Five Year Plans

22 03 2016

St. Louis City

Proposition E on the muni ballot early next month, the every five years vote on keeping or getting rid of the city earnings tax.  Kansas City has to do the same thing.

Me, November 12, 2010:

It all makes me wonder what kind of dope Rex Sinquefield was smoking.  Why did he go through all this trouble to get [2010 Missouri Proposition A] on the ballot?  It won’t make an actual difference even though it passed (even though no more cities will be able to enact earnings taxes), because, like I said, STL and KC voters will be voting every five years to keep theirs.  So what gives?

Then it hit me like a brick — Rex Sinquefield is crazy, but he’s crazy like a fox.  When you go to the well for water too many times, you eventually run out of water.  By getting Prop A on the ballot and passed, this means that liberals in both of Missouri’s major cities are going to have to go to the well for money and contributions every five years just to keep their earnings taxes.  This means that there’s less liberal money for Democrat politicians and for other propositions and referenda.  Nice thinking, Rex.

The people doing the anti-earnings tax media buys know full well that STL and KC voters will vote the opposite way, to keep those cities’ municipal earnings taxes.  But that’s not the point, as I figured out six years ago.





Why I’m #NRx

29 12 2015

Washington, D.C.

Because democratic republicanism ruins even the enforcement of tax laws.





Art Story

7 10 2015

Manhattan

Drudge on Alex Jones yesterday.

I can’t remember exactly where, so you’ll have to hunt for it yourself.  But at one point, Drudge noted the 6th Avenue billionaire mania for art.

It’s a tax loophole.





A Threat And a Promise

16 09 2015

Schenectady, New York

Yes, it’s both.

Don’t be surprised if they are successful in bullying Congress into renewing Ex-Im, and then wind up moving the jobs anyway.

Remember, this is the same firm that had zero Federal corporate income tax liability in 2010, though that was a one year one tax one-off.  However, in a just world, there would never be a scenario where an institution that reported the kind of domestic profits it did that year would have zero FCIT liability.

Slow meatball over the heart of the plate, Donald Trump.





The Beauty of Trump’s Triangulation on Taxes

8 09 2015

Boston

Dime Store Indian hearts Trump on taxes, to an extent.

But don’t look for an endorsement, because:

Warren clarified on Tuesday that she is not supporting Trump’s presidential bid, pointing to his positions on dealing with illegal immigration.

And this is the beauty of Trump’s triangulation on taxes.  By moving to the middle on taxes, and pouring cold water on the libertarian cult on economic issues, he’s preventing the mainstream left from being able to drive a wedge between the modern day well paid proletariat that is the modern middle class, especially its white constituents, and the red team, thereby forcing the left to retreat to social issue and racial leftism, making the election a referendum on those issues.  Trump’s mild immigration patriotism thrown on top of it, and you can see how he’s doing way better than the typical Republican among blacks and somewhat better among Hispanics.  Since blacks provide the crucial voting margins in electoral college rich states, any substantial combination of black apathy or black defections to Trump will put the blue team in serious electoral college trouble.  This will force the Democrats to turn on the pro-black anti-white racial agitprop machine into superoverdrive gear, and that in turn will drive non-white non-black voters who fear and dislike blacks for whatever reason into the Trump column, which will more than make up for any blacks that desert Trump because of the agitprop.

Checkmate.





Trump Tax

31 08 2015

Manhattan

Per my suggestion yesterday, Trump is starting to get down to business and get his hands dirty on more substance.

Some time this week, we will get the tax manifesto.

The biggest hoopla seems to be over the carried interest loophole, which needs to be done.  But, this gives us the opportunity to jump into the blogmeister hot tub time machine and dial it back sixteen years, to what Trump was saying when he was mulling a Presidential campaign on the Reform Party ticket (the party Ross Perot founded) in 2000:

Bush has already denounced Trump’s tax intentions. “I cut taxes every year; he’s proposed the largest tax increase in mankind’s history, not just our own country’s history,” Bush said at a recent appearance in Keene, N.H. Bush was apparently referring to a 1999 Trump proposal — Trump was toying with the idea of running for president back then — in which Trump advocated a one-time-only tax of 14.25 percent on the net worth of all Americans worth more than $10 million. Under Trump’s proposal, the money raised would have been used to pay off the national debt completely and use the resulting savings — all the interest the government no longer paid — to cut taxes and shore up Social Security.

