Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bored

I feel like Gaston in "Gigi", when he talks to Honore while sitting in a Paris sidewalk cafe. Honore mentions all the wonderful things of Paris and Gaston is disdainful about them all. All of Paris, whether it's the beautiful spring time or it's the gay night life, holds no amusement for Gaston. (Eventually he realizes what he needs is a new fling and turns to Gigi...that part I don't feel like...)

Anyways, I am bored. Or it could be overwhelmed. Usually when I have too much to do, I end up being unable to do anything.

Nevertheless, I realize that even the hilarity of the Democratic Primary race is almost uninteresting to me. And I do mean, almost. Because today, the day after the PA debate, I have found a new spark. Quite possibly, I have found my "Gigi". The questions from last night's debate were brilliant and bravo to ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos for asking tough questions and not letting up on either Obama or Clinton.

I especially applaud the line of questions regarding the capital gains tax. The questions were thoughtful. I loved this part:
MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the [Capital Gains] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness. We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year -- $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That's not fair.


My concern, as should be just about everyone's, is that Senator Obama has equated the capital gains tax with fairness. This screams redistribution of wealth, which is what is unfair! It is essentially taxing production and innovation.

Let me take on a typical argument for capital gains tax. If you are making enough money that pushes you into the capital gains bracket, then you can afford the tax.

However, with a higher tax, some people will be forced out of the stock market, which means that fewer people will be able to afford investment, which then means that the company will lose out on dollars, which means that company will not be able to hire additional employees, and so on and so on.

Furthermore, at what point is a tax fair? Is it fair at 50%? Is it fair at 10%? You see where I am going with this? When we arbitrarily enforce fairness, there is no standard. There is no benchmark. Essentially, a tax bracket will always be unfair to someone. How can you possibly measure fairness?

3 comments:

chandy said...

Of course you already know that I agree...but comments like that from Obama are what make me think he stands a really good chance of winning. I just think there are more people in this country that are going to think "Hey, yeah, that isn't fair! I want a bigger piece of the pie!" It's a scary thought...I hope I'm wrong.

Katie said...

Warning! Never announce that you are bored!!! The last time I made that mistake, my son sat on my lap and vomited all over the place within 5 minutes of hitting posting the idea. You're not bored, you're overwhelmed. Set reasonable goals with reasonable time frames and try not to shut down...that will just get you farther behind. (speaking from experience, of course)

Is that enough of a pep talk, or do I need to call and harrass, um, I mean "encourage" you? :)

Becky said...

I love to watch any politician squirm when they are asked the tough questions.

I was all for the idea of eliminating the IRS all together! And as far as taxation goes, we are being taxed more than ever in the history of this country...so God help us when a Democratic president is elected!

I actually think that tax brackets should be re-evaluated...and more of a flat percentage should be administered. 10-15% across the board no matter what your earnings would be fair. Then there are no surprises...and no one manipulating their earnings to avoid a higher tax bracket.

I would venture to guess that not everyone agrees with me, but that is the beauty of the US and of blogging! :)

Good to see something fresh on your blog again! I enjoy reading.

Becky, the maid