I figured it out.
First, the whole “patriotic millionaires” thing. These are the millionaires who are demanding that they get taxed at a higher rate:
Los Altos resident Doug Edwards asked President Obama something that many Americans would consider unthinkable: “Would you please raise my taxes?”
Edwards, 53, can afford it. Retired after being amply compensated for being employee No. 59 at Google, he’s part of a Bay Area-birthed organization called Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.
While Edwards’ question and the 200-millionaire-member group he belongs to drew wide notice during Obama’s Bay Area visit last week, they drive at one of the most contentious issues in Washington: Would raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans stall investment in the economy?
The Patriotic Millionaires contend that Americans with incomes over $1 million should shoulder a larger share of the tax burden to pay for Pell Grants, road improvements and training programs “that made it possible for me to get to where I am,” as Edwards told Obama during the president’s appearance last week at the Mountain View social networking company LinkedIn.
Second, Roseanne Barr is demanding the guillotine (or, as she says, “gillo-tin”) for rich bankers:
“Part of my platform is, of course, the guilty must be punished and that we no longer let our children see their guilty leaders getting away with murder. Because it teaches children, you know, that they don’t have to have any morals as long as they have guns and are bullies and I don’t think that’s a good message,” Barr told Russia Today (RT).
“I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty.
“I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded,” Barr said with a straight face.
Here’s what I figured out: It’s a scam. It’s the millionaires’ equivalent of “Hey, rioters! Don’t burn my store. Some of my best friends are black.”
With protesters on Wall Street demanding millionaire blood, the millionaires are announcing that they’re even more radical than the protesters. But just as the protesters wear $100 fashion statement shoes (see the second to last photo at the link), these millionaires are also kidding. As even the AP figured out, Warren Buffet pays lower taxes than his secretary because he pays himself a smaller taxable income.
In other words, millionaires can always figure out a way to avoid the tax bite. Congress will listen to these “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength,” change the tax code to tax the rich more, and the rich will vanish: they’ll send their money (and their jobs) offshore, they’ll put cash under their mattresses, and they’ll pay their accountants beaucoup bucks to find loopholes and more loopholes. For millionaires, it’s always a Potemkin tax code. Far better to have a flat tax where everyone just pays.
As for Roseanne, her disgusting shtick is also a game of “behead me last“:
If this was humor, the only part that was funny was the economics. I’m pretty sure ABC didn’t pay her in hippie beads when she ruled the Nielsen charts in the 1980s and 1990s. Her sister filed a $70 million lawsuit for her share of the proceeds from the TV series Roseanne (thrown out for statute-of-limitations issues), which strongly suggests that Barr exceeded her own “maximum wage” limitation.
These millionaires think they’re being clever with their faux populist speak. However, the only thing I can think of is Winston Churchill:
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Here are a couple of nice photos of London a few short years after Chamberlain appeased Hitler: