The Forbes 400 list is out today. That’s the 400 richest people in the United States. I’m not on there. Yet.
Let’s break it down PBE style.
#1 Bill Gates. He’s got his money, he’s busy giving it away now. As much as I dislike Microsoft, Bill Gates is now irrelevant. Computing is moving to the cloud, Google beat Microsoft to the punch on that one. Nobody’s going to spend money for Microsoft Office when they can use Google docs for free.
#2 Warren Buffett, just about the smartest guy in the room. I have it on good authority that his driver takes him down to the corner store on Sunday morning to pick up his Sunday paper. In an old Lincoln. In his pajamas. Because that’s how they roll in Nebraska. Warren Buffett is in favor of straightening out the tax code knowing that he will then and only then pay his fare share. Good on ya Warren.
#3 Larry Ellison. Still an asshole. Still my favorite billionaire asshole. Larry works the law and got a $3 million tax break on his estate in Woodside. Here’s a guy who builds an ostentatious obsolescent piece of shit Japanese style estate to his personal specifications and then when he gets his tax bill argues that it’s an ostentatious obsolescent piece of shit to get $3 million off his tax bill. The hit to the San Mateo school district was $1.4 million. That’s the kind of an asshole Larry Ellison is. I guess I like his scrappiness. And it’s the San Mateo County Tax Assessor’s fault for not telling him to stick it up his ass.
Tied at #4 are the Koch brothers. These two are the life’s blood of the Tea Party. All these idiots in the street are the foot soldiers of two men who collectively control $50 BILLION DOLLARS. These teabaggers are knuckleheads who could never ever hope to attain a 50th of the wealth that the Koch Brothers hold. The sad thing is the Tea Party rank and file don’t have the chops to ever become anything more than ignorant foot soldiers in the Koch Brothers’ class war. And that’s exactly what it is.
#5, #9 and #10 are all Waltons. Walmart. Champions of the American worker. Notsomuch. Advocates for healthcare for all Americans. Not so quick there Bucko. Friend of the lobbyist? Yep, they spent billions to get their causes forwarded. One was Bush’s dividend tax cut making them even richer. $51 million dollars richer in 2005.
#7 is George Soros. The right has said everything they can about this guy. He’s the devil. But he’s the only liberal in the group. That’s right. Out of the top 10 billionaires in America there is one bleeding heart liberal. Get it? Sheldon Adelson rounds out the group at #8. He’s the head of the Sands casino empire which is currently making buttloads of money in Asia. And everywhere else because people turn to gambling when times are tough. Booze, cigarettes and gambling. (that’s today’s stock tip by the way). Adelson is deeply involved in Israel politics. He is opposed to the two State solution and throws tons of money in that direction. Taking a page from Rupurt Murdoch’s play book, he created a Hebrew language newspaper called Israel Today to advance his ideals.
Wonder why there’s so much pushback with taxing the rich? Let’s see, the really rich guys don’t want to pay any taxes (they actually pay around 17% compared to the 35% you and me pay) so they spend money supporting politicians who will advance their cause. Those politicians do their beckoning because that’s how they get elected and they like being elected. That’s why.