Sunday, January 17, 2010

It’s Time To Raise Taxes

Obama and the Democrats’ reckless and wasteful spending (read: pillaging to help their contributors) has put this country into a bind. They spent so much money that we can no longer afford to pay for many of the things government needs to do -- we certainly can’t afford any of the daffy items on their liberal wish list. And the debt the Democrats are leaving to future generations borders on criminal. But I have a solution. . . a proposal as it were.

There is an industry in this country that is just packed to the gills with rich, bastards who don’t pay their fair share. According to one accounting firm, the industry is worth almost two trillion dollars. Yet, they pay little in taxes. Most of the money they make disappears in phony accounting gimmicks and a good portion gets hidden overseas. Those are the same disgusting, rich-bastard-type loopholes that the Democrats claim to hate (except for Charlie Rangel).

What is this evil industry? Hollywood.

Thus, I propose a 50% gross receipts tax on all ticket sales, as well as a sliding tax on DVD sales and television licensing receipts -- the sliding scale would begin at 10% and then increase depending on the amount of money taken in, so that the richest pay the bigger share and the overall tax equals 50%. Why a gross receipts tax? Because that’s the only way to keep their hired accountants from finding dirty loopholes in which to hide their excessive profits.

How much would this raise? Well, worldwide box office receipts were around $25 billion last year. Another $65 billion was made on “packaged media” (DVDs, blue rays, and games). PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that the television industry made another $174 billion. That’s $264 billion right there. If we tax that at 50%, then we bring in $132 billion per year. . . or $1.32 trillion over ten years. That just about pays for ObamaCare (assuming that somehow Obama’s numbers are true).

In other words, Hollywood could pay for our health care!

This is only fair. These people are rich, and therefore rotten, greedy bastards. We know they don’t pay their fair share because they’re successful. So it’s time that we forced them to do their patriotic duties.

Moreover, this is not a patriotic industry. They outsource a lot of work to cheaper countries to avoid paying American workers. They hire expensive lobbyists in Washington to guarantee themselves favorable tax treatment, to make changes in the law akin to the worst elements of the anti-American Patriot Act which let them pursue anyone they themselves designate as a pirate (even without legal process), and they demand and receive government subsidies because many states give them tax breaks to film within those states. How much more rotten could an industry get?

Now, I know some of you will claim that this might lead to fewer movies being produced. But the Democrats assure us that taxing something is a way to stimulate its growth, so I will reject your concerns as being manufactured by a corrupt industry that just wants to avoid paying its fair share.

But I’m not done there. For far too long, too many in this industry have gotten stinking rich while Main Street suffered. Johnny Depp made $92 million in 2007 alone! For what I ask? Will Smith made $80 million 2008. Mike Myer and Eddie Murphy made $55 million each. Oprah makes $385 million a year! George Lucas has a net worth of $3.6 billion. Steven Spielberg has a net worth of $2.8 billion!! This is outrageous.

Thus, I am proposing a “millionaire surcharge” on anyone working within the entertainment or software industry. This “millionaire surcharge” will tax any income above $250,000 at 90%. I don’t know how much money this could bring in (though I’m sure it’s a lot), but that’s not the point. The point is that the world is upside down. We’ve reached a point where the people at the top earn thousands of times what the people at the bottom earn, and they simply don’t need all that money.

Join me in passing this proposal along to our representatives. It’s time that we made sure that these faceless corporations and greedy actors pay their fair. It’s time that they gave something back to our country from which they've taken so much.


Final Note: I’m not sure if I’m serious or not, but if our government is going to start playing the “target particular groups for taxes” game, then I vote we tax liberal, liberal Hollywood first. Thoughts?


26 comments:

Tam said...

I'm in! I am happy to pass along your thoughts to all our senators and representatives. Although, once I compared wealth distribution to grade distribution and my socialist friends told me "Not the same thing, honey." (I love it when people with a high sense of morals call me honey...) So somehow, I doubt the message will get through. Hollywood millionaires are just not the same as the OTHER rich greedy bastards.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, Excellent comparison! Like I say in the article, I actually am of two minds on this. Obviously, the piece is satire -- it repeats all of the lines the Democrats have been using against banks, corporations and "the rich" during these past few months and it seems just as ridiculous when I say it as it does when they say it, only I don't claim to actually believe these things are good.

But on the other hand, I also think that if the left is going to do these thing, then we need to use the same weapons against them. Right now they get a free pass whenever they attack because they know we wouldn't do it to their people. Maybe we should start doing things like threatening to tax their contributors, i.e. Hollywood, unions and the software industry. That might snap them out of their leftist fantasy if they start to realize that their damaging theories might be applied to themselves!

StanH said...

To funny, Andrew, and perhaps a tax I could get behind. I wonder how many of our sainted entertainment class would suddenly find their conservative roots?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, That's what makes me wonder. Right now it's really easy for them to advocate soaking the rich because the Dems exempt Hollywood and the unions from all of their taxes, regulations, and rants.

If that changed, and they suddenly discovered that those same tables might be turned on them, would it revive their conservative roots? Good question I think?

