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Published on September 24, 2010 By terpfan1980 In Politics

My kids and I went to see comedienne Lewis Black last night.  He's out on his In God We Rust tour, though that seems to be a bit of a misnomer since the show had little to do with any religious topics and more to do with rants about whatever happened to cross his comedic mind.  Don't get me wrong, I loved the show and really enjoy his rants, but the tour title had given me the impression that he might be aiming to skewer religion a bit more duirng the show and instead it wound up being about many different things and not so much about religion at all.

One of the things the show did seem to be about was the idea that Black's generation needs to leave a legacy behind and that he suggests that as the legacy of that generation perhaps a big push could be made to legalize marijuana which could then be taxed and regulated, with the taxes going back into the economy to help get our stagnant economy going again.  He may have a valid point (and I'm really not sure I disagree with that point or the further point that my son had which was that if we were going to legalize pot we should go ahead and legalize prostitution too and tax and regulate it as well), but he went a little further talking about the economy and the fussing that is going over extending the Bush tax cuts for any or all of those that were affected by them.

Black generalized that those tax cuts equated to savings of about 3 percent per year for the last 10 years.  Perhaps.  I don't so much care about the actual numbers, but I do care about the point that he went on to make.  He pointed out that we can't get more taxes from the poor because they don't have anything to tax, and the middle class has been squeezed badly enough to barely exist and what is left can't really be squeezed for more taxes because they are pretty much at their breaking point as well.  From there, well, you can probably see that he winds up talking about the rich, which he admits to being one of compliments of the fans like me that have gone out to his appearances, bought DVDs of his specials, watched him on TV (which gets him money for the appearances and such) and things like that.

It's at this point that he starts stating that the rich should be paying more in taxes.  What's the harm in taking 3 percent more from them in taxes than what they are currently paying.  Put those funds towards building roads, or towards educations, or other places that need it he ranted.  Certainly he didn't really need the money.  He has money, or so he's told when he checks with his accountants, managers, lawyers, agents and such.  People that tell him how his small business (Lewis Black, Inc., or whatever the name of it is) is doing well as they move funds around from this shelter to that shelter and grow his investments on his behalf.

Hmm, so he thinks he could handle paying more in taxes and yet, well, he also stood there and told the audience that his own little business is busy growing his investments and sheltering his income through pretty much every legal means possible (his own words were something to the effect of continually questioning his accountants/managers/agents on whether or not he'd wind up going to jail for failing to pay taxes as required).  Does he not see the hypocrisy in his own statement?

After all, this is the same guy that would likely rant loud and long about how the government would just incompently waste the money they've been given researching stupid things, supporting big businesses or otherwise splurging on things that don't make much sense, but yet there he was basically saying he wants to pay more in taxes.

The solution seems pretty simple to me -- instruct your own accountants/managers/agents to stop sheltering your funds.  Nothing prevents Lewis Black or George Soros or any others that want to have the government take more of the rich man's money from taking their own money and giving it to the government or donating it to charitable foundations and causes that will put it towards great things.

I know I've given away a decent amount of charitable contributions myself over the last 18 months (give or take), and more beyond that time frame.  I'm happy to support the causes that I do, happy to contribute to them (for the most part), and try not to pester others to do the same.  If I want to do that, that is on me.  It is not my place to tell someone else what they must do and I do not pressume that someone else has to do something just because I do.  I also do not pressume that I have the right to confiscate wealth from another to redistribute.  But perhaps I'm wrong with my way of thinking....  (absolutely, positively, NOT!)

on Sep 24, 2010

After all taxes are taken, most "rich" people are getting only about 50 cents on the dollar.  Next time you see Black, demand he cut his ticket prices by 50% since we are not rich, and that would cut out the middleman (the government).

on Sep 24, 2010

Good article!  The one thing is that people like to talk the talk, but very few are willing to walk it.  Black can say that the rich should be taxed, but as long as it doesn't affect my bottom line.  They should take other people's money.

Legalizing and taxing marijuana or prostitution isn't going to solve our money situation.  One can just take a look at the fact that we tax tobacco and alcohol. Out of all drugs, research has shown that tobacco is to be the most addicting.   Tobacco fatality rate increases over the longer term of use meaning more tax money over time.  Alcohol, tobacco, and the lottery (I haven't seen how this helps seniors unless helps to get their money) I haven't seen how any of those three have helped the States financially in anyway.

on Sep 25, 2010

There is a difference between wanted the rich to pay 3% more and trying to reduce your own burden.

If the taxes go up then all the rich pay more and the government has enough money to do more stuff - so the person gains as he gains though the increase in government spending.

If he himself pays more then he loses the money but the government doesn't have enough money to do anything else either - so he loses.

One person giving more money to the government does nothing - all the rich giving extra will.

The real issue would him fighting for the increase and not paying it - or then complaining about it

on Sep 25, 2010

One person giving more money to the government does nothing - all the rich giving extra will.

Because the government knows so much better than those that create wealth. With all that extra money they can have a comedy show (other than their own amateur hour) every day in Congress. I suppose it all depends on the faith one has in the government solving ones problems for them.

on Sep 27, 2010

One person giving more money to the government does nothing - all the rich giving extra will.

Like all others who think "taxing the rich" is the solution, there are limits.  first, there are just so many rich.  Second, they are already taxed at 50% (and more) of their income, so there is not a lot to go up.  But worst of all, with perhaps some exceptions (and no, I cannot think of any), the rich do not stuff their money in a mattress.  They invest it and that investment is what hires people and makes the economy grow (the government cannot and does not).

You want to squeeze the goose for every once of gold within, not realizing that once you kill it, there will be no more eggs.

"only 3%"?  Sounds like "only a dollar".  Sure, but you are one of many standing in line to get a suckle at the teat.  When you add up all the 3%s there is nothing left.

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