The Billionaire’s Lament

Poor, poor, pitiful me

Paraisopólis shantytown next to its wealthy neighbor Morumbi, in São Paulo, Brazil. PHOTO: Tuca Vieira
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Most of you out there have no idea what it is like to be a billionaire. OK, none of you do. You may think it is easy to have a mansion or six on every continent, to own your own islands, to blow 10 grand a day on champagne, and to get down with Bono at the World Capitalist … er, I mean, Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

You wouldn’t understand — it’s a rich thing.

What you just don’t understand is that the more mansions you have, the more “help” you employ, and the more they want to stay in the main house. Why is it my problem that they have to take five buses to get to work every day? All right, I do admit that “home” is a generous word for a shack made of scrap wood. But they wouldn’t have those issues if they’d made the same career choices I did!

But here’s the thing that really chaps my ass: taxes. Finally, those clowns in Congress gave me some relief. It took them long enough! After countless dinners at my penthouse in Miami Beach with Marco Rubio, and what seems like millions of hours playing pool and drinking single malt with that boring Mitch McConnell, and even taking Bob Corker to strip clubs in Dubai — I’m exhausted. It costs me weeks of therapy to get over all this!

Tax bill goodies. I may already have more money than I know what to do with, but this thing signed by Trump on December 22 is going to deliver some serious coin. I was flying on my G6 to Monte Carlo on Christmas Eve when I watched Trump on satellite say, “You just got a lot richer” to the crowd at his “winter White House” in Mar-a-Lago.

Let me be brief, cutting the top corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 per cent is solid gold. Not to mention that we often don’t pay these taxes anyway. But the seismic change in the new tax plan is the 20 percent cut in “pass-through” income. Pass-through corporations are a special classification in the tax code. It turns one part of a huge corporation, like a single Trump hotel, into a separate “small business,” which only has to pay taxes on 80 percent of its income. And I won’t have to pay a battalion of lawyers to dodge the rules and sneak money into tax havens. That’s good business.

Trump boasted about the new tax bill being good for workers and the “middle class.” Not that I care, but spare me! The cuts to individual taxes are mostly temporary, and the paltry $75 a year that working families earn from the increase in the child tax credit may just pay for part of a week’s worth of groceries. Some say it was cruel to halt deductions for teachers who pay for classroom supplies with their own money. But hey, they can always change jobs if they don’t like it. Anyway, this deduction was retained at the last minute.

Trump plans to slash $2.5 trillion from Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security over ten years in order to pay for tax cuts to the wealthiest. They say that at the end of ten years, people living in poverty in the U.S. will increase 10 or 20 million from the current 43 million, and the number of homeless may increase to two million from 550,000 today. But giving a tax break to people who already have nothing is condescending at best. It’s unfortunate, but someone’s got to pay for my way of life, and I guess that someone is you!

 A hustle here and a hustle there. Don’t tell anybody I said this, but in my most introspective moments, I admit I really don’t need tax relief. Like I said, I am really, really rich. But I have an economic system and my own comfort to uphold, so I have to take as much as I can. Besides, if I don’t, others will. It’s eat or be eaten, I always say.

Let’s do some basic math. In 2017 alone, I personally earned $800 million. Even if the Feds taxed me at 90 percent, I would still have cleared $80 million. Yes, I said “Eighty Million.” I am no Bolshevik, but it seems to me the commies got it right. If you tax me to the hilt, those who work for us could get living wages, free healthcare instead of the private insurance charade, and free education. But you can’t have that. Where’s the profit?

The Democrats didn’t mobilize against this great new tax plan, content to plead helplessness because they’re outnumbered in Congress.

And neither did the official union heads. I’m not surprised. In business, we eat labor bureaucrats and politicians like this for lunch, and maybe you should do the same with these bozos. But you didn’t hear this from me.

In the meantime, we businessmen make sure you’re swamped with propaganda about how we rich are “job creators” and you need to give us more money, so we can “invest in the economy and create growth,” and “raise all boats,” blah, blah, blah.

In fact, I have never invested in anything, anyone, or anywhere that didn’t yield the maximum return for me and me alone, and I don’t plan to stop now.

My sole aim is profit, whether I’m producing cookies or guns, and whether I get it from the United States, the Congo, China or anywhere else on the planet.

Want a piece of my action? Gonna’ take a revolution to get it. Go ahead, I dare you.

Send feedback to FSnews@mindspring.com.

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