Tuesday, October 28, 2008
If we needed more evidence that the Obama campaign is confident of victory, consider that it is already defining "rich" down. Rich was $250,000. Now "rich" is, by implication, $200,000, and Joe Biden is bidding $150,000. Anybody ready to bid $100,000?
DOn't worry anthony. Unless you earn zilch, they will get there eventually.
The Obama camp has probably just realized that to pay off the 44% who will be making no tax payments, he's going to have to hit up those of who do pay taxes whether they're earning $250K, $200K, $150K or whatever.
My late Uncle Sam once said, "Remember this: there are more horse's asses in the world than horses."
That comment does make Joe Biden come to mind.
Oh, and did you read that 2/3 of the Senate are millionaires. Perhaps they'll hesitate about raising taxes. Then again, they probably think that they can afford to. Always be wary of millionaire liberals who can afford to pay what most of us cannot.
Free health care and after school programs don't pay for themselves, you know. The biggest stake in small businesses will be when Obama "cuts" payroll taxes for low earners. Guess who will be on the hook for the entire 15% to SSA?
Barack appears on the View March 29th, 2008.
At 1 minute 11 seconds, he says he wants to cut taxes for people making $75,000 or less.
If Obama wins there will be full employment....for tax accountants, tax lawyers, and "wiseguys."
And your bonus joke for this evening is....
Question: If Obama wins in November, what will be the national sport in 2010?
Answer: Tax evasion.
Millionaires don't care because they've already got theirs. That second or tenth million is a heck of a lot easier to come by than the first.
If you really want to soak the rich, put a 5% wealth tax on everything over $10 million. Do that and Obama's billionaire friends will stop asking for steep taxes PDQ.
What kills me are the young 20 to 30 crowd with really good incomes who love Obama. They have no idea what a high tax environment looks like, in fact no one under 50 does. They're in for the surprise of their lives' when they find out that they are the rich that Obama has been waiting to tax.
Kevin- you got that right!
The income tax has always been sold as a soak the rich scheme, taking advantage of envy to con the poor and middle classes into voting for it.
I think it was Frederic Bastiat who said that the natural enemy of the rich is not the poor, but the middle class, for the rich want to rest on their wealth and enjoy the power and status it gives them. The middle class are always striving to become wealthy, and by doing so, diluting and sharing power and status. (In fact, status that is shared widely, isn't status any more.)
The wealthy don't want to keep competing and working to maintain their wealth - in fact if they have to be in a 'Competition' competition with the middle class they will be out of their league.
Is it any wonder then, that the Soro's and Buffet's of this world back people like Obama?
If you really want to make them holler- propose an asset tax instead of an income tax. Tax wealth, not work.
I am under the impression that Obama's tax policy focuses on earnings, not on wealth, which is saved (accumulated) earnings. I have never understood why earnings are so heavily "penalized" (like an unwanted baby) but accumulated wealth is not (except when it gets passed on to the next generation).
If Obama (who is now a truly rich man) were interested in "spreading" the fruits of labor, you'd think he'd advocate tax policies that reward earnings by anyone in society, but penalize the vast accumulation of wealth by particular individuals. With the appropriate tax policy, couldn't Obama reduce the tax on Warren Buffet's yearly earnings but punish him without mercy for his billions in wealth? Isn't it the concentration of power that comes with great wealth that should be the focus of a liberal (left-wing) government?
The whole idea that "rich" has a monetary definition, is absurd. These are all convenient targets for class warriors. Conservatives just don't think in those terms. I think that when Rick Warren asked McCain how much money you would have to have to be "rich" McCains lack of response was proof of that mindset. I believe true conservatives think that most people are rich. I know I do. I made less than $30,000 in the last 12 months. My net worth is less than $100,000. I have made more and it has been higher but I do now and have pretty much always considered myself as rich. I think McCain, from an idealogical perspective, could have easily said that all Americans are rich. Of course the class warfare crowd would have crowed about how out of touch he is.
"If Obama wins there will be full employment....for tax accountants, tax lawyers, and 'wiseguys.'"
If Obama wins I may become a tax accountant. Heck, if Obama wins, I will probably be unemployed anyway, since I work for one of those evil "big corporations" that does work for those ultimate evil "oil companies." So I might very well take advantage of every government program possible to re-educate myself so I can help as many people as possible avoid paying as many taxes as possible.
All the dumb comments here are the reason Obama will win.
Where on earth did you morons get the idea that leftists are rich? THey are usually broke hippied. Democrats never get the majority of the vote of anyone who earns over $50K a year. At the $200K level, 63% vote Republican.
The foolishness of conservatives in getting duped by leftists (into calling them 'liberals' AND thinking that 'liberals' are rich) is the reason Obama is going to rule over you dummies.
As an expatriate Briton living in a 'less-developed' corner of the rich nations, it will certainly be interesting to see what happens if the US elects a full-blown Marxist (Obama may not describe himself, or even think himself thus, but Marxism is as Marxism does). Probably the best one can hope for is that it will act as a generational purgative against Socialism, like the Carter years, but one has to take into account that Carter could not have won had a nominally Republican President (Nixon) not laid the normative groundwork in the form of price and labour controls, the disastrous EPA etc..
