According to our friends at Celebrity Net Worth, Moore’s fortune currently totals $50 million:
Fahrenheit 911 raked in $230 million in theaters and another $3 million in DVD sales. After the theaters take their traditional 50% cut, that leaves roughly $130 million. Take away marketing, production and distribution expenses and Moore is conservatively left with $80 million. Moore was able to secure a deal from Miramax which guaranteed him 27% of his film’s net revenues, or roughly $21.6 million. Michael also was entitled to 50% of the profits of Sicko which are estimated to be $17 million.
Moore wants to dress and act as if he’s just a regular guy part of the 99 percenters, but he is every bit a multimillionaire doing everything in his power to make more money for himself. He invests his fortune in stocks – including the Left’s most-hated company Halliburton! – and isn’t pro-union when it comes to managing his own business.
The TEA Party embodies the order of a republic, | The O.W.S. embodies the chaos of a “democracy”
This causes a question, the question is, “how much does the 1% earn…. and who are the 1%” Thanks to the Financial Samurai
WHAT THE TOP 1%, 5%, 10%, 25% and 50% MAKE IN AMERICA
Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s 2010 database below, here’s how much the top Americans make:
Top 1%: $380,354
Top 5%: $159,619
Top 10%: $113,799
Top 25%: $67,280
Top 50%: >$33,048
— SUMMARY OF FEDERAL INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX DATA, 2010
Based on a previous 500+ survey study on Financial Samurai in 2009, about 80% of readers are in the Top 25%. Good to know that many of you are doing well. The table also tells us a number of things about equality or inequality, namely that the Top 1% of tax payers pay 38% of all income taxes. You can also see that the Top 50% of tax payers pay practically all of the nation’s taxes (97.30%), which once again shows that 40-45% of American income earners pay zero taxes.
If you do another little exercise and compare your Top 25% of American income to the Top 10 per capita income countries in the world, you can once again see further how lucky most of us are. If only we can get all American wage earns to pay some taxes, it would go a long way to help shoring up our budget. Congress is bickering over cutting $40 billion to $60 billion a year. All we have to do is make the bottom 50% who pay no taxes pay just $43 a month in taxes and we’d raise $60 billion a year right there.
THE RICH WILL ALWAYS PAY MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE
As the economy continues to recover, it’s likely that the top 1% of income earners will likely pay an even higher percentage share of overall income taxes than 38%. If things were fair, they would only have to pay 20% of total income taxes since 20% is their share of total income. Alas, the rich pay almost double what they owe.
On the flip side, the bottom 50% who earn 12.75% of total earnings only pays a paltry 2.7% in total taxes. Inequality is wrong and we should treat everybody equally. The government should try to fix the imbalance by increasing the breadth of working Americans who pay taxes to 100% so that everybody pitches in. If all working Americans in the bottom 50% paid taxes, the 10% gap in what they should be paying should narrow.
With the economy suffering, It doesn’t makes sense if you are in the bottom 50% who isn’t paying their fair share of taxes to go after the top 50%, let alone the top 1% who are paying way more than their share of income. Trying to squeeze people even more when you’re not paying any taxes, or paying very little is a throwback to tyranny.
Both are good articles that are poignant. But here is a portion from that first one that many do not ask:
It’s trendy to rage against the top 1% nowadays. We’ve discussed how the world will go through further employment pain thanks to the decline in the stock markets, EuroZone debt crisis, US state-level budget problems, and political impotence. Things are not pretty to say the least.
From my rental property article, you discover that the top 1% are a couple who met in law school at 25 and are now 28 year old 2nd year associates making $380,000 combined. The top 1% is also the 28 year old Google software engineer from Caltech who brings in $450,000 a year and has $400,000 in savings. The top 1% is the 35 year old cardiologist who is finally making over $300,000 a year after 11 years of post high school education and 3 years of residency work at $60,000 a year. By the time he’s 45, he will probably make over $1 million dollars.
Where else can we find the top 1%? Oh yeah, MBA grads who join Wall Street firms such as JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs at the standard $150,000 base salary and $30,000 sign-on bonus at age 29-30. But, you knew this already since that’s who so many people are demonstrating against. If they can last through the treacherous ups and downs of the markets, the multiple rounds of layoffs every year, the intense pressure of 60-80 hour work weeks, not to mention all the internal political landmines, they too will make over $380,000 a year by the time they are 35 year old second year Vice Presidents.
