Government Spending

Horror Meister Stephen King Asks, "Why Don't I Pay 50%" in Taxes?

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The answer, of course, is that he chooses not to. The IRS is happy to accept extra payments from just about anyone. (And speaking of which, maybe the IRS should look into King's return based on his claim below. The upper limit of the 28 percent rate is $200,000 for a married couple filing jointly [and lower still for other statuses], which seems far below what the best-selling author would be pulling in annually.)

For all the talk of people going Galt, it's strange, innit, that you never hear about rich progressives going Zakaria (or going Krugman or going Buffett, etc). Lead by example already!

Stephen King appeared at a rally in Florida and denounced Sunshine State Gov. Rick Scott, Maine's Gov. Paul LePage, and national GOP leaders for not supporting a 50 percent top marginal tax rate (something that, uh, no leader of either major party has pushed since, wha, the 1980s?

Via Mediaite, here's the author of The Shining, Firestarter, and Maximum Overdrive:

And you know what? As a rich person, I pay 28% taxes. What I want to ask you is, why don't I pay 50%? Why is everybody in my bracket not paying 50%? The Republicans will say, from John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to Rick Scott, that we can't do that because, if we tax guys like me, there won't be any jobs. It's bull! It's total bull!

More, including ultra-overexpose phone-cam vid, here.

For those counting, Gov. Scott—who recently cited a Reason Foundation study in his decision not to fund a really awful 84-mile (!) high-speed rail project between Tampa and Orlando—proposes to "slash" Florida's budget by 6.5 percent, down to $65.9 billion. Among the cuts is a $703 reduction in the amount of per-pupil spending the state gives to K-12 schools and the laying off of about 8,700 state employees (out of about 170,000). It also cuts various sorts of taxes, the bastard, to the tune of $1.6 billion over the next year. The spending cuts total $4.6 billion. Florida is facing a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. What Stephen King decries as bad sounds pretty responsible to me.

Remember back when Stephen King just wanted to scare the hell out of us (click below)? I think he's finally done it, with nary a tractor trailer in sight.

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  1. (And speaking of which, maybe the IRS should look into King’s return based on his claim below. The upper limit of the 28 percent rate is $200,000 for a married couple filing jointly [and lower still for other statuses], which seems far below what the best-selling author would be pulling in annually.)

    But..but, look at my grubby baseball cap! I’m one of the everyman! Just like Micheal Moore! Pay no attention to my residuals I get from my crappy movie adaptations!

    1. They overplay that “everyman” routine. Everyman can at least get a decent haircut.

      1. And get his buck fucking teeth fixed by a competent dentist

        1. Yeah, the fact that he’s not a really good-looking guy makes his argument totally invalid. Similar to how Rush Limbaugh says that we shouldn’t listen to Michelle Obama not wanting Americans to be fatasses because she’s not a model.

          1. No, because he’s not good looking, he is fun to laugh at. His argument is invalid because it is economically ignorant.

    2. One time my friend and I figured out how long it would take to watch every Stephen King adaption. It was over 3 days of continuous watching.

      Btw, some of those are pretty good (Shawshank Redemption, etc).

      1. Btw, some of those are pretty good (Shawshank Redemption, etc).

        True, but the majority of those adaptations have been stinkers. I also realize that isn’t totally his fault, but I doubt he is turning down any direct or indirect proceeds.

        1. Oh there is certainly a boatload of crap out there too.

          1. The Mist was surprisingly good, I thought. His output does manage to result in about 1 good-to-great movie for every five to ten stinkers – and whether he cares to admit it or not, it supports an industry of hundreds of jobs that are dedicated to putting everything he writes on screen. We would have to take him at his word that if we decided to take a bigger bite out of his income that he’d keep producing like before. But for a reasonably smart dude, you’d think the concept of “charity” would satisfy that itch to give away all those extra millions even better than “taxes”.

        2. Yes and no. He’s been known to sell the adaptation rights for his books for a dollar. That’s right. A dollar. If you wanted to, you could contact his agent, drop a buck, and make a YouTube video of ‘Here There Be Tygers’ or ‘The Long Walk’ or something like that. Stephen King is rich, and deserves to be, be he could be a LOT richer.

  2. why don’t I pay 50%?

