Frank Louis
Why not a celebrity tax: Put an end to the wage gap...why not cap these incomes!
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By Frank Louis
December 22, 2017

Yes you Leftist Liberals, the solution is in hand. Right here in this brief column. The Celebrity Tax and Income Caps! I am just amazed that none of you thought it up before I did. Funny, how these people complain about a growing income gap and seem to focus on creating a welfare state with token dollars thrown at the minimum wage but seem to overlook the contributions their disproportionately high income levels make in creating this "problem." I have often said (and wrote about this not all that long ago) let's look at increasing the maximum wage, not the minimum. Let's create wealth opportunities. And now, I am adding, let's limit salaries paid to those in the media, entertainment, sports and politics. They are, themselves, creating an ever increasing disparity in income between themselves and the regular folks.

Recently, scanning the cable for fake news (actually I like to hear the contrasts in point of view when I can), Rachael Madcow on MSMBC was griping about the new Trump Tax Bill and telling us that it is the top 1% who are getting the lion's share of the tax relief. Well, they do pay the bulk of the taxes don' they? Rachael... Aren't you in that one-percent? Why don't you just ask to just be paid less?

From what I read, (For example the Tax Foundation website), the top one-percent of all taxpayers (taxpayers with AGIs of $428,713 and above), earned 19.04 percent of all AGI in 2013, but paid 37.980 percent of all federal income taxes. In 2013, the top 1 percent of taxpayers accounted for more income taxes paid than the entire bottom 90 percent combined. That is fair?

But putting that aside, I had a couple of thoughts.... Income Caps and the Celebrity Tax! Yes, maximum income folks can earn in certain occupations. That, and perhaps a "celebrity tax." Yes, I am serious and I will be happy to explain why. It is actually rather obvious... actually. How about an 85% Income tax on celebrities? And a cap on just how much money they can earn. I like it, I like it.

The experts will all tell you that this income divide between poor and middle class and the wealthy has broadened increasingly since the 1970s. And it has. They blame it on greedy corporate COs. So, let's look at some other reasons why the income gap is expanding. Lets look at celebrity incomes during that time period and see if you agree with me.

In fact, if you look at the charts, the gab began in the 1960s. Long around the time Broadway Joe (Namath) was hired by the NY Jets for a shocking $427,000 contract for over three years. That, my friends, should tell you everything you need to know about this bogus "income gap." That was 1965.

Prior to that, professional athletes, according to articles I have researched, were paid an average of $5,000 a year. Most supplemented their income with off-season jobs, like selling cars or insurance. Yu don't see too much of that these days. I know this for a fact because my father was in the public relations business in those years and represented and knew many celebrities in many fields. In 1937, I read somewhere, Henry Fonda earned a grand total of $56,208. A sizable chunk I would add because many people earned around $800 that same year or just a bit over 1% of Mr. Fonda's income, but he did not earn hundreds of millions a year. Today, let's just say that the average income is $40,000... (The Urban Institute defined the middle class as adults with size-adjusted household incomes of between $30,000 and $100,000 for families of three.) Look up the number of celebrities earning around one hundred million dollars a year and see if you agree with me where this growing income gap is coming from.

I remember meeting Jack Dempsey around 1960 in a hotel restaurant in Canada when I was traveling with my father. Mr. Dempsey, then a restaurant owner, earned, I believe, around $24,000 a year at the time. He had coffee with us, signed a few autographs in the lobby, and took a cab to the train station. A far cry from the likes of Floyd Mayweather with his career earnings of over $700 million. No entourages, no body guards, no limos, no... just a regular guy. No income gap!

Don't any of these Antifa radicals get it? The very people they worship are the people creating the income gap. How many hundreds of millions of dollars have these ungrateful celebrities given to their communities? Seriously, what percentage of their inflated earnings do they part with? A very, very small percentage I can guarantee you. Leftists... do the math. And don't get me going on hedge funds. These people, like George Soros earn their money by making others loose theirs. Not by making things for others to use.

I really hold no grudge against the "barons of industry" that earn tens of millions, even billions providing goods and services... products that make our lives better. My laissez faire attitude, however, ends when these people play the system, running the economy into the ground while short selling their stocks and taking multi million severance payouts in the process. Like George Soros for example who initially gained his wealth by breaking national economies and, in the process, making millions of people very, very poor. These "beautiful people," in the conclusion I have reached after doing my research, have no business creating such a widening income disparity. They talk from both sides of their mouths. They need to surrender up to 95% of their earnings as a tax. and have their earning power capped just like a carpenter or other unionized worker.

How many politicians as I have previously written about (especially the liberal ones) have increased their wealth by hundreds of millions of dollars while "in service" to this country? This does not contribute to that dreaded, ever growing income gap? I think it does. I really do.

Do the math. Set term limits. Set income limits too on politicians who also have become celebrities in the process. They should pay the 85% celebrity tax on these earnings. Maybe a 95% Political Office Tax? I like it, I like it!

How about that celebrity tax? Rachael Madcow's annual earnings, I read, is around $7 million. Really? How about Morning Joe... Chris Mathews... Lester Holt? All in the several million dollars a year bracket that's for sure. Look it up. While I was not able to collect numbers on the salaries of Walter Cronkite and others from the pre 1970s era, you can bet it was not in the millions. I believe at one time he earned just a few dollars a week. These folks are not contributing to that ever growing "income gap?"

Income gaps are created because economies grow and more and more people earn more and more money. If they were not permitted to do so, why would they bother? If someone is responsible for a corporation that has implications globally, they deserve to be wealthy in my book. However, not if they make a living creating havoc, perhaps acting, singing etc or playing a game while spreading, in the process, unrest and misinformation and complaining about the very economic system and country that affords them the opportunity to do so. How about these people "self-capping" their incomes and being taxed at a special rate?

Aso, as we prepare to celebrate Christmas, I wish my readers a very merry Christmas and a great 2018 New year!

© Frank Louis

 

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Frank Louis

Frank Louis is a print and on-air commentator who offers opinions and solutions on and for the economy, social issues, and the future of this nation. In the Old Testament, Nehemiah 4: 14 instructs us to fight for our houses; something we need to be doing now. Our future generations depend on it!... (more)

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