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Sympathy For The Fatcats

Whenever I hear Obama or the Democrats talk about soaking the rich (usually not coached quite that honestly, though -- usually it's about "making them pay their fare share" or variations on "they make too much money in ways we don't like" or such), I find myself arguing against them. This usually gets me accused of "sticking up or the rich" or the like.

I tend to take that position for several reasons. And none of them are overly toadying.

First, I'm not an overly jealous sort. I don't see someone else's success as coming at the expense of mine. It's rare that I see someone else doing well and resent my own circumstances or begrudge them their own.

Secondly, and more importantly, I try to look at things rationally, and with an eye towards the big picture. Suppose the CEO of my company makes a big hunk of money somewhere in the vicinity of 32,100 times as much as I did last year. (There are advantages to working for a very large, publicly traded company -- such as one's top boss's compensation being public.) Do I resent that?

Well, yeah, a little. I mean, I'm only human. I didn't get a raise at all last year. None of the employees got raises last year. And a lot of us had our hours cut and other compensations reduced. (We didn't have the best year.)

But do I think that the government should do something about it?

Not really.

As I said, I try to think these things through. And from what I know about government, several things immediately come to mind.

First up, do I trust the government to fairly and intelligently and efficiently decide how much is "enough" for businesses to pay people? I already see how that works at the low end, with minimum wage laws, and I think that's badly done. I simply don't think the federal government can come up with a magical "one size fits all" formula that works, And if they don't find that single formula, then the exceptions will be a playground for lobbyists and special interests, where everyone will pushing their cases for why they should be allowed to pay more -- or exempted entirely.

Secondly, and far more importantly, where do I think the money will be more appropriately spent?

Let's say my ultimate boss pulled in around 9 million last year. (A certain CEO of whom I am aware did just that.) What's he going to do with it?

He'll invest a bunch of it in things that'll make him more money. Which is money pumped back into the economy, specifically in areas that grow the economy.

He'll spend a bunch on personal luxuries and benefits. Those will have to be bought from businesses, made by workers, using raw materials.

He'll save it, putting it in a bank. Which will then re-lend it out.

In brief, the vast majority of it will be put right back into the economy. Our economy is not a closed system, a zero-sum game.

On the other hand, let's say the government decides to impose confiscatory tax levels on compensations above what it considers "fair." What will happen with that money?

First up, don't believe for an instant that it'll be applied for whatever the government said up front it would be used for. We're already seeing that with TARP.

When TARP was passed, it was sold as loans to troubled banks that would repay the money, and -- after interest -- would be a net gain for the government. The money would be applied directly to the debt.

But the Obama administration is already planning on spending that money on new programs, with a casual sop to the existing law by saying "we'll get that law changed." They haven't even introduced a bill to do that, but they've built that presumption into their budgets.

Pretty much any time the government talks about tax or other revenues being "dedicated" to a specific cause, that promise has an extremely short lifespan. In short order, it gets dumped into the general fund and spent on whatever the government chooses.

Which brings up the second point: how will the government spend that money?

Look at how the government spends money now. Anyone want to argue that it's efficient? That it's, by and large, productive and meaningful and worthwhile?

It's been a truism for years that if you want to find the most expensive, least efficient, most corrupt way of doing something, have the federal government do it. And while there are exceptions, it's true far more often than it's not.

Besides, there's a fundamental question at play here: whose money is it, anyway? Who earned it? Who negotiated for it, who showed up and performed as agreed for it, whose name was on the check?

It wasn't Uncle Sam. And while he's entitled to a portion of it (taxes being a necessary evil), there has to be a limit. There has to be a certain level of reality involved.

I have some friends who are very devout, who tithe to their church. They set aside 10% of what they earn to repay God for their blessings, to pass it along, to pay it forward.

If the Creator of the Universe can get by on 10%, why does the government deserve so much more? The current highest marginal tax rate is 35%, and Obama wants to raise that. And with CEOs, they're talking about making it 100% above a certain level (to be determined later).

Thanks, but no thanks.


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Comments (51)

I'll listen to the Governme... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

I'll listen to the Government when FM/FM, congress and Executive branch all work for $1.00.

Or allow their Salaries and benefits to be taxed at 100%. After all, 100% of their compensation is taxpayer money.

SS and Medicare are going both growing broke.