    “I mean, seriously, I would totally, absolutely just add up all my paychecks and send a check to the government for half that number, if it was legal. I mean, I’m being oppressed. The man, baby, the man is keeping me down.”

    1. YOU THE MAN!

      1. “So you can point that fucking finger up your ass.”

        1. I’ve got some advice for you, little buddy…

  3. Right, as if King doesn’t collect his royalties in some kind of off-shore Bermuda account.

  4. LOL he might want to save a little for the states; they’re broke too.

  5. The answer, of course, is that he chooses not to.

    Since when to liberals “choose”?

    Liberals don’t like choices.

    That’s what government is for.

    The purpose of government is to make choices for people.

    That is the road to freedom: being free from choice.
    When you are free from choice you are free from responsibility and free from consequence.
    You take on the role of the infant and government is the loving parent.

    He does not pay 50% because the government does not force him to.

    Only when the government makes the choice that he should pay 50% will he pay 50%.

    BTW – who took his binky away?

    1. That is the road to freedom

      Drink!

  6. Why 50%? What’s special about that number? Just a nice, round, number? Is there any actual thinking behind this gibbering rant?

    Like, say, an analysis of how much money this would raise (taking into account the negative effect of taxes on economic activity), or what it would be “invested in”, heh wasted on.

    1. Taxes are about fairness, not revenue.

      You see, some people are too rich. So as a matter of fairness that wealth needs to be taken away and spread around.

      So what if it slows the economy down? There’s enough wealth out there already. We don’t need to create anymore. We just need to relieve the rich of their ill-gotten gains and use it to help the poor.

      It’s all about fairness, son.

      1. Ha ha ha! Good sarcasm!

        It was sarcasm, wasn’t it???

        1. sarcasmic

        2. LOL, I was wondering too. After all, many lefties do believe that. Some of them post here.

          1. I once felt that way. Now I think differently.

    2. to the liberal, taxing rich people in of itself is good. They are more interested in preventing people from having money than actually having money to spend. Its “fair” after all.

  7. Go back to Yankee-land with your Yankee ideas, Yankee.

    1. I’m pretty sure he’s a Red Sux fan.

  8. And speaking of which, maybe the IRS should look into King’s return based on his claim below. The upper limit of the 28 percent rate is $200,000 for a married couple filing jointly [and lower still for other statuses], which seems far below what the best-selling author would be pulling in annually.

    For both tax reasons and liability-avoidance, best-selling authors these days usually assign the copyright and all related royalties for their books to a separate LLC, trust, or other legal entity for each book, so the author actually doesn’t realize much (if any) direct income.

    1. the author actually doesn’t realize much (if any) direct income

      So, writing is a labor of love?

    2. I assume that the LLC or other entity somehow then pays the author though, right?

      1. If the LLC buys whatever you need to spend money on, you never actually need to have the money in your own posession, as it were.

    3. For both tax reasons and liability-avoidance, best-selling authors these days usually assign the copyright and all related royalties for their books to a separate LLC, trust, or other legal entity for each book, so the author actually doesn’t realize much (if any) direct income.

      That kind of hurts his argument that he’s paying too little in taxes.

  9. Lead by example already!

    lol

  10. YOU THE MAN!

    I love my job.

    I think I’ll have some business cards printed up which say

    OPPRESSOR-IN-CHIEF

  11. Dear Steve,
    All you gotta do is write a check for half your worth, idiot. Why not have a big public ceremony where you do it, instead of extorting the govt to steal even more money from people? Then you can go try to write some stories that don’t suck ass.

    I and the rest of Florida wish you a hearty ‘Fuck You’.

  12. It is possible the 28% is his net taxes paid, not highest marginal rate.

  13. Mabye King should start by explaining why he thinks rich people SHOULD pay 50%.

    1. Because they have more to pay, which means the government is entitled to more, silly.

      1. I know it’s scary to those of us here, but this is exactly how they think.

  14. Actually, when marginal rates were that high, there were something called tax shelters. No one with any brains paid that much. I wouldn’t doubt King himself partook in these legal type of evasion.

  15. Gov. Corbett in Penna. proposed a budget this week that would cut 4% from Penn State’s budget. This cut was called “devastating.” No, devastating is losing to OSU on a last minute field goal.

