Investor Tom Perkins says progressive taxation 'persecutes' the rich

Comments (38)
riposte wrote:

what a absolutely horrible association, rich people and the persecuted for race and religion, compared to, persecution of wealthy americans…wow, i thought ive heard it all….to me, the proper association might have been…,SOME rich persons and the old robber barons ,of early america…want to make a point. leave religion out of it…your showing your true colors

Feb 14, 2014 5:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Burns0011 wrote:

He’s a pure plutocrat. And guess what a representative democracy isn’t supposed to be? It’s not supposed to be a plutocracy. But thanks to Chief (in)Justice Roberts, it has now become one because of the unlimited campaign spending he’s allowed by ruling that legal constructs are the same thing as actual people.

Feb 14, 2014 6:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
pickettjm wrote:

Income distribution is the real problem. The wealthy already own the Republican party and some Democrats.

Feb 14, 2014 6:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

This guy is senile! The maximum tax rate in the U.S. on ordinary income is 39.6%. Mitt Romney (also a venture capitalist) disclosed during the 2012 campaign that he paid less than 15% in taxes. Warren Buffet is also in that tax range. If Perkins paid 75% (rolling eyes) he’s an idiot. But more likely a liar!

Feb 14, 2014 6:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Greenspan2 wrote:

When will this man stop rambling at the mouth and insulting everyone? So he wants to create a feudal America, towards which he and his ilk have already made some inroads. Just being a citizen is not enough in this man’s estimation to qualify for casting a vote in what is suppose to be a democracy, but admittedly one fast degrading. The wealthy have already been buying congressional votes and writing laws to benefit themselves, so maybe there should be no pretense of America being a democracy and equality of representation. Is it official yet, that America is a corporate, fascist state?

Feb 14, 2014 6:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
UrDrighten wrote:

Quote: “Tom Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who compared the plight of the wealthiest Americans to Jews in Nazi Germany, offered up a provocative new idea on what the rich deserve: more votes in public elections for every dollar they pay in taxes.”

It’s the perfect solution to give the bourgeoisie absolute control over the electoral process. No longer will they simply select the candidates we’re allowed to vote for; now they will also directly put their candidates into office just like they vote for CEOs in their corporations.

One man – one vote becomes one $1 – 1 vote.

Feb 14, 2014 6:35pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ELH_HUN10 wrote:

Persecute the rich, I do not think so. If they cannot afford a good tax advisor then so be it. After making over $116,000 or so,they do not not pay social security taxes, that goes aways against any progressive tax they pay. Inherintance taxes, not many pay it. They set up trusts. I guess this man is trying to get out of one of the two sure things in life.

Feb 14, 2014 7:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Colmery wrote:

If the organised and acquisitive deserve a bigger slice then why not the strong and aggressive. Making celebrities of narrowly focussed commercial winners ultimately compromises the higher achievements of humanity, it’s more disease than panacea.

Selflessness is a Christian virtue that makes subjugation to a deity seem more sensible.

Feb 14, 2014 7:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Poor billionaires. I feel like crying right now.

Feb 14, 2014 7:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
OnTheGround wrote:

The top tax rate at the beginning of the 1930s Great Depression was 25%. Herbert Hoover, trying to save his administration, raised it to 63%. It rose to over 90% in the mid-1950s, and that is how America created a middle class … Then the largest “peacetime” transfer of wealth to the top occurred from the mid-1980s to now … And what have we gotten for it? Just a bunch of celebrity show-offs and rich scum at the top hoarding their money and speculating on “derivatives” which have no asset value. It’s time to change the top tax bracket back to 70%. If the millionaires/billionaires don’t like it – let them move to China. Good riddance to them.

Feb 14, 2014 7:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Eideard wrote:

When will Perkins start passing out armbands? Red-white-and blue, of course, Patriotism is always part of fascism.

Feb 14, 2014 8:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
breezinthru wrote:

I wonder if it has occurred to Mr. Perkins that the 1% already has influence and privileges beyond what is fair such as immunity from prison sentences for crimes committed in the interest of increasing already obscene levels of wealth as evidenced by the Collapse of 2008.

I, my family and many millions more ordinary people around the world suffered painful losses due to that ubiquitous fraud. There has been no serious effort on the part of the federal court to deliver any real justice.