You have some good points, ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You have some good points, Mr Tea, but I have a couple of quibbles.

First of all, you suggest your 9 Million Dollar Man will "invest in things that will make him more money...specifically things that will grow the economy." Really? Like what? Chinese companies? Oil futures? Mortgage backed whatchamacallits? Do you think he's gonna have Joe Sixpack over and lend him the money to open a sports bar or a windmill company?

Spending on luxuries? OK, I'll give you that one, but he'll probably buy yet another vacation home and jet back and forth to it, "using raw materials" indeed!

And put it in the bank? What bank? A Swiss or Cayman Islands bank won't do the US much good, and US banks haven't exactly been hurrying to lend the past year and a half. Too busy offering fat bonuses to the numbnuts who screwed us all over in the first place.

You talk about truisms. "Truism" can be another word for "cliche" or even "canard."

Lastly, letting the Bush tax cuts expire will mean the top rates will go from 35% to 39.6%. Hardly confiscatory. Hardly, to borrow a phrase, a "Bolshevik plot."

Every time the democrats wa... (Below threshold)
Mark W:

Every time the democrats want to raise taxes, they ALWAYS talk about making the rich pay their fair share. Taxes are ALWAYS raised more on the "rich" than they are on the poor. Apparently, the democrats have done a miserable job of making the "rich" pay their fair share every single time they have raised taxes because we have never succeeded in doing so by their standards. It is time someone asked the question, what exactly is the "fair share" of the rich by democrat standards?

Bruce, let's take what you ... (Below threshold)

Bruce, let's take what you say even further: what if he takes all of it and invests it in South Asian sweatshops? Or new coal-powered power plants in India? Or chemical plants in Eastern Europe?

SO FUCKING WHAT?

It's HIS money, not mine. HE earned it (with my help, in this case, but not because I'm an American but an employee of his).

As far as "letting the Bush tax cuts expire" -- if my taxes go up, that's a tax hike. No matter what you call it.

There are two basic presumptions in your comment that I find repugnant, Bruce. The first is that my CEO's money is some kind of public asset, to be managed however we (to be honest, you) see fit. It ain't.

The second is that there is a "natural" tax rate. That's the way liberals seem to think -- tax hikes are "normal," tax cuts are deviations. So tax hikes are permanent, cuts are temporary.

I don't buy either. And I don't know how the hell you justify them.

J.

Why are liberals are so fri... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Why are liberals are so fricken envious? They dont give a F about their fellow man unless it'll benefit them somehow.(See donation history of No-bama and his stuttering sidekick.)

Libs laim to be pro-choice. Why not enact a flat tax, and allow people to do whatever they want with their income?

The 'Millionaire Tax' has led to a migration FROM lib respites MD, NJ, and CA. Who'll ay for all of the lib giveaways when there are no more rich to tax?

We at my place of employmen... (Below threshold)
mag:

We at my place of employment got a small percentage of a raise being told that there was just no money for a big percentage. I am grateful, some people got nothing or like you said have lost jobs, benefits etc.
BUT...the very next day...the very top bosses got HUGE bonuses. And only one really deserved it in my opinion.
Things like this cause people to get jealous. I being human you sometimes get that feeling, but I really hate the emotion. It is totally worthless to you and serves no purpsoe

JT, c'mon. Yesterday on lo... (Below threshold)
epador:

JT, c'mon. Yesterday on local ORPR news some she-Democat was meowing about how taxes were going to increase for the [evil] corporations and those with incomes over $250,000, while working people would see no tax increases.

Those rich folks don't work, so soak them, OK?

The left stays in office by... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The left stays in office by nurturing an endless list petty grievances, usually pitting a minority group against another. Rich folks, smokers, bankers, SUV drivers, foreign companies, business executives, gun owners, conservative pundits, truckers, home schoolers, Christians, Joe Sixpack, you know the list. There's always a scapegoat and a jealous, aggrieved victim that needs relief. Politicians of all stripes have been doing this for centuries, but in the last generation, it's become stock in trade for libs.

And Obama is the worst of the lot. It's the basis for his entire political career. It's white people. It's the media. It's the conservative commenters. It's FoxNews. It's rich people. It's the insurance industry. It's those Teabaggers. It's those John Birchers. It's those bankers. It's the insurance industry. It's those auto industry executives. It's those obstructive Republicans. There's always something or somebody to blame.

