way, would you sign our petition to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, ERA(Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex).
The wealthiest Americans are not only not paying their fair share of taxes but they are also determined to drag us women by the hair back to the 50's.
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:06
Will do I also go to other sites, and Care2 . I would love to see the Politicians wives taken a couple for the team...
+56 # Gnome de Pluehm 2012-05-01 16:13
Why do the people on the extreme right believe it is patriotic to give your life for the country but not so to give your money?

the truth is that they don't believe the former either. They know that without a draft their children will not have to do that. They are not patriotic and they are not loyal; they are hypocrites, and collectively they know this; it is pure narcissism. Their whole philosophy and religion is this; "Privatize the profit, but socialize the losses."
+15 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:09
They very few that actually served do not have a clue of giving for their Country neither did most of their parents.
During the Draft, they paid for their kids not to go, made up laws to prevent their kids from going.
I would love to see Draft again...their kids, Corporations kids called first. Then let the ones on Death Row serve also. Like yourselves a good deed, have a new surrounding, new food,
+13 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-02 11:25
...add to that that any congressperson voting in favor of military action is required to serve in the front...or at least one member of thier family...and in th efire zones...not back in the state or in a supporting area. Let those so geared up for war, put the target on themselves or thier off spring...they should be the first line of offenese.defens e (take your pick)...
+7 # Richard Raznikov 2012-05-03 09:42
They believe it is patriotic to give YOUR life, not theirs.
+20 # Richard Raznikov 2012-05-01 16:16
Thank you, Stephen King, for saying it in plain english. These are voices which need to be heard loud and clear if we're going to bail out what's left of our democracy before it's too bloody late.

Just wish you hadn't made such a pig's breakfast out of the JFK assassination –– you got it completely wrong. We need to talk.
+38 # Buddha 2012-05-01 16:22
Yeah, typical GOP: rich people who think taxes should be higher to help the government start fixing things we've long ignored and underfunded should "write a check" (and let those who don't want to pay more get away without paying more)...but the cuts to Medicare and Social Security that the GOP are trying to make are certainly not "voluntary", are they? THOSE buts are going to hit everyone, and hurt those who need these programs the most.

The SuperRich are just washing their hands of any responsibility for paying back to America's future. They are completely unpatriotic and un-American, and if earlier generations were like that, we wouldn't be the nation we are today...
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:10
hey make their Family and Faith so Proud!
+28 # John Gill 2012-05-01 16:29
Wow. Who'da thought? Mr. King should write a regular column. Very nicely done.
-70 # Robt Eagle 2012-05-01 16:54
OK, so if the rich get taxed at 50%, how about taxing the 47% who pay no tax??? It takes all to make a country, not just the big guys chipping in. Cut the waste and the programs for those who cheat and steal from every give away that is out there. Test for drugs to get your welfare. Work at something or you don't get anything. Volunteer if you can do nothing. Cut government so it doesn't cost as much, etc.
+18 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:19
Personally it is hard to tax people who have no income, duh. I would love to see the scabs pay their fair share.
But I believe that one should pay according to their assets. That would mean even the hidden ones outside the USA.
Then perhaps we would all stop sniveling. It works on Islands, It works in Europe the real story.
Amen test for drugs for Welfare and for Sports, Political, and for College Credits. You want Student Loans...Drug Test done randomly. I would also like an alcohol test for the same usual suspects. Alcoholism is a disease and expense on our Medical. It is preventative, and their is Support. You cannot show up to work, class, welfare physical sober...Adios. I would go so far as for Disability, SS.

Let's audit all the Agencies that everyone starts to hire their buddies. Let's start trimming out. I would also like Military Brass have to punch in on the front lines or cut in pension/benefit s. Tired of the kids dying while they play golf, tennis etc.
Their kids must serve and at the boot camp level.

