Sean Parker: "I am paying far too little in taxes"

As you can see from his Facebook profile, Sean Parker is warmer and fuzzier than The Social Network makes him out to be.

Billionaire tech investor Sean Parker responded to an article that appeared in last week's issue of the Guardian, writing in an email that he is not "some conservative a*hole."

The Napster founder, former Facebook president, and Spotify investor was mentioned in the story "The Billionaire's Mayor" because he contributed $100,000 to an independent expenditure committee created on behalf of Mayor Ed Lee. (Not the same independent expenditure committee that's landed Lee in the hot seat in the past couple days.)

Parker told us he'd like to see a network of rooftop public parks "in order to kickstart the 'greening' of the former industrial parts of the city ... creating one seamless, green and beautiful 'common' space in a formerly desolate industrial part of the city. I would like to have a mayor who supports this vision."  

And, rather significantly in this new era of rebellion against the concentration of wealth in the hands of the one percent, he advocated for taxing the rich. "I believe strongly in higher taxes, in particular for the wealthy and super wealthy," he wrote. "I think capital gains rates are much too low and should be increased both at a state and federal level. I am paying far too little in taxes at the moment, in particular on capital gains which should have been increased after the Bush era."
On the question of affordable housing, Parker said, "I think we need more affordable housing in San Francisco — it is very difficult for young people to come here and start their life with all the real estate locked up by generationally wealthy facilities who are out of touch with what it means to live in the city."

Parker balked at the mention of the film The Social Network, calling it a "quasi-fictional and borderline libelous film," and told us he's dedicated himself to "raising money for various charities including multiple cancer-related projects, Charity:Water, and anti-malaria groups such as Malaria No More."

So what's up with that six-figure donation to Lee, who's also drawn support from conservatives, wealthy landlords, and major corporations doing business with the city?

"I have never met Ed Lee or anyone from his campaign," Parker wrote. "Everything I know about him comes from the conversations I have had with Ron Conway who has made a very good case for the mayor as someone who will preserve San Francisco's progressive political culture while also advancing technology job creation in the city. Given my extremely progressive political positions I wanted to be certain that the mayor was NOT the sort of conservative pro-business leader that you are making him out to be."

Would that we were blessed with Conway's powers of persuasion.


I'm a bit wary of someone who takes advice from Ron Conway. According to Wiki, Conway has "a reputation for throwing lavish cocktail parties and raising cash from a diverse group of celebrities, sportspeople, and political figures such as Henry Kissenger, Arnold Schwarzenegger.." etc.

Still, it is refreshing to hear that he supports higher taxes on the wealthy. Now, if he would just join the 40 millionaires who have written to Obama, demanding a rollback of the Bush tax cuts for anyone earning more than $1 million a year, I'd be more inclined to agree that he is not just "some conservative a*hole."

Sign the pledge, Sean~

Posted by Lisa on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

Let me get this straight...
Sean Parker is supporting Mayor Ed Lee because Ron Conway assured him that Lee is progressive. This is the same Ron Conway who wants to "take the city back from progressives."

I see.

The 1% really do despise the rest of us, don't they?

Posted by Greg on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

Sounds more ignorant than anything. He is saying the right things and it would be nice if progressives in this city engaged him to at least get a better feel for where he's at. Unlikely, he'd be our kind of progressive Greg but we don't get anywhere writing people off until they actually deserve it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 8:38 am

...that they deserve writing off.

Posted by Aragorn on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 10:24 am

taxes if they believe they should pay more than the computed amount. Apparently the IRS have already collected over 2 million so far this yar in such "gifts".

So a provision already exists for people who feel this way.

Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 6:48 am

This view that people who advocate it should just pay more money voluntarily is such a classically flawed conservative argument. You see, it's not about Sean Parker or Warren Buffet paying more taxes, it's about them AND the millions of others who are in a similarly comfortable position doing the same. If a similar view as yours were taken to any issue, such as the black rights movement, we would never have seen the sort of progress that is apparent today. If you don't fix the system, you'll never fix the problem.

Posted by Daniel on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

You have the option to pay more taxes on your own. Open up your checkbook and send whatever you want to send. Get your white guilt mollified that way. Don't force your opinion on me, my family, my friends, and the rest of us that believe we already pay enough in taxes. At $47,500 in California, we are taxed at 9% of income, on top of what I pay for federal income, FICA, medicare, and state taxes, 29% combined (and I am nowhere NEAR millionaire status; I'm not even at $100k/yr in combined income with my wife).