And now, Mr. Perkins proposes to dilute the vote of the middle class with his money so he may remove the last legal recourse of ordinary people? Wouldn’t it be grand if there were no impediment at all to his ambitions?

Mr. Perkins is clever enough to have accumulated a great deal of money but there is one very important life lesson that he has overlooked:

One should never take so much from a man that he has nothing left to lose.

Feb 14, 2014 8:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dd606 wrote:

He’s an idiot. But so are a lot of the people who assume anybody with a little money, is some sort of evil lunatic, bent on taking over the world. Most people who have a hysterical hatred of wealthy people, aren’t poor… They just aren’t rich. So in other words… They’re not p***ed because there’s not enough equality… They’re p***ed because THEY are not the ones who are rich. Big difference. Give them a couple dozen million, and their tune would change real fast.

Feb 14, 2014 9:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jrains wrote:

It looks like Mr. Perkins has succeeded in raising some hackles; the article says he meant to speak provocatively. The question still stands: why shouldn’t the wealthy and successful get more say in the affairs of the nation? Their wealth stands as testament to their abilities and superiority; do we not want proven, capable men involved in government? Surely a successful businessman wouldn’t use state power to protect and further his own interests.

Feb 14, 2014 10:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:


You are only talking about Federal Income tax. That is not the only taxes people, especially rich people pay. If he had his own business and doesn’t have any magical loopholes like Warren buffet gets, he very well could be taxed somewhere around 75%. Again that would be adding the corporate taxes, property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes. I pay a state sales tax and state income tax, as well as property taxes, and my federal income taxes.

Feb 14, 2014 10:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
zigo wrote:

… and soon we’ll hear he shot his wife and strangled his dog. Thought that they were conspiring to ‘persecute’ him.

Feb 14, 2014 10:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
nickir wrote:

He makes me laugh…he’s so stupid!

Feb 14, 2014 10:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
zigo wrote:


You’re clearly not part of the 1% … Get a better tax advisor! (No GOP’er worth his salt pays more than 15%.)

Feb 14, 2014 10:45pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tonyalfidi wrote:

Tom Perkins has declared war on American values. Plutocrats increasingly show contempt for America. Our elites search for new unifying myths. ->

Feb 14, 2014 10:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
carnivalchaos wrote:

TheNewWorld: Which of those taxes are 75%? Corporate taxes? No. Property taxes? No. State income tax? Federal income tax? Sales taxes? No, no, and no. So how does he end up paying 75% in taxes? What are you doing, adding the percentages together? He pays, say, 25% in income taxes, 25% in corporate taxes and 25% in property taxes, therefore, he pays 75% in taxes? Is that how you’re figuring?

You apparently don’t understand much about finances. Tom Perkins is NOT paying 75% in taxes. If he was, he’d increase the amount of money he’s donating to the Republican Party and demand that they lower his taxes.

Tom Perkins exemplifies the problem we have here in the US. The people with the most money think they’re owed everything and us peons should be worshiping them like kings. During the 1960s CEOs made about 40 times more than the average worker. Now it’s closer to 350 times more. The wealthy have bought out our government, have made our government pass laws that benefit them financially, while the burden on the rest of us increases, and now they want to solidify their control over us. Our Founding Fathers warned us that this might happen. It’s up to us to end their reign of privilege and for us to regain our representative democracy. We need to tax them more and start investing in our country’s future again. If they don’t like it, let them move their corporate headquarter so some less secure country, or some country where they will have to pay even higher taxes.

Feb 14, 2014 10:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

TheNewWorld..he’s a Venture Capitalist. Like Romney and Bain and Assoc. There’s an IRS loophole were fund managers and venture capitalist classify their profits as “Carried Interest”. Which gets taxed at a maximum of 15%. Google the subject. Romney got taken to task on this issue during his campaign. We ALL pay the other taxes you mention. Though some states (Texas) don’t have an Income tax. You are naive if you think he pays anywhere close to 75% in taxes. I saw a video once that walked you through how you can buy and sell a building for profit and pay zero taxes. The IRS code is some 10.000 pages long. Loaded with loopholes that benefit the richest. You will be EXTREMELY hard pressed to find any corporation in America that pays 35% or more in taxes. State Taxes and property taxes are deducted from your income before Federal taxes are applied. The only people in the U.S. that feel the full weight of the tax code are Lottery winners. On a percent of income basis, the middle class pay the highest percent of their income in taxes. See AlkalineState’s comment…I agree! Poor billionaires.