    Hey Steven King, if you are reading this:

    Gifts to the United States
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782

  16. The idea that he’s only paying 28% of his income in taxes is of course total and utter bullcrap. He’s paying closer to 50 than 28 if you count everything.

    And I’ll bet he probably doesn’t take a single deduction when he does his taxes either. I know, try not to laugh too hard.

    1. He has no idea what he’s paying. If he did his own taxes, he wouldn’t be bitching.

      28% was the top rate under Reagan – it’s 35% now for Federal. I’m sure Maine is getting a nice cut above that for income, property, vehicles, etc…

      1. Don’t forget that he’s probably paying about 14% just for self-employment taxes. Why do people always fail to mention those?

  17. ben stein noted the rich, including himself, should pay more since they’re free to accumulate & enjoy their wealth in a law & order society. otherwise the poor would jump their fences, kill them, & take everything they own. >sux (doesnt it?) when the rich dont subscribe to the libertarian meme about taxes…

    1. Ben Stein and others are free to donate to the government.

      1. They’re also free to pay for their own security services and guns.

    2. Re: OhioOrrin,

      ben stein noted the rich, including himself, should pay more since they’re free to accumulate & enjoy their wealth in a law & order society.otherwise the poor would jump their fences, kill them, & take everything they own.[…]when the rich dont subscribe to the libertarian meme about taxes…

      So basically you take no umbrage on his insinuation that the poor are nothing more than a bunch of barbarians kept at bay by jack-booted, tax-fed leeches.

      You’re just as dastardly and crass as he is!

    3. The ones who say these things are the ones who don’t care because they’ve already made their pile. The tax raises will just hurt those who are still trying to make it, and they don’t give a fuck.

      1. Yes, they do give a fuck. They are desperate to keep new competitors away from their stashes.

        1. Aye, that’s what I meant to say.

      2. If they only advocate for tax increases for the rich, how will that hurt those that are still trying to make it? Those in the top tax bracket have already made it!

        1. Income doesn’t necessarily equate to wealth. If you’ve had a large income for a long time, you’ve had time to accumulate savings and earn interest on those savings/investments. If you’ve only just acquired a high income, excessive taxation can prevent you from accumulating enough wealth to be comfortable before changing circumstances take that income away.

    4. Which is of course why the poor did so well in the medieval period. Once they had killed off all of the nobility and redistributed the wealth in their workers paradise, everything was peachy and western history is just propaganda to cover up that fact

      Seriously, who do you think benefits the most from a universal rule of law ? Here’s a hint: it isn’t the guys that can own private armies.

      1. the nobility obviously enjoyed their law n order

        1. The nobility was “law” and “order”. Now the new divine right to govern is not dictated by inherently retarded inbred birth, but by which ivy league school one attended, how much backroom blow jobs one provided, and how much one loves to shove guns in people’s faces under the guise of “helping” the people. That almost makes violent racist inbreds look like a better option. At least you could shop around for better kings if life sucked enough. And voting for various flavors of shit sandwiches does not equal moving your ass 100 miles to escape certain despots.

          Regardless, I’ll take my pathetic 21st century life over that of medieval serfdom. The point is, the nobility has not gone away, it has only evolved.

        2. It seems you have no idea what the difference is between “laws” and the “rule of law” is.

    5. Oh, well, if Ben Stein said it… I mean, the guy really knows his stuff.

      1. are you saying there is no debate on evolution?

        1. On some of the particulars, yes, on the fact of its existence, no. At least, not by anyone with an understanding of science.

      2. Ahh Ben Stein, sweet lover of neocons and deluded academic apologist for untold horrors. Yes, we really should listen to him when it comes to public policy.

    6. The amount of money needed to keep the barbarians at bay is relatively small.

    7. Wouldn’t mass executions of the non-working poor and socialist agitators achieve the same result with less expense? Rich people are too ethical for their own good.

    8. OO – and how many equally rich people are quite happy to keep every dollar they can manage to hold onto?

      You’ve cited two – count `em – two rich people advocating paying more in taxes. I know Warren Buffet and Bill Gates also have come out on that side.

      How many multi-millionaires are there in the U.S.? Do these four ultra-rich guys speak for all of them?

