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Friday, October 21, 2016

Billionaire Tom Perkins: Paid A Million In Taxes? You Should Get A Million Votes!

Billionaire Tom Perkins: Paid A Million In Taxes? You Should Get A Million Votes!

Tom Perkins, the billionaire venture capitalist who recently made the worst possible argument against fighting inequality, is once again speaking up for the rights of the super-rich — and making the rest of the country cringe.

During a Thursday event at the Commonwealth Club on Thursday, Perkins told Fortune’s Adam Lashinksy how he would reform election laws. Borrowing a theory from Bryan Fischer — which is generally a good indicator that trouble is about to follow — Perkins explained, “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes.”

“But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation,” Perkins added. “You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?”

As CNN Money points out, although the audience laughed, Perkins gave no indication that he was joking (he later noted that “I intended to be outrageous, and it was”).

Whether or not the billionaire’s comments were meant to be in jest, however, his proposal is really no joke. After all, Perkins’ stated goal — giving the wealthy near-total control over elections — seems closer to reality than at any point in memory. As The Huffington Post’s Paul Blumenthal recently pointed out, in the 1980 elections, the wealthiest 0.01 percent of campaign donors accounted for just under 15 percent of campaign contributions. In the 2012 elections, however, the top 1 percent of the 1 percent accounted for more than 40 percent of all money spent. In other words, if there’s a problem with the super-wealthy’s influence in elections, it’s certainly not that they have too little of it.

On Thursday, Perkins also clarified how exactly the rich are being demonized in America.

“The fear is wealth tax, higher taxes, higher death taxes — just more taxes until there is no more 1 percent,” Perkins said, apparently confused about how percentages work. “And that that will creep down to the 5 percent and then the 10 percent.”

While Perkins is an avowed enemy of the government collecting money, however, he doesn’t seem to be as opposed to the government giving it out. Perkins made much of his fortune working for the computer giant Hewlett-Packard, which happens to be one of the top defense contractors in the United States, and could never have grown to its current size without the active support of the federal government.

Of course, Perkins’ rant isn’t even his most offensive of the past month. Compared to his warning that the progressive critique of income inequality is reminiscent of Kristallnacht, suggesting that America let the richest of the rich unilaterally decide elections so they can dodge paying taxes is downright politically correct.

At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before Republican pollsters start adding Perkins’ name to their questions about the 2016 Iowa caucus.

AFP Photo/Steve Jennings

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  • JD Mulvey

    America can no longer afford the wealthy.

  • jmprint

    I wonder how many suit cases he will need when he carries those 6 billion dollars he has to heaven. Now here’s a man that has never known what it’s like to be poor, and he thinks, because he has all that money that he is the only one worthy of voting. I never new the constitution was only for the rich. We must stop bashing the 1%, we are definitely hurting their feeling.

    • JSquercia

      Just so he knows there will ALWAYS be a one percent that is just plain math .There will still be a top 1% but they might not be as far removed from the 99 as they are today .

      • jmprint

        Yep, I don’t have issues with the 1%, only the ones that cry, because OMG they are paying taxes, not realizing their one million to them is a hundred to the poor.

      • Elliot J. Stamler

        No Democrat is against the existence of the 1% and that group of wealthy people includes quite a minority of Democrats. The difference is that first of all, OUR 1-per centers are not selfish greedhogs whose idea of capitalism is more for me and to hell with everyone else; secondly-that unless real upward economic opportunity exists we will become such a class-stratified society that we will become untenable; thirdly-we know that gross, persistent economic disparity and the kind of unbelievable aristocratic arrogance of Perkins leads to violent revolution e.g. the Russian. French and German National Socialist revolution and the end of political democracy. I am not in the 1% but thanks to the sane, humane policies of the Democratic Party I have become a millionaire. The Republicans are now the enemy of everything that is good about America.