THE TOP 1%: COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE
Public Schools: Public colleges regularly pay their employees hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The best paid University of California employee is Jeff Tedford, with a salary of $3 million a year coaching football. Not bad for a job many would say they’d love to do for much less. Practically every single Top 25 head coach in football and basketball makes multiple-six figures. The UC’s last President earned $900,000 and UCSF’s Chancellor, Susan Desmond-Hellman made $450,000.
Politicians: In September 1999, President Clinton signed legislation that increased the presidential salary to $400,000, effective January 2001. This presidential pay raise was the first since 1969, when the president’s salary was raised from $100,000 to $200,000. Adjusted for inflation, $200,000 in 1969 would be worth $930,232 today. On top of the salary and expense accounts, both the U.S. president and vice president are given free housing with plenty of amenities. The White House has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, a movie theater, bowling alley, billiards room, tennis court, jogging track and putting greens. Pretty good perks!
Online Infopreneurs: Bloggers making over $380,000 a year are a dime a dozen. Here are some that make the list: Heather Armstrong (Dooce), Darren Rowe (Pro Blogger), Michael Arrington (Tech Crunch), Pete Cashmore (Mashable), John Chow (John Chow), J. Shoemoney (Shoemoney), Perez Hilton (Perez Hilton), Ben Huh (Cheezeburger Network), Peter Rojas (Gizmodo), Leo Babauta (Zen Habits), and many top personal finance bloggers. There are hundreds more that we’ve never heard of.
TV Journalism: Anchorwomen and men make well over $380,000 at all the major stations in all the major cities. Katie Couric sealed an eye-popping $75 million, 5 year contract for CBS. Political comedian, Jon Stewart from the Daily Show makes around $15 million a year and has a net worth north of US$50 million. Jon makes his money making fun of politicians and rich people. Documentary-maker, Michael Moore, has made millions from railing against the car, food, and finance industries. Oprah is the queen of them all with mega-billions.
Executives:We then come to all the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies who on average make a somewhat outrageous $10 million a year. If you include the CFOs, COOs, and all other C-level execs, we’re talking about thousands who make in the multi-millions. These aren’t the top 1%. These are the top 0.1%! Many Directors and VP of Fortune 500 companies all make well over $380,000. You don’t have to be a C-level executive to get there.
Internet Start-Ups: And then there are the founders of all the great internet/tech companies you see today: Apple, Zynga, Twitter, Google, Youtube, eBay and so forth. They are the creators of the tools you use everyday to communicate and entertain yourself with. There are thousands more you’ve never heard of, who get acquired by the gorillas and make millions too.
Professional Sports: Every starting NFL player makes well over $380,000. So do all the members of every NBA team and European soccer league. Men and women who hit fuzzy green balls and whack dimply white balls earn over $380,000. It’s hard for a Nascar and Indy driver not to make over $380,000. Finally, baseball players have incredible multi-year guaranteed contracts that make all other sports envious! They are in the top 1%.
Entertainment Media: When you come home from a long days work and switch on the tube, the stars of your favorite TV sitcoms are well into the top 1%. When you take your significant other to the movies on a Saturday night to watch the highly anticipated Big Momma’s House III, the actors are all in the top 1%. They entertain you and make you laugh, and you go out and support them as a result.
THE TOP 1% ARE EVERYWHERE
The top 1% of income earners are everywhere. They walk among us peacefully, and often times invisible to you and me. Why are we trying to hunt them down? They have worked hard to get to where they are and many of them employ thousands of the rest of us 99%. Many of them entertain us with their movies, or their witty morning banter. Some of us even fix our broken bones. Even more donate a significant amount to charity. Shouldn’t we say “thank you” to the top 1% instead of eviscerating them?
Michael Medved deconstructs Abigail Disney’s positions in her video activism attacking [mainly by straw-men] the new Tax law. (Abigail is the grand-daughter of Walt Disney’s brother, Roy O. Disney.) Many disagreeing calls are taken, per Medved’s habit.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to upload this ECON 101 type stuff, however, many may not realize this fact… ESPECIALLY if they went to college. I clip Dennis Prager noting this truth and then add a classic from Milton Friedman (longer video is HERE). See as well Congressman Bill Posey make the same point on the House floor.
