“I know that a lot of us believed when we lowered capital gains rates in the 1990's, that that was the right thing to do; that it would stimulate growth. (But) you go ten, 15 years later, and you see this divide between the richest Americans and the poorest Americans. You drive through Manhattan, Greenwich (Connecticut), where people have just accumulated -- and Boston, wherever -- just remarkable wealth! Vast sums of wealth! They are, you know, the landed gentry! And you sit there and you go, 'You know what? These people that live in these mansions, and private jets, and live an extraordinary life like few Americans lived 30 years ago -- they can probably deal with a 20 percent tax rate on capital gains instead of 15 percent. I don't think that's going to wreck the economy.' And I think there are a lot of Republicans that are saying what a few of us were saying (during) the election -- I think Bill Kristol said it: 'Why are we fighting and risking our majorities protecting billionaires that are hedge fund guys that are paying (a) 14 per cent (effective tax rate)?”—MSNBC host and conservative JOE SCARBOROUGH, asking rhetorical questions of detached rich folks and their Republican anti-fair-tax-rate defenders.
This is a fascinating article about how many of the ultra rich wouldn’t be hurt by a tax increase because they often take home very little on paper. Many make their money through capital gains (investments). Of course, one is only taxed on a capital gain if he/she sells the investment. With large amounts of assets, these folks can take out large loans to live off with (in 2011) VERY low interest rates, and pay FAR less than they would in income tax.
Basically, it makes the argument that we shouldn’t add a millionaire’s tax even more inane. Clearly, for the majority of the 1%, this would be in name only. It would just be a symbolic move for America to say, “We’re going to continue with the concept of a progressive taxation system.”
It’s a bit disheartening overall—knowing that the ultra rich help write the rules (via lobbying and big money), and thus they will almost certainly always find loopholes.
That being said, I still advocate for a payroll tax continuation on income over $100,000, a progressive tax structure over $250,000 (expiration of the bush tax cuts on the highest earners), and capital gains increase to Clinton-era levels.
“I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.”—
Republican presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY, who only hangs out with “NASCAR team owners” and other rich people who are rich like he is.
How many more times can he use his foot to stick his silver spoon in his mouth?
“A broad swath of the nation’s leading chief executives dropped its opposition to tax increases on the wealthiest Americans on Tuesday, while the White House quietly pressed Wall Street titans for their support as well. Before Tuesday’s about-face, the Business Roundtable had insisted that the White House extend Bush-era tax cuts to taxpayers of all income brackets, but the executives’ resistance crumbled as pressure builds to find a compromise for the fiscal impasse in Washington before the end of the year. “We recognize that part of the solution has to be tax increases,” David M. Cote, chief executive of Honeywell, said on a conference call with reporters. “That’s the only thing that allows a reasonable compromise to be reached.” Even as the Fortune 500 leaders announced their shift, the White House continued to work behind the scenes to woo some of Wall Street’s most powerful financiers — a group that had largely abandoned President Obama in his bid for a second term after supporting him in 2008. After seeking out corporate leaders from industrial companies last month, the White House has intensified outreach to Wall Street in December. On Wednesday, several hedge fund managers, including Daniel Och, the billionaire founder of Och-Ziff Capital Management, will meet with Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to the president, and members of the White House economic team. Last Monday, White House officials sat down with a more than half a dozen top bankers and financiers, including Gary D. Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs, and Greg Fleming, head of wealth management at Morgan Stanley. The differing strategies — highly public meetings with corporate America and private arm-twisting with Wall Street — both appear to be aimed at winning popular support for higher taxes on the wealthy. The trade-offs being roundly fought over in Washington, like what government programs may be cut and which entitlements may be spared, are less important in this effort to muster highly compensated chieftains whose support for tax increases will provide cover for Congressional Republicans wary of being seen as too quick to compromise on higher tax rates.”—
The New York Times, “Unlikely Backers In A Battle Over Taxes.”
Something tells me Boehner’s backing down soon.