It's truly unusual to find, in casual conversation, someone who has not internalised the Marxist mindset - at least to the extent that the average person disbelieves there is an 'us' and a 'them' (q.v. Marxian labour vs. capital). No serious economist reads Marx except as a warning manual, but it appears to speak to some inner mal-adapted hunk of evolutionary psychology. It seems to be as refractory to reason - maybe more so - than the brain virus called religion. Of course it shares many memetic traits, notably the appeal to M (motivational) type arguments versus C (consequentialist) arguments, as Arnold Kling would have it. One can identify the two with faith versus reason. It remains a mystery why belief in God seems to be orthogonal to belief in free markets, but I guess most people need something to believe in. Not for nothing has Socialism been described as The God That Failed.
But if Socialism has failed objectively (and I think this is undeniable), it has not failed subjectively. The fact that William Ayers is not laughed to scorn (let alone dragged off to be ignominiously shot) is evidence of this. By his own testament, he was willing to out-do the Holocaust fourfold with his demented hatred of liberty, yet he still lives and breathes. This is the man who, if the breadcrumbs lead reliably back, was the springboard of Obama's political career. He is, even now, on the fringe of an academic community that tilts overwhelmingly left. Yet this is the sort of creature that Obama admittedly inclines to.
The free world is a week away from takeover by the kind of people who ten years ago would have been viewed as crude caricatures had they been depicted in their true colours in a Tom Wolfe novel. Yes, I know how hyperbolic that sounds, but hyperbole seems to have a very limited shelf life. Slippery slope arguments are only fallacious when you're not sliding down one gibbering in terror.
No Anthony, they will get you in a dozen ways everyday.
You don't understand the real target of the tax increases is small business.
Sure individuals or couples earning over $250K in salary and/or passive income will pay more. However, it's the millions of small businesses who file their business income under Subchapter "S" at individual tax rates that will be hurt when the tax increase reduces their capital by the same amount. The point of creating "S" corporations was to allow small business to file at individual rates to preserve capital, to fund themselves.
While a 3% increase from 36% to the 39% under Clinton doesn't sound onerous on the face of it; let's look a little deeper. Say that 3% amounts to a $15,000 tax increase for the Way Good Rug Cleaning Service and they planned to buy another panel van in 2009 and add two new employees with the $15,000 they no longer have. They either go into debt and most small business cannot find an affordable loan in this financial climate, so they pass.
The local truck dealership, the rug cleaning equipment-supply wholesaler and a sign painter lose a sale and two entry level jobs are lost as are sales taxes, regulatory fees and local business taxes; everyone loses.
Multiply the chilling effect by millions of businesses in the supply chain and you begin to understand why it is an incredibly boneheaded move in a credit crunch and will be a job killer. This is huge pool of money and it's held by the middle class, not the rich. BTW- 43% of Hispanic owned small businesses make a million a year, so it isn't the "rich" who will pay, the rich will simply hire more accountants to mine the inevitable loopholes left for political donors.
It's not just the mom & pops either, national franchise operators such as McDonalds file under Subchapter S, think of the hundreds of franchise business we patronize: Jiffy Lube, AAMCO, 7-11, Starbucks, Krispy Creme, Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King, KFC, Big O Tires, Fedex, H.R. Block, Snap-on Tools, Super Cuts, The Learning Experience, Oroweat bread, bottled water, Coke, Pepsi and beer distributors just to name a few.
These are the businesses that create most of the jobs and will have less capital to buy inventory, services, expand, hire and in a market downturn; to survive.
Who do you think will pay in the end? We will, their customers with higher prices and employees who will not get a raise or be laid off.
I've heard people claim, from time to time, that taxation is theft. with Obama's plan to take money from some people, and just flat out give it to others, no strings attached, that claim will become reality.
At that point, whatever lingering integrity there is in our tax system will be gone, and it will become morally acceptable to evade the income tax.
The government has no right to simply take money from one person and give it to another on no basis other than the fact that the person it gives the money to has less money than the person it takes the money from.
@Anonymous at 12:16, you must be a tomato living in a hot house. Read the financial papers and watch the TV, my friend. The super-rich are all so guilt ridden (or else so hip deep in tax attorneys that they fear no change, however drastic, in the tax code) that many of them are deep into Obama's shorts. To name a few: Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart. Do those names ring a bell? Are they voting against self-interest? Maybe so. We may think they are "dummies," but (unlike you) we wouldn't be so arrogant as to say it to their face. Instead, we would say they are entitled to their opinion, however misguided, and we respect that. "Obama is going to rule": It's the anger-laden comments like this of people like you who scare the hell out of me.
Small businesses, lacking internal controls, and not needing to worry about the layers of fact checkers and people to keep it secret, will conduct more business in cash.
Check out Europe and the UK ... high taxes lead to a grey economy. Individuals who understand the value of negotiating the cash price will save money (and need to). Tax revenue will go DOWN as taxes go up. Only those who already have it can really shelter from taxation.