Next all American Companies that left...must pay tarriffs to bring products back. Part of that money put into a fund to create new American Companies that have more than hundred employees. Allowing for Unions after 3 years, at employees options. Employees have opt for birth control, fund for meds whatever they dictating what they can have for what they work for.
+19 # pbbrodie 2012-05-02 09:26
Where do you drug fanatics come up with this crap? What right do you have to test everyone for drugs? If someone is truly disabled and unable to work, gee, I wonder why they might be taking drugs. That's their business.
It is always the healthy ones who CAN work that believe being on disability is something desirable. My wife is disabled with steel plates in her feet, 2 knees that require replacement we can't afford because we live in an uncivilized country without free healthcare, 7 bad disks in her spine with degenerative disk disease that is progressive and can't be fixed. She can't work but guess what? She wants to work and is completely miserable because she can't. So you think it's wonderful that all she has to do is sit at home and draw her disability pay? Do you really want to trade places with her? You want to sit at home bored to death, unable to do all of the things you used to do, shoot the bull with friends at work, make quilts, sew, work on your other hobbies, basically enjoy life, just so you can draw a miserable pittance that is enough to scrape by?
Do you honestly believe that the disabled WANT to be disabled and there is anything even remotely desirable about it?
The honest truth is that people like you are so jealous of anything that anyone else has that you can't see anything else.
As for testing SS recipients for drugs, why? What in the world has taking drugs got to do with getting the money you are entitled to? That is simply crazy.
-12 # Robt Eagle 2012-05-02 22:17
pbbrodie, obviously you can't read...I wrote test those who are on WELFARE. Disability is NOT welfare.
+2 # pbbrodie 2012-05-02 09:32
Your last ideas have some merit but why would new companies have to have more than 100 employees or ANY minimum number of employees at all? The second requirement of allowing unions after 3 years, as if that is giving something, is actually taking away the rights workers have now, the right to unionize with no wait. Why would you want to restrict the workers' rights to organize?
Your last idea in your final sentence is wonderful and the way it should be for all workers now.
+54 # Richard Raznikov 2012-05-01 20:28
I love this kind of crap. Cut the cost of government but drug test everybody? That's the fake 'conservatism' which is really just ignorance and envy.

The biggest welfare cheats in America are the corporations which pay no tax. You want to hit the "47%" who pay no tax? Start with General Electric –– billions in profits and zero taxes. Tax the corporations with their offshore havens. Restore the real progressive income tax, which is what it was under Eisenhower. Remember? 91%. The 'giveaways...ou t there' are what the rich get through a tax code written by their lobbyists. Blaming the poor for the holes in the system is like blaming rape victims for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'm sick of this 'victim' wailing by the filthy rich. They're lucky they're not in prison.
-15 # Robt Eagle 2012-05-02 22:20
GE got out of paying tax because of Obama's relationship with the head of GE. Don't you see the cronyism??? Since GE sponsored Obama to such an extent in his first election campaign, Obama gave the GE head a job as the "create new jobs" czar. Come on get out and read for a change, it was all over all the news casts, not just FOX News!!!
+3 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-03 14:05
GE gets out of paying taxes because both the Dems and the Repug are working for Wall Street and the lobbyist and not for middle class Americans. Congress writes the tax code. Robt...get yourself to a civics class. Forget about Hetiage Constitution 101...they put a slant on that.
+39 # bsmith 2012-05-01 20:55
Quoting Robt Eagle:
OK, so if the rich get taxed at 50%, how about taxing the 47% who pay no tax??? It takes all to make a country, not just the big guys chipping in. Cut the waste and the programs for those who cheat and steal from every give away that is out there. Test for drugs to get your welfare. Work at something or you don't get anything. Volunteer if you can do nothing. Cut government so it doesn't cost as much, etc.

Why do you people always feel the need to regurgitate this percentile when those with functioning brains ask the super rich to pay up?


Get that through your thick skull. Where would you rather be in the tax bracket Robert? I would much rather have half my wages taxed than to not pay any because I made too little. Wake up.
+35 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-05-01 21:49
47% pay no tax... 'tis true.

Such slackers, Robert, it would seem, until you check the Census Bureau stats:

under age 5...... 6.9% of the 2010 population
5 to 9 6.6%
10 to 14 6.8%
15 to 19 7.1%
20 to 24 7.0%

Then figure those on meager incomes, especially the unemployed and the elderly. They pay no tax... nor should they.
+1 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-05-01 22:27
It's really too bad they've moved that link from where it was.