This interview took place minutes after the House passed the tax bill. There were things in this bill I had no idea were in there. Here is what I posted on my Facebook:
I finally know why the Dems are Soo bent out of shape over the tax bill. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh interview Paul Ryan. Wow! Talk about a YUGE conservative win on many fronts. F-O-R INSTANCE – ANWR is opened up for energy resources! WOW! You know how many years Repubs and conservatives wanted this! Awesome.
GAY PATRIOT comments on the main idea that the Left are a bunch of babies with almost zero understanding of anything economic:
The tax “reform” bill the US Senate passed last night is pretty lame, actually. It keeps the current ridiculous progressive structure of seven separate tax rates. (The House reduced it to four, and the correct number ought to be one.) Susan Collins was bought off by retaining the mortgage interest deduction on vacation homes for millionaires. Freeloaders at the lower income brackets still pay nada. Some high income progressives from blue states are whining because some of their state and local taxes are no longer deductible. Sucks that you progressives in high tax blue states forgot to elect any Republican senators.
There has also been a lot of howling from the “suddenly we’re concerned about the debt” progressive left that the bill will add $1.5 Trillion to the National Debt over ten years. That figure represents less than 3% of Government expenditures in that time period. Cut Government spending 3% (I’m sure we can get by on 97% of the Government). Problem solved.
It’s a lame bill. Really, the best part of the Senate Bill passing has been watching the histrionic meltdown on the Progressive Left. (But even that gets a little boring considering the progressive left has a histrionic meltdown at literally everything Donald Trump does.)
America died tonight. Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors, who have been refusing to dole out $ to GOP until they got their tax cuts. Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred. Millenials: move away if you can. USA is over. We killed it. – Kurt “Tentacle Pron” Eichenwald
The Republican Party is the enemy of the American people. The Senate just passed the Trump Tax Increase, 1:50am, enriching the 1% & concentrating wealth in the hands of the few. Capitalism & Fascism. The coup is underway. Make no mistake about it. EVERYONE OFF THE BENCH! 11/6/18! – Michael “I was relevant for a while in 2003” Moore
“While you slept last night Trump’s pedophile-coding GOP broke into your house and raped your children and their future in favor of the Republican’s biggest donors. They groped you too taking your Medicare, social security and Medicaid with them.” – Frank “No I’m Not a Drama Queen at All” Schaeffer
Is there any going back after this #TaxBillScam? To America? Does it matter now if Trump is impeached? There’s no America now. Not the one we knew. Sorry, feeling real despair this morning. – Patton “Who?” Oswalt
Oh, Patti, don’t feel so bad. There are lots of other countries you can move to. Have you considered Mexico? No Republicans there. Strict gun control, too. The Government is very progressive, taxes are very progressive, and economic activated is highly regulated. It’s a lot like California, come to think of it. But with fewer Mexicans……..
It is comical to see Democrats feigning outrage over the claim (likely false) that the GOP tax reform plan will add to the national debt. Talk about a head-snapping about face! Where was the Dems’ concern about debt when the Obama administration ran up $10 trillion of it?
$1.5 Trillion represents less than 3% of Government spending over the next ten years. If that’s a problem, then, by all means, cut spending by 3%.
Democrats are also suddenly hollering about “state’s rights” because Congress is looking to make concealed carry licenses valid across state lines; like driver’s licenses. (And, yes, most states require training and a background check before a concealed carry license is issued.) The Democrats have suddenly taken a position analogous to claiming Rosa Parks only had the right to sit in the front of the bus while she was in Alabama…..
Dennis Prager reads from an IBD ARTICLE about the benefits from Trump’s tax plan… AS WELL AS starting out the show by showing the ludicrous nature of the envious Left. I include a dissenting call to end the upload.
President Trump’s tax plan, unveiled on Thursday, slashes the corporate tax rate from a top rate of nearly 50% to 15%. It’s a smart move. Not only will it kick start the economy and job growth, but it’s likely he’ll be able to get bipartisan support.
Right now, there is no consensus on broad-based tax reform. So, at least for now, a broad tax reform package including tax cuts, fewer deductions and a flattening of tax rates may be tough to achieve. Even Republicans, who are eager for some kind reform, remain split on how it should be done.
But nearly everyone agrees that the current U.S. corporate tax rate is outrageous.