Feb 14, 2014 11:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse

You go Tom you arrogant provocative pr&ck. I respect your right to free speech and admire your courage to exercise it. But, it’s so typical of your kind to want to regress to familiar methods of the distant past to validate yourself, even when we all know those methods have already failed.
I understand your thinking. After all, what could be more fun after robbing American’s of average means of all their money and accusing them of being Nazis than to rob them of their Constitutional rights too?
Hey I know, let’s go slumming in the subways and alleys Saturday night and slap some homeless people with a wad of $100 bills and tell them what a bunch of worthless A-Holes they are.

Feb 14, 2014 11:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
loyalsys wrote:

I am a masochist who hates myself for being poor, and I would really enjoy letting the government persecute me.

So I beg you Mr.Tom Perkins help me get into the 1% or even the 2% so I can experience that intense persecution all the days of my life.

Feb 15, 2014 12:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
loyalsys wrote:

I am a masochist who hates myself for being poor, and I would really enjoy letting the government persecute me.

So I beg you Mr.Tom Perkins help me get into the 1% or even the 2% so I can experience that intense persecution all the days of my life.

Feb 15, 2014 12:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
loyalsys wrote:

Nothing wrong with being rich, so long as earned wealth is used to underwrite entrepreneurs and workers here in the US. But no good if earnings here go to build up competitive foreign nations.

That’s a major reason why our government is willing to persecute the rich by grabbing such a big hunk of their earnings.

So I say “lay on Uncle Sam”.

Feb 15, 2014 12:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
loyalsys wrote:

Nothing wrong with being rich, so long as earned wealth is used to underwrite entrepreneurs and workers here in the US. But no good if earnings here go to build up competitive foreign nations.

That’s a major reason why our government is willing to persecute the rich by grabbing such a big hunk of their earnings.

So I say “lay on Uncle Sam”.

Feb 15, 2014 12:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
Broken1 wrote:

75% tax rate? I don’t think so. As a venture capitalist, Perkins Federal capital gains rate is 20% on his earnings. Even if he claims California as his residence, he only pays 11% in state tax. Together that is less than 32%, not 75% as he complains.

Feb 15, 2014 12:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
xcanada2 wrote:

The 1%, plus circumstances, have created a lot of advantages for the 99% in the US. But, the 1% are only the 1%. They need the rest of us to do work for them. Or, if they decide that they don’t need us, as recently evidently they feel it is better for them to use the people in China or India, then in a democracy we don’t need them. After all, we need jobs. And we still have votes.

To optimize this dilemma in America for us, the 99%, we need to provide the 1% enough incentive to do their leadership business. But that is all we need to provide. For some of the 1%, what we offer, low enough taxes, will not be enough, and they can move elsewhere and see how it works out. And we, the 99%, can move on to another system without them, or work with those leaders who want to stay. That is part of what a democracy means to me.

But, if the 1% expects to starve us in to submission, under-educate us to stupidity, fight their hegemonic wars, and make us their slaves, then I’d expect they have another thing coming.

Feb 15, 2014 1:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
xcanada2 wrote:

I would add the obvious, that the rich get many more votes than than they deserve in a democracy. We have a 1 dollar-1 vote system. The rich control the government and the media, and our thinking. It is a major failure of democracy.

Feb 15, 2014 1:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

Perhaps the biggest lie in America (by politicians) is the corporate tax rate. No one pays 35%. In reality, corporate tax rates (actual tax rates) are about average compared to the rest of the world. And it’s easy to see what any corporation pays in tax. You can use MSN Money, for example. Go to that site, enter in the stock symbol of any company. Take AAPL (Apple) for example. Enter the symbol. The quote for Apple will come up. On the left side are options. Click on Income Statement. Near the bottom of those numbers is a line for “Tax Rate”. In 2013 Apple paid a tax rate of 26%. These numbers by the way come from Apple and by Federal Law they must be accurate.

Feb 15, 2014 1:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

If you follow my example of Apple…look at that Income Statement. Apple actually made (Revenue) of $170B and only paid $13B in taxes or about 8% of revenue. Using IRS tax deductions they were able to lower their taxable income to $50B. Thus 26% (tax rate) on that $50B is $13B. GE used allowable deductions from the IRS tax code to pay zero taxes in 2009 and 2010. That’s why those 10,000 pages or so of IRS tax code benefit the richest more than the rest of us.