Very helpful regardless.
0 # MyDogs4Ever 2012-05-02 09:22
Can you tell me how you found the new link. I can't find this and would love to have it. resend with new link maybe?
+18 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-05-01 21:51
Maybe you're right, Robert, and even the very youngest should pay.

How about promoting a tooth fairy tax?
+13 # DPM 2012-05-01 23:42
What should the litmus tests be for corporate welfare, Bob? Will you be satisfied when our public school system is shut down or privatized so that only the wealthy will be able to have their children educated? What about our infrastructure. I guess the wealthy can just fly over bad roads and bridges in their planes.
No one likes crooks, or cheats, Bob, be they poor or rich. Are you defending the rich crooks and cheats?
+7 # bugbuster 2012-05-02 10:24
If you were an independent adult, you would know that food and shelter cost money. The poor have all they can do *not* to become charity cases. Taxing them would just force them into the breadline.
+4 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-02 11:27
Robt Eagle..."there you go again..."
+3 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-03 14:09
There you go again, lets squeeze some blood out a rock...while you sit at home making the world a better place.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-05-06 08:15
Apparently sales tax, homeowner's tax, renter's tax (homeowner's tax for the poor), state taxes, and Social Security don't count as taxes to you and your "47%" theory, huh?
+19 # lcarrier 2012-05-01 17:00
Smart owners and managers of smart businesses are taking voluntary cuts in pay, showing solidarity with their workers. That's the American spirit. Get jumped, Ayn Rand (which is something you can no longer experience), the second great Gilded Age of Greed is about to come to an end. Dear Mr. Romney, please come to realize that your riches haven't made you smart. Better for you to take your "vacances en France." On this May Day, let us remember the workers of St. Joseph, celebrated wherever civilization thrives. We're just a bit late.
+24 # reiverpacific 2012-05-01 17:07
Can't add much to to his fine and down-to-earth piece, except that I'd bet what little I've got that most of the rich of the Koch ("Americans for Prosperity" -for some) persuasion wouldn't donate a lousy dime to anything if they didn't get a big fat tax credit for it, with a few exceptions like S.K., Warren Buffet and the late Bill "Jeep" Daniels, the only Billionaire I ever met and knew personally, who was indeed a self-made man with a vision, who stated in a speech during an event I was at in his honor in Denver that "It was a lot of fun and hard work making all that money but it's a lot more fun giving it away" -and he was otherwise determinedly anonymous about it.
+25 # svaldez724 2012-05-01 17:19
have always loved mr. king's works of fiction. now i love his politics as well. well said mr. king
+38 # pamelawy 2012-05-01 17:23
Superb and a treat to read - through clenched teeth! I can't help but think of Elizabeth Warren's words, which I'll badly paraphrase: Most of these 1%ers got there through PUBLIC education that they got to on PUBLIC roads, perhaps across PUBLIC bridges, in, on and through publicly supported infrastructure that they're now not willing to support.

