Why Not Place the Tax Burden On Hollywood? by Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan is a a junior at HCHS; he is a frequent reader of the now Professor. Feel free to leave a comment addressing his well articulated point of view.

Though it may be hard to believe, I was actually taking time out of my busy schedule the other day to sit back and watch an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. I typically don’t waste time on such rubbish, but a guest appearance by Roseanne Barr really caught my attention. I have always been entertained by her stupid political commentary and frequent bull-headed remarks so I was thinking that this episode would be quite funny. The topic for discussion was the current economic crisis that was gripping the world and what factors led up to this occurrence. Like any good liberal, she brought up big business owners who were making large paychecks when the economy was going well but weren’t paying “large enough” of a share of the taxes. There is nothing odd about that, it is a common liberal statement. Despite how common her statement was, it really made me beg the question of why Movie Stars in Hollywood are such fervent liberals when they easily make much more than most big business owners in corporate America. I did some searching to find the answers and my findings were amazing.

The American Movie Industry is an approximately $12,000,000,000 dollar-per-year domestic earner (meaning that this amount is a figure that does not include earnings that are made from exporting American films). Though this number may appear to be extremely large, you must take into account that the average spending budget per movie in 2008 was in excess of $35,000,000 dollars. Thus, each movie made in America today would have to earn in excess of that $35 million dollar budget in order to turn even the slightest profit. From this profit, the directors are typically given a large portion and the amount that was negotiated for the actors is typically increased depending on how profitable the movie turns out to be. With this in mind, the top earners in Hollywood in 2008 were Cameron Diaz, $51.5 million dollars; Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy, $55 Million; $72 million dollars for Johnny Depp; and a whopping $80 Million Dollars for Hancock star Will Smith. Is it just me, or has Hollywood spending gotten out of control?

I am not going to play like I don’t enjoy their work, but come on; some of the 2008 movie profits are higher than the GDP of the countries of Comoros and the Solomon Islands. Actors always try to play the moral high ground on issues like charity, but all the while, they are living lives of opulence and greed. Why should they make so much money because they are attractive and can memorize lines. Anyone paid that amount of money could probably do the same. Why take extra tax money from people who are actually creating jobs for others while Hollywood actors are spoiling themselves by filling the time of bored Americans. I may sound a little socialistic in this regard, but if it were up to me, I think that the maximum movie budget should be set at that $35,000,000 benchmark with a $20,000,000 dollar profit threshold. The maximum amount of money that an actor can earn should also be regulated to $300,000 dollars per movie. I am sure that some actors would not look too favorably on that, but it is still fun to think about. If it were to happen the way I envision it, the government can take all profit over $55,000,000 dollars and lower the tax burden on the people who actually create jobs; the large and small business owners of America.

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10 thoughts on “Why Not Place the Tax Burden On Hollywood? by Patrick Ryan

  1. I can’t believe I’m saying this – but I agree with you Patrick. Great piece.

    I have given up on the big movies anyway – they all seem to suck lately. There’s nothing worse than paying $15 to go to a movie and it being terrible. I even saw Frost/Nixon last weekend, and even though it was excellent, it felt like a waste of money. The Sundance Channel is the best thing since sliced bread…

  2. Amen on the suck factor. I saw Frost-Nixon too, it was really good and the guy who portrayed Nixon hit the nail on the head, but even it felt like I was wasting an hour’s pay. Not to mention that I have to pay almost ten dollars for a coke icee and some gummy bears. If anything, if I have to pay that amount for a movie, I should at least get a gum-free armrest……lol.

  3. I agree with your assessment of Hollywood and also would include the pro athletes as JS suggested.

    I have a question which I have not seen answered in any news report about the millions of jobs the President says he will create. I know we have millions out of work, but are the millions out of work qualified to fill the millions of job he plans to create? How many of these displaced workers can do construction work, or build roads or build wind farms, or work on school buildings, or even be qualified to aid schools academically? Do you have any idea how they expect to match the out-of-workers with the new jobs?

  4. I actually have no problem with the amount of money that most professional athletes make. The starting salary for football right now is running at about $500,000.00 dollars per year. Personally, I’d a pretty big sum of money if I was going to face the prospect of getting the crap beat out of me on a daily basis. Sure, there are players who are overpriced (mostly in basketball, but I would also consider Roger Clemens and Brett Favre as two notable examples) but think about it from the perspective of the average sports player. They have what, 4…..5…..maybe 6 good years before they are down and out as a bench warmer? They have to make that money last them for the rest of their lives. I certainly dont believe that some of them should be making eight digit salaries, but I also don’t believe in bringing them down to that $300,000.00 dollar threshold.

    On a different note, That is an excellent question Noah. That was a question that I posed quite a while ago when I was still fresh-faced to the proletarian/professor experience. Kristi S. down-and-outed me on the question by saying that the new jobs would help her personally because she is working on a chemistry degree but that was the only response that I got. By my own personal assessment though, no, the new jobs created will not help the average Joe. President Obama stated at the Democratic National Convention that the new job creation will be in the fields pertaining to alternative energy. In layman’s terms, the only jobs that will be created will be in the scientific and engineering fields. Sadly, those people only make up a small portion of the population.

    That is liberal media bias though, they make an idea sound good to enough people that those narrow-minded individuals begin to believe such stupidity without even asking for an in-depth explanation. That is one of the major problems that I have with the presidential debate system that we have in America today. Political correctness (and a mutual desire amongst the presidential hopefuls not to look stupid) has begun to trump getting to the bottom of the social, political, and economic beliefs of the candidates. I have told Carson that I have a few running ideas that I am cleaning up and will have sent to him for submission in the near future. That is one of the subjects that I intend to address.

  5. Good job on this point Pat. I, personally, really didn’t think of this until you mentioned it and now that it has come into the light I wonder why nobody else has mentioned it before (Amen to the no good movies).

  6. Really, I’m glad you think so Jin (I’m guessing that you’re Jin because I doubt that Jared would ever read this). I hear that Carson has been lauding this as my first step into communism though…..lol. I assure you that it isn’t. I will never think that “justifiable” murder and limited freedom are good ideas. That’s my personal opinion though.

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