Trump no longer supports the idea, which — to put it charitably — economists at the time thought was wildly impractical. But the question is whether Bush and other Republicans will get much traction using Trump’s 16 year-old notion against him now. Even if Bush characterizes it as a crackpot scheme, the core of the plan was Trump supporting taxing the super rich to solve an enormous public policy problem. That’s going to hurt him badly now?

Yes, Jeb! et al. would be, as Dilbert put it, thinking past the sale.

For quite a few reasons, the one-time 14.25% rate and the $10 million floor was a non-starter.  I do think that Trump ought to consider the idea, but with a much lower rate, levied annually, on the highest of net worths.  Perhaps 0.25% on marginal net worths over $1 billion.





A Box For Everything

27 07 2015

Chappaqua, New York

Me, four days ago:

But I think the better explanation is our increasing deification of the stock market, our increasing investments in it, which creates a business climate in the relationship between corporate boards of directors and the corporations’ most prominent singular managerial employees, the CEO, being mindful of the outsized control that mutual funds have on the composition of boards of directors because they quasi-own so much of the stock.  The goal is as much profit as possible over the short term; a CEO who engineers such policies will get paid very well, one who doesn’t is out the door.  As it is, since the average Fortune 500 CEO tenure is not even five years, it’s not like any one CEO really cares about what happens when s/he is no longer CEO, and like I said, CEOs are high level managerial employees, nothing more.  To net it all out, the high end American corporate world is driven by temporary players who are just looking to catch while catch can, they’re out the door and replaced by more people looking to catch while catch can.

MMcA has a piece at Bloomy today about HRC calling for a reverse stair stepped capital gains tax system; Ross Perot first proposed this in 1992.  I think it’s a good idea, but MMcA has a more elegant explanation than mine above on why it won’t do much good by itself:

On the margin, it’s probably going to affect investment if you raise capital gains taxes by a lot — and nonetheless, this is not going to do much to shift the incentives toward longer-term thinking at companies. That’s because Clinton seems to fundamentally misunderstand the reason that public companies are so focused on short-term results that impact their stock price, rather than longer-term growth. To the extent that you think this phenomenon is real, and a problem, the issue is not that American investors, for reasons known only to themselves, have developed the attention spans of gnats. Instead, I’d argue that the problem is the massive shift toward institutional management of equity assets.

Here’s SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar on this phenomenon in 2013: “The proportion of U.S. public equities managed by institutions has risen steadily over the past six decades, from about 7 or 8 percent of market capitalization in 1950, to about 67 percent in 2010.” Stocks used to be the province of affluent people who might hold them for decades — and might well take it into their head to show up at your shareholder meeting and delicately inquire why the chief executive officer is getting paid so much when quarterly results look pretty dismal. Now they’re the province of everyone — and everyone is in the hands of professional managers who don’t care how much the CEO is getting paid, would rather sell and buy something else than chivy the board into doing its job, and need to deliver price appreciation pretty regularly, lest their Morningstar profile become tarnished, or the regulators start asking the company to increase contributions.

Add to that the fact that you can now log in every day to see exactly how your 401(k) is doing, and you can see how short-termism might come to dominate executive offices.

Unless the short term reverse stair stepped time bracket has an extremely confiscatory rate, it won’t make this any better, and I even have my doubts that it would get much better even if the rate was 99.9%.  Being an NRx, I can diagnose the fundamental problem is the same kind of democratization in the business world as democratization of government has negatively affected the quality of the public policy formation and enforcement process.  Just as I think hereditary monarchy is generally the least problematic of types of governments, with some qualifications, hereditary monarchy is my beaux ideal of a business management paradigm.  Either as a privately held business handed down from generation to generation, or as publicly traded corporations where one person must hold a simple majority of the stock expects to will it to a blood heir.  Even then, there might be a necessity for some non-hereditary non-family publicly traded corporations to exist, but in the dark enlightenment, the king must hold them in close and permanent check.

Let me ask you this, St. Louisan:  Did you like Anheuser-Busch better when it was essentially a hereditary monarchy, or as a pure publicly traded corporation?

 

 








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