        • ThomasBonsell

          I don’t recall anyone in the “Occupy” movement having a problem with wealth. What I say was an opposition to stacking the deck and dealing off the bottom, rigging the game and bribing the referees and umpires.
          There was no complaint about Steve Jobs having wealth, he earned it. There was no complaint against Bill Gates or Paul Allen, they also earned their wealth. The complaint was against the Wall Street insiders who control many politicians to manipulate the laws to allow them to escape with hundreds of billions for producing nothing of value.

      • Chalrley Walker

        Today — 2014 — that ONE PERCENT owns 40% of all U.S. wealth.
        The ultra-wealthy Bush family’s “SOCIAL ENGINEERING” transferred more than 70% of the middle 70% wealth to the upper TEN PERCENT — since 1980.
        Twenty-five years to destroy the U.S. economy and fatten the pockets of greedy parasites — virtually none who served in combat. Granted a few during WWII served with honor.
        Joe Kennedy, Jr. — Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. — George H.W. Bush (youngest U.S. Naval aviator), and a few others, including Hollywood notables James Stewart– Heavy Bomber Pilot; Clark Gable — Bomber waist gunner; Eddie Albert — Infantryman. Audie Murphy, Lee Marvin, Dale Robertson and several other future stars served as ordinary citizens and poor boy combat soldiers and marines.
        But the One Percent have always claimed essential industry, essential occupation draft-free status.

    • JSquercia

      Well at ONE time it was only for White MALE property owners .There are some among the Republicans who would certainly LIKE to return to the days when Women did NOT have the vote

      • dmhlt_66

        Maybe Perkins would be happy if we gave poor people only three-fifths of a vote.

        Since it’s been tried before, I wonder if THAT would work for him.

        • Allan Richardson

          No, they did not have 3/5 of a vote, they had NO vote. The South originally wanted to COUNT slaves as people for purposes of getting more Representatives and electoral votes, to be chosen only by white males with property of course. The Northern states, who had legal slavery but did not make it the cornerstone of their culture and economy, wanted to NOT count slaves in the population, since they were not able to vote (they were legally like cattle, and you don’t count your cattle towards your representation in Congress). The compromise actually went 3/5 of the way toward what the SLAVE HOLDERS wanted. And note the evasively cute phrasing: three fifths of “all other persons” the states shall choose to admit.

      • Chalrley Walker

        In much of the nation, from a practical viewpoint, that was up to the 1940s, when the Poll Tax was in place.
        My mother first voted in 1942, after the Poll Tax was lifted, because the nation needed Rosie the Riveter, Tilly the Tractor Driver, Wanda the Welder, Myrtle the Milk Maid and their sisters workingon farms and ranches, in aircraft plants, shipyards, Tank and jeep assembly — and in guarding prisoners of war.
        Oh yeah — Had a cousin who guarded Italian POWs for two years. With that, she got to vote.
        All through the late 1800s and at least until about 1975 throughout much of the nation, slowly diminishing with time; Newspapers daily reported lynchings, draggings, burnings and white gang rapes of black women — sometimes mass rapes of groups of women walking through southern woods to church.
        Proud history we OLD SOUTHERN WHITE MEN can claim.

    • daniel bostdorf

      Yeah—there are no luggage racks on a hearse…

      • jmprint

        Darn, I guess he will have to leave it behind.

        • daniel bostdorf

          you are cracking me up here….

          The elavator down to where he be headin does not allow luggage either….just your soul that was sold!

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            In today’s political environment that is going to be one very crowded elevator…..

    • dtgraham

      Not to worry. He’ll be able to take it with him where he’s going. He just needs to buy asbestos suitcases.

  • daniel bostdorf

    The evilness of this man’s narcissism and greed amazes me…

    “While Perkins is an avowed enemy of the government collecting money, however, he doesn’t seem to be as opposed to the government giving it out. Perkins made much of his fortune working for the computer giant Hewlett-Packard, which happens to be one of the top defense contractors in the United States, and could never have grown to its current size without the active support of the federal government.”

