Patterico's Pontifications

10/31/2008

Sitting Out an Obama Term

Filed under: 2008 Election,Economics — DRJ @ 11:25 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

This morning I heard two men talking about a large employer in my area who plans to scale back his business if Obama wins. He can afford to do this because he is wealthy and isn’t interested in putting in extra time to maintain or expand his business if it means he will pay more taxes as Obama has promised. People will lose their jobs if this happens.

If this occurs, it won’t be based on pettiness or pique. The business owner has reached a point in his life where he doesn’t want to work for less money or a marginal amount of additional money. Of course, I doubt his employees agree with this perspective but ultimately it’s the business owner’s decision when he reaches the point where the effort isn’t worth the return.

This anecdote illustrates yesterday’s Chicago Boyz post on why the wealthy tolerate socialism:

The ugly truth is that the really wealthy can manipulate the political system to their own ends better than ordinary people. They can lobby for specific tax breaks that only they can take advantage of. They can get government trade protection for their companies. They can get bailouts. If all else fails, the truly wealthy can simply relocate their wealth into whatever area the government policies du jour make the most profitable.

In the extremes, they can simple [sic] sit on their wealth and wait for the political winds to change.

Maybe this business owner will reconsider or maybe another business will step in to take his place, but either way I think times will get harder for some people who can least afford it after November 4.

H/T Instapundit.

— DRJ

85 Responses to “Sitting Out an Obama Term”

  1. I think that business owner is a racist, or you are for writing about it. Either way, this is nothing but a distraction from the things that real Amercians want to talk about, and it does nothing to help Michelle keep fresh fruit in her house.

    JD (5b4781)

  2. So, we can expect the return of Daddy Warbucks?

    Techie (62bc5d)

  3. Dare we say that Atlas will be shrugging after an Obama win? Or would that be too exotic for the Obama fans?

    longwalker (ce69ff)

  4. I’m with JD…there’s a whole bunch of racism going on if we don’t pitch in our money so the Messiah can spread it around wherever He wants.

    Old Coot (1ee5b7)

  5. The Obama campaign is desperate now. They’re telling even bigger lies–that’s how you tell. Get this howler, reported by AP:

    “Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the campaign would also begin airing ads in Arizona, a state McCain has represented in Congress for 26 years. Plouffe said the race has tightened in Arizona, Georgia and North Dakota.”

    The Obama campaign is all illusion. Obama is going down in flames, and there is your proof! There’s just not going to be any Obama term at all, unless he’s sentenced to one.

    Official Internet Data Office (184273)

  6. Georgia?

    Hah! The roads are awash in McCain/Palin signs, at least in North Georgia.

    Techie (62bc5d)

  7. Baracky called people who oppose his tax plan selfish this morning. That should go over really well. Fortunately for him, the media will not cover it, and McCain does not have the money to capitalize on it.

    JD (5b4781)

  8. Apparently, the guy in the article really IS John Galt.

    TheNewGuy (114368)

  9. …sitting on their wealth…

    This is exactly the phenomena observed during the Great Depression (and is what turned a financial panic into that G-D). The wealthy stopped spending/investing/working beyond what they needed to do to maintain a stable life-style of the sort that they had become accustomed to.

    I had an uncle who as a young man worked for a wealthy family in OH as a chauffeur during the Depression. He had a gravy job. He got paid every week. When the family moved to SoCal in the late 30’s, he drove the family car here with his family in it. They bought his house for him in Westwood. He was a loyal employee and pseudo-family member. He worked for them all of their lives, and was the recipient of a sizable annuity in their wills.

    Just a personal anecdote on how the wealthy survive adversity.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  10. And yet Bill Clinton created millions and millions more jobs that George W. Bush did.

    So much for anecdotal economics.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  11. I also recall Clinton being something of a moderate.

    How moderate is Barry “spread the wealth” Long-er-Obama going to be?

    Techie (62bc5d)

  12. Bill Clinton had a Republican Congress for six years. Take a look at a chart of the Dow (You know, that’s the stock market) for the 90s and see when the bull market began.