Sadly, average Americans often don’t agree. They believe that corporations pay no taxes. But that’s not true. U.S. corporations pay a top marginal rate of close to 40%, compared to an average of about 24% for all the OECD nations.
That puts U.S. companies at a tremendous disadvantage to other nations’ companies and reduces the money they have available for investing and hiring new workers.
We don’t know what else Trump’s tax reform will contain, but just cutting corporate taxes would be a big winner. Even President Obama supported the idea in 2015, when he and congressional Democrats were considering a deal that would cut corporate tax rates in exchange for spending more on infrastructure.
But apart from Washington political wrangling, the economic reasons for a corporate tax cut are even more compelling.
Back in 2015, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation ran the numbers and concluded that cutting the corporate rate to 15% would boost GDP by 3.7% and actually increase federal revenues by 0.3%.
More importantly, it would be a huge boon to working Americans: “Depending on the size of the corporate rate reduction, we would expect to see an additional 425,000 to 613,000 new jobs, and wages would increase between 1.9% and 3.6% over the long-term.”
That means higher after-tax incomes for all. Talk about a stagnation-buster. That’s a recipe for 3% plus annual GDP growth, something that never happened during the Obama years. The plan that was Trump unveiled Thursday said that one of the goals of tax reform was to “grow the economy and create millions of jobs.”
Nor is this a “tax cut for the rich,” as some have claimed.
As IBD noted last September, the “dirty little secret” of corporate taxes is that corporations don’t actually even pay them. Average Americans — that’s you — do. You pay it through lower wages, lower returns on investments and retirement accounts, and higher prices for the things you buy.
High corporate tax rates are also why many big American companies are undergoing “inversions” — merging into a foreign company, then relocating their headquarters to the foreign country to avoid super-high U.S. taxes.
In short, our excessively high corporate tax rate does nothing good for the economy, for investors or for workers. While 15% is a very good rate, it would be better to get rid of it entirely….
The New York Times ‘illegally obtained’ a copy of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns the other day.
The billionaire businessman has said he’d release everything once a routine audit was complete, or he’d do so during the audit against his lawyers wishes if Hillary Clinton released her 30,000 deleted emails.
The ’95 returns show Trump took a $916 million hit that year. Meaning, that loss alone could be why Trump didn’t pay federal income taxes for a number of years.
Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.
The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period….
The only problem is, that, the New York Times didn’t pay any taxes as well. Why? Becuase when you are a business/business owner and you have loses… then you can claim those loses. L-E-G-A-L-L-Y! Here is the story from BREITBART:
The New York Times has excited the Clinton campaign and the rest of the media with a revelation that Republican nominee Donald Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995 that might have resulted in him not paying taxes in some subsequent years.
The implication, reinforced by CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday morning, is that Trump “avoided” paying taxes, when in fact his tax liability was zero.
But the Times itself has “avoided” paying taxes — in 2014, for example.
… for tax year 2014, The New York Times paid no taxes and got an income tax refund of $3.5 million even though they had a pre-tax profit of $29.9 million in 2014. In other words, their post-tax profit was higher than their pre-tax profit. The explanation in their 2014 annual report is, “The effective tax rate for 2014 was favorably affected by approximately $21.1 million for the reversal of reserves for uncertain tax positions due to the lapse of applicable statutes of limitations.” If you don’t think it took fancy accountants and tax lawyers to make that happen, read the statement again.
Binghamton, New York — once a powerhouse of industry — is now approaching Detroit in many economic measures, according to the U.S. Census. In Binghamton, more than 31 percent of city residents are at or below the federal poverty level compared to 38 percent in Detroit. Average household income in Binghamton at $30,179 in 2012 barely outpaces Detroit’s $26,955. By some metrics, Binghamton is behind Detroit. Some 45 percent of Binghamton residents own their dwellings while more than 52 percent of Detroit residents are homeowners. Both “Rust Belt” cities have lost more than 2 percent of their populations.
Binghamton is not alone. Upstate New York — that vast 50,000-square mile region north of New York City — seems to be in an economic death spiral.
The fate of the area is a small scene in a larger story playing out across rural America. As the balance of population shifts from farms to cities, urban elites are increasingly favoring laws and regulations that benefit urban voters over those who live in small towns or out in the country. The implications are more than just economic: it’s a trend that fuels the intense populism and angry politics that has shattered the post-World War II consensus and divided the nation.