Feb 15, 2014 1:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:

> if Germany had U.S. gun laws, “there would have never been
> a Hitler.”
Wow a reference to Nazi fascists by a leading fascist himself. One thing about fascists, they sure know how to distort reality in their favor. Nazi Germany was a 100% fascist state – just like the US congress and Perkins. That this filth Perkins has the unmitigated GAUL to identify himself as a fascist and then imply that non-fascists are persecuting HIM is simply incredible. HEY PERKINS WHY DON’T YOU READ ABOUT HOW FASCISTS LIKE YOU DESTROY EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH – YOU CAN START WITH NAZI GERMANY.

Feb 15, 2014 2:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@CarnivalChaos, XYZ, Zigo, etc.

Yeah it is additive, and I highly, highly doubt this guy pays anything close to 75%. I am talking about the taxation on the money, not income that directly hits his massive bank account. As a venture capitalist, I am sure he knows the ways to shelter his taxes. But my point is 75% tax on a dollar is not as ludicrous as it sounds if you track that dollar through a system paying the posted tax rates without any exemptions, credits, sweet heart deals etc. The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world when combined with state and local taxes. The largest businesses do not pay this tax rate, they get passes from the US government and the state governments in the name of bringing jobs to town.

US Corporate Tax Rate: 39.1%
Japan: 38%
UAE: 55% – But they have no personal income tax.

This is just at the Federal level. Lets add in state corporate income taxes.

Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota have 0 corporate tax rate.
Iowa 12%
Pennsylvania 9.9%
Minnesota 9.8%

So you take the already highest in the developed world federal tax rate at 39.1% and 12% to it. That is 51.1% corporate tax for federal and state levels. Remember Japan is second highest developed country with 38% corporate tax. You then have property taxes to pay as a corporation on your assets and property. These taxes are paid on any income that is left over after deductable expenses which do include salaries and bonuses. The 48.9% left over generally goes to cover expansion, or dividends to the stock holder.

For example, say I own 100% of the stock in a company. It shows $100,000 in profits. The taxes takes away $51,100 of that money. I get a dividend check for $48,900. I then have to pay income tax on that money. That dividend payment is taxed at the preferred rate of 15% which is why Romney and the rich investors show up paying so little in taxes on the federal level. In reality, the Federal government has taken 39.1% + 15% of that money in taxes. That is 54.1% going to the Federal government on your investment income. If the business is out of Iowa, you are 62.1%. That is 62.1% of that money taxed, before you include state income tax, local income tax, sales tax, property tax, etc. Iowa has a top rate of 8.9%. That is 71%. Iowa state sales tax is 6%.

A theoretical corporation based in Iowa paying the top tax rate on US and State corporate taxes to an individual living in Iowa, and only purchasing things in Iowa, would be 77% from the time the money was declared as a profit, and given as a dividend to the Venture Capitalist. I didn’t even go into all of the hidden taxes and fees you pay elsewhere as a business, or as an individual with energy taxes, fees on your cell bill, water/sewer fees, gasoline, etc. We are taxed everywhere all the time.

The dirty part of this scenario is the ultra wealthy don’t pay this. This guy doesn’t pay this. But if you or I want to start a business to compete with these people we have to pay it and are at a huge disadvantage. They are using the tax system to stay in power indefinitely, and many of the 99% thinks we should further solidify their power by increasing taxes that they will never pay.

Feb 15, 2014 4:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
riposte wrote:

one thing, I will say in defense of Perkins….all humanity, has at one point, envied, coveted, what others have, at every level…the American dream was, you could go out and get it….find out what it takes, then work each level, up and beyond, what it calls for..learn what it takes to survive, at that next level…. again, work extra hard and perform above expectations, learn what it takes to survive at the next level and…..repeat, repeat….or start a business, take a chance out of your garage, with a new idea….America , was built on these premises…want to play it safe, then forget being wealthy, unless you get inheritance…..those that have made it in this country, should not be chastised for such, as they are now being done by a political hack…bad behavior,illegal behavior, they are not above the law, stick it to them, like everyone else…but to be singled out, for success, envy, coveting thy neighbors…noo, not the American way….get off our duffs, if we want it that bad, go out work nites, where u can get promoted, start a business, where u can succeed, quit your job and go where there are NEW chances for promotion….yes, that’s the American way, or certainly used to be…don’t believe in pied pipers, like Obama….they make noise and mostly divide us, lie to us, and hurt us all in the end..