    The seven deadly sins of narcissism::

    1. Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

    2. Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

    3. Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.

    4. Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.

    5. Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

    6. Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

    7. Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.

  • The only perk of such a system would be that it would get those bastards to pay their taxes. . .

    Once. Then they’d immediately vote to allow themselves to pay no taxes.

    • Allan Richardson

      I was going to post the same thing. They would probably vote to base one’s votes on the taxes they COULD have paid before using their shelters! Or just on their net “worth” (I have a BIG problem with saying someone is “worth” more just because of having more money and property; although I realize it is a technical term for business purposes, it denies the inherent human worth of every person).


    This is a great plan, provided the goal is to recreate feudalism, and thus eliminate the need for voting all together.

    • Allan Richardson

      In a democracy, your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

  • Ford Truck

    If the 1% had their say, we would have a fiefdom and the 99% would have no power, no property, and the only rights we would have is right to bow to them, and do their every bidding!

    • Jimmy Agler

      Looking at today’s wages and hiring practices at a rapidly growing number of corporations they are well on their way.

  • John Machado

    Better: all citizens get 1 vote .. + 1 more vote for each 1 million dollars that citizen applied directly to the national debt, regardless of taxes paid. Pay the national debt down 5 million dollars .. you get 6 votes, assuming your taxes are current. That does what campaign contributions do now, except, the loot goes to a better cause. You can thank me later.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    Gee. I guess that means all the millionaires that manage to find ways to not pay taxes shouldn’t be allowed to vote. In that case, they also should not be allowed to fund candidates – et tu, Koch!

  • Jimmy Agler

    This guy really does want to be the Marie Antionette of our time, maybe he should remember what happened to her.

  • Orland724

    Just another delusional idiot.

  • Bryan Blake

    Tom Perkins you had a lot of help in becoming wealthy. As Mr. Decker states the federal government helped HP grow and that was the foundation of your personal fortune. Perkins you DIDN’T BUILD THAT COMPANY! The federal government, which you seem to detest so much, poured untold billions into HP and you are one of its main beneficiaries. So Perkins climb back into your luxury cave by some distant seashore and BE SILENT! While you are there read about some other billionaires who have an altruistic streak in them. Start with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Listen to them and then you can come back and pontificate about the privileges of wealth according to your own warped views. You got your wealth through the systems of our government and our economy which are appendages of We The People. The sooner you accept that you do not OWN this country and that your wealth is BORROWED from the economy that We The People own the better off we all will be!

    Wealth is not forever. It is transient in nature. Wealth, by its nature, is meant to be redistributed in order to fuel and preserve a dynamic economy. Of course our economy, which is controlled by you and your ilk, is not dynamic. The sole reason for that is that the elite of the 1% has rigged our economy to benefit only them. If it is concentrated in the hands of the few it becomes lower in value. It no longer fuels a dynamic economy that will bring all of us prosperity. But that will only happen when members of the Nefarious Billionaires Club become political eunuchs.

    Tom Perkins: How I long for the day when you, the Brothers Koch and the others lurking in the shadows of our elections are reduced to your proper status in our society: just a person who happened to been lucky enough to acquire fortunes beyond the average person. Then we shall welcome you back to We The People and one person one vote. By the way you will have to get to the back of the line to vote. It’s all of those incendiary voter ID laws that you probably helped paid to pass through the incestuous dark money you contributed.

    Mr. Perkins when you die please stuff $8,000,000,000 of gold in your grave. Believe me, unless there are armed guards around you even in death, your freaking money WILL BE REDISTRIBUTED! Your new heirs will probably have a SWAT unit and a fleet of armored trucks waiting to TAKE IT WITH THEM!

    • Allan Richardson

      Re your second paragraph: lay not up for yourselves treasures upon Earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

      Of course, the man who said that was “worth” nothing on Earth in monetary terms, so Tom Perkins may not listen to him.

