27 September 2010

Bill Maher rants about obscenely rich people

"I've done some math that indicates that, considering the hole this country is in, if you are earning more than a million dollars a year and are complaining about a 3.6% tax increase, then you are by definition a greedy asshole...

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said, "I don't know where they're going to get all this money, because we're running out of rich people in this country." Actually, we have more billionaires here in the U.S. than all the other countries in the top ten combined, and their wealth grew 27% in the last year. Did yours?

Even 39% isn't high by historical standards. Under Eisenhower, the top tax rate was 91%. Under Nixon, it was 70%. Obama just wants to kick it back to 39 -- just three more points for the very rich. Not back to 91, or 70. Three points. And they go insane...

Maybe the worst whiner of all: Stephen Schwarzman, #69 on Forbes' list of richest Americans, compared Obama's tax hike to "when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939." Wow..."
The rest of the rant is on Alternet.


  1. is it a rant? Is he raving mad or offering reasonable, factual arguments? Maher sometimes rants. Maybe he did in the segment.

  2. What boggles my mind is the ever-widening disparity between the worker and the boss. Companies lay off people, expect those that are left to do their own work plus that of the departed all for the same money while the bosses are raking in millions is salary, stock options and bonuses. That's not a formula for a healthy democracy.

  3. While I struggle the argument personally, I think the counter is compelling, with a couple of assumptions:

    1. The rich person actually earned the money (either by risking capital in investments or by building a business over a number of years or decades); and
    2. The rich person doesn't treat people unfairly in business (i.e. pays a competitive wage and benefit package for workers and avoids poor hiring and firing practices).

    If these two conditions are met, who am I to say that that person should pay a higher percentage of earnings than me for services that they won't take advantage of?

    If those conditions are met, and the rich person is taxed at such a rate as to become a cash cow for government, what then is the incentive for people to excel?

    "A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it."

  4. My God, is it SUCH a rant.

    Here is the money quote for me:

    "First off, far from being vilified, we bailed you out -- you mean we were supposed to give you all that money and kiss your ass, too? That's Hollywood you're thinking of. FDR, he knew how to vilify; this guy, not so much. And second, you should have been vilified -- because you're the vill-ains! I'm sure a lot of you are very nice people. And I'm sure a lot of you are jerks. In other words, you're people. But you are the villains. Who do you think outsourced all the jobs, destroyed the unions, and replaced workers with desperate immigrants and teenagers in China. Joe the Plumber?"

    Everyone who earns enough to be the target of this tax rise is a 'villain', was 'bailed out', is 'a jerk'. Everyone else is Joe the Plumber.

    There's no distinction between those who are rich because they're in fact just really productive member of society, and should be compensated for it. And yeah, that includes risking your money in capital.

    And Bill is now telling us that a small business owner who earns under $250k is not going to be a jerk to his employees?

    And, he's being very specific, and incredibly biased, when he says they're villains for 'destroying the unions' and 'outsourcing jobs'.

  5. I don't like him much, but he's on point here. Bachmann is walking, chitinous, hysterical brain tumor capabale of speaking only in specious hyperbole.


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