Another point that's got to be made is that we don't ONLY have income inequality. We have hope inequality, opportunity inequality, life expectancy inequality, and countless other inequalities.
+17 # szq5777 2012-05-01 17:41
Thank you Mr. King. I like your books.
If more rich people had your attitude we would all be better off and this country could get back to being "America" again!God Bless! You are a real "Christian"!
+32 # sameasiteverwas 2012-05-01 17:43
What wealthy right-wing radicals are paying is a self-imposed Fear Tax, because they are terrified of truly democratic government, the voice of the people. They pay millions to purchase elections rather than millions to contribute to a working democracy. Pay millions to subvert voting rights rather than allow civic-minded registered voters -- you know, citizens -- to have their say. They're simply running scared, because they are nothing if they don't feel victimized -- that after all is their not-so-secret identity, paranoid, targeted, victims at the mercy of the teeming masses -- and they will pour that Fear Tax of hundreds of millions of dollars down a rat hole if the rat inside it is a Republican. Think what they could accomplish for the good of the people if they actually gave a damn about the people. It's folks like Mr. King, Mr. Buffet, that give me hope -- and folks like our local progressive activists who WON'T give up on the glorious ideal of democracy, the immutability of facts, and the tenants of compassionate faith.
+27 # robbeygay 2012-05-01 18:04
What can one add, the Steven King words, Buffet words and above comments are 100% right. Thanks all fair thinkers. And before you doubt me, I was rich now poor but still giving to poorer. I pay no tax asI have no income above the taxable start line. Still I share what I do get.
+25 # LiberalRN 2012-05-01 18:15
Lost in the bloviation about "job creators" and "why don't they just shut up and write a check" is this consideration: The rich get to choose who they support when they decide to write a check, while the public goes begging. We're getting dangerously close to the point where social policy, the arts, ALL OF IT, is dictated by the whims and tastes of a very few. Whether we agree with their choices or not is entirely immaterial. We live in a plutocracy, paying the bills for the pleasure of the rulers.
+15 # Lowflyin Lolana 2012-05-01 22:29
They get to choose who to pay, and those who don't make a lot don't get to choose. We have to fund mad-dog genocide overseas at the expense of our schools and medical system all so some jerks can kill people 'cause war is good for business.
+13 # amye 2012-05-01 18:26
Love Mr. King! Not the biggest fan of his writings, but I like the way he says it like it is! Its the truth!! So, pay up you rich old farts! You didn't get this way without us middle class and other folk who worked hard for a little money, maybe a college education (mine was not a good one), extremely expensive healthcare benefits, and who knows what retirement besides a little social security! Thats all pathetic for the richest country in the world...the good old USA!!
+17 # nancyw 2012-05-01 19:11
New Jersey... you voted this hack in to be your governor?! Our votes ARE important. We need to use our votes to support those who will support us - the 99% and not the 1%. Please vote. Democrats aren't perfect, but they sure are a lot better than the Repugnicans. Vote in those who will support us - the 99%!

Thank you Stephen King!
+15 # KittatinyHawk 2012-05-01 19:29
Christie reminds me of several GOP and I am waiting for them to float away go pop.

It is sad but Jersey has so much White Trash. It is worse when they migrate to other nice States. I cannot believe my friends come from there. I know them as soon as they open their mouths. I wish they would go back to Jersey so the nice ones could get out. Not all the Problems of Jersey are in the Poor Areas...most are the Christie types.
Imagine what his parents are like, his Faith is like. Makes my skin crawl...