    9. Ben Stein calls himself an economist.

  18. He has that “concern troll” face.

    1. He has the face only a chimpanzee could love.

      1. I wouldn’t hit that.

          1. I already did.

      2. His face looks fine to me!

  19. And you know what? As a rich person, I pay 28% taxes. What I want to ask you is, why don’t I pay 50%? Why is everybody in my bracket not paying 50%? The Republicans will say, from John Boehner to Mitch McConnell to Rick Scott, that we can’t do that because, if we tax guys like me, there won’t be any jobs. It’s bull! It’s total bull!

    You mean they said that if rich horror storywriters get slammed with a 50% tax rate, there won’t be any jobs? Well, if they said that, then it is total bullshit!

    Because Steve, dear, sweetheart, not every rich dude is like you – there are rich people making value every day, not just every year or so.

  20. The IRS is happy to accept extra payments from just about anyone.

    Oh no! We shouldn’t have to volunteer our resources. That’s not fair! Compulsion is the only equitable way.

  21. Ben Stein is an imbecile; I can see why you would choose him as a role model.

  22. I agree with Nick. The real question is why isn’t King paying 36%?

  23. well no wonder i hate stephen king

    1. im sure king aint inviting u to dinner either.

      1. you guyz should switch numberz

  24. I’m pretty sure King is asking why there isn’t a more progressive tax policy.

    1. Does “progressive”=”where the rich pay more”? Because that’s what we have now.

      Hey everyone, Tony’s here. How ya’ doin’, Tony?

      1. C’mon sage.
        We know that the rich don’t pay their fair share because they’re rich.
        If they paid their fair share then they wouldn’t be rich anymore.

        You don’t understand this because you know the difference between income and wealth.

        Lose a clue, man!

        1. I know, right? The wealthy pay more in percentages, and in absolute dollars. Apparently this isn’t “progressive” enough. Makes me wonder how some people breathe without outside help

          1. Apparently this isn’t “progressive” enough.

            You don’t get it!
            They’re still rich!
            They’re still wealthy!

            IT’S NOT FAIR!

            Your problem is that you are still thinking. Stop thinking and emote.

            If you go strictly with your emotions then you will see that it’s not fair that some people are rich and others are not.

            If you are rich then you should feel guilty.
            If you are poor then you should feel envy.
            If you are rich and you don’t feel guilty then you are evil.
            If you are poor and you don’t feel envy then you have been brainwashed by evil Republicans.

            Either way the solution, the way to alleviate these unpleasant feelings, is to make everyone equal.

            This is why we need to tax the rich until they aren’t rich anymore.

            1. Taxes have been going down for the rich for decades. The same people who’ve been advocating for that are now screaming about the deficit. Of course, they want to fix the latter by squeezing even more money from the non-rich. Your strawman notwithstanding, how is any of this sane?

              1. Tony – The problem is that when revenue increases, spending increases accordingly. When revenue drops, spending does not decrease. Instead taxes increase. Then when revenue increases debts are not payed off. No, instead spending increases. When revenue drops, spending does not decrease. Instead taxes increase. Then when revenue increases debts are not payed off. No, instead spending increases.

                Do you notice a pattern here?
                Spending always increases.
                How is any of this sane?

              2. they want to fix the latter by squeezing even more money from the non-rich

                Squeezing more money from the non-rich would mean increasing taxes on private employees.

                Taxation is the squeeze. Payments from dollars collected by taxation is not a squeeze. The squeeze already happened. Lowering payments may suck for the guy with his hand out, but it is not a squeeze.

                Though considering that you equate a tax cut to a gift, I do not find is surprising that you cannot understand this simple concept either.

                It’s a good thing your parents are rich.
                You’d never make it on your own.

                1. It’s bizarre how you can make such a vast moral distinction between government giving someone, say, unemployment benefits, and government cutting someone’s taxes. Bot result in more money in the pocket of the recipient, thanks to government policy. The latter usually tends to be a hell of a lot more money if we’re talking about the rich. What’s the fucking difference, except the tax cuts are far less economically useful?

                  1. What’s the fucking difference, except the tax cuts are far less economically useful?

                    The difference is that a tax cut is allowing someone to keep what they have already earned, while a government gift is giving someone something that someone else earned.

