Tuesday, July 24, 2012


He has probably taken advantage of all the loop holes and dodges in the tax code and piling trust funds on top of trust funds for all the unborn Romney's, he has done nothing illegal, I am sure of that. The rich have many ways to shelter their income, which are unavailable to the working class. I am sure that is legal also.
By and large the tax filings of Mr. Romney will show nothing more than he is wealthy and pays less % than a middle class worker does. What bothers me the most is the man who has flipped on everything from gun control, abortion, health care, and is firm on " I followed the law"
That is like saying I observed the speed limit while driving by an accident in which people are injured laying on the pavement needing help.  I followed the law. Yes you did George! ignoring the big problem people are hurting and you are observing the speeding law.
George you worked in an industry that had terminals, and computers and manipulation of numbers for shareholders benefits, not factories or mines or small business with real payrolls and real customers, a business so few know about and those that do don't much want to talk about it. You were  loyal to no industry, no companies, just  to your investors, just to investors, people like him.
 It isn't about being anti-rich, I know many hard working wealthy people who have met payrolls, sacrificed for their employees, and made lot's of money which they are entitled to because they risked it mightly. This is about not just always looking  inward, it's about looking outward.
I made it great but you had help also,teachers who educated your workers, roads which got your product to market. The mantra " I followed the law" just doesn't cut it with me.

The Economic Debate is a Sham

The U.S. Economic Policy Debate Is a Sham By Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers - Jul 23, 2012 Watching Democrats and Republicans hash out their differences in the public arena, it’s easy to get the impression that there’s a deep disagreement among reasonable people about how to manage the U.S. economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, there’s remarkable consensus among mainstream economists, including those from the left and right, on most major macroeconomic issues. The debate in Washington about economic policy is phony. It’s manufactured. And it’s entirely political. Let’s start with Obama’s stimulus. The standard Republican talking point is that it failed, meaning it didn’t reduce unemployment. Yet in a survey of leading economists conducted by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, 92 percent agreed that the stimulus succeeded in reducing the jobless rate. On the harder question of whether the benefit exceeded the cost, more than half thought it did, one in three was uncertain, and fewer than one in six disagreed. Or consider the widely despised bank bailouts. Populist politicians on both sides have taken to pounding the table against them (in many cases, only after voting for them). But while the public may not like them, there’s a striking consensus that they helped: The same survey found no economists willing to dispute the idea that the bailouts lowered unemployment. No Support Do you remember the Republican concern that Obama had somehow caused gas prices to rise, a development that Newt Gingrich promised to reverse? There’s simply no support among economists for this view. They unanimously agreed that “market factors,” rather than energy policy, have driven changes in gas prices. How about the oft-cited Republican claim that tax cuts will boost the economy so much that they will pay for themselves? It’s an idea born as a sketch on a restaurant napkin by conservative economist Art Laffer. Perhaps when the top tax rate was 91 percent, the idea was plausible. Today, it’s a fantasy. The Booth poll couldn’t find a single economist who believed that cutting taxes today will lead to higher government revenue -- even if we lower only the top tax rate. The consensus isn’t the result of a faux poll of left-wing ideologues. Rather, the findings come from the Economic Experts Panel run by Booth’s Initiative on Global Markets. It’s a recurring survey of about 40 economists from around the U.S. It includes Democrats, Republicans and independent academics from the top economics departments in the country. The only things that unite them are their first-rate credentials and their interest in public policy. Let’s be clear about what the economists’ remarkable consensus means. They aren’t purporting to know all the right answers. Rather, they agree on the best reading of murky evidence. The folks running the survey understand this uncertainty, and have asked the economists to rate their confidence in their answers on a scale of 1 to 10. Strikingly, the consensus looks even stronger when the responses are weighted according to confidence. The debate in Washington has become completely unmoored from this consensus, and in a particular direction: Angry Republicans have pushed their representatives to adopt positions that are at odds with the best of modern economic thinking. That may be good politics, but it’s terrible policy. The disjunction between the state of economic knowledge and our current political debate has important consequences. Right now, millions of people are suffering due to high unemployment. Our textbooks are filled with possible solutions. Instead of debating them seriously, congressional Republicans are blocking even those policy proposals that strike most economists as uncontroversial. Raw Politics This inaction has no basis in economics. Instead, it’s raw politics -- a cynical attempt to score points in a phony rhetorical war or a way of preventing their opponents from scoring a policy win. The debate about the long-run challenge posed by the federal budget deficit has also become divorced from economic reality. The same panel of economists was almost unanimous in agreeing that “long run fiscal sustainability in the U.S. will require cuts in currently promised Medicare and Medicaid benefits and/or tax increases that include higher taxes on households with incomes below $250,000.” Only one in 10 was uncertain. None objected. Likewise, popular tax deductions such as that for mortgage interest didn’t fare well in the surveys and would be on almost any economist’s list of targets for reform. Yet neither party is willing to propose such policies. The consensus, of course, can be wrong. On the probable consequences of economic reforms, though, leading economists are more likely to be right than politicians running for re- election. Their solidarity needs to be taken seriously. Too much of what passes for economic debate in Washington is the product of faith, not evidence. It’s time to put economics back into the economic debate.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Do The Right Thing All The Time

