Framing the Dialogue

A Time For Giving

Donate_FullAs we approach the Christmas season many of us look inside ourselves to consider how we can help our fellow man.  This is truly a time of giving and Americans are more generous than most other nations.  I am not just talking about aid given by the federal government, but donations by average people who often open their pocketbooks when others are in trouble.

I read a heartwarming story about an organization that received nearly $3 million from Americans to help reduce their debt.  Unfortunately their debt is fastly approaching $8 trillion.  If you have guessed that the organization is the United States and the Treasury Department accepts gifts.  This is in addition to the taxes we are all forced to turn over. 

I am not suggesting that you send more money to the IRS, but the article got me thinking.  How many times have we been told that we need to do more; that we need to have more skin in the game.  Frankly I get tired of wealthy people telling me how I have to give more; how I have to work hard to support folks who don’t work.  The funny thing is that most of the people telling us to give more have way more money. 

Why don’t they give more…voluntarily?  I browsed the Forbes Magazine top 100 celebrities to pick out those celebrities who give us their opinion so why not give us their money too?

springsteen_bBruce Springsteen likes to rock and preach about how much we can do.  Forbes Magazine reported that The Boss took in around $166 million for his tour last year.  Let’s not be too greedy and only have Springsteen “donate” $125 million.  That’s more than fair and will still allow him more money than most of us make in our lives. 

steven_spielbergProducer Steven Spielberg also had a good 2008 and earned $150 million.  Another preachy celebrity who could put more money where his mouth is so let’s take $125 million from him too.  I know that it is a higher percentage than we took from Bruce, but he has the band to take care of.

58167964I have not really heard David Letterman preach mostly because he is neither funny nor entertaining and I don’t watch his show.  Based on his ratings, not many other people watch either.  He does strike me as holier than thou as he makes jokes about Sarah Palin’s underage daughter while cheating on his wife with subordinates at his office.  He reportedly made a cool $45 million last year.  Let’s take all $45  million because he is such a jerk.  He certainly has lots of money from previous years.

farm aid 100907The next celebrity who should spread some of his wealth is waste dumping Dave Matthews.  The only good thing about preaching from Matthews is that I cannot understand a word he says.  This is much like his music which I cannot understand either.  Matthews pulled in around $65 million last year.  Again, since he needs to take care of the band let’s only take $62 million from him.  This is starting to be fun.

kanye-south-park1I am going to let you finish, but you make way too much money for an untalented “singer.”  I hesitate to call Kanye West a singer since his talents most likely come from the Autotune.  The tone-deaf fans of West allowed him to capture $25 million last year.  After his antics this year at the VMA ceremony, I suspect that many fans will become former-fans so he may need to save some of his money to keep him off of the streets.  Let’s let him keep $3 million and donate the other $22 million to the first black president’s cause.  He can buy a lot of fish sticks with that much money.

barack-obamaThe next person to donate according to his means should be our 44th president.  The sales of Barrack Hussein Obama’s books added around $2 million to his bank accounts.  I propose that we take all of his money.  What does he need it for?  As president, we pay for his housing, food, recreation, security…we pay for EVERYTHING!  The weekly cocktail parties, date nights in Paris, New York, and Chicago.  We paid to send two jets to Copenhagen.  We pay when his peeps come to stay at the White House.  He will have to put some money away for the children, but if you consider that he wrote two autobiographies before he accomplished anything, becoming the first black president has to be worth at least six more books. 

larryThis next one is a two-fer.  They are probably the most annoying celebrities on earth.  Larry David and his wife have made nagging and whining an art form.  I would almost be willing to let them keep all of their money if they would move to France and NEVER return or speak about the United States again.  It is a testament to American as the land of opportunity that the Davids made $55 million last year.  Can you believe that Larry David made that much money?  Most of the income was in the form of profits from Seinfeld and not from anything he has done lately.  Because they could never stay away and they are sooo irritating, I propose that we take $150 million from them.  I know that is more than they made last year, but did I mention how excruciatingly irritating they are?  You also have to consider how many millions they already banked from Seinfeld residuals.

stephen-kingHas anybody run into Stephen King lately?  Sorry.  That was a very bad joke.  In my defense, he “fully” recovered from his injuries…at least physically.  Never one to express his derision for conservatives, I have to ask how he can live with himself killing all of those trees to put out his seven books each year.  He seems to be a pretty prolific writer and have not heard that his stuff is ghost written.  He has sold an estimated 350 million books.  Poor trees.  King sold enough books to bring in $30 million last year.  Again, because he already has so much money and will write many new books this year, I propose that we take it all.  I want al $30 million to relieve our debt.

I am getting to the bottom of the list and these folks don’t even deserve their own paragraph.  They all share a sickening level of smugness and elitism that I abhore.  Jon Stewart made $14 million pretending to be a reporter and like a broken clock gets it right once in a while.  I want all of  his money.  Next is Tina Fey who leveraged an average stint on SNL, to a critically acclaimed television series (anyone think that it benefits from the fact it follows The Office?) and having the good fortune to look like Sarah Palin.  She made $7 million and I want it all.  Joiner Fey 30 Rock is Alec Baldwin.  Don’t you just love when a big liberal plays a conservative on television?  I know that I don’t.  Baldwin seems to have recovered from calling his daughter a “pig” and his career is doing well.  Funny how the male lead in the show makes more than the female.  Baldwin made $8 million.  I want all of his earnings plus $2 million for playing a conservative.

SheensThe apple doesn’t fall far from the loon as Charlie must make Dad, Martin, very happy.  I have a great deal of respect for the range of characters that Charlie plays.  He is never adverse to taking on new challenges.  His latest is to play a lazy, drunken, womanizer on his television series.  Come to think of it that could be used to describe all of his roles, including his real life.  He was paid $21 million last year.  Unlike Tina Fey, Sheen’s show is funny, but the drunk jokes are getting old as is Sheen.  He is a little old to play a cute playboy, but hey look at Hef.  I only want $20 million of Charlie’s money.  Let’s leave him some for the bar bill. 

Former Veep Al Gore did not make the Forbes list, but has reportedly raked in over $100 million since losing to George W. Bush in 2000.  He really did lose in one of the most embarrassing ass-kickins in political history.  Like the Davids, I would let Al keep some of his money if he would go away, but I know that he won’t so I’d like all of his gains.  No picture of Gore here.

If my math is correct, that’s another $650 million “donated” by our celebrity friends and I did not even tally such notables as Barbara Streisand, Cheryl Crow, Tim Robbins and his wife, Matt Damon, and so many others.

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