I'm sure the MPAA's Washington staff did a great job organizing the day's events. But even they would admit they can't plan for everything. Especially not for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) (a great friend to copyright owners) using the opportunity of a lunch speech to try to drive a wedge between the (largely Democratic) entertainment execs and the Obama Administration. In a delicious post titled "Hatch reminds Hollywood it's rich," ContentAgenda's Paul Sweeting reports:
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Tuesday reminded a luncheon crowd of studio chiefs and other Hollywood heavyweights here in Washington for the day that they're rich--and the rich pay taxes. Lot's of them. And they will soon pay even more taxes under the Obama Administration, which intends to raise the top marginal income tax rate for individuals who earn more than $250,000 a year, a category that included a good portion of Hatch's audience (although, sadly, not Media Wonk).According to Sweeting, Hatch's words were met with "awkward silence and silverware fidgeting against china." But not to worry; he broke the tension with a Mormon joke, "which seemed to make everyone happy." (Note to self for next speech: study up on Mormon jokes.)
Hatch's goal, presumably, was to remind the heavily Democratic Hollywood crowd that they're going to take a hair cut under the guy many of them helped elect, and that it is Republicans (although he didn't say so directly) who can be counted on to look out for the fortunate.
"Contrary to what the Obama Administration is promising, they will not be cutting taxes for 95 percent of Americans, they'll be raising taxes for 100 percent," Hatch said, pointing to the huge fiscal stimulus that will eventually have to be paid for and higher taxes planned for many industries.
Getting more personal, Hatch noted that "the film-making industry has not received very good treatment from this Democratically controlled Congress, which seems to want to punish success."
And by implication, the successful.