Tilman Fertitta owns the Houston Rockets, Landry's restaurant chain, Golden Nugget casinos and more. He's estimated to be worth $4.8 billion by Forbes. In short, he's got more money than any one person should have, and 45,000 workers depending upon him for their paycheck.
Or, at least he DID have 45,000 workers until he laid them off and then went on Laura Ingraham's show to brag about it.
Brian Kilmeade, acting as Ingraham's substitute, offered him some sympathy for having all those employees to worry about. He needn't have bothered.
“I’m holding up, I’m holding up pretty damn good,” Fertitta said cheerfully. “But I’ve got 45,000 employees out there that we’ve had to furlough that is so tremendously unfortunate, that we have to get back to work as soon as we can. These unemployment numbers of 16 million, and there’s no telling what it’s going to be next week. That’s what’s so sad about this whole crisis.”
Lobbing a softball, Kilmeade asked, “How hard was that decision to lay off your employees?”
SPOILER: Not at all. It wasn't hard at all, as Fertitta explains.
“You know, Brian, I went through the ’87 crisis, the 2000, the 2008 [recession],” Fertitta noted. “And it’s kind of something you realize is, you are doing your people a favor if you get them furloughed first, because they they’re the first to the unemployment line after the severance that you give them, and it’s a trick that I learned many years ago.”
OH. I mean, why just pay them in a national emergency when you can save your billionaire bucks for yourself and put them on the national unemployment rolls, right?
I think there should be a 1-for-1 tax increase for these guys. For every dollar taxpayers pay in unemployment benefits so they can keep their Billionaire bucks, they should get a tax increase equal to that amount. That UI raise of $600/week is only $27 million* for 45,000 employees, which is pocket money to this guy.
If they keep this nonsense up, there will be pitchforks and torches. No question.
*Ed. Note: I had a zero out of place -- it should be 27 million, not 2.7. Still a drop in the bucket to this guy.