Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Stephen King puts his money where his mouth is
Bestselling novelist Stephen King, who gives away $4m (£2.5m) a year in charitable donations, has issued an expletive-filled call to America to increase the rate of tax paid by the country's rich.
King himself currently pays taxes of around 28% on his income, and at a recent rally in Florida wondered publicly why he was not paying a higher rate of 50%. You're unhappy about it? "Cut a check and shut up," was the response from his listeners, the author writes in a piece for The Daily Beast entitled Tax Me, for F@%&'s Sake! "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."
Some of America's rich do donate part of their tax savings, King acknowledged; he himself gives $4m "to libraries, local fire departments that need updated lifesaving equipment (Jaws of Life tools are always a popular request), schools, and a scattering of organisations that underwrite the arts". But, calling himself only "'baby rich' compared with some of these guys, who float serenely over the lives of the struggling middle class like blimps made of thousand-dollar bills", the novelist says this "doesn't go far enough [because] charity from the rich can't fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny".