Monday, April 25, 2022

Carlyle Co-founder Introduces Jon Stewart for Twain Prize

Hollywood Reporter

Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein opened the event with a nod to the seriousness of current events both at home and abroad, then added that (Jon) Stewart was chosen as this year’s Twain prize recipient as he’s not only a great humorist, but also a social commentator who is invested in the betterment of our country.

Jon Stewart joked “it’s the leaders. It’s not the Fresh Prince, it’s the crown prince....  Comedy is the bellwether, we’re the banana peel in the coal mine… Authoritarianism is the threat to art, theater, poetry…. What we have is fragile and precious, and the way to guard against it isn’t to change how audiences think, but to change how leaders lead.”

David Rubenstein co-founded The Carlyle Group, a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU).  He has long been a policy-making billionaire.  Non-lobbyist Rubenstein used his Capitol connections to keep private equity's preferred carried interest taxation, doing so on more than one occasion.  These occurred despite decades of public-will in favor of the super rich paying their fair share in taxes.  A recent study revealed Rubenstein paid at a tax rate of 11.4%, the lowest rate of his PEU peers.

Steve Carell honored Stewart for “making sense out of the insane and finding joy in the darkness.”  Anyone working a PEU affiliate has long struggled to make sense of the insane. It's also good advice for those who understand the outsized influence the PEU boys have on public policy outside the light of transparency.   The greed and leverage boys operate in ways unseen and mostly unknown.

Politicians Red and Blue love PEU and increasingly, more are one.