                    A tax cut allows for the creation of wealth, while a government gift destroys wealth.

                    Considering you have never earned anything in your pathetic life, it is unsurprising that you find the difference to be trivial.

                    1. The difference is that a tax cut is allowing someone to keep what they have already earned, while a government gift is giving someone something that someone else earned.

                      So you think tax policy shouldn’t be based on what makes sense for the country, but on your personal estimation of people’s moral worth?

                      A tax cut allows for the creation of wealth, while a government gift destroys wealth.

                      It’s a proven fact that “government gifts” to the unemployed and poor are far more stimulative than tax cuts to the rich.

                    2. It’s a proven fact that “government gifts” to the unemployed and poor are far more stimulative than tax cuts to the rich.

                      Actually that is not true, or there would not be any disagreement.

                      There is a consensus among mainstream Keynesian economists that this is true.
                      To be a mainstream politically correct economist, to be allowed into the club, a prerequisite is that you must adhere to Keynesian economics.

                      That is politics, not science.

                      It’s no different than a high school clique other than the age of the people involved.

                    3. “So you think tax policy shouldn’t be based on what makes sense for the country, but on your personal estimation of people’s moral worth?”

                      What makes sense for the country is that people who create wealth get to keep their income and people who do not create wealth have to get up off their fat lazy asses and provide something of value to society before they get anything of value from society.

                      Involuntarily seizing the proceeds of the labor of the productive so that it can be redistributed to the unproductive punishes productivity and rewards indolence. You get more of what you reward and less of what you punish.

                  2. What’s the fucking difference, except the tax cuts are far less economically useful?

                    The economic usefullness of income is subjective. You can’t measure such value.

            2. Stop thinking and emote.

              Heh. I like it. Stolen.

    2. If you want “rich people” to pay 50%, you’ll probably be delighted to hear that I think everyone else can happily pay 50% too.

  25. I’m pretty sure King is asking why there isn’t a more progressive tax policy.

    SRSLY?

  26. King’s next thriller in 17,000 parts: The Undertaxed. Pretty scary boys & girls.

    1. Already happening. Some of those zombie-like protestors in Madison actually are zombies.

      Watch some news clips. You can faintly hear the chant of “brains” mixed in. It’s nearly indecipherable since the chant so closely resembles the requests of the other protestors, but if you listen closely…

      1. I am so live-action trolling the next protest at the FL Capitol that way.

        1. ROFL… video or it didn’t happen 🙂

  27. I’ve enjoyed using the “Why don’t they just give more to the IRS?” line of logic for years. People just stare at you stunned when you say that. It’s almost like a flashbank grenade.

  28. In a truly Progressive system of taxation, a panel of Top Men would get together in a large, elaborately furnished room in a government building, and determine the sum, sufficient to meet the needs of the average citizen. Then the IRS would present every citizen a tax bill for any amount in excess of that fair and equitable living wage.

    1. That still wouldn’t work because some people would use their living wage more wisely than others and manage to accumulate wealth, while others would piss it all away.

      Income equality is not enough. There must also be wealth equality.

      Those Top Men would also determine an equitable net worth, and if anyone exceeded that net worth they would be put in prison after having all their property taken away.

  29. Let’s say we jack it up to 50% and somehow, magically, there is no impact on the economy whatsoever. Would the national debt even stop increasing, let alone get paid off? The states’ debts?

    In the collectivists’ wildest freaking fantasies, where the government confiscates all income over $X and everyone keeps on happily working as before, and everyone has quality health care and food and education and PONIES, do the numbers even come close to adding up?

    1. I’ve asked “What if we confiscated every dime from everyone who has income above $250,000 annually and that still wasn’t enough?”

      Crickets. :::puts on shocked face:::

  30. “and national GOP leaders for not supporting a 50 percent top marginal tax rate ”

    Obviously it varies greatly based on what state you are in, but if you live in a high income tax state like CA or NJ and now after the “medicare surgcharge” placed in the healthcare bill, top combined state and national income tax rates already are at or near 50%. 36% + 3% “surcharge” + 10% state is about 50%.

    And though this isnt true for states with no or low income tax rates, most of the highe arners live in states with high income tax rates (northeast and west cost).