    I have a friend who is a Swedish physician. Sweden used to have a confiscatory tax rate over a maximum. I don’t recall the number. Of course, all doctors work for the state. When they got to the number where the tax rate went up to 90%, they all took off the rest of the year. There would be no senior doctors available from mid October until the New Year. They were all in the south of France or Spain. It’s warm there.

    My oldest son, who is a lawyer, hasn’t figured this out. He is finally a partner and should start making some serious money but he is supporting Obama.

    Mike K (531ff4)

  13. One of my sons is in commercial real estate. Over the last several years he has made a very good living in part by finding deluxe office space for company executives of companies who are moving the bulk of their operations out of California. That is, fire a few hundred people in California, keep 10 or 15.

    He is already in discussions with companies who are considering doing the same thing, except they will not be moving out of California, they will be moving out of the US. This is in anticipation of an Obama win, and a complete takeover by socialists and the unions.

    That’s the problem with stupid politicians, it never occurs to them that people will do what’s best for them and their families, not what the idiots want.

    In my personal case, I’m working past normal retirement age in part because I can make a pretty good income working from a home office, doing challenging work. But if the election comes out as it appears, I may just hang it up. Then instead of paying a tidy sum in income tax and Social Security, I’ll become a net consumer of Government money.

    GaryS (1a3d23)

  14. Techie,

    All Americans have to go on is how well Clinton did vs. Bush on economic issues.

    That’s why Obama’s going to win by a landslide next Tuesday.

    The sight of all those Republican millionaires lined up outside the Fed waiting for government handouts doesn’t help either.

    Not that that’s socialism or anything, of course.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  15. No President created a job for me since I mustered-out of the AF. Those jobs were acquired through my hard work, or created by me through self-employment.

    My Uncle’s experience happened, and is not some myth. Because of his employment, he was a source of support for many in his extended family (he was one of eleven, plus a widowed mother) during a period of great economic distress.

    For your further edification of what happened during the Great Depression, you might avail yourself of Amity Shlaes great work “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression”

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  16. Any employer who needs to cut back his business because of Obama’s spreading the wealth should lay off the Obama supporters he/she employs first. After all, them helping to bring in Obama is causing the problem, they should suffer the consequences first.

    PCD (7fe637)

  17. DRJ, have you seen Mrs. Instapundit’s PJTV interview on “Going John Galt“?

    driver (56cdca)

  18. snuffles, that’s why the founders feared democracy. Anybody who thinks the president creates jobs shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

    Eric (605286)

  19. 18

    Sure they can

    Allow drilling. mining, open fair markets for our goods overseas, stop dumping of cheap good here etc

    In fact GWB created more job than any other president (had too after 9/11, then after Katrina)

    ((Disclaimer – not a rabid GWB fan)

    EricPWJohnson (47b9ab)

  20. No Eric, the private sector created jobs.

    Unless the presidents themselves are hiring and paying these people…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  21. I see sniffles/alphie is up to its normal tricks.

    JD (5b4781)

  22. A perfect example of where this will go is the luxury tax on boats over so many feet long that Congress pass several years ago. The idea was that only rich people could afford these and they would be OK with a big tax hit.

    Wrong! According to the Government’s own numbers, approximately 7600 US boat workers eventually lost their jobs, and countless small boat builders went under. Plus, the total amount of tax raised over the first several years was less than $5 million.

    Now, I’m told it’s typical for buyers of such boats to buy them in Canada or elsewhere and then just moor them outside the US for the first year, and fly to where the boats are. After a year, the boat isn’t new and can come to the US. So not only do the builders suffer, so do US marina and hotel owners.

    Why would any rational person expect it to be different this time?

    GaryS (1a3d23)

  23. Rick Moran has an analysis titled “”We Didn’t Know” will not be an Accepted Excuse” I think the regulars at Patterico will enjoy.
    Rightwingnuthouse.com

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  24. Scott,

    the truth is, in today’s bizarre political world, if a president stays teh hell out of the private sector’s way and doesn’t sign bills with prohibitive tax policies, more jobs will exist than otherwise.

    Sure, the president has far less control over the economy than congress has, and sure, the president isn’t hiring all these people, but a president can prevent many jobs from existing that would occur naturally, so getting out of the way in ANWR or offshore, or via taxation, would be to that president’s credit.

    Mccain may not be wonderful in this area, but Obama would be disastrous. Obama’s efforts to demoralize the GOP have been fairly successful. We’re in a tied race, even though the opponent has 4 times the money (a much lower percentage of small donors than Bush or Kerry… so it’s all rich corporate cash). Bush is very unpopular, the economy has soured, and Mccain is still nearly tied with Obama?

    That’s exciting, yet Obama’s media has convinced millions that Obama has already won a landslide.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  25. Bill Richardson lowered the figure to $120,000. So, now in the last week, it has gone from $250,000, to Baracky’s word of $200,000, to Biden’s $150,000, to Richardson’s $120,000. Not long until it gets down to $42,000, where Baracky has already shown a willingness to raise their taxes.

    JD (5b4781)

  26. Obama can do amazing things.

    The most amazing thing Obama has ever done is make Hillary look good.

    Huey (4d5180)

  27. Gary, you are right on two counts. I am also retired and making good money with part time work that I may not continue when I see what happens with The O. Second, the US boat building industry was destroyed by a combination of the 10% “luxury tax” on boats and the air pollution rules passed in the 70s. The only So California boat builder that survived is Catalina Yachts. I don’t know how they did it. All the others that used to be in the Costa Mesa area are gone. Most big production sailboats now are built in France.

    Mike K (531ff4)

  28. Mike,

    Bayliner in Green Bay almost went under, too. But there are fools working for Bayliner now that want to do the same thing all over again. Thus, I pray they are the first ones Bayliner lays off.

    PCD (7fe637)

  29. 20

    Scott
    Point noted

    SomeSectors of indutry are closed off by governmental fiat

    Bush – Reagan opened them up

    You are correct it takes a privae sector company to hire workers – but it takes a strong pro business gvernment to make it advantageous for them to do it

    EricPWJohnson (47b9ab)

  30. One man can take the credit, or opprobrium, for the loss of the yacht industry in America in the late 80’s-early 90’s:
    Senator Mitchell of ME-D!
    The Luxury Tax was his mind-crap, and AFAIK, he has never apologized for it, either to the American People, or to the boat-building employees in ME who lost their jobs.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  31. You are correct it takes a privae sector company to hire workers – but it takes a strong pro business gvernment to make it advantageous for them to do it

    Now that is a statement I can agree with.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  32. In fact GWB created more job than any other president (had too after 9/11, then after Katrina)

    You couyldn’t be more wrong, EricPWJohnson:

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/09/05/employment-numbers/

    Bush rivals Hoover on the job creation front.

    Maybe DRJ’s “wealthy businessmen” decided to sit out the Republican’s time running things for some reason?

    snuffles (677ec2)

  33. Of course the rich can protect themselves from the effects of socialism better than the rest of us. Most people don’t realize it, but socialism actually breeds more class resentment because no government can distribute wealth more equally than a free market. Tax breaks for ethanol producers? Pig farmers want one, too–after all, their feed now costs more.

    Before you know it, class warfare: Who gets the free government cheese. Enter charismatic authoritarian.

    This is what happened in pre-Nazi Germany. How can we avoid it?

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  34. 32, Snuffles, we don’t believe the ThinkProgress liars. That makes you a liar by association.

    PCD (7fe637)

  35. Can’t recall where I read this yesterday, but it was a direct or indirect comment from a small business owner who’s already planning his downsizing strategy. Obviously, ticked at the tax increases which could turn out to be the nail in the coffin for him, on top of the recession effects already [evidently his company is sufficiently over that mystical 250k] that he began thinking of how to go about creating a list of employees to be laid off first. According to his comment, he immediately went out to the company parking lot and noted which cars had Obama stickers.