Bruce rattles off a number of them. Company executives that make too much money. Chinese companies. Oil industry executives. The mortgage bankers. Foreign banks. Bush Tax Cuts. Vacation home buyers. All in about two short paragraphs.

If only we could get rid of all those evil things, life would improve on the Big Rock Candy Mountain and we could finally have Social Justice.

If only Mr. Henry could see how transparent and how fatuous his comment really is.

Bruce -35%? 39.6%?... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Bruce -

35%? 39.6%?

Add in state income tax - for example, Georgia's is 6%, in CA you're looking at 9.3% above $47k.

Add in sales taxes. In CA, you're looking at up to 10% in some localities.

Add in school and property taxes. Add in utility taxes.

At what point DOES the total taxation reach confiscatory levels in your opinion?

JLawson, there's an old saw... (Below threshold)

JLawson, there's an old saw: don't ask questions when you might not like the answer.

I fear that if we got an honest answer from Mr. Henry about what he considers "confiscatory" -- and, more importantly, what he does NOT consider "confiscatory" -- we'd be horrified.

J.

There's another aspect that... (Below threshold)

There's another aspect that you're missing and it's tied in with Jay's comment that "it's his money":

Nobody sets their own pay. No matter where you are in the corporate food chain, you only get paid to the extent that you can convince someone that you're worth the money you're asking for (so if Jay didn't get a raise, it is because he couldn't convince someone that it was in their interests to give him a raise). Managers don't give out million dollar bonuses for no good reason, they do so because they think it is in their own interests to do so (why incur a million dollar expense if you don't think it is going to pay off?). So the only way someone gets paid the big bucks is if someone else thinks they are worth the money (i.e., ARod, Katie Couric, some banker on Wall Street).

And here is they key point: the money is either coming out of the pocket of either the boss himself or someone who has entrusted the boss to act on their behalf. Compensation is thus the process of someone with money deciding how to spend their money and interfering with this process deprives people of the ability to spend their money the way they want.

For example, restricting Wall Street salaries deprives the owners of those companies (through the managers they've hired to act of their behalf) of the ability to spend money in the way they want. Capping ARods pay restricts Steinbrenner from spending his money the way he wants for the reason he wants. And it is the same for people who own a business, they only make money if they are able to convince someone (the customer) to spend their money.

We may not like the way someone decides to spend their money (CBS and Couric) but it is their money to spend (or waste) as they see fit... and paying an employee is no less an exercise in spending one's money than going out and buying a car or donating money to charity.

Bobdog -I'm starti... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Bobdog -

I'm starting to think 'Social Justice' is another of those wonderful phrases that has a reality completely in opposition to the two words making it up.

So Bruce, you favor legisla... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So Bruce, you favor legislating morality, as long as it is financial morals?

Jay has made his arguments ... (Below threshold)
Razorgirl:

Jay has made his arguments in a rational and oversimplified way. Good job Jay. Any person of average intelligence should be able to understand what you have said. But let me simplify it even more for those among us who still don't get it. This question/quote came from an African/American caller to the Sean Hannity radio program several months ago and it puts it pretty much in a nutshell: "Has a poor man ever offered you a job?"

The owner of the company you work for is not running a non-profit organization. He is not in it to "break-even". In order for him to continue to be able to pay you he must make a profit. If, after paying his employees, taxes, overhead, expenses, etc. he has anything left over, he should be able to do with it what ever he wants. He took the risks. He dealt with the government red tape. You didn't.

Jay Tea -Oh, I'm a... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Jay Tea -

Oh, I'm already sure I won't like Bruce's answer - but I want his answer down SOLID. No waffling, no weaseling, no 'Well, I don't consider all those OTHER taxes as being part of the confiscatory tax base!'. It all adds up, it all has an effect - at what point is it 'enough'?

I've never been able to understand the sheer hate the left has against the 'rich'. Envy I can understand - but hate? Destroying what you hate (the left destroying the 'rich' through taxation) doesn't improve things for all - it just makes it harder for anyone to get above a certain level, and it LOWERS that level for all.