No one I know is against wealthy people. What we are against is favoritism. Someone paying 18% tax, while a regular working stiff pays a higher percentage. (Ala the Buffett argument) ! Forget all the HOO HA just have a tax system that is fair.
To blame the unions and pensions of people who passed on wage increases for more pension money is wrong. To blame a  mother who taught school for 30 years that she is the problem is beyond understanding!
 Right now the biggest corporations in the United States pay a smaller percentage of income tax than the average American Family and that is a fact JACK. Wall Street spends a million dollars a DAY lobbying in Washington for tax breaks and special interests.
 Ending oil subsidies alone would save two Billion a year to tax payers.
 A great start would be term limits, no gerrymandering, and a promise to work with whoever is elected. Or in plain simple language we can all understand " do the right thing all the time" for the American people, not for your ideology.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You Liberals are going to have a hard time with this, but think, ponder then...think.

What you want, redistribution, will hurt the poor the most.  Trickle AROUND from the most successful always works...always has, always will.

Stated again,  having Buffet keep his money will be more productive than sending it to the government. 

What does Michael Jordan tell us about income inequality in the United States? The U.S. has greater income inequality than nearly all other developed nations, and the former basketball star earned far more in most years than the typical American earns in a lifetime. So is our system unfair and stacked against the middle class? First, some historical perspective.

"From the time of Pericles until the end of the 18th century in London—2,300 years," notes Harvard Prof. Lawrence Summers, "standards of living on Earth increased perhaps 100%." In the U.S. since 1790, by contrast, real per capita gross domestic product has increased nearly 4,000%. Quality of life, in other words, increased 40 times more in 220 years of American history than it had globally over two millennia. In 2012, a typical American in the bottom fifth of the income distribution has a far higher quality of life—and life expectancy—than the average member of the top 1% in 1790.

Critics today often point to the 1950s as the last years before American society became so divided between haves and have-nots. At the end of that decade, America's "Gini coefficient"—the most common measure of income inequality, running from 0 (least unequal) to 1 (most unequal)—was 0.37. Today it is 0.45.

But in 1959, more than 20% of families fell below the poverty line. In 2010 that figure was just over 13%. Real per capita GDP today is 270% higher than it was in 1959. A family in the bottom fifth of the income distribution today makes the same amount in real terms as a family earning the median income in 1950. So inequality might have increased, but so too—dramatically—has quality of life.

Even over the last two decades, while real income has essentially stagnated for the bottom fifth of earners, basic conveniences have become far more affordable. In 1992, only 20% of American families below the poverty line had a dishwasher—50% had air conditioning and 60% owned a microwave. When the Census Bureau last surveyed these figures in 2005, those figures were 37%, 79% and 91%, respectively. Critics who minimize the importance of these conveniences likely have never had to do without them.

