"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
The Patriotic Billionaire Challenge has a new entrant.
Salon contacted the 20 richest people in America earlier this week, our lone question, inspired by Warren Buffett, being whether or not they would accept tax hikes in order to help reduce the deficit. From that original crop of uber-wealthy, only two have responded with definitive yes-or-no answers, while a half-dozen others declined to comment. That in mind, we decided to branch out and learn what some other outspoken billionaires might think of Buffett’s proposal.
Enter, Mark Cuban.
The entrepreneur is a latter-day media magnate, with holdings including 2929 Entertainment (which owns Landmark Theatres, Magnolia Pictures and HDNet). He also moonlights as owner of the Dallas Mavericks, reigning NBA champs. Overall, Mr. Cuban is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.
We reached out to Cuban on Thursday, and received a response yesterday afternoon. And, while his answer isn’t exactly an unqualified yes, he doesn’t seem to be of a hard-line position on the matter of taxes.
I have absolutely no problem paying more taxes. None.
What I have a problem with is how the money is spent. If the incremental money could be directed to defined and deserved recipients. I would be thrilled to write the check.
The problem I have is not on the revenue side, its on the expenditure side. Too much money is wasted on bureaucracy, adminis-trivia, pensions and over expansive federal employment.
So I’m a resounding yes on more taxes, but an attachment to the funding to be directly spent on approved programs. If a program doesn’t deliver 95pct or better to its intended recipients, it should be put on hold until it does.
Peter Finocchiaro is a senior editor at Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.More Peter Finocchiaro.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)