Multimillionaire Occupy Wall Street supporter Russell Simmons made the media circuit in recent weeks bragging about how he wants the government to raise his taxes.
Yet on MSNBC's PoliticsNation Wednesday, the hip-hop mogul told Al Sharpton, "I don’t pay taxes...I won’t give my money to war machine and to other things" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
RUSSELL SIMMONS AT OCCUPY WALL STREET, OCTOBER 10, 2011: I’ve been here since kind of the beginning…I come because I’m, I’m, I love their intention and their effort and their courage and I’m just a big supporter of the work these young people are doing. They want the money out of Wall Street. They want the power to the people. It’s an old chant…I’m happy to pay more taxes, though. I’m here to pay more taxes.
Nine days later on MSNBC:
SIMMONS: And I believe there’s a possibility, maybe a constitutional amendment banning corporations from bribing politicians to go to war or bribing politicians to lengthen prison sentences so they can make money in the prison industrial complexes or moving jobs offshore or putting loopholes in the tax law so I don’t have to pay taxes. It’s you know, these are things that need to be addressed, that the reason that I don’t pay taxes is because there’s someone pushing a politician to leave a loophole or to promote a hole in the market that I can, can squeeze my company through. And of course, no one will pay more taxes. The conservatives always say to me, would I, why don’t I just write a check for more taxes.
AL SHARPTON, HOST: Right. Right.
SIMMONS: Well, no, I won’t give my money to war machine and to other things, but if it will help the education and the health care for people who are locked out, of course I want to pay more taxes.
That's what Simmons has been saying for weeks: "I want to pay more taxes." This began on September 28 when he wrote on his GlobalGrind blog:
I believe in a nation where everyone gets a fair share of the fruits of our labor and where everyone pays a fair share for what they receive.
I am asking the United States government to raise my taxes and not allow the Republicans to use this economic recession as an opportunity to strip the basic programs that protect our most vulnerable.
So, on September 28, he specifically asked the U.S. government to raise his taxes.
Yet on October 19, he told Sharpton, "The reason that I don’t pay taxes is because there’s someone pushing a politician to leave a loophole or to promote a hole in the market that I can, can squeeze my company through. And of course, no one will pay more taxes...I won’t give my money to war machine and to the other things."
Is there a law requiring wealthy people like Simmons to exploit these loopholes so that they can squeeze their companies through and not pay taxes?
Certainly not. But they do because as Simmons made clear, he doesn't want to give to "the war machine."
I guess he doesn't know that less than 20 percent of the current budget goes to national defense. By contrast, 65 percent or almost two-thirds goes to what's called Human Resources such as education, training, employment, social services, health, income security, welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.
But he'll still do everything within his power to pay no taxes despite almost two-thirds of that money going to causes he claims to support.
What the shills in the media don't understand is that even if taxes were raised on folks like Simmons, they'd continue to find ways to avoid them. Their internal rationalization would be "the war machine," but in the end, it's really their own greed.
You don't amass a $325 million net worth without it.