Outspoken KISS co-founder Gene Simmons doesn’t mind admitting that he is among the richest one percent in the country, an elite group that was scorned, if not demonized, by the Occupy movement.
In an interview, Simmons proudly claimed that the one-percenters, as it were, rock:
“I have been part of the 1 percent for the past 30 years. It’s fantastic! The 1 percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the U.S. pays no taxes. The 1 percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the 1 percent didn’t exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead. Try being nice to rich people. I don’t remember the last poor person who gave me a job.”
Simmons immigrated to the U.S. from Israel with his mother, whose Hungarian family was murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Inspired by his mother, the rock mogul/entrepreneur’s success with a wide range of business interests is essentially the fulfillment of the American dream as he apparently sees it.
“America is astonishing because it welcomes immigrants and gives them all the rights that native sons and daughters have … all the opportunities someone who was here for generations has had. For that, I’ll be forever grateful.”
Advocating for cultural assimilation and a common language, he opined that as a practical matter newcomers can make more money by becoming proficient in English.
People shouldn’t bellyache about America because, he asserted, “You can demonstrate and do anything you want, and you have (more) opportunities than anyone in the history of this planet has had.”
Some of his detractors mistake his pride and self-confidence for arrogance, Simmons insisted: “It’s simply defining who I am and what I stand for.”
Earlier this month, Simmons stirred up social media while bantering on Twitter about how Fox News has won the cable news ratings competition.
Simmons and his KISS bandmates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.
The way Simmons talks about his wealth is in sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton’s repeated rhetorical stumbles over her huge family fortune, with off-putting claims that she and her husband were dead broke in 2001 and they are currently not truly wealthy.
According to the Wall Street Journal:
“Bill and Hillary Clinton helped raise more than $1 billion from U.S. companies and industry donors during two decades on the national stage through campaigns, paid speeches, and a network of organizations advancing their political and policy goals…”
Do you agree or disagree with KISS frontman Gene Simmons that rich one-percenters like him prevent the U.S. from lapsing into economic chaos?