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Stephen King wants to tax the rich -- including himself

April 30, 2012 |  2:21 pm

Author Stephen King wants to pay his fair share and then some.

Stephen King, who with his wife donates about $4 million per year to worthy causes, has said he should give more — that he should be mandated to, by the tax code. He thinks the wealthy should pay more in  income tax.

At the Daily Beast, King shows why charitable intentions don't do the same thing as the federal government (using spicy language):

What charitable 1 percenters can’t do is assume responsibility — America’s national responsibilities: the care of its sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts. Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny....

Most rich folks paying 28 percent taxes do not give out another 28 percent of their income to charity. Most rich folks like to keep their dough. They don’t strip their bank accounts and investment portfolios. They keep them and then pass them on to their children, their children’s children. And what they do give away is — like the monies my wife and I donate — totally at their own discretion. That’s the rich-guy philosophy in a nutshell: don’t tell us how to use our money; we’ll tell you.

The Koch brothers are right-wing creepazoids, but they’re giving right-wing creepazoids. Here’s an example: 68 million fine American dollars to Deerfield Academy. Which is great for Deerfield Academy. But it won’t do squat for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where food fish are now showing up with black lesions. It won’t pay for stronger regulations to keep BP (or some other bunch of ... oil drillers) from doing it again. It won’t repair the levees surrounding New Orleans. It won’t improve education in Mississippi or Alabama.

King, a prolific writer whose imaginings have often attracted the attention of Hollywood, regularly lands on Forbes' highest-paid authors list; in 2010, he was at No. 3. His net worth is estimated to be as much as $400 million — that's huge for a writer but small change when it comes to big finance. Warren Buffett, another tax-the-rich advocate, is worth about $4.4 billion.

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— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Stephen King in 1998. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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