Author Stephen King is known for his horror stories that hold the potential to scare the pants off of readers. But now, he’s using his fame and editorial talents to target more specific subsets of the American public — the so-called 1 percent and conservatives who tout small-government tax policies. In a new article for The Daily Beast on Monday entitled, “Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!,” the famed author sounds off on his penchant for increased taxes for the wealthy.
As Inquisitr notes, King has taken a pro-tax-increase-on-the-upper-class stance that mirrors that of billionaire Warren Buffet. The article, which starts out by calling New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie “fat,” also claims that charity isn’t the end-all, be-all solution to solving the overwhelming need present in the United States. He writes:
I’ve known rich people…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.
So, King’s point is that the wealthy can’t — and don’t — pay for certain mass projects and institutions that the government is primarily responsible for. Donations, he maintains, do not fill this apparent service void. However, what the author isn’t addressing here is the government’s appropriation of funds, as he seems to be making the assumption that current tax monies are being spent adequately.
It’s possible, per se, that the government could operate more efficiently without raising taxes on anyone (this is an argument conservative economists and advocates have advanced). However, King doesn’t make this consideration, as the pieces goes on to address multiple related themes that equally overlook some of the facts, while focusing upon primarily anecdotal information.
King also calls the conservative Koch Brothers “creepazoids,” and claims that most wealthy individuals like to “keep their dough.” The angsty author says later in the piece that the “right wing of the Republican Party” is now the “only wing” and that it delivers up “fresh bullsh*t” about taxation.
Among these purported “crocks” is the claim that the richer people are, the more jobs they will create. As an employer himself, King dismisses this notion entirely, without speaking about those people who do, indeed, re-invest. Additionally, he warns that Occupy may just be ramping up and that last year’s protests, if conservatives don’t take heed, may just be the beginning:
…it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-f–king-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 Gov. 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 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.
Read the rest of King’s op-ed here.