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 Im 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 Applebees 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 Im not tired of talking about it. Ive known rich people, and why not, since Im 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. Its 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 doesnt go far enough.
What charitable 1 percenters cant do is assume responsibilityAmericas 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 cant 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, Ill 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.
Edited by bleeding heart, 02 May 2012 - 08:12 AM.