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Tax talk and the economy

March 25, 2013

Watching the State of the Union address, I was amazed at just how clueless and divided our elected officials are as to what the real problems are....

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Mar-27-13 10:33 PM

Steiner, at their zenith, Standard Oil, JP Morgan, etc. WERE Bigger than the government and DID bail them out.

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Mar-27-13 9:33 AM

Steiner, much of what you claim are facts; I'll give you that. You are an intelligent guy; I'll give you that. You are also a neoliberal, and I think if you took the time to look it up and read soemthing other than what's in your wheelhouse, you would proudly say "I am a neoliberal." Look it up Mr. Steiner.

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Mar-27-13 8:47 AM

smalltown must be kidding. I am a conservative like Rush. Everything i wrote is right out of history. Libs seem to forget that.the posters here have a remarkable lack of historical and scientific knowledge. they make up for it by saying , greed, tax the wealthy,fox news , misogynt or other such nonsense. Smalltown you just gotta do better. libs, where are my posts wrong ? we got the most when the govt was the least, pure and simple. Std oil was broken up because in time it would have been more powerful than the US govt. John D would have taken to nuclear research for the enormous power and influence .He had the money for sure. It is every inventors dream to be more powerful than their govt.As a matter of fact, the govt is the great damper on invention now. smalltown, how is this liberal as the libs worship the govt ?

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Mar-26-13 11:45 PM

Most of Steiner's posts have the words liberal or libs somewhere in there. I have often been tempted to let him know that he is a Neoliberal, but I don't because I'm not an economics type. I would request since this column and most of the posts are about economics that one of you folks explain to Steiner just how he is actually a neoliberal. DC, how bout it. You have that Master's in econ; how bout letting Steiner know he is really a liberal, albeit a neoliberal.

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Mar-26-13 3:35 PM

Thanks, Phil.

Your comment is a common misperception. The “carried interest” exception is NOT the same as and is NOT available to anyone who pays capital gains on stocks.

Carried interest is ordinary income taxed as ordinary capital gains. Hedge funds/private equity firms receive, usually, 20% of profits generated by the fund – at no risk of any “partner money.” It’s estimated $56B/yr is treated as carried interest rather than ordinary income, costing the Treasury $11-13B/yr were it taxed like OUR income is taxed.

A high earner like a brain surgeon, athlete or actor does NOT have this exception. But...the CEO of Blackstone made $213M in 2012 – and paid just 15% on most of that. The owners of the Carlyle Group took $275k salaries last year – but up to $140M/each in carried interest taxed at just 15%. Romney (for whom I voted), for the only year he released his returns – 2011 – paid 14% on $13.7M – about the same rate as someone who earns less than $40k/year.

Not fair...

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Mar-26-13 2:27 PM

DKexpat - I agree with most of your posting but the reference to the rich paying 15% tax needs clarification. First, about half of all Americans own stocks and they all pay the same 15% on capital gains - it not just a break for the rich. Also, the vast majority of taxes are paid by the upper income group. In fact, 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes at all. As for excessive CEO salaries, it's a free market system that rewards those with talent and education to get rewarded. The best athletes make millions each year because of supply and demand for excellence and the same is true for CEO's. After one or two bad years athletes and executives lose their jobs. That's the system and it still beats communism. I enjoy and appreciate your columns.

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Mar-26-13 9:08 AM

Marcia gets it wrong too. thats why we must raise the minimum wage higher and higher. It makes for higher unemployment and democrats. See the inner cities for proof. . people like Jobs will laugh all the way to the bank.The progressives get it wrong every time. Must be contagious or something.

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Mar-26-13 9:05 AM

In the 1930's the angola ny man who invented air conditioning, yes cronig, a local guy, builds a manufacturing plant in the far east for air conditioners ? why would he do that ? America sorely needed the jobs under FDR . because FDR did nothing but bash business people. Some actually thought business people would assasinate FDR. But luckily FDR died in office. So please libs, show us again how the govt built things . hey libs, is that why you wore the klan outfits, loose flowing white robes ? You know to keep the heat away like the arabs do ? And it took a northerner to help those dumbacrats again.

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Mar-26-13 8:59 AM

Thanks killer. Why do companies keep profits overseas ? because it is untaxed or taxed much less there, thats why. Somehow the libs and the govt employee unions got the idea, it started with woodrow wilson as far as I can tell that they, the govt is the owner of your labors. It has to be a throwback to the plantation . Dc is the most confused of all. everything we got was invented in an era of much less govt and taxes. Thats true Dc. But DC's simpleminded approach, the govt is the saviour, clouds his thinking.Proof, std Oil and Rockefeller. Golly I love that guy. What a great example for us all. saves the whales, dumbocratic southerners from hookworm and gave us petrol.Who could not like him ? The dumbocrats , thats who .

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Mar-25-13 4:16 PM

We caused the job problem ourselves by buying cheap foreign goods instead of insisting on american made products. We also taxed corporations out of our country with high tax rates. Liberals can not seem to understand that 15% of a companies profits yeilds far more money than 30% of nothing.