Feb 15, 2014 8:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
lottopol wrote:

“..In free-market capitalism, capital generates income for the owners of the capital which in turn is used to create additional capital. This is very good. Sometimes, it can be actually too good. As capital continues to accumulate, its owners find it more and more difficult to deploy it efficiently. The business sector generally must interact with the household sector by selling goods and services or lending to them. When capital accumulates too rapidly, the productive capacity of the business sector can outpace the ability of the household sector to absorb the increasing production.

The capitalists, or if you prefer, job creators use their increasing wealth and income to reinvest, thus increasing the productive capacity of the business they own. They also lend their accumulated wealth to other business as well as other entities after they have exhausted opportunities within business they own. As they seek to deploy ever more capital, excess factories, housing and shopping centers are built and more and more dubious loans are made. This is overinvestment. As one banker described the events leading up to 2008 – First the banks lent all they could to those who could pay them back and then they started to lend to those could not pay them back. As cash poured into banks in ever increasing amounts, caution was thrown to the wind. For a while consumers can use credit to buy more goods and services than their incomes can sustain. Ultimately, the overinvestment results in a financial crisis that causes unemployment, reductions in factory utilization and bankruptcies all of which reduce the value of investments.

If the economy was suffering from accumulated chronic underinvestment, shifting income from the non-rich to the rich would make sense. Underinvestment would mean there was a shortage of shopping centers, hotels, housing and factories were operating at 100% of capacity but still not able to produce as many cars and other goods as people needed. It might not seem fair, but the quickest way to build up capital is to take income away from the middle class who have a high propensity to consume and give to the rich who have a propensity to save (and invest). Except for periods in the 1950s and 1960s and possibly the 1990’s when tax rates on the rich just happened to be high enough to prevent overinvestment, the economy has generally suffered from periodic overinvestment cycles.

It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the 1929 and 2007 depressions. The Revenue acts of 1926 and 1928 worked exactly as the Republican Congresses that pushed them through promised. The dramatic reductions in taxes on the upper income brackets and estates of the wealthy did indeed result in increases in savings and investment. However, overinvestment (by 1929 there were over 600 automobile manufacturing companies in the USA) caused the depression that made the rich, and most everyone else, ultimately much poorer.

Since 1969 there has been a tremendous shift in the tax burdens away from the rich on onto the middle class. Corporate income tax receipts, whose incidence falls entirely on the owners of corporations, were 4% of GDP then and are now less than 1%. During that same period, payroll tax rates as percent of GDP have increased dramatically. The overinvestment problem caused by the reduction in taxes on the wealthy is exacerbated by the increased tax burden on the middle class. While overinvestment creates more factories, housing and shopping centers; higher payroll taxes reduces the purchasing power of middle-class consumers. …”

Feb 15, 2014 10:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:

This effectively has little to do with tax rates and everything to do with Fascism, the tax rate is the tip of the iceberg with the Fascist. Fascists believe the state must take loans to create jobs for the poor they created to feed the GOD of all Fascists – the corporation. Fascism is the unholy alliance between corporate power and government.
This results in the current situation in America – corruption, secrecy, theocracy, militarism and spying by a ruling corporate elite GANG. This filth controls media and congress, everything necessary to get their way which is more power and more money. WAKE UP TO YOUR FASCIST COUNTRY AMERICA.

Feb 15, 2014 11:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

The New World…read the attached article…..U.S. corporations pay on average an effective tax rate of 12.6%…now show me a legitimate article to back up your claim. You apparently didn’t read my other comments above. Biggest lie in America is that U.S. corporations pay the highest taxes in the world.

Feb 15, 2014 1:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
libertas wrote:

I know it is counter to our concept of a representative form of government but I think his idea has some merit in principle. What I mean is, if you don’t have ‘skin in the game’ you shouldn’t have a say in how the government raises or spends money. What we are seeing now is a rise in the number of people not paying taxes that are more than willing to vote themselves more government funds which are paid for by those who do pay taxes. Since the big word these days is ‘fairness’ it should be obvious that this isn’t fair.

Feb 16, 2014 12:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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