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The Irony of Being Rich

Oh my, the rich are feeling under attack again. Back in 2010 a proposal to raise the tax rate on big investors was compared to “Hitler invading Poland in 1939″. So I guess it was time for venture capitalist Tom Perkins to go into full whiney mode and complain that the rich are under attack from “higher taxes, higher regulation and so forth. We are beginning to engage in class warfare.” And of course, he then went on to compare the assault on the wealthy to a wave of Nazi attacks on Jews ahead of the Holocaust.

Excuse me? Income for the top 1% grew by 31% from 2009 to 2012 (while the remaining 99% saw their income go up 0.4%). The Dow Jones stock index doubled since 2009 (which benefits the rich the most). And while a few small tax hikes have gone into effect, the tax rates on the rich are still pretty low compared to where they have been in the past.

Then he went on to say this:

The fear is wealth tax, higher taxes, higher death taxes — just more taxes until there is no more 1%. And that that will creep down to the 5% and then the 10%.

Yes, that’s right, he appears to be too stupid to understand how simple math works. There will always be a top 1%. That’s as dumb as saying you want all children to be above average.

But then Perkins gave us his solution to the problem:

But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?

You see, democracy is just like Nazi Germany! You are attacking the rich unless you give them more votes!

I have paid more than a million dollars in taxes in a single year, so I would greatly benefit from this, but it is a ridiculous idea. In fact, I don’t think he was really serious about it, but was just being an attention whore. However, what really annoys me is that it seems to be the rich people who least deserve all that money who make the most fuss about being attacked.

I don’t mind people who get rich by actually doing something worthwhile. Steve Jobs got filthy rich, but he worked hard for that money. Apple wasn’t enough work for him, so he took on Pixar too. Heck, he worked the day before he died of cancer.

Obama took heat because he referred to “fat cat” bankers on 60 Minutes back in 2009, but he wasn’t attacking the rich. He was attacking bankers who got bailed out by the federal government when they destroyed the world economy, and then paid themselves huge bonuses with our money. Since when did being rich become an entitlement?

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16 Comments

  1. Mike wrote:

    I too am rich, but from marriage. Since that happened I’ve started a company and am working on another. I can’t get over how these people manage to convince everyone that tax breaks for rich people create jobs, it’s insane! If you need to hire, you hire, but only if you think you’ll make more than you pay him or her. If you are rich, you just do it, tax breaks don’t change anything, except the number on your atm receipt. Also, it’s that math that creates that income gap: businesses take in more money than they pay their employees. I don’t know why democrats don’t call the situation we are in “redistribution of wealth”, because that’s what it is, and it’s the left who want to stop it, not the right.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink
  2. TJ wrote:

    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning” — Warren Buffett

    The top x% makes this claim of class warfare against them relatively frequently lately, and every time it is truly ironic and hypocritical. They are projecting their evil agenda. It’s sad that there is no media anymore to call them on it. They use this issue to get out in front of the fight about their attempts to gut food stamps and head start and unemployment benefits – now the media has to be “fair and balanced” and say both sides are engaged in this war.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink
  3. TJ wrote:

    That is if they even acknowledge the other side of it instead of just calling it “budget cuts.”

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink
  4. David Freeman wrote:

    I hate the complexity of the tax code and I pull my hair out with frustration filing my forms every year BUT I’m glad to pay. I think living in the USA is a bargain and I would gladly have the rate of my tax bracket increased to improve our infrastructure and public education and more equal opportunity for everyone.

    Now days it is common to say “thank you for your service” to returning soldiers. Personally, I’d rather welcome them back with better healthcare, better veteran services, and better opportunities.

    And along those lines … Thank you for paying your taxes without whining … it’s the patriotic thing to do.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  5. Hassan wrote:

    Whatever I have is only due to mercy of God Almighty. I have seen people more intelligent and hard working than me having less money and people less intelligent and less hard working making more than me. So whatever I have is due to the blessings of God alone.

    The US constitution guarantees protection of God given rights (not rights given by state) of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Can majority vote to kill someone or jail someone or monetary penalize someone that did not commit a crime?

    Are 10 rich people sitting together deciding/voting how to serve community with their money equal to 10 poor people voting how some other people should spend their money?

    Everyone in this country has right to vote, but I cannot wrap my head around to the fact that theoretically majority can vote to take money away from rich minority. Or is it not possible in theory or practice?

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  6. Scott wrote:

    I have a simple solution:

    If you are a “job creator” — CREATE JOBS, keep them in THIS country, keep your money in THIS country, not in tax-evading offshore banks …

    AND? You get to keep those tax advantages.

    BUT: DON’T create jobs … or create them at your offshore outsourced facilities … and keep stashing your money where it does no good for the country whose infrastructure and opportunities made it possible for you to HAVE all that money ..