“Basically what you’ve got in New York is a state tax code and regulatory regimen written for New York City,” says Joseph Henchman, vice president for state projects at the Tax Foundation in Washington. “Legislators say, `Look, New York is a center of world commerce. Businesses have to be here. It doesn’t matter how high we tax them.’ I hear that a lot. But when you apply that same logic to upstate, the impact is devastating.”
The lives of Bill and Janet Sauter, brother and sister, sum up the sad story of upstate New York. They grew up in the Long Island suburbs. He went to Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y., near the Canadian border, studied software and enjoyed a highly successful career in Texas’ oil industry.
Janet went upstate too, marrying a minister and settling in rural East Chatham, 30 miles south of Albany. In 1999, she and her husband wanted to move to Texas to be closer to their daughter. But they couldn’t sell their home. Months passed without a single inquiry. For Janet, there was no escape from New York. Her neighbors had similar experiences, she said.
Bill is now retired and living in Steamboat Springs, Colo., where he skis at every opportunity — while Janet and her husband Bob are trying to eke out a living in what has become one of the poorest regions in the country. “There just isn’t much work around here,” says Janet, who supplements her husband’s income by working all night in a home for the elderly. “I’m lucky to have this job.”
Industry has fled upstate New York. “In 1988, Kodak employed 62,000 people in Rochester,” says Sandra Parker, president of the Rochester Business Alliance. “Today it employs 4,000. Xerox has moved most of its people out while Bausch & Lomb, which was founded in Rochester in 1858, has left entirely.”
As a result, Rochester is now the fifth poorest city in the country, with 31 percent of the population living in poverty. Buffalo is right behind at No. 6 (30 percent).
Syracuse was devastated when Carrier, the nation’s largest manufacturer of air conditioners, General Electric and auto-parts manufacturer Magna International shuttered their last manufacturing plants in Onondaga County. A Wall Street Journal survey of the nation’s 2,737 counties, shows that only nine other counties have suffered greater job losses per capita than Onondaga County since 2009.
Bob and Janet Sauter were not alone in their desire to leave New York for more prosperous parts of the country. New York state has lost 350,000 people in the past three years, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy, an Albany-based research group. This is the largest out-migration of any state.
New York was the most populous state in the union in 1960, with 45 representatives in Congress. By 2012, New York fell to third place and its congressional delegation plummeted to 28. The 2020 Census will likely cost New York even more congressional seats. Without the hundreds of thousands of immigrants moving into New York City, the state’s depopulation would be even greater. A remarkable 36 percent of New York City is foreign born — twice the percentage in 1970….
The city of Buffalo tried to disincorporate itself in 2004, so it could shift its Medicaid burden onto surrounding Erie County. The state wouldn’t allow it. It’s probably just as well, say county officials. “Our entire property tax goes to supporting Medicaid,” says Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz.
States generally have three potential sources of revenue: the income tax, the sales tax and the property tax. “Usually a state will concentrate on one and go low on the other two,” says Joseph Henchman of the Tax Foundation. “New York is in the top six states for all three.”
The Tax Foundation rated New York dead last among the 50 states for business climate in 2013.
♦ 2005: $77,315 to charity out of income of $1.66 million (4.6 percent)
♦ 2004: $2,500 out of $207,647 (1.2 percent)
♦ 2003: $3,400 out of $238,327 (1.4 percent)
♦ 2002: $1,050 out of $259,394 (0.4 percent)
The slightly longer video/audio of the below can be found here… I cut out the Benghazi commentary for this posting. This was originally uploaded to my MRCTV account in September 26, 2012:
From Video Description:
Larry Elder leads off with small talk about Hollywood’s silence on censorship, he plays SNL’s skit about undecided voters (video included)…. Then “The Sage” settles into his forte… stats. Quoting liberal sources he dissects Jonathan Karl’s ABC report (video included) and the general lunacy of the legacy media in stacking the deck against Romney. Long, but worth listening to.
For stories related to this report from Jonathan, see NewsBusters:
What many Democrats seem to forget is that the reason for Big Business to join forces with Big Government, is to run any threat of competitiveness out of the market. To MONOPOLIZE. Obama’s policies are proving that these Big Businesses are not altruistic in their reasoning for pursuing such causes like Obama-Care and raising of taxes and more regulatory conditions. From over Obama-Care 2,000 waivers, to the stories below, Obama’s policies are filling the rolls of LARGE insurance carriers and forcing small companies who cannot compete with large “Warren Buffett” type firms to move many of their full-time workers to part time. FAILED policies.