People like you always talk about "the rich" needing to pay "their fair share". What about the 50+% that pay zero in federal INCOME taxes? (Don't play strawman saying they pay "other" taxes - I said INCOME taxes). What is a "fair share" and who should determine that number? According to the way you think, if it takes, say, $100k for me and my family to be able to pay all of our bills, buy food, gas, etc., then all of the rest should go to the government because me and my family don't "need" any more than that to live. That is so much BS. I want to earn more so that I can provide more for my family. I work VERY hard, most days 10 - 12 hours, to get ahead of the game. You do not have any right to what I earn - no one does except for me, unless I CHOOSE to donate it to what I consider worthwhile charities or persons.

Again, you want to pay more taxes? Go right ahead. You will be a hero to the progressives. Why haven't ANY of you who keep saying your taxes are too low written a check to the government and then informed the media? They'd be all over that story, but we have yet to see a single story of you doing this. Stop being a hypocrite, deal with your own life and get the hell out of everyone else's lives.

Oh, and the "1%"? That's not Wall Street, that's Washington, and in the case of CA, Sacramento. Not even close to 1%. Federally, it's 535 Congress critters plus the President deciding that they know better - always - than the rest of the other 320+ million people in America. Go "Occupy White House" and "Occupy Congress". They have SO much more to do with American decline than Wall Street that it can't even be compared - and I am talking about both sides of the aisle.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 8:06 am

You would think this Guest was trolling if it weren't so ridiculously chock full of inaccuracies and FoxNews talking points. Oh, wait, he is trolling.

Anyway, as to the folks that pay no income taxes--guess what, they don't make very much money. That number has rapidly grown because the middle class is shrinking, leaving more in the no income tax paying group. But they pay just as much, if not more, as a percentage of income. They spend pretty much all of their money, because they generally live hand to mouth, so they pay sales taxes. They pay payroll taxes. They pay use fees for all sorts of services.

Pretending somebody doesn't pay their fair share just because they don't pay income taxes is just as ridiculous as lying about 50% of people not paying taxes.

Posted by BrianSF on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 8:28 am

under the rules. But since the IRS has only received 2 million so far in 2011 from that source, it's clear that the wealthy are saying one thing but doing another.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 9:59 am

Why is it when someone doesn’t agree with a progressive, s/he is a troll? Where is that tolerance that liberals/progressives just love to preach about? Oh, wait, that's right. You only have tolerance for people that believe the exact same thing you believe.

I don't watch Fox News. And what inaccuracies - please tell me. I stated that I was specifically talking about INCOME taxes; that I know "they", as you put it, pay FICA, Medicaid, Medicare, fees, etc. There is no "they" in that regard. We ALL pay those.

I also gave you a very specific example - my own. Let me get even more specific - combined income in my family is below $70k, yet my combined taxes just removed from my check is 29%. I would say I pay well more than my "fair share".

Again I ask you this. What is the fair share and who is to determine this? You? Sean Parker? How do you determine what a fair share is? Fair share reeks of Marxism - each according to his abilities, each according to his needs. Who the hell are you to determine what my, and my family's, needs are? Do you believe you don't pay enough in taxes? Fine, write a check to the IRS. If you file a return and you are due a refund, refuse it. Even send more money to them as well.

Even with that 29% that is taken from me by force by the Federal and State government, under threat of jail, I still donate a minimum of 15% each and every year to charities of my choosing. Do you?

Posted by Bryan SF on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

If you think taxation is inequitable, then get your ass over to Occupy SF (if you even are in SF).

The fact that the 1% pay so little compared to people like you is a major part of what the protests are about.

Unless, of course, you just came here to argue against taxing the super-rich.

Posted by Matlock on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

Go join operation rescue or whatever we are calling it now, but I`m busy.

Posted by guest on Oct. 27, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

then why are you wasting both your time and our time on this site? Its funny that people who live in the situation they complain about and who stand less of a chance of ever being able to live the way they desire than being struck by lightning keep ignoring the fact that they are being taken advantage of. I think all you people have Stockholm Syndrome.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 28, 2011 @ 9:32 am

we need to stop sending our money to the government...RON PAUL 2012!!!

Posted by Guest jon on Oct. 29, 2011 @ 5:19 pm