    Pay back from both sides of the aisle will hurt both side, as well. You can only whack that mule pulling the wagon so many times, then he will eventually quit on you. And these little vignettes about small business dropping down or out of the economy may make some smile and others rage, but the big picture shows that it’s getting very historical out here from what I read on many financial sites. The inflationists and the deflationists both are making some logical points. So whether we’re going to be a Japan or Argentina seems up for grabs at this juncture. One means go cash, one means your cash is trash.

    Then there’s the timing…

    allan (d4a539)

  36. Rich people pay lawyers, normal people pay taxes.

    Wickedpino (a69e7e)

  37. I personally am in the 250k+ tax bracket and you can be sure I’ll be pushing as hard as I can to make more money. Obama’s tax plan will take more of my money (not that much) but I still get to keep more, too.

    I don’t see paying taxes as patriotic, but I don’t mind paying more taxes than the guy who can’t make it on his own but is working. I know this will raise hackles with you guys, but that’s where I stand. I’m a Democrat and I don’t think trickle-down has been working.

    You can mock me and call me names but it’s my money and I spending it this way as the right thing for the country.

    i like america (d2f951)

  38. PCD,

    I can understand hard core righties trying to ignore facts they find unpleasant, but if you go that route, please stay out of logical debates.

    Job growth numbers for Clinton and Bush are well known outside the right wing cocoon.

    May I suggest you check the BLS for these numbers, if you dare:

    http://www.bls.gov/

    snuffles (677ec2)

  39. i like america – Get after it. I hope you make lots and lots of money.

    snuffles –

    Maybe DRJ’s “wealthy businessmen” decided to sit out the Republican’s time running things for some reason?

    Nope. Try again.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  40. People the Clinton economy was a media myth. His budget was overblown because he cut the military over 40% and now we’re paying the price. Even Hussein O says the military needs more manpower. Funny that the democrats cut spending on the military by cutting it 40% and billions of dollars worth of equipment just vanished.

    I remember a recession in 2000 and a booming economy from 2001 through 2006. Stock market bumping 15,000, unemployment 4.5% and gas $2.20 per gallon. In 2006 the democrats promised to change the direction of the country. How do you like the change, stock market crashed, housing market crashed, financial market crashed, and gas went to well over $4 per gallon before the economy crashed and brought it down. Not one expert on the economy doesn’t agree that the democrats destroyed the housing market and along with it the rest of the economy. You can dream that the democrats know what to do but then Clinton stated that Hussein O had ‘0’ ideas when the housing market crashed.
    Lots of retiree’s volunteer full time, no pay. I’m one of those, put 22 years in the military and now have 14 years with the local volunteer fire department. Eight of those years were also as an EMT. Hundreds of training hours and have spent many hours teaching CPR/First Aid classes. As one of only four (of the 28 members) available during the day I hate to do it but Hussein O’s election will signal my last day. Helping those that are too stupid to help themselves is not my thing, and anyone who votes for Hussein O is really stupid.

    Scrapiron (ce69ff)

  41. Comment by snuffles — 10/31/2008 @ 2:03 pm

    Perhaps you can explain why the data found at the bls website shows that civilian-sector employment grew 4.288M in the seven years of Clinton (1/94-1/01), while the same number for GWB was 5.65M (1/01-1/08)?

    I know math is hard, but last time I looked, 5,650,000 was larger than 4,288,000.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  42. You have misread the data, AD.

    Here’s Fox News(right enough for you guys?):

    Under Bush, the economy produced 3.7 million new jobs from January 2001 through December of last year based on nonfarm payroll figures collected by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    When Clinton was in the White House, the economy generated 17.6 million jobs during the corresponding period — from January 1993 to December 1998.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,242424,00.html

    snuffles (677ec2)

  43. I am a Emergency Medicine physician and work as an independent contractor, meaning I get paid by the hour. I am self employed and will be directly impacted by every version of Obama’s tax plan that comes out (each day). I live in Texas which has no state tax (made up for by extremely high property taxes), and will end up paying around 55% of my income in taxes if I continue my current workload. If Obama wins, I will scale back on the amount I work to put myself into a lower tax bracket. I will make a little less at the end of the day, but will work almost 25% less. I would think all small businesses will be doing something similar and the economy would continue to shrink over the next 2-3 years if Obama wins.

    kiwidoc (ca8c89)

  44. @kiwidoc

    I’ve owned a small business and the strategy you’re describing doesn’t work out on paper. Sit down with an accountant and you’ll see quickly that Obama is not prosing to raise taxes to the point that you’ll make more money by not working.

    And congratulations – being able to pull in over $20,000 a month on your own after expenses is really impressive.

    i like america (d2f951)

  45. i like america,

    My childhood next-door neighbor is now a Texas contract ER doc like kiwidoc. She not only clears $20K a month, she can do it working part-time. ER docs are in such demand that they can tailor their work/income to virtually any level they want.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  46. Sometimes you have to look for the silver lining. I’m in the military with another 10 years till retirement. I’m looking at the possible Obama presidency as one of the greatest opportunities to invest in the stock market . I feel for those who are retiring soon (or thought they were), but taking the long view, the current/coming financial catastrophe presents a huge upside potential for long term investment (assuming we survive it).

    Kelly T. (8ed02b)

  47. DRJ

    You are right about how I and other ER docs can adjust their schedules at will each month for any number of reasons…I don’t think i like america understands the point…there is a point where the rule of diminishing returns screams out at you!! Would you rather work 25 % more to make 5 % more…or work 25% less to make 5% less??? I think that is a very easy question for anyone, no matter what they do, to answer.

    kiwidoc (ca8c89)

  48. AD, I looked at the BLS data and was ready to paste it when you beat me to it. The trolls are manipulating data like mad but the election will be what it is. If hey are so confident, why the BS ?

    Have you folks seen the alleged Obama volunteer thing ? I don’t know if I believe it. Tuesday is getting close.

    Mike K (531ff4)

  49. Comment by snuffles — 10/31/2008 @ 2:57 pm

    ffThe bls data stated that total civilian workforce employment was:
    1/94….128.181M;
    1/01….132.469M; +4.288M;
    1.08….138.119M; +5.650M.

    Just using the data that you linked to.

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  50. MikeK…
    Here’s the site for that Rove/WSJ column
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122533149619882883.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  51. “Dare we say that Atlas will be shrugging after an Obama win? Or would that be too exotic for the Obama fans?”

    Is that the book with the perpetual energy device? Because I don’t think we’re going to get that with either obama or mccain, but we’ll get closer with obama.

    imdw (513533)

  52. I remember Clinton’s 17 million new jobs, I had 6 of ’em.

    Gerald A (17ba16)

  53. Well, here is a very true first person scenario. I am 60 yrs old and have owned my business for 24 years and I currently have seven (7) employees that my business provides a decent living for. The longest tenured employee has been with me for 17 yrs.

    I’m not going to get into the $250,000 argument, I simply do not trust Obama and the Democrats. I personally think that everyone that pays taxes will get an increase in taxes once they let the Bush tax cuts expire. However I am going to close my business, lay off my employees and sell my equipment and buildings before January 20th, IF Obama is elected.

    I had planned on working two more years and trying to line up financing so my employees could buy me out and then I would stay on one more year (as an employee) and help them transition. Now it is not a big operation and I would sell it to them just south of 1 million, which would be at a discount (actual asset value).

    Obama’s stated intent is to raise the capital gains tax to 20% (from 15%). That is what he has said he would do….that doesn’t include the possibility of what he might do. Now you might not think that the extra 5% is much of nothing, but I have real property (commercial) that has increased significantly over the last 20 years and that extra 5% is going to cost me a pretty penny.

    So, Senator Obama’s election is definitely going to put seven (7) employees out of work and impact my current vendors to the tune of about a half a million per year, one small supplier rather dramatically.