  31. I’m pretty sure King is asking why there isn’t a more progressive tax policy.

    I’m pretty sure he’s a cowardly, demagoguing shitbag who’s shooting his mouth about how everyone else needs to do something. It just wouldn’t be heroic if he did it voluntarily on his own.

    Put up or shut up you fuckwit, King.

  32. What I want to know is why is he only paying 28%? I thought the federal rate was around 35%. Plus add state and other taxes on top of that. I think the IRS should be taking a very close look at his financial situation. I think he just outed himself on tax evasion.

  33. Making the assumption that Mr. King is a rational individual, this arguement that is being proposed won’t work. The arguement that, “oh he can pay more if he wants too. Why doesn’t he just donate more of his money to the IRS if he feels it’s not enough.” Surely this is an obvious example of the “free rider problem.”

    1. But if he feels he’s riding too cheap now, why not be an example?

  34. King likes that boring TV-miniseries version of The Shining better than Kubrick’s version. Who cares what he thinks?

  35. Because he is a rational individual, he knows that people won’t pay their fair share. We try and get the most stuff possible for the cheapest. It would be an irrational decision for him to subsidize others without recieving anything in return.

    1. “Fair.”

      You keep using that word.

      1. I used that word once. What I am saying is if taxes are left on a purely volunteer basis, no one would pay. Again it is the “free rider problem.” It would not be rational for King to pay more voluntairly because what is he going to get from it?

        1. I used that word once. What I am saying is if taxes are left on a purely volunteer basis, no one would pay. Again it is the “free rider problem.” It would not be rational for King to pay more voluntairly because what is he going to get from it?

          This argument fails because King and many others feel that he is getting TOO MUCH in benefits from so little a tax burden. His voluntary donation would be payment for having been a “free rider”.

          1. he is not a free rider, but afraid of the free riding that would take place under his increase donation. he doesnt see it being fair that he subsidizes other people, while they ride free on his money. that is why he wants the governemtn to forciably rasie his and other peoples taxes (no matter how immoral that is).

            1. he is not a free rider, but afraid of the free riding that would take place under his increase donation. he doesnt see it being fair that he subsidizes other people, while they ride free on his money. that is why he wants the governemtn to forciably rasie his and other peoples taxes (no matter how immoral that is).

              Your first sentence contradicts your last. If, as you claim, he has been subsidizing other free riders, then he should either demand a reduction in tax rate, or demand an increase on the lower income brackets (to force them to pay their “fair share”).

              Demanding that HIS rate be increased argues that HE feels that he is free riding the system and should pay more.

              But the “free rider” issue doesn’t work for tax paid serves, since: 1. there is no market to compete for such services and therefore one cannot determine what the true market value of such services actually are, and 2. you can’t refuse the payment or substitute most services.

        2. I used that word once.

          Zod wept. Do I have to explain cultural references to you too?

          “Fair” is a meaningless metric. Even if one were to accept a common usage of what ‘fair’ means, then the wealthy are overtaxed, due to their lower usage of gummint services, yet paying 3/4 of all income taxes as a group. The poor are similarly under-taxed, due to their relatively high use of gummint services and much lower tax payments, which can be negative in some cases.

    2. Yet people (non-liberals mostly) give to charity.

      How do you explain that?

      1. I honestly don’t know. Maybe societies belief and understanding behind the two terms alters the way we view taxes and charity. but i really think the free rider problem is in full swing right here. and advocating voluntariy taxes isnt the way to go.

        1. I question Stephen King’s choice of charities.

        2. The only people gettng a free ride are those whose total dollars of taxes paid are less than the total dollar value of their pro-rata share of those particular government activties that are providing them with a demonstrable direct benefit calculated on a user fee basis.

          Anyone paying more than that is not a free rider – they are paying for the free riders regardless of what their nominal tax rate happens to be.

          And those free riders are concentrated in the low income group who pay little or no taxes at all.

          Elininating free riders would require their taxes be raised and rich people’s taxes be lowered.

          Not the other way around.

    3. The problem is that the free rider issue sits in opposition to the legitimate disagreement issue. You can set up a system that reduces the capacity to force people to pay for things they truly do not value, while restricting free-riding.