For a couple of years, 2006... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

For a couple of years, 2006-2008, I had a consulting gig in NYC that paid me a very healthy day rate. In fact I would be considered one of those fat cats Obama loves to denigrate (the job was at a HEDGE FUND, horror of horrors). Now of course I had to live in NYC as well. NYC was one of those wonderful places that decided if you are an independent contractor you either need to incorporate or pay and "unincorporated business tax" of 4% above about 90K. Add on to that the city tax, the state tax plus a healthy sales tax. Parking a car in NYC costs around $350/month, my 1 bedroom apartment next to public housing ran me $2,200/month (so sue me, it was a nice apartment). Lets just say that while we managed to save some money in a 401k and create a rainy day cushion my wife and I were not living high on the hog. I worked on Wall Street for 21 years to claw my way up to that "fat cat" income level.
More of the last $150K I made in those years got paid to various governments than went into my pocket and that was with the "Bush Tax Cuts".
Why should anyone making more than 250K be required to give the "Government of the People" a 4% raise that the rest of "the people" don't have to pay ? If that is your idea of fair then your dictionary is different than mine.

Speaking of legislating inc... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Speaking of legislating income, how's that minimum wage increase working out now for those young people that cant get a job?

The Dems are looking desper... (Below threshold)
recoverd liberal democrat:

The Dems are looking desperately for money for their programs. They see hundreds of millions in retirement plans and they are drooling to get their hands on it. After all, we've been able to save it tax deferred and in most cases tax free by the "will of Congress". So it just stands to reason that if the government thinks you have enough, they will take it. I know lots of people who are not rich but, have sacrificed for years to save in IRA's and other plans. Now that the pool of money out there in these plans is so big the government is going to want a little piece, just a little piece. Who could argue? Wait until they make a serious grab for this money. Their will be lots of screaming...I hope.

"First they came for the CE... (Below threshold)

"First they came for the CEOs, but I wasn't a CEO, so I said nothing.

Then they came for the investment bankers, but I wasn't an investment banker, so I said nothing.

Then they came for the insurance execs, but I wasn't an insurance exec, so I said nothing.

Then they came for my 401K..."

J.

Libs are funny. They alway... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Libs are funny. They always want to determine what's "fair" for others. Let's look at a really screaming liberal (now sober and deceased) Ted Kennedy. When Momma died in Massachusetts, the family was looking at a huge 'soak the rich' tax bill. So Teddy had Momma declared a 'resident of Florida', despite the fact that she hadn't been there in 22 years. Under Florida laws, they got to keep Momma's money. Seems some animals are more equal than others. Even Bloomberg in NY has suddenly realized that 'taxing the rich' - and letting everyone else skate - can have repercussions. You get to a certain point, the rich pick up and leave - AND BLOW A REALLY BIG HOLE IN YOUR TAX COLLECTIONS.

I anxiously await directions from the White House on "who to hate next week".

usually it's abou... (Below threshold)
James H:
usually it's about "making them pay their fare share"

If the rich ride the bus, they should pay the same as everybody else. It's only fair.

JT, obviously Bruce came to... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, obviously Bruce came to a gunfight with a butter knife. ww

More of a spork, willie. A ... (Below threshold)

More of a spork, willie. A plastic one.

Maybe that should be his new nickname... Bruce "spork" Henry. The man who brings a spork to every gunfight!

J.

If the rich ride t... (Below threshold)
If the rich ride the bus, they should pay the same as everybody else. It's only fair.

Yeah, but they shouldn't be forced to pay everyone else's bus fare.

OregonMuse - Good one. Do y... (Below threshold)
Razorgirl:

OregonMuse - Good one. Do you mind if I use it on the liberal dolts I work with? This analogy would also apply to going to the movies, eating out, shopping at WalMart......

(Off subject but - here in NW Arkansas, WalMart has just laid-off 500, I think, executives at their corporate headquarters in Bentonville. We may start seeing the dominoes begin to fall in our area now. So far we have been behind the rest of the country in job losses.)

"Then they came for my 401K... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Then they came for my 401K..."

Then, after they actually took the 401ks, mid- and high-level bureaucrats from the agency responsible began to go missing.
High velocity blood spatter was found at their homes and drag marks.
The '401k Gangstas', as they had become known, were never seen again.

Weird.

Some speculated that it was space aliens. That's probably what it was.

OregonMuse and "bus rides".... (Below threshold)
Rance:

OregonMuse and "bus rides".

