Monday, April 30, 2012

Stephen King is a lot of things...

...insightful political commentator is not one of them.

Why did the Daily Beast give King a podium for an insult-laden rant about the rich? I can't really say, but as far as rants go, this one is rather pathetic. Cleverly titled "Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!" King spends his time chastising himself and other rich people, making fun of overweight people (classy move, that), and generally just acting like an ass. Impressive. A sample:
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.
One of America's great writers, he is.

What's missing from the piece is any sort of thoughtful analysis. Unsurprisingly, King just wants to be profane, not actually think. For instance, in the above bit he notes something so obvious, it's trivial: most rich people don't want to pay more taxes. Well, duh. Most people--rich, poor, whatever--don't want to pay more taxes. Oh sure, for political reasons and to feed their own egos, some people--like King--will say that they're willing to pay more taxes, but they don't actually want to pay more. We all know that.

Taxes, of course, are something we pay as citizens to the government for services--or potential services--rendered by the government, because our nation is based on the social contract theory of government. This is something that flies right over King's head, apparently, as it does so many other mouth-breathers on the Left. As I noted in the previous bit linked to above:
The government has the authority to spend, to build highways and the like. And citizens are obligated to pay their share for such, via the taxes the government is allowed to collect.

But there is no obligation from citizen to citizen in the Social Contract, aside from following the law. None. Zero. To be clear, I owe you none of my income, my property, whatsoever. Locke established this element and it was restated clearly in the Declaration of Independence: an inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

The Social Contract provides security and a basic structure of society to allow citizens to live their lives, to take the risks they want to take, to earn a living, to accumulate or not accumulate wealth as they see fit, within the rules established and enforced by government. It's nothing more than that. It's not a mandate to level society, to redistribute wealth, or the like. Exactly the opposite. It's an agreement that--per the Constitution--this won't happen, that property is the individual's and cannot be arbitrarily confiscated.

Should everyone pay into the system? Absolutely. But insisting that one group can be targeted to pay more, whenever it suits the government's needs, is not consistent with the Social Contract. It's simple class warfare, nothing more.
King--like others--may not like this reality, but it is the basis of our system. And it's that system that allowed King to earn his money, with his talent and hard work. His problem is that he imagines all of the wealth in the nation has always been here, that it's not a product of the very worldview he seems to find so repugnant.

And if that's not enough, King also displays a complete lack of knowledge, with regard to who is actually paying what. He says: "...it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden."

Well, okay, but they're not being asked to do that, you filthy rich simpleton! From the National Taxpayers Union:
The top 1% pays 37% of all income taxes.
The top 5% pays 58% of all income taxes.
The top 10% pays 70% of all income taxes.
How is the middle class being asked to pay a "disproportionate share"? It's not, of course. King is tragically clueless, even as the pangs of guilt over his wealth eat away at his soul:
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 Gov. Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.
See it? The rich "received" their wealth. They didn't do anything, whatsoever, to earn it in King's limited worldview. And that same worldview tells King--and others--that "fair share" only applies to the people easily demonized.

A painful read, this piece was, mostly because it was so devoid of common sense.

Cheers, all.