Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Posted by el duque at 8:08 AM
Which is fine. Rich people are supposed to be right wing bastards, right? It makes the world simpler. Flag-wrapped billionaire conservatives, such as the Steinbrenner family, function as keepers of the national treasures - in this case, a franchise whose very logo is stars and stripes on a bat and top hat. As owner of the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner sits atop a flagpole of patriotism and piety.
In fact, whenever a Yankee announcer even mentions "Mister Stein-brenner," the timber in his (or her) voice rises to a near-religious. LSD-microdose reverence. Just speaking the great man's name is an honor unto itself. When Hal this summer authorized the trade deadline selloff - a call clear to every scout, coach, administrator, cab driver and bellhop in the Yankiverse - it was heralded as a masterstroke of human genius. And when Hal signs a player, it is universally understood that this paragon of virtue has decided to bless us and spend his own money. What a man. What a leader.
Well, this week we learned something about one of Hal's pals: Donald Trump probably didn't pay a dime of taxes for nearly 20 years, if ever. And who thinks The Donald is alone? After all, when a line forms for tax breaks in Albany or New York's City Hall, Mister Stein-brenner, or one of his surrogates, is always at the front of it.
The rich live in a golden bunker surrounded by the Wealth Defense Industry - armies of lawyers, accountants and bag men who tweak loopholes the size of Third World nations, so the great men (and women) can escape taxes. This army doesn't come cheap. It costs a lot of money to dodge civic responsibility. You have to really want it. You have to actually prefer lawyers to people.
Seeing as how the Yankees are such proud stewards of Americana - playing "God Bless America" every seventh inning, with a noble veteran and his family saluting at home plate - shouldn't Mister Stein-Brenner feel compelled to show the world that he too pays his fair share? Just reveal the numbers that comprised this week's Times story. Show us he's paid. That'll do.
Professional sports in America is an owner's paradise. With parity ruling, even .500 teams compete for the final wild card slot. To build a winner, all you need to do is come in last a few years. You have players literally putting their mental capabilities on the line - taking hits to the head that can destroy their lives - while you watch from above, sipping single malt. You're the embodiment of America, like those cans of beer from Budweiser, (a foreign-owned subsidiary.) You are the owner of a business that asks young people to put their lives on the line. And we should know what you really feel about America.