Megatroll said...

I like this idea a lot. If they want to hit the rest of us with taxes, let them hit Hollywood first -- let's test how serious they are about their claims!

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, That could be another interesting political effect -- getting to see a bunch of Hollywood leftists and their Democratic servants trying to defend lower taxes.

That might make for a real wake up call to the Democrats' supporters and might expose their venom to the rest of America, when people realize that they don't believe raising taxes is a good idea, but they advocate it only because they don't like the people they target!

BevfromNYC said...

I love your idea. And if we REALLY want to help the economy Obama style, we should make a law that no one can earn over $250,000 in any one year. And that any excess income will go directly to Congress. Then everyone could live happily ever after 'cause we would all be equal. This will instantly cause the climate to NOT change again and seas would recede and the flowers would grow all year 'round and the children would all learn to read phonetically. There would be no unemployment because there would be no jobs to get or lose (or create or save, for that matter). Hooray...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Did you make that up or are you reading directing from the Democratic Party Platform? ;-)

Seriously, these are just the exact same arguments that the Democrats are spitting out every single day about taxing banks and oil companies and "the rich," only they are applied to a group that the Democrats like to exempt from their target list.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew, I made it up, but it's not hard to get into the head of the liberal political thought process. All you have to do is come up with ideas that are diameterically opposite of all common sense, rational, and sane thought and you will arrive at the platform for the Democratic Party. Seriously, it works every time. The other thing you have to do is voice these ideas with a straight face. Voila, just like a Rosetta Stone language course, you can now think (and speak) fluent "liberal".

Unknown said...

Andrew: This is the perfect time to do it. We can tax the rich Hollyweirders in proportion to their profits, and add a surtax for their lack of usefulness to society (call it the value-subtracted tax). Then, just when they think it's safe, we can add the 99% "windfall profits" tax for megahits like Avatar!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, LOL! I think I saw that on their course list. . . "German, French, Italian, Liberal."

AndrewPrice said...

Dang, I forgot the "windfall profits" tax! Well, that's what amendments are for! LOL!!

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - I love the "value-subtracted tax", but Congress would never go for that since it would hit them pretty hard too.

Anonymous said...

Bev from New York.
That's how you think like a Democrat? Better than my method for thinking like a Democrat. I bang my head against the wall until I am seeing double and hearing a ringing in my ears.

After the tax on Hollywood, how about a tax on my favorite industries-- Washington Lobbyists and ex-politicians getting 6 figure fees for 'speeches'?

ScottDS said...

I know your comments are a bit tongue in cheek but Lucas is also an entrepreneur and his companies (LucasArts, ILM, Skywalker Sound) rake in the dough every year, not to mention the merchandising. His $3.6 billion isn't just from directing four films (three great, one mediocre)! :-)

As someone who'd maybe like to make films one day, I can tell you: a.) no one deserves $20 million for a project unless it involves curing cancer, and b.) I'm no fan of outsourcing either. I hate when movies try to make Prague look like Kansas City.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, I love that idea! A lobbyist tax might actually be the best thing to ever happen to this country, in terms of reducing their influence!

BevfromNYC said...

Anonymous - Your method works too, but only once or twice a month and eventually causes permanent brain damage. Since I have to translate "liberal" every stinkin' day, I use my much less physically damaging Rosetta Stone method. But be warned, even the RS method can be hazardous to one's moral compass, if not used with the proper precautions... ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I don't think the government should be telling anyone how much money they deserve to make. That's what the market is about. If people think you're are worth it, they will spend money on your products and services.

As for Lucas, I know he operates other businesses, but that's not really the point. The point is that these people (Hollywood) have been advocating punishing taxes on industries that they don't like and have been hypocritically criticizing those industries for things that they themselves do. Yet, because they are huge Democratic contributors, somehow they are spared the wrath of the Democrats.

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. And if the Republicans started to impose similar taxes, regulations and other punishments on liberal groups, then maybe the left will start thinking twice before they try to attack and demonize others.

ScottDS said...

I agree... I wasn't implying that the government should tell people how much money they could make... I suppose it's more a question of priorities.

Or, to quote my mother, "Scott, I don't understand how actors and athletes can make so much money. But if you make that much money, I'll be happy!" :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Good for you Scott. Policies based on the idea that we need to control what other people in the private sector make are wrong-headed. They're basically just based on spite, and they never end well.

Cronickain said...

Yes let's hit Hollywood where it hurts. They have been hiding behind liberal trust funds too long now. Maybe if they have to pay taxes they won't be so happy with a communist running things. I am sure John Wayne would be ticked.

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, We should put their money where their mouths are!

Writer X said...

Excellent idea, Andrew. Actually a 50% gross receipts tax seems too lenient. Let's see them put their money where their botoxed mouths are.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I do hear a lot of talk coming from the Dems about a 90% tax rate. We might want to consider that! if it's good enough for banks, it should be good enough for Hollywood. . . and union income.

patti said...

we have been using this argument in our house for some time. liberals: put your money, OUR MONEY!, where your big fat mouth is.

AndrewPrice said...

It's a very good argument Patti!

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