If that "bus ride" is subsidized with our tax dollars, and because of their wealth, the rich "ride the bus" more often than the poor, then they should be paying a bigger share of the subsidy through higher taxes.


Jay, You nailed it i... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Jay,
You nailed it in your third paragraph. "I'm not an overly jealous sort. I don't see someone else's success as coming at the expense of mine." I believe that you have nailed it.

I could be jealous of my next door neighbor who has a bigger car and newer television...
I could be jealous of big wall street bankers...
I could be jealous of rich and pampered movie stars...
I could be jealous of rich sports stars...
I could be jealous of any number of people who have had more material success than I have.

I choose not to be jealous. It really is a choice. You have made that choice, too. It is unfortunate that others don't realize how freeing that choice can be.

Along with the ideas you listed of how your "ultimate boss" would spend his money, I would add set up a foundation or designate it to charity(ies).

People can stop giving if they find that too much money of the charity is spent on overhead or there is some other problem. Private charities feed people, help people, have their people on the ground where the problems are.

When the U.S. government uses money to do charitable work, it is so hidden and so complicated that we seldom know exactly how it is spent. (note - oil for food program).

OregonMuse & Razorgirl,... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

OregonMuse & Razorgirl,

Be careful with those analogies...you might just give them ideas.

http://pajamasmedia.com/zombie/2010/01/12/from-each-according-to-his-ability-progressive-pricing-coming-soon-to-a-nation-near-you/

Rance,So, obviousl... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Rance,

So, obviously, all tax subsidies of bus service needs to end. That way everyone pays their "fair share" each and every time they ride a bus.

-syb

syb,So you would d... (Below threshold)
Rance:

syb,

So you would do away with the interstate highway system, the FAA, the TSA, the SEC, etc.?

Rance,Nice non-seq... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Rance,

Nice non-sequitur you got there. Be a shame if something should happen to it.

-syb

When is the last time you s... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

When is the last time you saw a rich man (or woman) riding a public bus, with the hoi paloi?
Based on this... how does it follow that the rich benefit most from the bus?

You all did notice that I d... (Below threshold)
Rance:

You all did notice that I did put "bus" in quotes as a stand-in for any number of other things.

Since airline travel is highly subsidized by the federal government through the FAA, TSA, NTSB, NOAA, etc. substitute "airplane" for "bus".

Those who can fly more often, benefit more from the subsidized air transport system.

Rance,I did notice... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Rance,

I did notice that you put "bus rides" in quotes in your original comment. However, the way you used it gave no indication that what you really meant was "air transportation".

On behalf of everyone, I'd just like to apologize for our inability to read your mind.

Nevertheless, the subsidized "bus system" and the "subsidized" air transportation system are two very different things.

Bus services are generally funded on a local/state basis, typically through local additional sales taxes. Therefore, the more you buy, the more sales taxes you pay and the more you are subsidizing the bus service...whether you use the bus service or not. I don't know about where you live, but MOST places the "rich" (the people with more disposable income) spend more money (and, thusly, pay more sales taxes) than "poor" people. On top of that the "rich" don't even usually use the bus service AT ALL; but even if they did use the bus service, they have almost certainly paid "a bigger share of the subsidy through higher taxes" simply by spending more money (paying more sales taxes).

Please see here for more info on bus system revenue sources. http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/committee-documents/ol1ZXVw20041015144346.pdf

-syb

SYB,Let me put it ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

SYB,

Let me put it simply. The rich benefit more from the services provided by the government, federal, state, and local, so they should pay a larger share to support those services.

If that "bus ride"... (Below threshold)
If that "bus ride" is subsidized with our tax dollars...

Stop right there. You have just hit on the source of the problem. Eliminate these sorts of subsidies and the accompanying taxation (and regulation, don't forget) necessary to maintain them, and a lot of problems will suddenly go away.

Rance,Then I'll pu... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Rance,

Then I'll put it simply also.

The rich already DO pay a larger share of taxes.

-syb

Walter Williams said someth... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Walter Williams said something like: "If you want a job, do you go to a poor person to get it? No, you go to a rich person and ask for a job."

