On his last HBO show (3/15/13), Bill Maher complained about how much he and his wealthy cohort pay in taxes: “You know what? Rich people–I’m sure you’d agree with this–actually do pay the freight in this country.”
Maher added that wealthy Californians pay nearly 40 percent to the federal government and nearly 15 percent to the state: “I just want to say liberals: You could actually lose me. It’s outrageous what we’re paying–over 50 percent. I’m willing to pay my share, but yeah, it’s ridiculous.”
If Maher, who once understood marginal tax rates, is really paying near those percentages, he is making so many millions a year that it’s hard to see him garnering a lot of sympathy for his put-upon routine. He certainly wouldn’t get any from the 2010 Bill Maher, who had some harsh words for wealthy people whining about a modest hike in the marginal tax rate, in a piece headlined “New Rule: Rich People Who Complain About Being Vilified Should Be Vilified” (Huffington Post, 9/24/10):
I’ve done some math that indicates that, considering the hole this country is in, if you are earning more than a million dollars a year and are complaining about a 3.6 percent tax increase, then you are by definition a greedy asshole. And let’s be clear: That’s 3.6 percent only on income above 250 grand–your first 250, that’s still on the house.
Hey, we’re not calling any names.