Horror Novelist Stephen King Tells The 1% To Stop Being Selfish Pricks
Stephen King, master storyteller, has posted his thoughts on the rich who refuse to countenance the raising of their taxes. As a filthy (rich) liberal scum, he was not particularly kind to them:
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.
This is not the first time Stephen King has laced into the greedy right. His book, Under The Dome, might as well have been titled How The Right Will Kill Us All. It was a bit heavy handed but still a decent read and gave us a microcosm of the hypocrisy of the right on religion, ethics (or lack thereof) and climate change denial.
King takes on the argument from the right that the rich know better than the government how to handle their money:
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.
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.
Annoyingly, this basic philosophical point eluded me. I knew that the rich should be paying the same tax rate (or more) as the rest of us and history has shown that the less they pay the more the country suffers. What I wasn’t entirely clear on was they thought they shouldn’t. I kept thinking it was just greed but I failed to make the connection to the basic premise of conservative politics: the rich are better than the rest of us. Silly me. Thank you Mr. King for clearing up that point for me.
You and I don’t get to decide to where our money goes, why should the rich? I don’t like my money being pissed away on useless religious-based abstinence only programs in schools. Do I get to withhold part of my taxes and donate it to an atheist organization? No? Why not? That’s what the right is telling us we should allow the rich to do. What’s makes them so special? Oh, because they have money? So what? How many of them earned it from scratch? The Koch brothers certainly didn’t. They took a massive inheritance and their father’s connections and used it to make billions. So did Mitt Romney. Give me $20 million and a book full of industry connections and I’ll be a 1-percenter, too!
Mr. King also takes the right to takes for their “job creator” myth and the way they worship the rich as if being handed an inheritance makes you special. He speaks to the idea the right has that the rich are inherently better than “the little people” and should be treated as royalty, something I’ve discussed before. He ends his letter to the right with a warning:
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 Ebeneezer 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.
Personally, I think the 1% has grown so arrogant and spoiled that they’ll just assume they can continue to steal our money, our democracy and our freedom at will. I think they’re in for a rude awakening.