    That is how taxes impact small businesses. Small businesses, by nature, want to grow….as they grow, they add staff, they buy more inventory, they invest more in plant and equipment and thus they end up paying more (dollar wise) in total taxes.

    When they are constricted by onerous tax rates, they have no choice but to curtail operations, lay off employees, shrink their business…or like I am going to do, just get out entirely and let someone else deal with the “new” economy.

    IF, and it still is “IF”, Senator Obama is elected, the tax revenue for “spreading the wealth” won’t come from me, so you guys will have to pick up my part, and the part of every other small business owner who sees this as I do and is able to bail out.

    The tipping point is 49% paying and 51% taking. Wonder how close we’ll be in two years of a President Obama’s term.

    rls (14b9d3)

  54. What kiwidoc and the business owners say is true: once the government controls the economy for a known social engineering goal, what is the point of working more or working harder when you are not included in the largesse? If you are working to supply the government with more cash for patronage and more welfare checks to the non-working, why bother? Their programs will prop up the price of homes so you can’t afford a better home. Inflation will zoom with all this deficit spending. Stay home and spend more time with family and friends! (And yelling at the weekly Dear Leader TV address.)

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  55. Well, this mysterious employer story sounds like quite an enigma. I recently heard eight men in my area discussing the opening of 8 separate small businesses because of the tax breaks that small businesses were going to get under Obama. They were excited about the opportunity to experience some breaks while their business is busy building their clientele bases.

    And those 8 are the only 8 people I met today. Weird. I guess my story trumps yours. Nice ‘no detail’ story, though. I guess anything will fly as long as it disparages the Obama campaign around here.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  56. @kiwidoc

    As a small business owner, I’ve seen the ugly realities of taxes and I’ve been filing quarterly years for myself and my employees. I am quite familiar with the Texas Workforce Commission and the biggest checks I’ve ever written were to the govt. But when I earned 25% more profit, I kept a whole lot more than an additional 5% after taxes.

    So either I’m a much better businessman than you are or you’re exaggerating wildly.

    Hopefully for you, the latter is the case.

    i like america (d2f951)

  57. Oh and even with Obama’s tax hikes, your numbers are still nowhere close to accurate

    i like america (d2f951)

  58. Fair enough, truthnjustice. If Obama wins, we’ll let time be the judge.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  59. yea right good fairy tale , i have talked with all buisness owners in my area, about 50, and all say they are ready to move to mexico if obama is elected

    glen (6f673c)

  60. Hmm. Well then, Glen, I have talked to all business owners except those in your area and all of them are planning to expand under an Obama presidency. Sound a bit childish? Yeah, so did your post.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  61. glen, where you do live?

    Sounds like a truly awesome investment opportunity for American capitalists.

    i like america (d2f951)

  62. So these 8 guys are going to start small businesses because Obama will help them out?

    This is unbelievable on so many levels, I don’t even know where to start.

    Obama has never accomplished anything of significance in his whole life except get elected. What is his expertise in running a small business, or even working at a company that needed to turn a profit? In fact, there probably are only a handful of people in Washington DC who have any sort of experience. My own (Republican) congressman has been in office 26 years, and has never had a real, i.e., non political, job in his entire lifetime. Sounds just like the guy to get “help” from. And he is “sort of” a conservative.

    Plus, it is a matter of record that many of the people in Congress with so-called business experience had the “failed and bankrupt” kind of experience.

    If this story about the 8 guys is true, then they are in the same place as the person in Florida who wanted Obama elected because he (she?) could stop worrying about the house payment and putting gas in the car.

    Oh, and will they need a loan in getting their small business off the ground? With what’s coming, good luck with that.

    Wow, just wow!

    GaryS (1a3d23)

  63. Obama is running a campaign that has revenue of $150,000,000 a month, Gary.

    Oh, and he’s winning, too.

    Beats running a Taco Bell for experience.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  64. snuffles,

    I doubt a President Obama would be able to collect $150M a month through voluntary donations but he’s welcome to try. I’m betting he has something more compulsory in mind.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  65. All businesses fail eventually, DRJ.