  • latebloomingrandma

    Welcome to the Banana Republic of America.
    And these are the guys who go on and on about the Constitution, patriotism , democracy and a republic, while not understanding one whit of it.
    Didn’t we fight a Revolutionary war to rid us of an aristocracy?

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    I am absolutely delighted that Mr. Perkins made these statements. If we have good marketing people we Democrats can go to town on those comments. Let’s hope this ultra-selfish plutocrat keeps talking.

  • ThomasBonsell

    How about we give one vote for every IQ point a person can muster.

    Many studies have shown that self-professed liberals have IQs much higher than do self-professed conservatives.

    One study out of Great Britain showed liberals rate 6 to 10 points higher; the differences, I suspect, being reflective of different careers. I.E. liberal professors may score 10 points higher than conservative professors while liberal taxi drivers are only 6 points higher than conservative taxi drivers.

    Use this method and all problems may be solved with politicians much brighter than those we have now.

    • Chalrley Walker

      Kun’l Bonsell,
      Only problem — One female relative had a Mensa brain and a whore’s soul. Parasited off every family member she could for decades.
      Died years ago from Meth addiction, combined with the effects of repeated STD infections.
      Manager of a small janitorial service in Monterey, CA – He and his wife had tested IQs somewhere in the 190 range. Their only marketable ability was janitorial — cleaning toilets in bars and restaurants. None of the upscale hotels and restaurants would hire them — simply because they weren’t very good at scrubbing anything or sweeping, mopping or vacuuming.
      Brilliant — yes. Competent — NO!!
      Know a National Merit Scholar — 1600 SATs — Top technical degree from a Top Three private university — Has been unable to hold a job longer than 18 months anywhere.
      Stanford-Benet and Iowa Standard scores are just that.
      They have little relation to judgment or competence.
      Far better award extra votes to a man with a fourth grade education, who builds a major business for himself and his family, and leads an even larger and more important entity for a multi-county region — without compensation. Who was known for being the first to offer help to those in need, always ready to give a HAND UP — far faster and stronger than a hand out. He earned an extra ballot, but would have knocked the crap out of anyone who suggested it.
      Real MEN and real WOMEN — REAL PEOPLE believe they are equal to anyone — but superior to no other.
      Only EQUINE POSTERIORS believe they emit superior gasses.

      • ThomasBonsell

        My post was not to be taken seriously; it was posted to show that Perkins;s idea was preposterous and other proposals could be just as preposterous while being a whole lot more democratic.

        The “problems” you cited could just as well be attributed to many multimillionaires who had the great ability of being born and waiting for daddy to die to inherit their vast fortunes.

  • Chalrley Walker

    Better yet — Unless you serve in a Military Combat Force — in uniform —
    You cannot vote.
    That would eliminate 90%-to-98% of the DixieCrat/Republibigot “War Hawk” self-anointed POLITICAL PLUTOCRATS.
    Starting with Quayle, DubYah, Cheney, Rumsfeld, O’Connell, Boehner, Kantor and most Republicans in House and Senate — and in state government — the hallmark of conservative DixiCrat/Republibigots through the Viet Nan era draft days — was duck, dodge, avoid any possibility of getting shot at. [Jump a four year waiting list to join a Hqs. unit of the Air National Guard — ala the wealthy Danny Quayle and DubYah].
    Yet in the largely immigrant Latino hamlet of Chualar, CA — more young men per capita died in Nam combat than for any other U.S. Community. Most of the almost monthly funerals were in Spanish because the parents were not bi-lingual. [ESL classes were notably missing for those who worked 6-7 days weekly in the fields.]
    Rich military hardware manufacturers’ war — poor man’s fight!
    There were no DixieCrat/Republibigot War Hawks at those funerals or working in the fields.

    • Allan Richardson

      It would also eliminate those who are not physically fit to join the military, and those who did not get called up in a draft, or who could not afford the education to be accepted.

  • Stuart

    Hope the Republicans nominate him for president in 2016. It could be 1936 all over again.