Friday, August 19, 2011

Why $250,000 as the Cutoff? or WWJD with that Cash?

The big fiscal legislative issue of the lame duck session was the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. Everyone gets something? Nobody gets anything? Do we go in the middle with some number picked out of the air?

I guess the $250,000 number was a campaign promise from 2008 that needs to be honored.

But seriously, you can't make it on $250,000 PER YEAR?

People actually have the unmitigated gall to complain about this?

Part of the reasoning of the rich and greedy was, "We need to extend the Bush Tax Cuts to keep the Economy Productive!"

If the Bush Tax Cuts were supposed to spur jobs; where are they? We should be up to our ears in job openings right now.

If those who benefited from the Bush Tax Cuts were going to create jobs, they would have by now. They haven't; therefore, we need to make the cuts go away for at least those making more than $250k per year. I don't what to hear the "fairness" whining from the BMW crowd.

The reasoning behind the whining is that you can't raise taxes during:
  1. A recession
  2. A depression
  3. A flush economy
  4. A snowstorm
  5. A year starting with a "2"

All of these seem to be really valid reasons to stop raising taxes. (Read this as sardonic)

I know I have a hard time wrapping my small wallet around that $250k number. I am sure most of you reading this may feel the same way. But I am not going to make this a class-warfare argument to extend the cuts for those under $250k, but not over the magic number.

I am going to make it a competency issue.

Let's take as a given we live in a capitalist system. That system only works properly when there is a free flow of cash. Money brought into the system is then sent out again in the form of reinvestment. If we stop reinvesting in the system we get a clogged system (kinda like your home plumbing). Yeah some stuff may get through, but we will have an eventual large and smelly problem.

Those people who are making more than $250k per year and are not reinvesting it are the problem. They are the clog. We tarp'ed them; we stimulated them; and still nothing. They are either greedy or incompetent. If they are greedy, tax the hell out of them! None of us have any sympathy for them.

If they are incompetent we need to use the tax laws to make them competent. If you are bringing in that kind of coin and can't figure out how to shelter it to get it under $250K, I don't think you can handle that kind of cash.

Sorry, you need to flush it back into the system. Create a small business entity that will hire somebody to do something. There are plenty of people who would love the opportunity to do something. There are a lot of hard luck cases right now that you can hire. Would you rather a tax bill go to the government or a neighbor down the street who needs a job?

The tax laws are such that you can do this. Incorporate yourself, pay yourself a salary out of the corporation and set the corporation to do other stuff. Talk to an accountant. Get you number under $250k and start producing for the economy. You want to make money - invest it in our people. I want you to make money. Really, I do! The more people you hire the quicker we get the economy back.

Otherwise, if you don't do this, then you don't deserve to have that much money.

This is no different than the Parable of the Talents from the Gospel (Matthew 25:14-30).

If you are unfamiliar with this particular story it is the one where 3 guys walk in to a bar (a rabbi, a priest and a duck) and...

Oh, no, sorry - different parable...

3 guys are given various sums of talents (or cash) by their master. The master goes away and leaves these guys to their own devices. 2 of the guys push the limits with their cash and double their investments. The third guy buries on the cash and didn't get anything for it.

The master comes back and gives big atta-boys to the two guys who tried. The master looks at the third guy and gives him the "What-the-hell-did-you-do-nothing-for" speech.

Moral of the story: Take your Talents (read:Cash) and make them multiply. Bury them and you should get ripped a new one from Jesus Christ (and the IRS).

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