Category Archives: Capitalism
The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good.
Greed is right.
Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.
And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA
That has become a mantra of sorts on Wall Street, thanks to Oliver Stone and Stanley Weiser. Twenty-one years ago, the two paired up to make the film Wall Street, starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen.
Now , 20th Century Fox is moving forward with a sequel (called Money Never Sleeps) to 1987’s Wall Street. The modern-day story will again center on Gordon Gekko, who has recently been sprung from prison and re-emerges into a much more tumultuous financial world than the one he once lorded over. The Bud Fox character, played by Charlie Sheen in the original, will not appear in the latest incarnation.
Seems like it is the perfect time for sequel to movie Wall Street when the economy is in crisis and the markets are in freefall.
`Joe the plumber,” the Toledo, Ohio, man whose complaints about Barack Obama’s tax plan were highlighted by John McCain in the final presidential debate, owes the state of Ohio almost $1,200 in back income taxes.
According to records on file with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, the state filed a tax lien against Samuel J. Wurzelbacher for $1,182.98 on Jan. 26, 2007, that is still active.
Wurzelbacher was thrust into the national spotlight this week when he told Obama he worried that the Illinois senator’s proposals to roll back Bush administration tax breaks for Americans earning more than $250,000 would prevent him from buying a plumbing business that would earn between $250,000 and $280,000 a year.
McCain, an Arizona Republican senator, pointed to the exchange during the debate last night when he turned to the camera and said, “I will not stand for a tax increase on small-business income.” Directly criticizing Obama, he added, “what you want to do to `Joe the plumber’ and millions more like him is have their taxes increased and not be able to realize the American dream of owning their own business.”
Today, at a rally in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, McCain said “the real winner last night was `Joe the plumber.”’
On Oct. 12, as Obama was campaigning door-to-door in suburban Toledo, Wurzelbacher confronted the Democratic presidential nominee about his tax plan.
“Do you believe in the American dream?” Wurzelbacher asked before asking about the tax increase. “I’m being taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream.”
Wurzelbacher’s home telephone number is unlisted, and efforts to reach him by calling his neighbors and family were unsuccessful. Attempts to reach Wurzelbacher at the plumbing company where he works were also unsuccessful. The address on the lien and other records for him matched the address published by the Toledo Blade, which also noted the lien.
The state of Ohio places a lien on real property after several steps to try to collect a tax debt, according to John Kohlstrand, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation who said he couldn’t discuss any specific case.
If a delinquency notice goes unheeded, the Department of Taxation issues a billing notice, Kohlstrand said. If that is ignored, a more formal assessment notice is sent. Failing to appeal an assessment or losing an appeal puts the debt into the hands of the state attorney general for collection. The attorney general typically sends a collection notice and simultaneously files a lien.
“The taxpayers may not necessarily know about the lien,” Kohlstrand said, although they would receive other notices.
In Wurzelbacher’s case, the lien indicated that the notice was sent to a previous address in Toledo.
Ray Ann Estep, section chief for revenue-recovery services for the Ohio attorney general, said Wurzelbacher’s lien was filed six months after the Department of Taxation certified the debt for collection.
“Unfortunately, sometimes people don’t resolve their debts as quickly as we would like them to,” she said.
In addition to tax credits and a proposal that would allow Wurzelbacher to avoid paying capital-gains taxes if he ever sold the business he wants to acquire for a profit, Obama has proposed allowing the top two tax rates of 33 percent and 35 percent to revert to what they were during the Clinton administration, or 36 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively.
In 2007, the 33 percent bracket kicked in for taxable income exceeding $195,851.
Under Obama’s proposal, Wurzelbacher would face about $900 more in taxes if he netted $280,000 of income from his new business and had to pay an extra 3 percentage points on the amount over $195,851, said Gerald Prante, a senior economist at the Tax Foundation, a Washington research group that is examining both candidates’ plans.
“His average tax burden, the final bill he pays to the IRS isn’t going to go up much if he’s just making $280,000 a year,” Prante said. He would face higher marginal tax costs to expand the business beyond that, he said.
Not Taxable Income
It’s far more likely that the $280,000 Wurzelbacher told Obama he’d earn would be in the form of gross receipts and not taxable income, said Steven Bankler, a certified public accountant in San Antonio, who counts plumbers and other trade professionals as his clients.
By the time Wurzelbacher took proper business deductions, Bankler said, he’d be left with between $150,000 and $200,000 in taxable income and wouldn’t be affected by Obama’s proposed increase in the top rates.
Wurzelbacher might eventually have to pay more employment taxes under Obama’s plan to impose a rate of between 2 percent and 4 percent on wages over $250,000, Bankler said, but Obama has said that change wouldn’t take effect for a decade
Joe the plumber makes $250,000 a year whereas according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for plumbers in the United States in 2007 was $47,350.
Why are these politicians calling him a plumber when in reality he is a businessman. I bet next they will next call Bill Gates an electrician.
General Motors Corp. said Friday that bankruptcy is not an option being considered despite the “unprecedented challenges” posed by a weakening economy.“Bankruptcy would not be in the interests of our employees, stockholders, suppliers or customers, and we believe speculation about a possible filing is exaggerated and nonconstructive,” a GM spokesman said.
Instead GM is in talks with Chrysler for a possible merger. General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Cerberus Capital Management LP have held preliminary talks about a merger or an acquisition of Chrysler by GM.
Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover earlier this year to Tata Motors for 1.15 billion , and according to sources Tata Motors might also be buying a stake in Mazda Motor Corp.
The auto industry has been hit hard in recent weeks by the effects of the credit crisis, prompting GM and Ford to issue statements Friday to dispel the notion that they might be headed for bankruptcy. GM and Ford shares were battered with the rest of the stock market this week, falling to lows not seen in decades.
Ford shares have plunged to a 26-year low at $1.99 and its U.S. rival General Motors Corp to a nearly 60-year low to $4.89
After the bailout of AIG last month, the United States government effectively bought an 80% share in the company. That should have caused a fundamental change, you would think, in how the company was spending funds on compensation, bonuses and benefits.
But it doesn’t look like that’s what happened. The committee learned that shortly after the bailout went through, executives from AIG’s major U.S. life insurance subsidiary, AIG American General, held a week-long conference at an exclusive resort in California.
The resort is called the St. Regis Monarch Beach. … It’s very impressive. This is an exclusive resort. The rooms start, gentlemen, at $425 a night. Some are more than $1,200 a night. AIG spent nearly $500,000 in a single week at the at this hotel. Now, this was right after the bailout.Some of the charges shareholders who are now U.S. taxpayers had to pay. Check this out.
AIG spent $200,000 for hotel rooms, and almost $150,000 for catered banquets. AIG spent $23,000 at the hotel spa and another $1,400 at the salon. They were getting their manicures, their facials, their pedicures and their massages while the American people were were footing the bill. And they spent another $10,000 for leisure dining.
Obama campaign launched a new iphone application called Obama 08 over the weekend. This is a real smart move considering there are around 4 million iphone users.
The free application is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch. It will organize your contacts by key battleground states, and measures statistics to see how you are doing compared to other leading callers. It also provides you with information about the campaign via text messages and e-mail, offers coverage of national and local campaign news, helps you find local events, share the information by e-mail, and get maps and directions. You can also use the application to browse videos and photos from the campaign.
The Internet and technology is positioned to play a huge role in elections. Probably Mccain campaign does not get it.