Thursday, May 3, 2012

Langoliers author upset, liberals applaud

In his latest work of fiction, novelist Stephen King has penned an angsty insult-ladden screed asking that rich people like himself should pay higher taxes, such as an effective tax rate of 50 percent. Links to the piece are being passed around by lefties like herpes at a juggalo concert, but I find the piece fundamentally flawed.

Before launching on a protectionist tangent recommending businesses should choose to manufacture more cheap consumer goods in America out of blind nationalism, King tries to make the claim that rich people pay a lower percent of their taxes than anyone else, and criticizes people who suggest he shut up and write the IRS a bigger check.

Normally I disregard that suggestion. Clearly, the idea is to get all the rich people to pay more, not just him. It's like the bumper stickers that say "Don't like abortion? Don't have one!" in that it fails to address the larger issue.

However, since his premise is that the rich people pay a lower percentage than anyone else, and they should be forced to pay more, the facts reflect that his voluntary action to pay more would make a big difference.

Last November I showed that the group that pays the pays the highest tax rate in America is the fabled 1 percent the left is focusing on. They pay 33.8 percent when you include capital gains and dividends as income. King lists his own amount as roughly 28 percent, which is on par with the top quintile and above the CBO's estimate of 17.1 percent for the middle quintile.

Since the only way to show a regressive tax system is to focus on the top 400 earners and count capital gains as a form of income, King should support a change that targets that group, and not tens of thousands of other people. He'd at least guarantee a partial victory that way, and he is already paying 5 percentile points less then the rest of the rich people.


  1. Two things:

    1) Insulting a man who has sold millions upon millions of quality books by pointing to a lower tier book he wrote over two decades ago doesn't sit well with me. Of course, there is the fact that you're cherry-picking a bad book to disparage an otherwise lauded career, but it's more than that. You're a bad-to-average writer, Michael. Aside from never proofreading for typos (what are "rick people"?), you write in a journalistic style even though your blog is not a newspaper. In case you haven't noticed, newspaper articles are written at a junior high reading level. Perhaps you come close to meeting that bar, but you aren't in a position to demean other writers.

    2) "However, since his premise is that the rich people pay a lower percentage than anyone else..."

    Perhaps I'm scanning over it, but I don't see where he said that. The premise I see is that he believes the rich have benefited from America more than anyone else and, as a result, they should give back in greater proportion.

  2. 1) His novels are supposed to be scary, at least given my understanding of the word "horror" but not one is.

    2a) He has been whining about this for at least 3 years.

    2b) They do give back in greater proportion.