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Mar-25-13 2:58 PM

I’d do away with “carried interest” in the tax code, where billionaires pay just 15% on tens (sometimes hundreds of millions) in income. Although I voted for Romney, his effective tax rate – on tens of millions in income – was half of my tax rate. (He said on 60 Minutes he thought that was fair.)

I’d raise the Social Security cap ($113,700 for 2013), even though doing - coupled with means testing - would be a form of double taxation on people like me: “pay more in and get less out.”

I’d incent schools and municipalities to merge, not throw up roadblocks. I’d stop rewarding welfare recipients for having more children. I’d stop public unions from holding taxpayers hostage. I’d have term limits – from mayor up through Congress – and make the presidency a single 6-year term. (Presidents spend two years running for reelection, anyway, so it’d even out.)

Heck, I’d even read more Paul Christopher columns. :-)

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Mar-25-13 2:05 PM

There can, and never will be, any fairness in a tax plan that doesn't have every single adult paying something into the system. Until then we still have takers and the people being taken from. In other words... Why worry about running out of money at the poker table when you never have to ante?

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Mar-25-13 2:02 PM

Chronic – reread the quote. Lincoln isn’t talking about unemployment, loss of a job, etc., rather being a productive member of society. You can be unemployed and still contribute to the general welfare of your community, your church, etc. – but some can’t even be bothered to do that.

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Mar-25-13 1:33 PM

DKexpat -- each and every one of us are only one paycheck --one paycheck -- from idleness, including you.

You should be very careful how you judge.

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Mar-25-13 1:31 PM

Christuufuu -- I applaud you in trying to map out some new fiscal policy ideas with something so vast as our economy. But to do so is like trying to do a high school book report on the entire WW II.

With a masters in econ, I don't know where to begin. I can start with tariffs -- how they don't work and the notion is DOA in our global economy, where funds, prices, production, raw materials, etc, etc all flow quite freely -- and end with overabundant research showing Keynesian (govt stimulus) econ policy works (or to make things easier for killer and steinerdzzz, just look at the EU and their austerity policies to see how nonsense DOESNT WORK). The whole thing is far, far too complex for single paragraphs: To wit, you're not even including how the Fed plays into all of it, either.

You got a good heart, Christuufuu and courage for trying. Someone has to, as the clueless OBSERVER only knows how to parrot "small govt, less spending, less taxes" which has been disproved si

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Mar-25-13 1:24 PM

Phil, Americans are not lazy, we are one of the most productive workers in the world. Google it and in every article we are in the top 3 in that respect. The reason companies have left our country is due to near slave wages paid in third world countries. When an I-phone is listed at $550 and yet the workers making them are paid $1.78/hour. And yet Apple is one of the most profitable companies in the world. I would say that greed a higher factor than what you mentioned.

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Mar-25-13 1:23 PM

Paul you are spot on in every suggestion you made. If our leaders would listen to you, we would be much better off.

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Mar-25-13 11:04 AM

Abraham Lincoln:

“The habits of our whole species fall into three great classes: useful labor, useless labor, and idleness. Of these the first only is meritorious; and to it all the products of labor rightfully belong; but the two latter, while they exist, are heavy pensioners upon the first, robbing it of a large portion of its just rights. The only remedy for this is to, as far as possible, drive useless labor and idleness out of existence.”

'Nuff said...

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Mar-25-13 9:28 AM

We can't lose sight of the bigger picture. The reason our companies moved ovewrseas is because of excessive taxation and labor costs. I agree that the IRS code needs to be changed but our primary problem is not revenue - it's spending that is out of control. As a country we have become fat and lazy. We expect a pay raise every year for doing the same job we did last year. We expect government to take care of us from cradle to grave and we expect someone else to pay for it. We look to government to solve our problems but government is the problem. Our government is hated throughout the world becaquse of our aggressive foreign policies. The congress has an approval rating of about 10% but they refuse to get the message because they know they will get re-elected. In short our financial problems are just the tip of the iceberg. We have a serious problem with ethics and attitudes and much of it originates in Washington.

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Mar-25-13 8:52 AM

Steiner you have to understand that Christopher must be one of the 47% that Romney referred to. He wants to to be taken care of on the backs of successful.

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Mar-25-13 8:05 AM

Paul, we cannot spend our way out of this dilemna ? that was the very essence of the stimulus package. It worked. We got bread lines like the 30's. everything you say is how to extract money from people. there is not one whit of reward in what you say. A reincarnated plantation owner are you Paul ? The job creators are doing exactly what woodrow wilson said when he passed underwood tariff. You will have to be more creative in your business skills. They were. they slowly shipped everything overseas. thanks democrats. Paul, if you put the effort into coming up with something as you do trying to steal our money, you would get better results. Oh, you forgot the govt suing companiies to force all manner of liberal things down their throats. where would you do business Paul when faced with a bully govt such as we have ?You either bribe them or move.

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