Friday, 28 September 2012

Real Taxes

To make some sense out of this....the French are in serious financial trouble with the government.  They finally came to this conclusion today....a new tax.  If you are "super-wealthy", that means you make one million Euro or more a year ($1.25 million dollars).  The French government says.....you need to pay a 75-percent tax....on that super wealth.  Basically, you could work as much as you want....but three-quarters of your effort would be for the government.  Why bother?

There's been a hint for weeks about this coming down.  Some British bankers have been contacted, and some indications show that rich French folks who can move out of the country....will move.  Those with business operations?  I'm guessing they will find ways to have leased cars...leased houses....leased clothing...etc, and just count it all as business expenses.

The production of movies or TV shows in France?  This might just encourage the production guys to look for other locations to film any shows or movies.  You could claim you were in Italy....thus deserving to pay only Italian taxes on this production episode.

When you reach a 75-percent scale....you might as well just stay home....drink booze....and just accept the fact that the government doesn't want you to do much of anything.

My Neighborhood

Here in the DC area....some guy got this idea and developed this private luxury taxi service.....called Uber.  The thing about this....there's a application you download and it kinda tracks on a GPS like application on the cellphone.  You hit the Uber button and it brings up some kind of request screen, and then they come for you.  You don't call anyone or stand out on the street....the cellphone just notes your position and brings a private luxury car to you.

So for around seven or eight months....they've done business in DC.  This week....they got dragged into the city council area and the DC cab commission got all over them.

The Uber guy sat there.....not really understanding what was wrong.  The commission and the council got hinted this way and that.....something needed to be fixed.

Uber, then got around to looking for all the complaints that had been turned in with the city cab commission of DC.  Typically....every cab company gets dozens per year, and this is what drags you into a city council meeting.

Well....to make a long story short....the request turned into a federal type information request, and finally the cab commission said that for this seven to eight months....NOT one complaint had been filed against Uber.  NOT one.  I think the Uber guy was shocked.  He probably figured at least one complaint per month would have come in....but nothing.

What you can figure from this mess is that the various cab companies are upset about competition and losing some business to the upper class level, which is what Uber goes after.  They figured that enough pressure from the right people....would have triggered Uber to bribe someone or maybe pull back off some of their business.  They guessed wrong.

It's an odd thing to watch business operations try to start out in DC....and face up to old-time operations which hate competition.

"New Economic Patriotism"?

There's some new political ad....from the President....discussing a "new economic patriotism".  I sat there for a minute....trying to think how you roll patriotism and economics into one idea.  It sounds nifty, and would stir up some independent voters....especially when you say the word patriotism.

So I read on.  There's some "ideas" here within the ad for the new economic patriotism.  First, there's supposed to be tax breaks for companies that create jobs in America, but not for companies which create jobs overseas.  Naturally, you'd ask how they'd get this through a Republican House, and a thin-majority Democratic Senate.  The answer for this....isn't very clear.  It might be a nice thought, but we've now seen reality of political playing, and come to realize that the President isn't really walking and talking with the dimwits of the House or the Senate.

Then you come to the second idea.  We are supposed to cut foreign oil production in half, and double up on fuel efficiency of US-made cars.  Well....this is an interesting topic.  There's that Keystone Pipeline project which is stalled because the President just won't make the decision until after the election.  That would probably help cut foreign dependency a little....but the President hasn't shown any interest.  The idea of doubling up on fuel efficiency?  Well....if you forced all vehicles to be made out of plastic instead of metal....we'd probably get eighty miles per gallon, but you wouldn't want to be inside such a vehicle when an accident occurs.  If you ask around....no one much wants to drive a two-cylinder car, that takes three minutes to get from zero to sixty.  Want to drill for oil off-coast?  Zero chance with this administration 

Then you come to the math and science idea.  The Presidents to take off and really pump out lots of math and science experts.  Part of the deal is that you'd cut tuition.  Course, he hasn't mentioned that to the universities, and I'm pretty sure they'd laugh when you ask to cut tuition.  The general game plan is two to three percent growth on tuition....each and every year.  Expanding student aid?  Who pays for that?  Well....the taxpayer.  So you'd have to expand on taxes somewhere in this mess.  The idea of training two million Americans at job skills at local community colleges?  Well....for the most part, they are already doing that.  Nothing new in that area for the past twenty years.  It might shock political figures, but the community colleges know how to deliver technical skills.

Finally, for this economic patriotism.....there's this idea....asking wealthy Americans to pay just a little bit more, and somehow....with such a little bit of extra money....we'd have this magical pot of money that would reduce the deficit by four trillion dollars over the next decade.  This is like some guy telling his wife that they can go on a seven-day beach vacation for $99, but never explain how the $99 relates to hotels, food, gas, and booze.  So, if the rich only paid a "little more"....we'd have four trillion dollars?  Is it that simple?  If this is true....lets this ask everyone to pay one or two percent more, and we'd have forty trillion dollars over a decade.  Oh, I didn't realize the Excel spreadsheet for this formula only works, if you use rich people's money to put into the columns.

New economic patriotism probably worked in 1932, and maybe into the 1960s.  But if you come around and try to sell this concept today....folks ask stupid questions.  They've accidentally read a few books, caught hundreds of hours of Fox News, and gave up their subscription to the local newspaper.  They might even ask what happened to the old economic patriotism.