Tom Perkins (Bloomberg TV)

Multimillionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins says the 1 percent should get more votes

He also wants to cut food stamps, get rid of progressive taxation, destroy teachers' unions, and so much more


Elias Isquith
February 14, 2014 8:05PM (UTC)

Multimillionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins just can't get enough of the spotlight, apparently, even if the attention he receives is overwhelmingly negative.

How else to explain Perkins' latest decision to sit down on Thursday for a public Q&A with Fortune's Adam Lashinsky?

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The event, which was appropriately titled "The War on the 1%," gave the octogenarian Perkins yet another opportunity to say uninformed and ridiculous things about Nazi Germany, wealth distribution, voting rights and former President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. It was a real tour de force.

Some highlights from Mother Jones' report:

  • Perkins defended his infamous progressives-are-Nazis argument, telling Lashinsky, "I think the parallel holds."
  • When asked to share an idea he felt would save the world, Perkins recommended voting rights be restricted to taxpayers and that the wealthy receive more votes than the rest. "You don't get to vote unless you pay $1 in taxes," Perkins said. "If you pay $1 million in taxes, you get a million votes."
  • He continued to insist the 1 percent are underappreciated, saying, "I don't think people have any idea what the 1 percent is actually contributing to America."
  • He recommended the U.S. cut food stamps.
  • He claimed that the programs introduced during Johnson's War on Poverty had "unknowingly creating the destruction of lower-end families in America."
  • He claimed the federal government's progressive tax code "is persecution" of the wealthy.
  • After saying that government is "a giant beast which has to be fed," which means taxes go "up and up and up," Perkins shot down Lashinsky's counter that government financing helped create the Internet (the source of Perkins' extraordinary wealth) by responding, "Adam, you're barking up the wrong tree. I'm not going to go there."
  • He said, "[I]f Germany had American gun laws, there would have never been a Hitler."
  • He claimed the Koch brothers were suffering from "persecution."
  • He denounced child labor laws.
  • He said Silicon Valley was "a meritocracy" and that race had "absolutely nothing to do with it."
  • He recommended breaking teachers' unions.
  • He asserted that America needs "another Margaret Thatcher," who was a "charming lady."
  • And he called free market capitalism "the only way to proceed."

Perhaps explaining this tidal wave of right-wing mythology and asininity, Perkins at one point admitted he was "trying to be outrageous." In a rare moment of kinda-sorta self-awareness, Perkins acknowledged that he might not be quite in touch with the rest of the non-wealthy world, but argued that "nobody can prove that they are connected to reality."

The best news to come out of the event? Perkins told the press, "I won't keep going on this." Here's hoping.

You can watch video of Perkins' self-immolation below:

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Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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