Friday, July 10, 2015

Flashback: In 2011 Bill O'Reilly Threatened To Quit His Job If Obama Raised His Taxes

I was surfing the intertubes trying to search for some interesting political news when I serendipitously came across this amusing little blast from the past:

Back in 2011, the Bush tax cuts were scheduled to expire, but they were temporarily extended by President Obama and congress. But Bill O'Reilly didn't like that "temporary" part. He whined that he was already paying too much already, and if he had to pay any more, he may just take his ball and go home:

If you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in!
My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50%, which is very possible, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I like my job but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive. Is the country really entitled to half a person’s income?

Well guess what happened? At the end of 2012, President Obama was able to let some of the Bush tax cuts expire. The top federal income tax rate rose from 35% to 39.6% (as it was under Clinton) and the capital gains rate rose from 15% to 20% (also, the rate, well, partly, under Clinton). That's a total increase of almost 10 percentage points!

And yet, more two years later, Bill O's still on the air, still whining about Obama destroying America.

Of course, it's not surprising that O'Reilly decided to stick around. The man makes a good chunk of change bloviating on T.V.:

From 2009 to 2013 his salary with Fox increased to $15 Million per year. In 2013 and 2014, following his latest contract negotiation, O'Reilly made $18 million per year.

Assuming O'Reilly actually gets taxed by 50% (and let's be clear, it's not actually 50% of his entire total salary because progressive taxes don't work that way, but just for the sake of argument we'll pretend it does), that would mean his take home pay would be in $9 million per year. Not sure about you guys, but I personally wouldn't mind making "only" $9 million a year.

And this is what I find to be absolutely hilarious with O'Reilly's pathetic "threat". He, along with other right-wing blowhards constantly warn the people who tune into their programming, that if you tax the innocent little "job creators", that if you "punish success", people like them will just pack up their bags and flee to Somalia. Of course, that never happens. Just like how our millionaire and billionaire class didn't simply close up shop and take the first flight to the Soviet Union during the 1940s and 1950s when tax rates were a sky high 90%!

Even supposedly getting taxed at a 50% rate (which again, is not actually anywhere near that high because that's not how progressive taxes work and that's  not accounting for tax loopholes that people like O'Reilly can take advantage of), he's still doing better than literally 99% of the country, and most people would kill to get anywhere near what O'Reilly does.

No sentient human being should think even for a nanosecond that anyone would be stupid enough to prefer to make $0 instead of several million, just because they don't get to keep the other several million. It was just as idiotic when Sean Hannity was whining about how he was hurting with the government supposedly taking 60% of his income, and when Phil Mickelson claimed that he would quit being a millionaire professional golfer because his taxes were too high. Both of them, unsurprisingly enough, are still working despite these crushing taxes. Imagine that.

Now, is there a point where taxes would be so high that it would in fact end up being counterproductive and wind up with people actually quitting? Of course, and no liberal has ever denied that. What we argue is that we're nowhere near such potentially destructive rates, and we won't be for a good while. And so we need to be made aware that these pathetic "threats" by the likes of O'Reilly and his right-wing ilk are just used to scare the working class into voting against their own interests to make rich people even richer. Hilariously enough, O'Reilly's "warning" only ended up highlighting what a joke trickle-down economics really is.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a clip of O'Reilly recently (I'm neither American nor a wingnut, so he'd kind of passed me by til now). My goodness, he's rubbish, isn't he? I don't just mean his politics (which are obviously terrible) but he just seems to be really inept, like an intern who's been shoved on stage at the last minute because the actual host has been eaten by a bear. The man can barely form a sentence.