Things are not going as planned for the Obama administration. The millions of new jobs President Obama guaranteed have not materialized. Furthermore, the gazillion dollars of "stimulus money" Congress gave the President as a gift to spend however his fancy leads him somehow isn't actually finding its way into the economy. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says the problem is we aren't spending ever more money that we don't have. Obviously we need more money. But where are we going to get it?
I think I know.
Forbes just published its list of the 100 "most powerful" (not necessarily the richest) entertainers (actors, musicians, athletes, television hosts, etc.). If we take, umm I meant "invest," all the money they earn this year we'll have $4,110,000,000 to "spread around", in candidate Obama's words to Joe the Plumber.
After careful and extensive research at the newsstand, I've concluded that if we took the money from the top 2,000 richest entertainers (powerful or not) we'd surely have billions more dollars for oodles of worthwhile federal programs. After all, have you seen what backup catchers are making these days?
Anyway, none of these entertainers are as important or useful as Joe The Plumber. The next time your basement is flooding try calling Oprah ($275 million per year) or Bruce Springsteen ($70 million per year).
Candidate Barack Obama lectured middle-class Joe Wurzelbacher about how higher taxes are good for all of us. So, I'm happy to take everything David Letterman ($45 million) earns this year and give it to union bosses so they can keep the businesses they were just handed afloat.
In fact, instead of nationalizing losers like GM, why don't we nationalize Jerry Seinfeld and the Dave Mathews Band? That's where the positive cash flow is.
Having already appointed 16 "Czars" (who don't have to be confirmed by Congress), Obama can easily appoint a Models Czar ("Bill, this is Barack, you busy? . . . .") and a Singer Czar and an Athletes Czar. And, one for comics (the Hardy Har Har Czar).
I would call the levy the SUP (Stupid Useless People) tax. If you are one of the top 1,000 useless people, you fork over 100% of everything you earn this year. Paying taxes is patriotic, according to Vice President Biden, and Lord knows Hollywood resents having its patriotism questioned. With the SUP, everybody wins!
But, that's not enough. Oh, no. After they turn over everything you earn to Washington (after all if they print it is really belongs to them, doesn't it?), there's more for them to contribute to the public weal. After you pay Washington 100% of everything you earn, there will be the SUP Surtax. If you appear on the cover of People, US, We, Them, Her, or Him magazine, you send in a check for an additional $1,000,000 for the SUP Tax.
If you are photographed on a beach with Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Connelly, or Jennifer Garner, that'll cost you another $1,000,000. A photo spread of one of your houses in Architectural Digest? That's gonna be another $1,000,000 on your SUP Tax return.
If you are mentioned on Hollywood Tonight, MTV, VH1, E! or the CBS Evening News, that will be another $1,000,000. If Annie Leibowitz does a photo shoot of you for the Atlantic, Harpers, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, or Vanity Fair, you will have to write a check to Uncle Sam for $1,000,000. Losing or gaining weight and going on Oprah to talk about it will cost you $1,000,000.
A SUP tax is kinda like the opposite of a VAT (value-added) tax.
These are our true patriots.