Count millionaire country singer and tax cheat Willie Nelson among the growing list of extremely wealthy entertainers supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Where better to make his feelings known than at the perilously liberal Huffington Post Saturday:
Thanks to the Occupy Wall Street movement, there's a deeper understanding about the power that corporations wield over the great majority of us. It's not just in the financial sector, but in all facets of our lives. The disparity between the top 1 percent and everyone else has been laid bare -- there's no more denying that those at the top get their share at the expense of the 99 percent. Lobbyists, loopholes, tax breaks... how can ordinary folks expect a fair shake?
How can ordinary folks expect a fair shake?
Maybe Nelson ought to look in the mirror as he was raised by his grandparents during the Depression and had to pick cotton at a very young age.
Now he's worth $15 million.
Sound like he got a fair shake?
Of course, as the New York Times reported in 1991, Nelson made a lot of his money by not paying taxes:
Since Willie Nelson's "Who'll Buy My Memories? (The I.R.S. Tapes)" went on sale in June, it has sold only 160,000 copies. Under Mr. Nelson's unusual arrangement with the Government, the collection of 25 songs must sell at least four million copies if it is to erase the singer-songwriter's tax obligations.
"You got to be positive," Mr. Nelson said in an telephone interview last week. "It's not unheard of. I could sell three million albums. I've done it before." He hopes sales will improve when the collection is available in stores; it is sold now only through phone orders advertised mostly on late-night television.
When Mr. Nelson was served last year with a $32 million bill for delinquent taxes -- one of the largest ever presented to an individual -- it seemed unlikely that anyone, even the cowboy heroes of his country and western songs, could rescue him.
That bears repeating: "When Mr. Nelson was served last year with a $32 million bill for delinquent taxes..."
Who's he to point fingers about "the top [getting] their share at the expense of the 99 percent?"
Thanks to NBer StarAz for reminding me about Nelson's tax problems.