      Consider defense spending: On a purely tax-based system, hawks can compel the opposition (doves, moderates, cynics alike) to fund military adventurism they consider wasteful or immoral. But under a purely voluntary system, even some of those that favor a strong defense would try to get out of paying for it hoping that someone else will take up their slack, or feeling it’s unfair that moderates and doves are paying less than themselves.

      However, you could fund defense with a system that is based on contributions, but contributions which are contingent on commitment by other people (and which, having been offered on that contingent basis, are as strictly enforced as taxes once the conditions are met).

      The basic concept would be that each person would propose how much they would pay, if and only if everyone together pays at least a certain total amount (it could be single offer, or a multilinear curve, or somewhere in between). The end result will cut down on both free riding and coercion; that is to say, it would be more just.

  36. It’s not King’s fault he has a brain injury.

  37. Is it just me, or does Stephen King have about an acre of space between his nose and upper lip?

    I’m just glad it hasn’t hampered his writing ability.

  38. The whole speech to me sounds like he was paid off by the Unions to show up and cheer lead for them.

  39. The citizens of Florida are eager to hear Tricky Rick Scott share some of his promised solutions. The few times he has spoken publicly, including his recent State of the State recitation to the Legislature, he just repeats talking points and sound bytes from the campaign. One can imagine the outbreak of laughter when the unindicted fraudster said “trust me in re: my business experience.” To his credit, skulking away from a company fined almost $2B for govt fraud and remaining unindicted is, indeed, a useful skill. My concern is he seeks to privatize functions that ought not be profit-centered, i.e., prisons, schools. Who would spend $70M-plus of his own money and not expect a return on his investment? It would please me to be proven wrong. At least we now know in whose handbasket we are being carried to hell.

  40. The man makes a logical point and you all rip his appearance and his movies. You even rip the fact that he was injured in a car crash.

    Now go ahead and rip me. I’ll give ya a hint though, I ain’t no Liberal.

    What is wrong with raising taxes? At least establish a million dollar tax bracket slightly higher than the current (highest) bracket. 40% maybe?

    Didn’t Reagan raise taxes?

    Give me logic instead of ripping me a new one.

    1. Throwing Reagen out there isn’t going to help. This is a Libertarian news page, not a Republican news page.

      Raising taxes is theft. And just because your imposing it on the wealthy? Doesn’t mean the lower class won’t be taxed eventually, and they’re the ones who need their money.

      Raising income tax puts a squeeze on people who need the money. Even if they make millions? They may be investing it.

      Raising business taxes will kill business, or move them somewhere with less business regulation.

      So yeah, as much as I’ve read Stephen King’s books? He’s being fucktarded.

      His role as Jordy Verral in the movie Creepshow now looks pretty justified.

  41. It should be noted that the effective tax rate (tax paid over income) differs from the marginal tax rate (highest bracket). Tax brackets mean that income is taxed at different rates — it’s not simply the highest rate times all income. King, same as you or I, still pays 10% on this first $16k-odd earnings.

  42. Go ahead, you can always write an extra check to tuck into your return and give it away to the idiots to waste.

    Be our guest, moron.

  43. I like to think that the last thing that went through his head besides that bullet was, “How in the hell did the IRS not tax me more?”

  44. a couple of things. First, Stevie is free to pay as much tax as he wants to. Secondly, and this is where things get hairy. I agree with other libertarians that people have a right to the fruits of their labor, even if those fruits constitute several orchards. On the other hand, you have to ask yourself how many of the very rich would have gotten that way in a society that operated completely by libertarian principles: that is to say without government protecting their interests at the expense of others and sheltering them. I’m thinking, with respect to guys like King and movie and music stars of that distortion of the meaning of property called “intellectual property” and with respect to some other to the protection rackets of licensing and various other of the countless, competition destroying barriers to entry – a system in which, for example, the taxes of guys making $40,000.00 a year end up in the pockets of billionaires and pay for multimillion dollar stadiums for billionaire sports team owners? I have to believe that many of the people who became zillionaires under our deeply corrupt, anti-free market system would not have become rich in a truly libertarian system. Would those who have gotten rich gaming the current system have gotten rich in a system that can not be gamed?

  45. Why not 75%?

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