Sunday, September 04, 2011

Not All Millionaires Make Too Much

Crony capitalism is not evidence of a free market, but of further government distortions in the market:
As the nation struggles with a stagnant economy, President Barack Obama has preached overhauling the U.S. tax code to spur economic growth. But as he gears up for what looks to be a tough reelection campaign, the president has surrounded himself with the current loophole-riddled system's prime offenders: corporate executives whose companies have profited off of those loopholes while reaping millions for themselves.

Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank, named in a new report 25 major American corporations whose CEOs were paid more last year than their firm's total U.S. income tax bill. Of those business elites, 10 have substantive ties to Obama -- including some who have official economic policy advisory positions in his administration -- according to a HuffPost analysis of the report.
Again, this is from the not-quite-right-wing Huffington Post.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

And yet ... one of the companies they list is Boeing. The report claims "U.S. federal income taxes: $13 million" and "The company last year pocketed a net tax refund of $137 million from states and localities."

But finance.yahoo.com reports that for the fiscal year ending Dec 2010, Boeing has $4.5B in pre-tax income and had income tax expenses of about $1.2B (roughly a 25% tax rate).

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=BA+Income+Statement&annual

There is a pretty big gap between "wrote a check for $1.2B" and "didn't pay hardly anything."

Are these folks scoring things the same way everyone else does?

-Mark Roulo

Unknown said...

Ok, but do that analysis for almost any politician, would you really expect different results? It's an issue of our system of democratic politics more than the man. When it takes money and influence to get into politics, politicians make friends with the powerful, who happen to be the ones who usually would be taking advantage of our tax system. I'd love to see an analysis like this for each president, going all the way back and seeing if it's gotten worse over time or if it's just gotten more apparent.

Darren said...

Sounds to me like a good reason to limit federal power. Limit it, and there's nothing for the money to chase.

Unknown said...

Right because state and local elections are free and don't require any campaigning. Whenever you have elections with any sort of fund-raised campaigning you have the chance for influence, the only solution is strong campaign finance reform.

Darren said...

No, the solution is to limit the power of government--mostly federal, but at the state and local level, too. Free men and women shouldn't allow others to unnecessarily tell them what to do.

MikeAT said...

Right because state and local elections are free and don't require any campaigning. Whenever you have elections with any sort of fund-raised campaigning you have the chance for influence, the only solution is strong campaign finance reform.

Anon, let me get this straight. You are saying there is no money cost to non federal elections.

What country are you talking about? It is not the United States.

Any campaign require manpower, a staff, radio and TV air time, offices, vehicles, countless other items. These things require cash and that is why politicians spend a lot of time raising money. It has always been that way and it always will be that way.

Now you mentioned strong campaign finance reform which is a canard. The leftists who push that want to limit speech by limiting the resources non-incumbents have while allowing incumbents cash.

If you want real reform it's simple. Allow unlimited donations but have them published on the Internet within 24 hours. Politicians will get money and to some degree or another work for their donors. Let the voter know who is paying the tab.

Unknown said...

But the difference is I want to live in a world where you can't pollute my air and groundwater within reason, where you can't try to mislead me when selling me something, where you can't physically harm other people, and where you and I don't starve no matter how wrong things go. If you think that can be done without a somewhat powerful government, I'd like to know how?

MikeAT said...

Right because state and local elections are free and don't require any campaigning. Whenever you have elections with any sort of fund-raised campaigning you have the chance for influence, the only solution is strong campaign finance reform.
Anon, let me get this straight. You are saying there is no money cost to non federal elections.

What country are you talking about? It is not the United States.

Any campaign require manpower, a staff, radio and TV air time, offices, vehicles, countless other items. These things require cash and that is why politicians spend a lot of time raising money. It has always been that way and it always will be that way.

Now you mentioned strong campaign finance reform which is a canard. The leftists who push that want to limit speech by limiting the resources non-incumbents have while allowing incumbents cash.

If you want real reform it's simple. Allow unlimited donations but have them published on the Internet within 24 hours. Politicians will get money and to some degree or another work for their donors. Let the voter know who is paying the tab.

Darren said...

I like lots of things "within reason". I don't think our government's bounds are very reasonable right now, and I'd like to compel it to live more within the Constitution. If you interpret that as not wanting a "somewhat powerful government", that's on you.

I don't want a government that is even capable of excessively distorting markets, which is what this post and the linked article are about.

Unknown said...

MikeAT, I was being sarcastic with regards to it being free for non-federal elections, my point was any election that has a fund-raised component has room for influence due to the fundraising. I was arguing that if you say there is a problem with federal elections the same problems occur in state and local elections, and therefore your problem isn't with Obama but with all current politicians in our currently mostly unregulated democratic elections.

Darren, that's the main difference, I say these "excessively distorted" markets aren't due to too much government power, but poorly written legislation, and the solution isn't lets tear the government down but lets rebuild it to be more effective. It's the defining line in this country right now, no one is happy with the status quo but there are people who believe we could have better government and those who believe the only better government is less government, count me as one of the former.

MikeAT said...

I was arguing that if you say there is a problem with federal elections the same problems occur in state and local elections, and therefore your problem isn't with Obama but with all current politicians in our currently mostly unregulated democratic elections.

One, I didn’t mention B Hussein Obama in my post. Although the classless and clueless POS did insult several members of the US Supreme Court in a national venue and showed how ignorant he was on campaign finance law.

Two, you seemed to have missed it. My point was we need real reform of the campaign finance system and that will come only with pudding more sunlight into the process. The McCain-Feingold debacle, among other things, pushed more money away from hard donations into less easily tracked soft donations. Who likes this? Politicians who get the money without having to explain it to their voters and the lobbyist who are quite willing to pay for access to a senator or cabinet member. Or a president.

...I want to live in a world where you can't pollute my air and groundwater within reason, where you can't try to mislead me when selling me something, where you can't physically harm other people, and where you and I don't starve no matter how wrong things go. If you think that can be done without a somewhat powerful government, I'd like to know how?
The air and groundwater is a canard for an out of control bureaucracy in general and the EPA in particular. When these morons I’m paying for are telling me farm dust or CO2 are pollutants they need to be restrained. One thing I was to see from this Republican Congress is hearing with EPA bureaucrats put under oath and asked “Under what statue do you have the authority to issue regulations on CO2?” As far as physically harm other people, that’s not the federal government’s job to find out who kicked your ass last night at the movies. It’s the job of the local cops to capture them and the DA to prosecute them under local/state charges. And as far as starving have you checked out the prices of food recently. The inflation of food cost is directly tired to to fuel policy of this administration. Pushing ethanol which puts more corn to use for fuel and away from grain feeds for animals. The shortage of corn increases the feeding cost of animals which increase the cost of food. Also ethanol cost more than pure gas.

Unk, open you eyes...