Watch out Ted Nuget, Gene Simmons is edging into your territory. While giving an interview to U-T San Diego, Simmons gloated to writer George Varga about his membership in the one percent, and regurgitated Voodoo Economics nonsense and tired, debunked right-wing talking points.
The reasons why Simmons was bragging to Varga aren’t entirely clear from the piece, but Simmons told to Varga that “I have been part of the one percent for the past 30 years,” and when asked what it was like to be part of the one percent, Simmons responded:
“It’s fantastic! The 1 percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes. The 1 percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the 1 percent didn’t exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead. Try being nice to rich people. I don’t remember the last poor person who gave me a job.”
That’s a heaping load of bull.
To start with, I do remember the last poor person who gave me a job. But I don’t remember the last time that a rich person gave me a job. In fact, in the 30 some years that I’ve been around, I don’t ever recall a rich person even offering me a job. And who does Simmons think buys his albums? The wealthy?
And of course, there’s that Zombie Lie that 47%-50% of Americans don’t pay taxes, when, in fact, they do — so long as “all taxes” is substituted for “income taxes.” Then, the numbers of people paying no taxes at all drops to around 14%, according to The Washington Post.
That lie is compounded by his comment that the one percent pays 80% of “all taxes.” According to that same Washington Post article, it’s only 26%:
The top 1 percent actually pays about 26 percent of all federal taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center. (A report from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy pegs the figure at nearly 24 percent if state and local taxes are included.) Even if you count only income taxes, it works out to 34 percent. Note that the top 1 percent pays just 4 percent of payroll taxes, as the burden of those taxes falls more heavily on the lower and middle classes.
That’s if they pay taxes at all. Most corporations (which are considered people for legal purposes) are notorious tax dodgers. If corporations are thieves, why should I think any better of the 1% that runs them? More often than not, it’s the working poor and fading middle class that end up shouldering the burden left by the feckless parasites that Simmons so proudly proclaims to be one of.
So was there anything at all true in what he said? It true that it’s probably fantastic to be a member of the 1%.
At least, it is for now.
h/t Metal Sucks