What is funny — to give one more example — a family member of one of the Gay Patriots told him he was voting for Obama because he thought Republicans wanted to cut Pell Grants. Sorry Charlie:
This cut in eligibility was never mentioned by President Obama during the campaign, and when he boasted about increasing funding to the Pell Grant program, CNN fact-checked his claim as true. While the amount of government funding to the program is going up in future years, CNN failed miserably by not pointing out the cuts in eligibility to students. The cuts could be a rude awakening to students who thought President Obama was expanding their educational opportunities.
Hollywood is another example of this hypocrisy of avoidance, proving, yes PROVING, the Republican position. Hollywood and most in it campaign for higher taxes. But what is wrong with this is that after these taxes hit, they leave California to shoot movies in other states with lower tax-rates. Here Adam Corolla and Dennis Prager talk about this:
Another example of what Democrats voted for, unlike Bill Clinton who, yes, raised taxes but REFORMED social programs and CUT spending at the time. Obama is offering another stimulus (more government spending) that is about equal to any forecast gain in tax increases/revenue — the exact opposite of Clinton!
Like medical giant, Stryker, one of Obama’s biggest financial backers, laying off almost 1,200 workers to prep for Obama-Care, and the falling revenue (33%) of the Californian government showing in the the micro what higher taxes and more regulation does to the engine of the economy. Here are more stories of failure, and how these higher taxes will hit the retired folks that worked hard their whole lives, just to see it disappear. Google and Microsoft are two of Obama’s largest financial backers (Bloomberg):
The company avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenue into a Bermuda shell company, almost double the total from three years before, filings show.
Governments in France, the U.K., Italy and Australia are probing Google’s tax avoidance as they seek to boost revenue. Schmidt said the company’s efforts around taxes are legal.
We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways,” he said. “I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”
The company isn’t about to turn down big savings in taxes, he said.
“It’s called capitalism,” he said. “We are proudly capitalistic. I’m not confused about this.”
Google’s overall effective tax rate dropped to 21 percent last year from about 28 percent in 2008. That compares with the average combined U.S. and state statutory rate of about 39 percent.
Costco also was a huge supported of Obama and is borrowing money to avoid paying higher taxes on it now (WSJ):
When President Obama needed a business executive to come to his campaign defense, Jim Sinegal was there. The Costco COST +1.92% co-founder, director and former CEO even made a prime-time speech at the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte. So what a surprise this week to see that Mr. Sinegal and the rest of the Costco board voted to give themselves a special dividend to avoid Mr. Obama’s looming tax increase. Is this what the President means by “tax fairness”?
Specifically, the giant retailer announced Wednesday that the company will pay a special dividend of $7 a share this month. That’s a $3 billion Christmas gift for shareholders that will let them be taxed at the current dividend rate of 15%, rather than next year’s rate of up to 43.4%—an increase to 39.6% as the Bush-era rates expire plus another 3.8% from the new ObamaCare surcharge.
More striking is that Costco also announced that it will borrow $3.5 billion to finance the special payout. Dividends are typically paid out of earnings, either current or accumulated. But so eager are the Costco executives to get out ahead of the tax man that they’re taking on debt to do so.
To sum up:Here we have people at the very top of the top 1% who preach about tax fairness voting to write themselves a huge dividend check to avoid the Obama tax increase they claim it is a public service to impose on middle-class Americans who work for 30 years and finally make $250,000 for a brief window in time.
If they had any shame, they’d send their entire windfall to the Treasury.
Other companies as well that bundled, supported money (and press time to) Obama are doing the same (Townhall):
One of the people who will benefit from this deal will be Costco’s co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal who owns more than two million shares of its stock and will collect about $14.4 million from the special dividend. Had he taken that next year, he could be slapped with a tax rate of 43.4 percent if Obama’s proposed tax increases become law (boosting the tax rate on dividends to over 20 percent and adding a surcharge tax on millionaires).
Instead, Costco decided to pay its stockholders before Dec. 18 so that the special payoff plus a regular quarterly cash dividend of 27.5 cents will be taxed at the current 15 percent rate under the investment tax cuts wisely enacted under President George W. Bush in 2003.