Mr King like many with talent, ability to have money are not afraid to pay extra if it means getting America back on its feet. The Anti Christs/Anti Americans are the ones who cannot imagine actually doing their fare share.
+14 # sapereaudeprime 2012-05-01 20:51
The time to find middle ground is before the class war starts. Class wars quickly degenerate into wars of vengeance, and we of the working middle class have plenty to avenge at this point. Steven King does make me proud of Maine, in spite of the cartoon bully who is our current governor.
+18 # Robyn 2012-05-01 22:14
I not only love Stephen King, I respect him. He was not born into money, in fact his family struggled when he was a child, but he earned it with his talent and hard work. Mr King never owned factories where people were exploited or raped the enviroment for it's resourses, he writese stories that keep the world entertained. It is good to see him coming out and speaking up like this. Good on you Mr King you have truly earned my admiration.
+9 # Marco Luxe 2012-05-02 00:08
FYI: Tuition & board at Deerfield/Koch Academy is $46K/yr!
+9 # cordleycoit 2012-05-02 01:07
King is speaking an interesting and dark truth. The rich live off the rest of us. I like King's writing as part of irony of Anglo American prose. Saki, John Collier, McMurtry, Jackson, Himes did a lot of the ground breaking. King harvested well and raised the standard. So I propose that we spare him from becoming an entree when we eat the rich.
+11 # angelfish 2012-05-02 04:57
Bravo! Thank You, Stephen King! WHEN will the ReTHUGlican Wealthy wake up and REALIZE what they are doing to this Country? They are Deaf, Dumb and Blind to the ninety nine percent (99%)of us who are struggling to support our families and pay taxes while the Rich do all in their power to avoid their responsibility to this Country that MADE them their Billions! They are TRAITORS to America and should be treated as such! Sadly, too many are on the side of the Romney's and the Christies'. Mr. King is right to sound a warning. "Le Deluge", when it comes, will NOT be pretty.
+9 # HiMothra 2012-05-02 08:05
Please, sir, may we have more? Please oh please oh please lend your voice, your style, your message…and please go further. Paint the picture. Teach civics, for F@#$’s sake. You do know civics was eliminated from the Florida curriculum, right? Look. I participate in political discourse, no matter how coarse. I respect the views of my many conservative and ultra-conservat ive friends and colleagues, and always learn something from them. However, with the exception of one right-wing friend who has been a high school teacher for 20+ years, I cannot seem to get traction with the simple fact that the erosion of American health and education erodes our competitive strength, not to mention our democracy. I need your help. Who better than you? Please, paint the picture: the first health care riot; electrical grid burnout; collapsing bridges; drought and no water logistics infrastructure; China calls in its loans; city homeless takeover of bank-shuttered homes in swish suburbs; a super-legit study reveals our actual education level vs. rest of the planet; epidemic illness that’s halted by tobacco smoke (gotta be smoke, no patches); mass hoarding of vodka and contact lenses…ok, getting silly here. Point: Are we, are you, using every power of persuasion to achieve “We know what to do, let’s do it!” before we’re left with “We knew what to do, why didn’t we do it?” As one of the CEOs I worked with taught me to say, “People, how hard can it be?”
+12 # cypress72 2012-05-02 10:25
Everytime I read an article about the Tax code, someone demonizes the 48%+ who pay no taxes like they are criminals and deadbeats. But just who are these people?? They are, for the most part, Social Security recipients who have no other taxable income and people who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. These people work and because they have children (in most cases) and low wages, they very often get all their payroll taxes refunded plus more money to care for their kids. You have to have earned income to be eligible for the Earned Income Tax credit,so by definition they are not bumbs or deadbeats. They work, but they just have low wages. They're not doing anything wrong and they don't deserve to be demonized by anyone, Left or Right. Once again, the Tax code is the problem, not the individuals.
+3 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-03 14:01
and they are pulling a check,they are still are obligated to pay payroll deductions. Personally I am glad I have made enought to pay some taxes...the return is great, roads, bridges, mail service, standing army, schooling...the right is just demonizing as usual.
-21 # cypress72 2012-05-02 10:27
By the way, can anyone on the Left make a coherent argument without the "F" word or some scatalogical references?? Really pathetic if you ask me.
+8 # rockieball 2012-05-03 07:19
It's about the only time Republicon's listen and then they want to kill the messenger for the message, language or misspelled words. Not for the truth they tell.
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-05-03 09:40
Quoting cypress72:
By the way, can anyone on the Left make a coherent argument without the "F" word or some scatalogical references?? Really pathetic if you ask me.

Is THAT the best you can do by way of contribution to a discussion?
So pathetic in it's sanctimony!
"Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust.
Like foolish Prophets forth; their words to scorn
Are scattered, and their Mouths are stop't with Dust".
Omar Khayyam; The Rubaiyat.
Just off the top of my "Villainous Low" lefty forehead.
+5 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-03 13:58
hats is liking asking a TEA Partier to refer to the President as Mr. Obama instead of all the garbage tags they have come up with.
I ask my TP friends very to the point questions and they all answer by avoiding the issue, slamming either Presdient Obama, Congresswoman Pelosi, or Senator Reid,...if not all three as the cause of all our problems...but they never have a suggestion of how to make things better other than thier Blinder aided points of view. Forget discussion...
0 # Arisa 2012-05-03 15:32
Jamie Johnson's billionaire father said, "I don't know how to fix the world's problems; I'm not an expert". He could brain-shift to another perspective and realize the "charities" that are already in place... why not drop a money-bomb on FEMA? Welfare? Education? Instead of funnelling through taxation, why not "go direct"? In a parallel reality, 1% would say, "The wealth I accrue during one game of golf, I will donate to the Department of the Middle Class, and the wealth I accrue while sipping my martini afterwards goes towards the salary of a person that tracks/audits how my money is spent, for public record. Is this not simple, elegant, and amazingly ingenoused? N'est-ce pas?? Stephen, are you this smart? ~Anonymous
+1 # pgobrien 2012-05-04 14:09
Gad, I knew I loved that man! "Liking" and posting and sharing and printing out and dropping copies from a frigging helicopter! You tell 'em, Stephen!!!
0 # carioca 2012-05-05 04:00
Long live The King.

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