Joe Biden has proposed raising taxes on people making over $400,000 a year. That was news to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who upon learning of the policy, quickly endorsed Donald Trump with the stirring words, “I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people.”
Still, this is a somewhat surprising endorsement. As recently as March, Jackson blasted Trump supporters over the government’s coronavirus response, saying “You wanted a reality show host as president. Well, now you’re on Survivor.” But something seems to have changed over the last six months. He recently posted a video of Trump dancing to “YMCA”, praising the President’s “no fucks given” attitude. Then today, October 19th, Mr. Cent published a CNBC screenshot that (somewhat misleadingly) showed the highest-possible tax rates for the top 1% of earners once city, state, and federal tax laws were taken into account. Fiddy wrote,
“WHAT THE FUCK! (VOTE For TRUMP) IM OUT, 🏃♂️💨FUCK NEW YORK The KNICKS never win anyway. 🤷🏽♂️ I don’t care Trump doesn’t like black people 62% are you out of ya fucking mind.”
The number was seemingly taken from the CNBC show Power Lunch. Now, CNBC is hardly a bastion of liberalism; the network behind such shows as Mad Money, Fast Money, and Closing Bell also uses the slogan “Get Yours.” They tend to court a market-centric, anti-tax viewership.
CNBC’s own reporting contradicts the gaudy headline. In one article that put 62% in the title, CNBC waited until the fourth paragraph to note that, “Of course, few if any taxpayers pay the full statutory rates, which don’t include deductions, credits, offsets, loopholes and lower tax rates on other sources of income.” Those “other sources of income” are especially relevant; most millionaires and billionaires get more than a third of their spending money from capital gains. Then, in the fifth paragraph, the same piece noted that, “the effective tax rate for the top 1% would increase from 26.8% to 39.8%,” which means that, in total, “top earners in California and New York City would pay effective state and federal tax rates of around 53%.” Not quite 62%, but still more than half.
Except that’s not at all what the number means. The tax increase is driven by the marginal tax rate, as CNBC finally acknowledges in the seventh paragraph. This means that only income over $400,000 would be taxed at the higher rate of 39.8%, with the first $399,999 taxed at lower marginal rates. In other words, there is no conceivable universe where 50 Cent is paying 62% of his income in taxes. But still, it was enough to convince Curtis Jackson to endorse Trump. If you are prone to cynicism, you might say that the suits at CNBC accomplished exactly what they hoped to accomplish.
The article concluded by noting that for the top 1% of earners, taxes “would be the highest in more than 30 years.” If you’re good at math and history, you may note that Biden’s plan would ask the super-rich to pay less in taxes than they did when Ronald Reagan was president.
As for 50 Cent, he followed up his presidential endorsement with another social media post that said, “I just remembered i’m bankrupt, so i’m looking for a gracious loan can anyone help a brother out. LOL.” Maybe his Trump endorsement wasn’t so surprising after all.
50 Cent is still technically a musician, and he recently made an appearance on Pop Smoke’s posthumous album Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.