This means Sinegal, who gave a prime-time speech in behalf of Obama’s re-election at this summer’s Democratic national convention, would avoid paying about $4 million in higher taxes next year.
Costco is not alone in its early tax-avoidance payouts. Many American businesses, from Wynn Resorts to Tyson Foods, have also declared special dividends to avoid the higher tax rate if the Bush rates expire.
One of the most notable Fortune 500 companies to join the pack is the Washington Post who endorsed Obama for a second term and has warmly embraced his tax increase plans. The media conglomerate has announced it will pay its 2013 dividends “before the end of this year to try to spare investors from anticipated tax increases,” reports the Associated Press.
Among those who stand to benefit from the Post’s beat-the-tax-deadline — and pocket a bundle of money — will be stock tycoon Warren Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway firm, the newspaper’s biggest shareholder.
How can governments stop people from doing this, besides the right thing and lowering taxes to increase the amount of businesses staying in our country and wanting to move their operations here? Why, enforce the law with threat of prison and fines! Here is an example from France, whom, you’ll remember, raised the top rate to 75%, here is a story from Libertarian Republican (“stopped at the border… ‘papers please'”):
The President of France, François Hollande, announced today the possibility of reviewing the existing tax treaties with Belgium to prevent welthy people from moving to the neighboring country in order to evade taxes. One of the most recent cases was that of the famous actor Gerard Depardieu, who decided to set his house in the Belgian town of Néchin, where other wealthy French citizens live in order to benefit from a more lenient tax regime. “Everyone should have and ethical behavior, regardless of his job,” Hollande told reporters. The tax exile of the highest paid actor in France was described as a lack of patriotism, especially since he always boasted of its popular origins and occasionally denounced social inequities.
What other option is there? If you are Big Government that is!
1) On a dark street, a man draws a knife and demands my money for drugs;
2) Instead of demanding my money for drugs, he demands it for the Church;
3) Instead of being alone, he is with a bishop of the Church who acts as the bagman;
4) Instead of drawing a knife, he produces a policeman who says I must do as he says;
5) Instead of meeting me on the street, he mails me his demand as an official agent of the government.
If the first is theft, it is difficult to see why the other four are not also theft.
State Controller John Chaing continues to uphold the California Great Seal Motto of “Eureka”, i.e., ‘I have found it’. But what Chaing is finding as Controller is that California’s economy as measured by tax revenues is still tanking. Compared to last year, State tax collections for February shriveled by $1.2 billion or 22%. The deterioration is more than double the shocking $535 million reported decline for last month. The cumulative fiscal year decline is $6.1 billion or down 11% versus this period in 2011.
While California Governor Brown promises strong economic growth is just around the corner, Chaing proves that the best way for Sacramento politicians to hurt the economy and thereby generate lower tax revenue, is to have the highest tax rates in the nation.
California politicians seem delusional in their continued delusion that high taxes have not savaged the State’s economy. Each month’s disappointment is written off as due to some one-time event.
The State Controller’s office did acknowledge that higher than normal tax refunds for February might have reduced the collection of some personal income taxes. Given that 2012 has an extra day in February for leap year, there might have been one day more of tax refunds sent out. But the Controller’s report shows personal income tax collections fell by $325 million, or 16% versus last year. Furthermore, leap year would have added another day for retail sales and use tax collection, but those revenues also fell during February-by an even larger $813 million, 25% decline from 2011.
The more likely reason tax collections continue falling is that businesses and successful people are leaving California for the better tax rates available in more pro-business states.
Derisively referred to as “Taxifornia” by the independent Pacific Research Institute, California wins the booby prize for the highest personal income taxes in the nation and higher sales tax rates than all but four other states. Though Californians benefit from Proposition 13 restrictions on how much their property tax can increase in one year, the state still has the worst state tax burden in the U.S.
Spectrum Locations Consultants recorded 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state in 2011, 26% more than in 2010 and five times as many as in 2009. According SLC President, Joe Vranich: the “top ten reasons companies are leaving California: 1) Poor rankings in surveys 2) More adversarial toward business 3) Uncontrollable public spending 4) Unfriendly business climate 5) Provable savings elsewhere 6) Most expensive business locations 7) Unfriendly legal environment for business 8) Worst regulatory burden 9) Severe tax treatment 10) Unprecedented energy costs.