Interviews

Kristen Bell tweets 'rich people should pay higher taxes'

Actress takes a stand on taxes

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 20, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Should the star of "Veronica Mars" just -- just go live on Mars?

Actress Kristen Bell just tweeting -- "Sorry, RNC. Rich people should pay higher taxes because they can afford it. End. Of. Story. XO a rich person."

Well, Dave Maney wants to know, what is stopping her? Because Uncle Sam makes it very easy for you to contribute more if you so choose.

Very good point, Dave.

What do you think of this?

DAVE MANEY, FOUNDER, ECONOMANEY: Look Neil, you see people like this, and they are kind of constantly making the implication that taxes, no matter what, will not have any bad -- any implication or any effect on behavior.

And yet Variety magazine, the bible of Hollywood, has been writing as early -- just earlier this month, talking about the massive flight of production from Hollywood because of tax incentives.

So, on the one hand, you know, Kristen, I think, is a pretty savvy social media promoter of herself, and her film is not doing too well at the box office. And I think it was a good way to kind of, you know, get her name in the news. You know, it`s on -- here we are talking about her. So, it`s...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Yeah, but she did OK in "Frozen." I think she was one the princesses in "Frozen"? I don`t know.

MANEY: She did.

(CROSSTALK)

MANEY: And I guess her new movie came out and is mired pretty low.

CAVUTO: Touche.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, but I just was saying, if she doesn`t paying mind high taxes on that money and all, she`s in the one-tenth of 1 percent, which is fine.

But what I`m saying is that anyone who can afford the taxes or not should think a little bit about where it`s going, because, you know, we just came off a five-month period -- you and I were chatting about this -- record revenues for Uncle Sam, tax money coming in crazy, and we`re still, still spending a lot more than we`re taking in.

So, something has got to be addressed. But it seems like the knee-jerk reaction is, well, we need more money, give us more money, and don`t -- don`t hold us accountable to the money we`re already spending.

MANEY: Well, to your point, I mean, if she wants to pay more money or if anyone does, there`s actually an office in the U.S. Treasury that accepts - - you know, it`s literally called gifts to the U.S. government.

It`s in Hyattsville, Maryland.

MANEY: You could Google it and you could find the address, and you can send as much as you like of your take-home pay to the U.S. government. And they will gladly accept it. You don`t get any credit for it, but it`s -- you know, it`s a gift.

And Kristen seems very generous, so I think she should consider doing it. It`s actually -- Neil, what I think she`s doing in a certain way is being - - what I would call being "selferous," which is being selfish while appearing to be generous, which is, get my name in the news, get my box office going, and I will make it look like I want to give lots and lots of money, when, in fact, it`s really kind of all about me.

CAVUTO: But I always hear -- when I have heard Warren Buffett argue that and Bill Gates argue that and Bill Gates` dad, of course, a big proponent of raising the top rate, and I always say, well, what is a fair enough rate?

If you said the rich aren`t paying their fair share -- and we just brought it up to 39.6 percent -- but any of that group doing their taxes now with all the add-ones for -- you know, for the health care law, we`re now well into the mid-40s, and that`s not even getting into state and local taxes.

So when I ask them, what is a fair rate, they invariably say, well, you know, Neil, the top rate used to be over 70 percent. We have a lot further to go, in other words, saying the sky`s the limit almost, you know?

MANEY: Well, it`s a great question.

It`s one I think that everybody who is a fan of conservative fiscal policy ought to have at the tip of their tongue to ask people who make that argument, which is, give me the number. Like, tell me what it is. If I go out and earn a dollar, how much of it should I be able to keep?

CAVUTO: Right. Good point.

MANEY: And let`s pin it down. Let`s pin it down, what your sense of fairness is.

CAVUTO: All right, but she was great in "Frozen."

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: All right. Dave, thank you very, very much.

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