I am really tired of the "Scrooge McDuck" view of wealthy people. They really don't hoard their money and fill a swimming pool with it. (Except some of the folks in Hollywood, now that I think about it....) Too many people have been brainwashed into thinking that rich people just take, take, take. In fact, it is the government that takes and takes and takes.

JayTea,I wouldn't ... (Below threshold)
uh-huh:

JayTea,

I wouldn't let sycophants like Wild Willie, convince you that you won the exchange with Bruce Henry. You didn't.


syb,But do they pa... (Below threshold)
Rance:

syb,

But do they pay in proportion to the benefits the get back? That's the question.

You seem to think that they do.
I doubt that they do.

Rance,Do tell.... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Rance,

Do tell.

I haven't ridden a city bus in years, and yet I pay plenty in sales taxes every year.

How exactly do I not already "pay in proportion to the benefits" I "get back"?

Your argument is making less and less sense...and that's being kind.

-syb

"uh-huh," it wasn't much of... (Below threshold)

"uh-huh," it wasn't much of an exchange.

He raised some points.

I blew them to hell.

He vanished.

Since he had no followup, there really wasn't an "exchange."

If you'd like to take up the gauntlet from Bruce "Spork" Henry, feel free. If you're so convinced that there are so many more points to make, go ahead and make them.

J.

"uh-huh," it wasn... (Below threshold)
Uh-huh:
"uh-huh," it wasn't much of an exchange.

He raised some points.

I blew them to hell.

He vanished.

Since he had no followup, there really wasn't an "exchange."

If you'd like to take up the gauntlet from Bruce "Spork" Henry, feel free. If you're so convinced that there are so many more points to make, go ahead and make them.

I'll argue with you, but not anyone else who jumps in the fray. (letting them know now so when they start complaining about being ignored it will be covered.) I really only feel the desire to have one argument at a time.

Now, the idea that you blew up BH's arguments is just not true. In fact, you really didn't even address most of them and in some cases you seemed to outright just concede his points, but argue that it was okay to do so, because you feel morraly correct.


I am speaking of this exchange specifically:

He'll invest a bunch of it in things that'll make him more money. Which is money pumped back into the economy, specifically in areas that grow the economy.

He'll spend a bunch on personal luxuries and benefits. Those will have to be bought from businesses, made by workers, using raw materials.

He'll save it, putting it in a bank. Which will then re-lend it out.


The gist of your argument here is that your rich boss is going to do all these wonderful things to help the economy.

BH replies:
First of all, you suggest your 9 Million Dollar Man will "invest in things that will make him more money...specifically things that will grow the economy." Really? Like what? Chinese companies? Oil futures? Mortgage backed whatchamacallits? Do you think he's gonna have Joe Sixpack over and lend him the money to open a sports bar or a windmill company?

Spending on luxuries? OK, I'll give you that one, but he'll probably buy yet another vacation home and jet back and forth to it, "using raw materials" indeed!

And put it in the bank? What bank? A Swiss or Cayman Islands bank won't do the US much good, and US banks haven't exactly been hurrying to lend the past year and a half. Too busy offering fat bonuses to the numbnuts who screwed us all over in the first place.

BH essentially argues, that your point is based on mistaken premises. That very little of that money is going to end up in the U.S. economy.

Your response:

SO FUCKING WHAT?

It's HIS money, not mine. HE earned it (with my help, in this case, but not because I'm an American but an employee of his).


Basically you never addressed his point that overseas investment, does little to help the American economy. This was one of your key points in the article you wrote.

Instead you dropped your argument and instead turned to a moral one. i.e. BH is bad because he wants to take hard earned money away from your rich boss. You never addressed his rebuttal to your original point, (which hardly amounts to blowing it out of the water.)

Now I suppose, you can make a moral argument, if you want, but it really has nothing to do with your argument or BH's rebuttal about the effect your rich boss will have on the American economy.


As to how he justifies raising taxes, I can't speak for him, but I'll speak for myself.

I think there are only so many yachts you can ski behind, and I think it is unfair that Warren Buffet is taxed less than his secretary (according to him.) In fact I think it is morally repugnant, but that's just me. I also happen to know the largest period of economic growth in the U.S the late 1930s to the 70s, had 90% on the upper class. They were fine, and America as I mentioned was making money hand over fist.

