Stephen King places ‘the 1%’ ‘Under the Dome’

By Matthew Hurtt

Stephen King’s 2009 novel Under the Dome details one small Maine town’s dilemma when an invisible, impenetrable barrier cuts them off from the rest of the world. The antagonist of the story, Second Selectman “Big Jim” Rennie, sets about aggressively expanding his power (by extension, government’s) at the expense of the townspeople until the story’s fiery climax.

I love reading Stephen King novels, and Under the Dome is probably my favorite. King illustrates just how dangerous government’s quest for power can be.

Fast forward to 2012 where King pens a piece for The Daily Beast titled, “Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!” As you might imagine, liberal King begs the government to tax him at a higher rate, explaining his charitable donations to libraries, fire departments and other entities do not go quite far enough to fund government largesse.

He throws in some Occupy Wall Street rhetoric and a few fat jokes about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) just for kicks, but there are a some assertions King makes that are misleading or just plain wrong.

First, King says the wealthiest Americans pay a smaller percentage of their income to the federal government than the middle class and seems to believe the rich should pay “more,” which is a vague term used by the Left. Tax data reveals that the “top 1%” already pay more than 30% of federal income taxes, not to mention countless other taxes levied on businesses and the wealthy.

None who argue for higher taxes on the rich can come up with a figure, though. How much more is enough, Mr. King? 40%? 50%? 66.67%?

The reasons some wealthy Americans pay less taxes as a percentage of their income than the middle class are (1) our federal tax code is exceedingly complex and (2) wealthy folks hire high-priced lobbyists to push exemptions and hire expensive tax attorneys and accountants to navigate the thousands and thousands of pages that is our Internal Revenue Code.

By simplifying the tax code, lowering rates, and eliminating many exemptions, everyone will be better off. House Republican Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (Wisc.) proposed just such reforms.

Of course, if that’s not enough, King and his colleagues in the top 1% are more than welcome to use pay.gov to give more of their money to the government.

King’s second grievance with our system is the notion that the richer people get, the more jobs they create. He tosses out a bit of anecdotal evidence then suggests the rich don’t create jobs with their wealth. They invest it instead.

I don’t fault King for his ignorance here. He clearly doesn’t understand what an investment is or does.

An investment is a loan to a company (or companies) that allows them to develop a new product, or drug, or whatever with the understanding that – if that company succeeds – the investor will receive his initial investment and a share of the profits back.

These investments fund research and development, industry experts, folks on the factory line, marketing, etc.  If I invest $20 in Apple, that money is going to make their iPads and iPhones cheaper, more durable, faster and better. I win and society wins because Apple produces a better product – all because of my and other investments.

King’s third complaint is that these investments then fund overseas production of goods, creating jobs and opportunities for folks at below-U.S. market rates. Unlike King’s Under the Dome, we aren’t living in a bubble. If a manufacturer can make it cheaper and better elsewhere, it still makes us all better off.

At this point, King suggests non-union factories in the South are of the “barely-gettin’-by” variety, in that people who work on these assembly lines don’t make enough money to live on.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-union employees in manufacturing positions make about $35,000 annually. It’s not “barely gettin’ by.”

Lastly, King bemoans “the rich are hallowed” in the U.S., and as well they should be. In this nation, anyone can work hard and improve their status.

What better example of this than King, a man whose father abandoned him at the age of two and left his mother and adopted brother to fend for themselves. King graduated from college with a degree in English and sold short stories to make ends meet.

The truth is, our government has become unwieldy and corrupt, like “Big Jim” Rennie in Under the Dome. Our elected leaders and their allies in popular culture must stop demonizing and penalizing success before our nation devolves into one of King’s horror stories.

Comments

Polititainment

Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]
Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

Colbert announces plan to defeat ISIS
President Barack Obama might not have a strategy for defeating ISIS in Syria, but never fear,  comedian Stephen Colbert has him covered. Colbert announced a unique plan Thursday night that involves raising Ronald Reagan from the grave, a captive radio audience and Monty Python-esque horse sound effects. “Remember in 1938 the radio broadcast of ‘War […]
Brand: ISIS better than conservatives
Actor Russell Brand took to Youtube Wednesday to compare terrorist group ISIS to conservatives, eventually coming to the conclusion that conservatives in power were worse than ISIS. Brand was recording yet another video aimed at attacking Fox News when he made the statements about ISIS. He was responding to Fox host Greg Gutfeld’s comments about Brand’s […]
Biden congratulates 'Veep' on Emmy win
From one Vice President to another… Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter Tuesday to congratulate actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her Emmy win. Louis-Dreyfus snagged her third consecutive Outstanding Actress in a Comedy series win Monday for her portrayal of a fictional vice president on HBO’s “Veep.” Last year, the VP picked up the phone […]

White House

Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

White House flirt Joe Biden turns on the charm for 108-year-old veteran Lucy Coffey

Joe Biden continues to brand himself the White House flirt. In a recently released video of Biden's July 25 meeting with Lucy Coffee, the vice president kisses the 108-year-old war veteran on the cheek and hand and tells her, "I'm the guy that loves you."

Congress

Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.

Rubio: Obama action would kill immigration reform
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is urging President Barack Obama to forego taking executive action on immigration, warning that would kill any chance for comprehensive immigration reform. “If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” […]