KISS’ Gene Simmons Instructs “Poor People” to “Try Being Nice to Rich People”
Hey, did you know that Gene Simmons is a vapid, morally bankrupt lummox? Shocking, but true, as demonstrated by a new interview with U-T San Diego.
See, for reasons that aren’t at all clear from the context of the piece, Simmons gloated to writer George Varga that “I have been part of the 1 percent for the past 30 years.” Varga, in turn, asked Simmons what it’s like to be part of the one percent, to which 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.”
And, hey, wanna hear something kinda funny (in a very sad way)? “One percent” isn’t just the figure up for discussion here — it’s the amount of Simmons’ statement that’s not TOTAL BULLCRAP!
For one thing, the whole “fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes” thing? TOTAL BULLCRAP! No less an authority than The Washington Post has scolded Simmons for failing to make a distinction between “all taxes” and “income taxes”:
In other words, substitute the phrase “all taxes” for “income taxes,” and the picture changes dramatically. When all federal taxes are included, the percentage of people who pay no taxes drops to 14 percent, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.
Two-thirds of those people are elderly, and most of the rest have annual incomes below $20,000. That means that only about 1 percent of the people who pay neither income nor payroll taxes are not elderly and have incomes above $20,000. Presumably, however, they pay other taxes, such as sales taxes.
And Simmons’ assertion that “the 1 percent pays 80 percent of all taxes”? TOTAL BULLCRAP! From TWP:
The top 1 percent actually pays about 26 percent of all taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center. 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.
Okay, but what about the part where Simmons says that “If the 1 percent didn’t exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead”? Y’know — the argument for trickle-down economics? Shocker: it’s TOTAL BULLCRAP!
Trickle-down economics don’t work. The entire theory has been disproven again and again and again. In fact, research shows that economic inequality is harmful to society, as explained by Richard Wilkinson in the terrific TED Talk:
So did Simmons say anything that wasn’t TOTAL BULLCRAP? Well, yeah: I think we can all agree that it probably is fantastic to be part of the one percent. Y’know, so long as you have no conscience whatsoever.