So sockpuppet (uh-huh)...<b... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So sockpuppet (uh-huh)...
What else was happening in the world from the 1930s to the 70s...
Could it have been wars, and the recovery from wars?
Which 1st world country came out of World War 2 with a functional industrial economy AND thriving agriculture?
I wonder how long it was before countries like England, Japan and Germany recovered their industry and economies? Began exporting to the world again...
But hey, the US economy is a bubble universe, and a zero-sum scenario.

Uh-huh, the essence of my p... (Below threshold)

Uh-huh, the essence of my point is that the fatcat's money is NOT a communal asset, to be apportioned by the community in how it will be best allotted. There's a term for that, when the communal interests control everything and the individual has no say in their property is managed -- if you can even call it "property." The precise term escapes me...

But as I was saying, the wealthy very well do more good for the economy than the government -- but he has no OBLIGATION to do so.

Taxes to cover the obligations of the goverment are a necessary evil. Taxes on punishing people for "making too much money" are an obscenity.

I repeat: if the fatcats decide that they want to spend their money in ways to support the government, fine. If he chooses not to, shame on him -- but that's his business.

IT'S HIS MONEY. IT AIN'T OURS TO SPEND HOW WE THINK HE OUGHT TO SPEND IT.

It's so easy to be righteous and generous when it's not your money. But as Margaret Thatcher once said, "the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

It's very simple, punk. It ain't yours. You wanna be generous, then give away your money. Taking other people's money -- no matter how noble you think your motives and purposes are -- is stealing. Getting the government to do it for you doesn't make it any better, but worse.

J.

Jaytea,You ... (Below threshold)
Uh-Huh:


Jaytea,

You argued in your first post that the economy usally benifits everytime Donald Trump makes another 100 million. Bruce henry pointed out conditions where that wouldn't be true. You then ignored that argument and returned to your other point which is nothing more than your subjective belief that it is morally wrong to tax a person with a high income at a higher tax rate than he currently pays.
This is tantemount to saying, I believe what I beleive therefore you are wrong (You then proceeded to beat your chest and declare victory after the I'm right, cause I am argument.)


Now, you and I can objectively debate the effects on the economy of wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. We can argue about this with objective data. i.e. THis policy occured, and therefore, this result is correlated with that policy.

However, when you get into moral terrority, it really comes down to a value system. It is like the abortion argument. Pro-Lifers will argue it is morally wrong to abort an embryo or fetus. Pro-Choicers will argue it is morally wrong, to force a woman to carry an unwanted preganacy to term. There, is not much room for objective data here. The argument comes down on either side to a subjective set of values that reside in each person who decides where they fall in that argument.

Now the fact is, whether taxing the rich is stealing, anymore than taxing me to pay for the Iraq war is stealing, is subjective. What is objective is whether or not it hurts or helps the economy.

Now part of your article made the argument that having the super rich is economically good. Bruce henry made an argument that it wasn't. In short Punk it is very simple: you made an argument, didn't defend it when it was challenged, and then crowed like a rooster about your non accomplishment.

OBAMA and Bernanke are feat... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea Fan:

OBAMA and Bernanke are featured in a movie-- about greedy hedge funds called "Stock Shock." Even though the movie mostly focuses on Sirius XM stock being naked short sold nearly into bankruptcy (5 cents/share), I liked it because it exposes the dark side of Wall Street and revealed some of their secrets. DVD is everywhere but cheaper at www.stockshockmovie.com

As people say soak the R... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

As people say soak the Rich and raise taxes on them they seem to forget that then forces these people to become more involved with trying to protect themselves. Just like UNION lobby so do corporations and the wealthy. People have a right to keep what they earn and will continue to fight for it.

SCSIwuzzy,Sock pup... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

SCSIwuzzy,

Sock puppet, indeed.

Check "Uh-huh's" IP with Steve Green.

"I'll argue with you, but not anyone else who jumps in the fray. (letting them know now so when they start complaining about being ignored it will be covered.) I really only feel the desire to have one argument at a time."

Well.. As long as you have your say. How bold.

His admiration for Mr. Henry's analysis is very familiar, too.

Sure sounds like him.

-Shawn

Sorry to stir the pot and t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Sorry to stir the pot and then leave.

Really wasn't making a case for anything, just pointing out the flaws in Mr Tea's piece. I don't have all the answers, but I just felt I should point out that Mr Tea doesn't either.




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