    The dirty little secret of Capitalism.

    snuffles (677ec2)

  66. Businesses may fail at some point but not all business. As for dirty little secrets, capitalism is transparent compared to socialism and communism. But if your point is that the Obama campaign is destined to fail, I sincerely hope you are right.

    DRJ (cb68f2)

  67. And so do civilizations.

    The dirty little secret of History!

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  68. I see snuffles has repeated the stupid canard that running a presidential campaign qualifies one for the Presidency.

    snuffles seems to have forgotten that every one of our worst Presidents ran a presidential campaign. Jimmy Carter ran a presidential campaign – and still was one of the most incompetent Presidents in our history.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  69. spqr.. ah-hem… bush… ah-hem. Carter is a nice scapegoat because he was the last democratic president who failed in his re-election bid, but let us not forget the amazingly horrible presidency we’re witnessing now. Forty-one wasn’t very good either, but I would have taken him over 43.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  70. wow $150000000 a month for running his mouth. he hasnt proved to me that he can do anything more than that. obama and his followers , remind me of a guy named jim jones , you know the one that had the big cult following about 20 or so years ago, and if i remember right he was going to change the world for those guys to , didnt end up to good for those guys though did it.

    glen (6f673c)

  71. truthnjustice, now Carter is a “scapegoat”?

    Twits like you who have no sense of history before you reached puberty, ie., 2002, really are a drag on the average IQ of our society.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  72. God, the trolls are in full bloom. Lots of experienced businessmen among them. Odd that 20-year-old junior college students have so much business experience.

    I had forgotten who said this until Glenn posted it today:

    Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.”

    Mike K (2cf494)

  73. Comment by Mike K — 10/31/2008 @ 9:20 pm

    Robert Heinlein, wasn’t it?

    Another Drew (7aa87e)

  74. 71- if the average IQ were 40-50 points higher than it is, then yes, I would be a drag.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  75. All well and good, but what does it get you? Yes, for pretty much any value of taxes if there were lower taxes some people would work/invest more because of the marginally larger gains. But unless you are arguing that taxes should be zero and we shouldn’t have a government – the government has to tax at some level. What makes the current (or proposed McCain) rates the magic number? If Obama’s 39% is instant death for all business what makes Bush’s 36% ok?
    Milton Friedman was right, to spend is to tax. There isn’t support for serious spending cuts, hence the responsible thing to do is raise taxes. Stop being such whiners about it.

    TomO (6f3447)

  76. From today’s Latitude 38:

    October 31, 2008 – Sacramento

    As you know, Governor Schwarznegger signed a new state budget at the end of September. As most boaters will probably also know, in addition he signed a bill that once again killed the so-called 90-Day Yacht Club. This was the provision that allowed folks buying boats to avoid paying use tax/sales tax — if the boat was kept out of state for at least 90 days. The new bill, AB1452, requires that yachts — as well as airplanes, RVs and other high-ticket items — stay out of the state for at least one year to avoid the use tax. Although this would likely not affect the average guy, when the 90-Day rule was in affect in 2004, as many as 90% of buyers paying $200,000 or more for boats took delivery offshore and met the out-of-state requirement.

    With the California budget in a perennial shambles it’s hard to blame state politicians for appearing to do the ‘right thing’. And on the surface, AB1452 seems like it would bring more money into the state coffers. In reality, the bill will very possibly lose the state both money and jobs. Consider:

    * Fewer people who can afford high-end boats will buy them here.
    * Buyers opting to meet the one-year-away rule will hurt the state marine industry by berthing and having work done elsewhere.
    * There are other ways to legally avoid paying use tax, such as registering the boat under an offshore corporation. Last time we looked, you could form an offshore corporation online for only a few thousand dollars, which is nothing for someone facing $50,000 in use taxes.

