The Tax code is the only defense society has to defend itself against the greed of the good old boys and their offspring. Top executives control the wages and incomes of the rank and file plus they are the ones who are the directors of our public companies thus controlling their own incomes. With options and excessive salaries they are legally stealing billions, diluting the value of our public companies and responsible for the loss of jobs for our citizens.
Look at the cast of characters. Eisner at Disney 300 mil, Welch at GE 10 mil and he is retired, Enron directors 250K for about 10 meetings a year, Bush a director at Harken Energy because his father was the Vice President per it's CEO, Grasso a glorified manger 140 mil, Martha worth hundreds of millions for 100K and etc.
The good old boys and their offspring have proven it is easy to legally steal a lot from our public companies but the 90% tax code would undo their greedy methods. So we have had the assault on the top tax rate by appointed stooges two boys of privilege and a grossly overpaid actor from Hollywood.
Our Tax code is what stopped Al Capone and it would certainly stop the characters of today put it back up to 90% or even better 100% to save our public companies and for the good of our society.
<Yes, we've had a selloff in high grade debt, but it's a long ways from the kind of climax bottom we saw in 2000. No way to be that safe again any time soon.>
No argument from me!!!
My muni interest is originating more from a portfolio allocation perspective, as I now hold nearly 100% cash.
I, however, find the "Fed" and bond market's current proferred position of utopia for the debt markets unlikely to prevail long run. But, as Keynes said, in the long run...
That was one of the matters brought up by Buffett.
It's interesting that an allegedly pro-business Administration should provoke this kind of response from a professional investor. I've also heard that a fairly significant percentage of big corporate types are alarmed by the Bush Administration and would dearly like to see it gone before everyone's pitch is queered. Can't verify the latter.
My guess? Four more years of Bush would be the swan-song of Reganomics, after which the pendulum swings back in a Socialistic direction again.
"The reality is taxes come significantly out of shareholder value, partially out of customers, and mostly out of executive compensation."
Interesting hypothesis. Any studies or analysis that supports it.
I would think that aggressive tax break hunting might be stimulated by the phenomonan at the very least. Chief Tax Officers would have their pay goosed, whatever else might happen.
The real tax scandal, however philosophically you may feel about personal income taxes, is the virtual vaporizing of the corporate tax burden as a % of overall tax revenues. BTW, the "conservative" argument that corporate taxes are just passed on to consumers anyway is an outright lie unless you think we've somehow repealed the Law of Supply and Demand since the 1950s when corporations paid their full share. If they could pass on tax increases routinely nobody would be discussing their lack of pricing power, and they wouldn't need taxes as an excuse to raise said prices. The reality is taxes come significantly out of shareholder value, partially out of customers, and mostly out of executive compensation.
You know, I wish I knew the answer, but I don't--unless it's something as simple as common sense and morality.
We've certainly got plenty of taxes here in New York. But the obvious inference for the average Joe, even if he happens to be an investor, is that it doesn't make a lot of sense to make more or spend more than you need to: the "best" dollar you can "make" is the one you don't spend.
It builds disincentives into the system that have really hurt the City at times when the Financial Industries, (bulk of the tax base,) are in recession. God only knows what's going on off the books.
I don't think anybody wants to see 90% tax rates again. What's upsetting conscious investors like Buffett is that the thing's been taken so far and so stupidly in the opposite direction by people who haven't been very good at hiding their ineptitude from the public.
It's bad for almost everybody. The majority of working people, who don't or can't take risks, are getting an obviously
The professional investors that I started working for so many years ago weren't politicians or con artists. They were just businessmen who risked their capital every day for excess return--no different in principal from a farmer or the guy who owns and operates, say, a taxicab. I don't imagine they're especially happy with the circus in Washington.
As usual, the Democrats don't seem inclined to offer any real alternatives.
Our Tax code was the best way to control the need for greed by the good old boys but sadly they got one of their boys of privilege elected thus starting the change from 90% to 70%, Reagan got it to 28% from which it was raised and now the next boy of privilege got it to 35%. The Tax code is the perfect way to stop the outright thievery from our public corporations by the good old boys and their offspring.
It may be no accident that stimulus goes into pumping up asset values, but it sure isn't pretty.
It bothers me a lot, though I've been an investor for most of my adult life. Clinton was at least artful about filling the pockets of those who don't need it at the expense of those who do. Bush isn't very artful about anything. (Never mind the guy who's being buried today.)
I worry about the potential for a backlash in which everybody who was careful and prudent and did this for a living gets crucified along with all the pigs that stole whatever wasn't tightly tied down. These "capitalists" are giving Capitalism a bad name!
Interestingly, I see that even Warren Buffet is getting sick of the whole circus and speaking out against it.
Needless to say, I've got no particular expertise in any of the above.
While deflation is no longer an obsession of the simplistic talking heads, two really interesting players weighed in recently suggesting deflation still very much a problem. Richard Russell, a long-term Gold Bug and not one of my faves, as well as Paul McCulley at Pimco have both posited that deflation is still just under the surface ready to rear its ugly head at the first signs of recession. McCulley wants, and Russell fears, the creation of an inflation firebreak to cushion the early stages of the next recession from any possible deflation.
On the Fed there is no doubt that the NASDAQ bubble had far more to do with the Fed's decision to tighten '99-'00 than their protestations to the contrary would suggest. They just can't resist using the power they have to muck(or fine tune from their POV) with the business cycle. On the current "bubble" in leverage, I think they're trying to jawbone it away because they fear a cataclysm if they pull the plug unexpectedly. The irony is they've made new carry trade leverage positions MORE attractive, as the spread between ^FFY and ^TNX has expanded due to their language, a situation that will not lead to voluntary unwinding.
In terms of stimulus, it's no accident that it finds its way into the pockets of the interest groups who support its passage rather than where the politicos say it is intended to go. A truism for both sides of the aisle.