St. Louis Today: “Technically, Missouri’s political system is headquartered at the state Capitol in Jefferson City. But its real epicenter may be a gray stone mansion on a quiet residential street in St. Louis’ Central West End.
“There, 70-year-old multimillionaire Rex Sinquefield pads around in dress socks, shows off his art collection to guests and — to hear U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill tell it — pulls the state’s political strings like a high-priced puppetmaster.
“He dismisses the allegation that he’s trying to “buy” government. “I have never given money to a candidate or an officeholder in the belief that they’re going change their position on something,” he said.
“But he doesn’t deny his critics’ other central point: that his unprecedented political spending is largely meant to promote the goal of eliminating Missouri’s income tax and corporate taxes — which mostly hit the rich — while making up some of the difference with higher sales taxes, which hit everyone.
“Do that, he says with almost religious certainty, and Missouri’s economic boom will follow.
“‘Get rid of your personal tax, get rid of your corporate taxes, don’t punish work, don’t punish profits, don’t punish productivity,’ he says. ‘Those taxes punish the things you need the most of … You end up hurting people at the bottom if you try to overtax the people at the top. You don’t want to punish the investing class.'”