And that brings us to Michael Jordan, who starred for the Chicago Bulls from 1984 to 1998. In 1986, the Bulls' median player salary was $300,000. The team's lowest-paid player made $135,000, and its highest-paid player made $806,000. The team's Gini coefficient was 0.36. But Jordan's superstardom increased the team's popularity and revenues, and by 1998 salaries looked different. The median income was $2.3 million, the lowest was $500,000, and the highest (Jordan's) was $33 million. The Gini coefficient had nearly doubled, to 0.67.

Jordan's salary of $33 million consumed over half the payroll, but everyone was better off. The median player in 1998 made more than seven times what the median player made in 1986, while the income of the lowest-paid player in 1998 quadrupled that of his 1986 peer.

Detractors would suggest that this situation is anomalous to sports, that many of today's wealthy inherited their money or acquired it without adding commensurate value to society. But consider another basketball player, Rashard Lewis of the Washington Wizards.

Lewis was the second-highest paid player in the National Basketball Association in 2012, making $22.1 million—even though he appeared in fewer than half of his team's games and performed poorly when he did. Is it fair that Lewis was compensated so handsomely? More pertinently, if his team could repossess a portion of his salary and redistribute it more "fairly" to deserving players following the season, would it benefit the franchise?

Perhaps it would in the short term, as the team could reward players and temporarily strengthen morale. But top players would be disincentivized to play for the team in the future, knowing that such repossession could also happen to them. And without an objective measure of overall player performance, the team could one day decide that even a high-performing player was overcompensated and therefore should see some of his proceeds redistributed to his teammates. The team would quickly become uncompetitive.

Certainly there are reasons for concern if lower-income Americans aren't able to save or acquire sufficient capital to pursue innovative ideas, or to see their children attend decent schools. They will suffer, and the country will lose out on significant intellectual capital and growth opportunities. But this should not be confused with inequality.

Equality is not a good in itself and shouldn't be analyzed in a vacuum. If we remember that, perhaps a century from now low-income Americans will pity the living standards of today's 1%.

Obama V. Clinton On Taxes. Dick Morris

President Obama is trying to re-write history when he says that his tax program is the same as Bill Clinton supported "when 23 million jobs were created."

It's not that way at all. Clinton's 1993 increase of personal income taxes on the top bracket to 39.6% had a very negative effect on the economy. It was only after Clinton's 1997 cut the capital gains tax - the opposite of what Obama proposes - that job growth really piled up.

When Clinton took office he did all the wrong things. He raised taxes sharply, hiking the top bracket from 35% to 39.6% and raised taxes on gasoline. The result was that the economy, which had been recovering, staggered. GDP growth dropped to 0.7% in Clinton's first quarter (down from 4.3% in Bush's last quarter) and stayed around 2% for the rest of 1993. Personal income rose 6.3% in 1992 under Bush but slowed to 4.1% under Clinton in 1993.

The tax increases Clinton passed failed to generate the revenue he had expected. The tax paradox set in. Martin Feldstein, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, summed it up in his Wall Street Journal article, "What the '93 Tax Increase Really Did," published on October 26, 1995. He said taxpayers reduced their incomes when they saw the tax hikes coming. Feldstein writes that "the Treasury lost two-thirds of the extra revenue that would have been collected if taxpayers had not changed their behavior." Because of Clinton's tax hikes, real personal income fell by $25 billion. High income taxpayers, facing the prospect of a tax increase reported 8.5% less taxable income in 1993 than they would have if their tax rates had not changed. The tax paradox!

Then Clinton got wiped out in the Congressional elections of 1994, losing control of the Senate and the House - the first time the Republicans had run the House in forty years!

Clinton suddenly saw the error of his ways and began to hold down spending and push for a tax cut. In 1997, he and the Republican Congress combined to cut capital gains taxes from 28% (the rate to which Bush had increased it) to 20%. The result was electrifying! Real wage growth was 6.5% in the four years after the tax cut compared to minuscule wage growth of 0.8% over the four years after Clinton's tax increase!

