Dinner with Clooney

On January 1st the President went before the country to make a speech about the federal budget deal that had just been reached. He began by saying,

“The central premise of my campaign for President was to change the tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of working, middle class Americans. Tonight, we’ve done that.”

If that’s true, then why did this budget agreement extend Section 181 of the tax code for another year? Section 181 provides up to $20 million in tax deductions per production for the movie and film industry. Why do film production companies owned by filthy rich guys like George Clooney, Stephen Spielberg and Oliver Stone get this kind of preferential treatment? Those three guys combined have a net worth of about $3.2 billion. Last year, George Clooney hosted a fundraiser for President Obama and his re-election campaign. A plate at the table cost a paltry $40,000! Gulp! Good move George, that kind of schmoozing really pays off!

But wait, I was talking about the President’s speech – later in the speech President Obama said,

“Cutting spending has to go hand in hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans.”

Wow! As usual the President sounds like he really means business. I sincerely hope he will follow through and use his bully pulpit to end those obscenely profitable corporate loopholes. I especially hope he singles out the fat cats in Hollywood who should be paying, as the President says, “more of their fair share” in order to fund our cash-strapped government. Maybe he’ll appoint tough guy Joe Biden as Chairman of the Commission to End Corporate Welfare.

This President once ran on hope, so in the spirit of bipartisanship, I will give the President the benefit of the doubt and hold on to some hope regarding this issue. But, based on the fact that Mr. Spielberg has contributed about $800,000 over the years to the Democrat party and the likelihood that celebrities like George Clooney will be holding lavish fundraisers for liberal politicians in the future, I don’t think it would be wise for me to hold my breath for very long.

But I do love the President’s speeches. They are always good for a cynical laugh.

Brutus

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