Beautiful Kim Faces Ugly Tax Increase

Beautiful Kim Faces Ugly Tax Increase

Commentary

JAN. 4, 2012

By JOHN SEILER

It sounds like a sequel to a Clint Eastwood movie: The Beautiful, the Bad and the Ugly.”

The beautiful is Kim Kardashian. The bad are the tax increasers. And the ugly is the tax increase itself.

I don’t know if Kim reads our Web site. Maybe somebody can pass this along to her.

But I hope she resists the attempt by greedy union bosses to push her into backing their assault on taxpayers, beginning with her. The unions, who control Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature, have mismanaged this state into insolvency. Giving them more tax money would be like giving a drunk a bottle of 151-proof Bacardi after his liver already blew out.

Don’t do it, Kim! Fight the unions instead.

The unions and their allies are running an ugly campaign against beautiful Kim. Here’s the video:

But it’s going to backfire. Because Kim is beautiful and the union bosses’ greed is ugly.

Beauty naturally attracts us: a beautiful building, sunset, painting, sculpture — woman.

Ugliness repulses. And there’s nothing more repulsive than government greed. The fat cats in government, and the government unions in California that control the government, always appeal to envy. They want you to hate rich people so you raise taxes — and enrich the unions.

But it’s going to backfire because Kim is so beautiful that people will be against the attack on her. In fact, when they see the video, people only will see her, not the attack. I had to watch that video five times before I noticed the numbers. And I’m good at numbers.

Another reason is that more people know where the tax money will go: not to schools, but to greedy pension payments. Even if a tax increase is “targeted” at education, all government money is fungible. If new tax money goes to education, they’ll just cut education funding from other taxes and divert that money to pensions.

There now are 12,199 California government retirees who make more than $100,000 a year from their pensions. The top one is Bruce V. Malkenhorst, a former Vernon official who makes $530,268.24 a year for his pension.

Next is one of those educators who did it “for the children,” Joaquin M. Fuster, retired from UCLA, who grabs a $314,712.96 pension. Then there’s Donald R. Gerth, formerly of Cal State Sacramento, who gets $295,086.24.

Kim — if you’re still reading — this is where your money would go if they raise your taxes. It would not go to the kids in the classroom.

Appeal to Envy

The video shows how Kim made $12 million in 2010, but a “middle-class Californian” made only $47,000. It then asks, “BUT KIM MUST PAY A LOT IN TAXES, RIGHT???”

Then the ad says Kim paid 10.3 percent in taxes to the state, but a middle-class Californian paid only 9.3 percent.

Big mistake. Most people are going to be shocked that they pay 9.3 percent. “That much!” they’ll exclaim. “For that I get this crummy government?”

The ad asks: “DON’T YOU THINK SHE COULD PAY A LITTLE MORE?” More pictures of stunning Kim. “ESPECIALLY TO FUND EDUCATION AND CRITICAL SERVICES?” No mention is made of the massive pensions, which is where the money really would go.

We then see pictures of students, firefighters, etc., who supposedly would get the money. No mention that firefighters in Orange County, for example, make $175,000 a year on average in pay and benefits — quite a bit more than that $47,000.

It then says, “ASK KIM TO SUPPORT THE MILLIONAIRES TAX OF 2012.” They forgot the apostrophe after MILLIONAIRES. Next frame: “NOT EVERYONE WAS BORN A KARDASHIAN.” Next frame: “BUT WE ALL NEED TO PAY OUR FAIR SHARE.”

It ends with: “THIS MESSAGE HAS NOT BEEN ENDORSED BY KIM KARDASHIAN…YET.”

Let’s hope it never is.

Innumerate Taxers

Then there’s the innumeracy of the people who made this commercial, the Courage Campaign.

The ad dishonestly does not point out the amounts these people pay. For one thing, the percentages cited are only the marginal amounts paid on the top dollar. In fact, nowadays the 9.3 percent tax kicks in at about $55,000 of income. So a $47,000 yearly salary would not be taxed at 9.3 percent. And everyone gets some kind of deductions.

The actual percentages paid probably are something like 4 percent for the middle-class person making $47,000 a year, not the 9.3 percent rate. And Kim’s actual tax rate probably is something like 7 percent, after deductions.

And the ad misleads by not showing the actual amounts paid. If we go by my guesses in the previous paragraph of the percentages paid, the middle-class person would paid $1,880  (4 percent of $47,000). But Kim would pay $840,000 (7 percent of $12 million).

Quite a difference: $1,880 vs. $840,000. Most Californians, even the middle-class and poor, would say Kim paid her “fair share.” She paid 447 times as much as the middle-class person.

Then there’s the innumeracy on the Courage Campaign’s Web site. They’re touting the TaxKimK.com Web site. But it redirects you immediately to the video site.

Above the video we read, “Kim Kardashian made more than $12 million in 2010, but she only paid 1% more in taxes than a middle-class Californian” (emphasis in original).

They mean 1 percentage point. As the ad we’ve analyzed about shows, they’re talking about the difference between the 9.3 percent nominal rate paid by the middle class and the 10.3 percent rate paid by millionaires. The difference is one percentage point: 10.3 – 9.3 = 1.

The Courage Campaign says the tax would go to help fund education. But they need a remedial math course themselves.

Finally, these innumerates don’t understand that Kim can just leave the state for one with more freedom — then pay no state taxes here, even sales or property taxes. Nevada, Florida, Texas, Washington and New Hampshire have no state income taxes.

If you make taxes so high that taxpayers leave, then your tax revenues drop.

The problem in California is not that Kim Kardashian pays too little in taxes, but that we don’t have enough beautiful millionairesses.

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  1. HombreLibre
    HombreLibre 5 January, 2012, 18:08

    The entire public pension system is a Ponzi scheme.

    I was never very strong in math, so, let me see if I have this right…

    Mr. X starts working for the state of Cali at age 25 and is an official member of the SEIU. He can retire at age 45 with a pension guaranteed at 100% of his highest wage, including medical, dental, etc. Mr. X pays his union dues dutifully.

    Now, let’s say that Mr. X gives his 20 years of service to the state and SEIU and retires at age 45, and then lives to the ripe old age of 85 years.

    So, for 20-years of “service” he receives a total of 60-years of income. No wonder we’re broke.

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  2. Capitalist Pig
    Capitalist Pig 6 January, 2012, 13:10

    These guys and their ilk sicken me. Nothing but dirt bag redistributionists who haven’t made their own way in life. I don’t like Kim Kardasian, but I hopes she makes 24 million this year, if that is what the market is willing to pay her for her services.

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Courage CampaignJohn SeilerKim KardashianTaxes

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