What will be ironic is that the younger workers, who in many parts of the country suffer from the apparent generational phenomena of living off Mom and Dad into the late 20s, will have to learn to eat their own dog food - 'cause Mom and Dad aren't going to have it anymore by virtue of crushing marginal taxation.
"Check out Europe and the UK ... high taxes lead to a grey economy. Individuals who understand the value of negotiating the cash price will save money (and need to). Tax revenue will go DOWN as taxes go up. Only those who already have it can really shelter from taxation."
Looks like a good market for more illegals.
My hat is off to Mr. Gillies summary of the EuroMarxist mindset. Most telling is the statement that we would never have had to put up with the mind-numbing incompetence of Jimmy Carter had we not paved his way.
The Republican (former) majority's tendency to spend like drunken sailors, coupled with Bush's rusty veto pen are as much to blame as any social upheaval for setting up the economic calamity which will grease the wheels for Obama and his ilk to take another stab at our Free market Economy.
The narrowing of the polls over the past few days may indicate that the great undecided are waking up and smelling the coffee.
Sad, isn't it, that the economic and political future of this great country are balanced on the shoulders of those who can't make up their minds.
"The Republican (former) majority's tendency to spend like drunken sailors, coupled with Bush's rusty veto pen are as much to blame as any social upheaval for setting up the economic calamity which will grease the wheels for Obama and his ilk to take another stab at our Free market Economy."
Davod, I don't think that your accurate statements about the Reps and Bush are really linked to the economic calamity. That calamity is due more to the Reps failing to oppose Democratic policies concerning lending and the banks. Just a quibble about which tree we should hang them on!
"Where on earth did you morons get the idea that leftists are rich? THey are usually broke hippied. Democrats never get the majority of the vote of anyone who earns over $50K a year. At the $200K level, 63% vote Republican."
Do you think that 'limousine liberal' was a term coined in this campaign season?
Do the Kennedies ring a bell perhaps? Roosevelts? How about George Soros? How about that community of super-rich San Franciscans that Obama was talking to when he made the 'bitter gun-clinging- comments? Even commie revolutionary wannabe William Ayers got to go *yachting* as a child.
I've never been yachting.
The leaders of communist and socialist movements are often, if not mostly, the children of 'the bourgeoisie.' That's what gives them their moral purity, you see.
Does nobody but me remember that Clinton did the same thing during the '92 election. His tax pitch was that "no one under $200,000 would be affected". Some analysts looked at his numbers and declared that the policy would have to impact people down to $40k.
Clinton, without explanation, started using the figure $100,000 in his speeches.
After the election he started using the figure $70,000 when describing his plan. He used this repeatedly for a month or two, again without explanation.
Eventually everyone stopped talking about it.
After the plan was implemented and analysed, some claimed it got people down to $38,000 in one way or another.
Does no one remember? We've seen this before.
I remember the Clinton tax plan well, because it was passed in mid year and was made RETROACTIVE to JAN 1st, thereby catching a whole host of people who were not on the short list of confidants (like Michael Eisner) who were informed of Clinton's intentions before the end of the prior fiscal year. That move cost me five figures.
I learned then never to trust a politician with a "plan". the economy doesn't need a "plan"...it needs to be left alone. When Democrats tax workers to pay slugs, force banks to grant mortgages to those who don't hold steady jobs and start talking "luxury" taxes...watch you back...bad things will happen.
McCain tried to rein this in several times...outvoted by the majority. Republicans were too busy passing Medicare presciption freebies to see the gorilla in the room.
I would be more than willing to vote for somebody with a platform that is a blank piece of paper.
Just saw this today, concerning Obama and his alleged Marxist philosophy.
Those 'lost' years at Columbia? Turns out they were spent preaching to crowds about race politics (apartheid, at the time), imperialism, and revolutionary socialism.
Warning: The linked page is quite extensive.
Warning #2: The reason for that is that there has been extensive research put into this. Scans of 1983 New York phone books to prove residency? Nice work, for a blogger.
ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?
If you are learning less than $250,000, you will NOT see a tax increase. If you earn less than $200,000, your will see a drop in your taxes. Anybody with even a braincell more than a fox news anchor can conclude that taxes for those earning $200-$250k, taxes WILL NOT CHANGE, and that there are no inconsistencies there.
@ Anon 4:14
Well, Anon 4:14, there are a whole bunch of brain cells on this blog and in this country.
Most of us who actually work for a living and have used those braincells to create our success realize that we need to pay taxes.
Pretty much everybody who is successful (especially if you are a Republican) donate heavily to charity.
So, Anon, it's not that we don't understand about the "Obama Tax Plan"...it's just that we understnad EXACTLY what it is.
It is income redistribution. It is taking from some and giving to others by politicians. It is also morally bankrupt and economic suicide.
So, don't worry...we are indeed listening. I dont think you have a CLUE about how the world works. Let me give you one:
It isn't a world of Haves and Have Nots...it is a world of Dids and Did Nots.
That little clue is what will make Obama's plan unsustainable and his presidency the biggest farce since that of Jimmy Carter.