George Takei: “Tax Me, Please”

George Takei first became known for portraying Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, but in more recent years, he’s become just as famous for his social media posts on Facebook and his airtime on The Howard Stern Show.  The actor and radio announcer blogged about something more serious today, his feelings on the looming fiscal cliff.

In a open letter he titled “Tax Me, Please,” Takei issued a plea to lawmakers:

In the coming weeks, Congress and the President must come to an agreement on taxes and spending, or face the dreaded “fiscal cliff” no one wants to jump off. I’m just one citizen, but here’s what I have to say for what it’s worth: Tax me higher.

I didn’t grow up wealthy. In fact, when I was a little boy, the government took everything away from my family and shipped us off to an internment camp. Years later, when we returned to Los Angeles, we had to scrape our way up from nothing, living on skid row and saving our money, until my parents could start up a cleaning business and move us slowly and steadily back into a middle class lifestyle. I know what it’s like to be dirt poor, and to struggle to make it in this country.

But as an actor today, I enjoy a lifestyle my parents probably never dreamed of. Despite how this country has at times misstepped and mistreated us, I love America and believe in her promise of providing equal opportunity for all. I want to see her back on top. That is why I feel it is not only fair, but my patriotic duty to support higher taxes on the top 2% percent of incomes.

During the first few years of the George W. Bush era, when there was still a surplus, they cut these taxes a few percentage points. These marginal tax rate cuts were never meant to be permanent; none of us who got them expected them to be. We always knew they’d one day return to the levels they were during the Clinton era. To suggest that we now shouldn’t give them up is silly, especially in a time where we are facing huge deficits and a looming “fiscal cliff.”

I don’t want to go off that cliff. So Congress, roll up your sleeves, compromise if you must, but don’t start from the position that my taxes can’t go up. They must, and they should.

George Takei

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