    AND? Welcome to learning how it is for us (what Leona Helmsley called) “little people” when it comes to actually paying a fair, supportive portion of taxes.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Scott -There is a difference between the to 1% and big corporations. The top 1% don’t necessarily create any jobs, so yelling at them might not do a lot of good.
    As far as big corporations keeping jobs here we do need to look at tax code and competitiveness. In a fairy tale world employers stay in the US even if they don’t make money just to keep people happy. The best and worst thing we did was sign many of our so called free trade agreements. Jobs started running across our borders the minute we did that. It was a good idea, but the system needs to be tweaked, because we can’t compete. Bring all the electronic manufacturing and clothes making jobs back here now and be prepared to pay $100-$150 for the Chinese made $39 DVD player, or $200 for those $89 running shoes.
    Our corporate taxes are some of the highest in the world, not to mention our clean environment regulations. Good for us, bad for competition. Personally I think the rest of the world will catch up to us in wages and environmental protections in the next 25 years or so and the jobs will shift back here because with shipping it will be more profitable. But we must welcome them not chastise them.

    On the taxes of the 1% I agree, but when that bracket trickles down into the top 25% and then top 50% then I become concerned. In the last few years in both my wife’s business and my small rental business I’ve seen a boom in “fee’s” and licensing requirements that amount to new taxes just called something else. To be more clear a 300% increase in fees to be exact. So I guess in those that have nothing at risk I’m supposed to say good I’ll eat that, that is until the heat system in their place needs repairing or maintenance and I tell them the government took the fix it money.

    The top 1% yeah they can afford it, no doubt. But when will we get equally upset with local, state and federal governments that keep spending more and more and doing it less efficiently because they can just go back to the well.

    And on Obama calling out the bonus taking bail out bankers, how many of them did he go after for starting the mess? 10 or 12 mid level guys maybe? Can anyone name one CEO that Holder went after?Politicians don’t go after them except for donations.
    Watch what happens during the debate on the new military budget proposed by the SECDEF. Observe the fight over closing ship building yards and defense manufacturing and downsizing bases in various states both red and blue. It should be interesting.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/us/politics/pentagon-plans-to-shrink-army-to-pre-world-war-ii-level.html?_r=0

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  8. David Freeman wrote:

    I agree with most of what PtSgt said except for one small point. I believe it is incorrect to say “fee’s” and licensing requirements amount to new taxes just called something else.
    Taxes are paid on profit. No profit, no taxes. Fees and licensing hurt any struggling business far more than taxes.

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    The other thing PSgt said that I disagree with is that US corporate taxes are some of the highest in the world. Yes, the US statutory corporate tax rate is the highest in the world, but most corporations do not pay the full rate. While corporate profits hit a 60-year high in 2011, their effective tax rate hit a 40-year low. In fact, the US collects less in taxes as a percent of the total economy than every other industrialized nation (except Iceland). Many corporations (especially multinational ones, which often offshore their profits) have avoided paying taxes at all. See http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/07/05/260535/graph-corporate-tax-second-lowest/ and http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/04/01/1804801/no-american-corporations-aren039t-paying-the-world039s-highest-tax-rate/

    I would agree to lowering the US corporate tax rate as soon as we close all those loopholes (instead of expanding them, like we have been).

    Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink
  10. ebdoug wrote:

    Mike, I’m with you. Not rich but inherited money. Same income the person who goes to work pays $5000 more in Federal taxes. Now it is eleven years I’ve been saying this isn’t fair to the working people who travel, have a wardrobe, give up their time.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  11. PatriotSGT wrote:

    IK – I agree on closing many of the loopholes along with lowering the rate. The tax code is too complex for almost everyone except maybe a 1040EZ. You know it’s a bit ridiculous when the only way the average small business person (and I mean small, like self employed or 1-2 employees small) is to have a software program figure out your taxes. (Because Ebdoug is too far away to make house calls, LOL)

    And to your example of companies hiding profits off shore , one of the biggest offenders is GE whose CEO Jeffrey Immelt was also the president of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. How’s that for strange bed fellows? And is that the business model we really want other corporations to follow? Jeez

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  12. Jon wrote:

    If taxes on investment discourage investment (as if there’s any rational choice about what to do with excess money), doesn’t tax on earnings from working for a living likewise discourage work?

    On inheritance, by the way, the money we pay the kids who cut our lawns or clean our houses has already been taxed, too, so why should they not have the same threshold of taxation as people who inherit?

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
  13. Jon wrote:

    Okay, for those who can follow the math:

    The richest 10% pay 71% of taxes.
    The richest 10% control 89% of the wealth. With me so far?

    Conversely, then, the remaining 90% pay 29% of taxes, and the remaining 90% control 11% of the wealth.

    71%/89% = ratio of 0.798, and 29%/11% = ratio of 2.636.

    .798/2.636 = 0.30… in other words, based on the ratios of amount of taxes paid vs. wealth controlled, the wealthiest 10% already pay taxes at less than 1/3 the rate of the remaining 90%.

    Who, then, is overtaxed?

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  14. régime wrote:

    régime
    perdre du poids
    maigrir vite

    i like this part and i agree with this question On inheritance, by the way, the money we pay the kids who cut our lawns or clean our houses has already been taxed, too, so why should they not have the same threshold of taxation as people who inherit?

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  15. régime wrote:

    régime
    perdre du poids
    maigrir vite

    i like this part and i agree with this question why should they haven’t the same threshold of taxation as people who inherit?

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  16. régime wrote:

    régime
    perdre du poids
    maigrir vite
    this part is very nice i like it

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink