Stephen King doesn't pull many punches in his tales of terror.
So it's no surprise that he goes right to the jugular in a caustic and profane (consider yourself warned if you keep reading) post on The Daily Beast aimed at his wealthy peers who are tired of hearing that they should pay more taxes.
"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. 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 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 doesn't go far enough."
No amount of charity can take care of the responsibilities assigned governments, says King, citing the care of a country's sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of infrastructure, the repayment of staggering war debts.
The prolific Maine novelist also took aim at the argument that more taxes on the wealthy prevent them from using that money to create jobs. Not so, says King. Rather, the wealthy tend to invest extra money, often abroad.
And King assures his fellow multi-millionaires that he doesn't want them 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 Governor Christie's words, but to pay — in the same proportion. That's called stepping up and not whining about it."
Otherwise, he warns, income and tax inequality in the United States will increase. And that's a horror story affecting everyone at all income levels.
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