And the tax paradox was again evident: lower rates produced higher revenues! In 1996, the year before the capital gains cut, the tax collected revenues of only $66 billion. In the four years after the cut, they averaged $100 billion a year. But, what was more important was the surge in economic activity that the capital gains tax cut generated. In 1996, before the tax cut, there were $261 billion in capital gains in America. In the three years after the cut, capital gains rose to an average of $440 billion. The increased tax collections and the greater economic activity were such that they pushed the budget into a surplus for the first time since the 1950s.

These facts may be "inconvenient truths" for Obama to face but they are the facts!

Mr. Obama keeps attacking Republicans for refusing to pass his latest stimulus-spending splurge. He seems to have forgotten that less than two years ago the GOP won a landslide midterm election by promising voters they would end the avalanche of spending and debt.
The only jobs plan that has any chance of passing the House and Senate before the election is a bill to cancel all tax increases in 2013. With White House support, this would fly through the House and Senate and eliminate one major antigrowth headwind, as even some Keynesian economists and the Congressional Budget Office are telling the President.

The dilemma for the White House is that calling off next year's tax increase would undercut Mr. Obama's re-election theme of redistributing income. His liberal base has become so obsessed with the politics of envy that it is demanding higher taxes no matter the economic or political costs.

The question for Senate Democrats is whether they want to jeopardize their personal futures, and their majority, by jumping off the same tax cliff. With the House poised to pass an extension of the tax rates for at least one year, Senate Democrats have to decide if they want to vote before Election Day to wallop an already weak economy with a giant tax increase.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just the Facts

It's no news that lack of affordability is the main reason many small business owners don't offer health coverage to their employees. It's not that they don't want to provide it --  they do. But unlike big businesses, small firms continue to face premium rates that are unpredictable in nearly every sense -- except for the guarantee that they will always increase.

That's why June 28 was a day for the small business history books. The Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act protects a number of benefits that are helping offset small businesses' costs as they brave the tumultuous health coverage market. Provisions such as rate review and Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) have already resulted in lower premium costs and cash back for small employers. Millions of small businesses in 42 states will get rebates for part of their coverage costs in August because their insurers failed to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement as required by the MLR rule.

On top of that, the law's health insurance tax credits for small business owners with fewer than 25 full-time employees are helping hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs who offer coverage save money on their health care costs. With those savings, they are reinvesting in their businesses and even creating new jobs. Now that the law's fate is no longer up in the air, eligible small business owners can look forward to 2014 when the maximum amount of the tax credit increases from 35 percent of their premium costs to 50 percent. And companies with with fewer than 50 employees are NOT REQUIRED to pay for health insurance for their employees, and if you have less than 25 you will get a tax credit to help pay if you choose.
So what's wrong with that. The fear campaign continues by the Republicans.
The answer is really simple the Republicans believe health insurance should not be provided by the goverment and every country in the world does now.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Been doing some Reading!

The first forty years after WW 2 the financial sector was 10% of GDP and 12% to 15% of corporate profits. Bankers were paid a little more than average workers. 2006 financial sector became 16% of GDP and 40% of corporate profit  and financial professionals were being paid more than anyone else.
 Example Merrill Lynch in 2008 generated 100 BILLION in revenue and paid 80 BILLION to its workers.  At the same time Merrill lost almost 15 billion and left a trail of empty houses and huge losses for its investors like pension funds for regular people.
More than half the stock trades now are held for less than 11 SECONDS.
Now trading is done by huge trading desks soley for speculation and those large positions often work large seesaws in the market place. New regulations are designed to stop such behavior! But of course the Republican party will tell they are not needed while they are collecting large donations from these banks.
 Few people realize that federal taxes of all kinds are roughly 15% of GDP is the lowest since 1950.
 Allowing the Bush tax cuts for all to expire on schedule would nearly balance the budget. Why isn't anybody talking that way. American's are so convinced we are over taxed now it's because the scorched earth Republican talk about taxes has stopped all sensible solutions.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


It is hard to discuss and debate idiots.