    Unlike bills that came before it, AB1452 has no sunset clause, meaning it is theoretically ‘permanent’. But hey, so was Prohibition. We will have more on the end of the 90-Day Yacht Club in the next issue. In the meantime, we would like to hear from those who have been affected by it, who have used the 90-Day Rule, those who have changed buying plans since its repeal, and what legal alternatives California yacht buyers have in the face of this new legislation. Email comments and contacts to John.

    They never learn. They just did it again.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  77. I work as a computer consultant for a number of different types of businesses. They range from small manufacturers to construction, dental/medical appliances to lawyers. I have helped close four businesses in the past 6 months. Every one of of my customers has notified me that they are planning to downsize if Obama wins, with one exception. The lawyers I work for are all ramping up, hiring more paralegals, secretaries and associates. Whether they are in real estate law, personal injury, bankruptcy, etc. they see the possibility of an Obama presidency as a money maker.

    I don’t work with any defense attorneys as I found it distasteful. All of the attorneys I work for are Democrats. None of them believe that they will have to pay much more in taxes or that his economic policies will have an adverse effect on the country. (I thought lawyers were supposed to be smart?)

    Personally, I am watching as companies that I have worked with for 10 to 15 years are planning to scale back or close. This directly affects me as I rely on them for my living. My girlfriend has been trying to convince me to take a government job for “job security”. I really don’t want to have to explain to her again that I believe in outsourcing those jobs to the private sector rather than making those jobs government jobs.

    While I don’t want McCain as the president, Obama scares the hell out of me. I want my country to be a capitalist society, not a socialist society.

    Jayman (8f6541)

  78. Of course, what snuffles leaves out of that 150 million figure is how much of it was illegal donations only made possible by the Obama campaign deliberately disabling all fraud prevention checks.

    SDN (647366)

  79. Jayman: There is an actual socialist party candidate on the ballot this year and it isn’t Obama/Biden.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  80. There isn’t support for serious spending cuts, hence the responsible thing to do is raise taxes. Stop being such whiners about it.

    There is support for spending cuts, but the politicians scare us with cuts to education and the sick to cierce us into coughing up more dough. For starters, the feds could disband the Departments of Education and Energy, started by Jimmy Carter to solve the energy and education problems. They have failed; close them up.

    Patricia (ee5c9d)

  81. “Obama is running a campaign that has revenue of $150,000,000 a month”.

    Good point, in that I’d sure like to have a “business” where fanatics throw money at me, and I can break the law with impunity.

    Oh, wait, isn’t a campaign part of “getting elected”?

    GaryS (1a3d23)

  82. Jayman
    Jayman, I’m afraid the lawyers are the only ones who have interpreted the tax changes Obama will bring correctly

    I ran a company for several years until I sold it to do private software design for the government. (Sound familiar?) On a few of our good years, we brought in about 2.6M annually. Obama would take taxes on all that, right? Right?

    Wrong.

    After all the deductions, I come down an income of around $280k. THAT’s what I paid taxes on. This whole line about these changes crushing small business owners are just scare tactics.

    And the Obama tax increases don’t become significant until after you profit $600k. Your clients are just scared (totally natural). But they are either doing REALLY well for themselves and just don’t want to invest in their business anymore, or their facts are incorrect.

    It’s terrifying running a small company and these are terrifying political times. But if those businesses are profitable now, they’ll be just fine after Obama is elected.

    i like america (d2f951)

  83. Comment by i like america — 11/1/2008 @ 10:38 am
    “…if those businesses are profitable now, they’ll be just fine after…” the election.

    Funny, that’s almost exactly what some of the Brain-Trusters, like Harold Ickes, Sr., told FDR.
    That didn’t work out so well, did it?

    Another Drew (7e8922)

  84. I’m not familiar with the tax codes from back then.

    I am familiar with them from now.

    You may be right, but I have to way of judging

    i like america (d2f951)

  85. Comment by i like america — 11/1/2008 @ 10:50

    As another part of your furthering conservative education,
    read Amity Shlaes’ The Forgotten Man (available @ Amazon).

    It lays out in some detail what went right, and mostly wrong,
    in how DC (FDR) tried to end the Great Depression.

    Another Drew (7e8922)


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