Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Call for an End to the Golden Parachutes

English: Wall Street, Manhattan, New York, USA...

Wall Street, Manhattan, New York, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Golden parachutes, or high-end post-employment compensation packages, have been out of control for a while now. They are associated mainly with Wall-Street, but many publicly traded and privately held companies employ these as a way to lure or retain employees. While golden parachutes have been around for a long time they really came under public scrutiny during the Wall Street collapse of 2008 and the subsequent taxpayer-funded bailouts.

 

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A Call for an End to the Golden Parachutes

English: Wall Street, Manhattan, New York, USA...

Wall Street, Manhattan, New York, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Golden parachutes, or high-end post-employment compensation packages, have been out of control for a while now. They are associated mainly with Wall-Street, but many publicly traded and privately held companies employ these as a way to lure or retain employees. While golden parachutes have been around for a long time they really came under public scrutiny during the Wall Street collapse of 2008 and the subsequent taxpayer-funded bailouts.

 

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Our Tax System(s) And Why A Dollar =/= A Dollar

Wave goodbye to Income Tax Day

Wave goodbye to Income Tax Day (Photo credit: SeeMidTN.com)

What is a “fair” tax?  With the recent release of Mitt Romney’s tax returns showing he paid a rate well below that of what we expect for a billionaire this debate has been reignited (granted, for many it never went away).  Also, the story of Warren Buffet and his secretary is once again in the news after the State of the Union.  The thing is, with so many ways to make money, it is hard to come up with a system that taxes one “fairly”.  Within a cohort of millionaires, you can bet that they acquire their money in different manners.  For instance, Prince Fielder, he of the newly signed 9 year $214 Million with the Detroit Tigers will be taxed differently than the CEO of Comerica Bank.  While Fielder will get his money via a “salary”, like most of us, the CEO of Comerica will likely get a large portion of his compensation via stock options, dividends and other various non-salary means.  Because of this, they are taxed differently under the income tax system our Country uses.

It is painfully obvious that the tax code we currently employ for generating income for our governments(s) is outdated and beyond repair.  However, what is the best solution?

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Simple Social Security Solutions

A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate is trying to tackle a topic the peer group he aspires to join can’t seem to be bothered with – fixing Social Security.  Duane Sand* is running for Senate in North Dakota and has come forward with a simple, no nonsense solution for Social Security that provides areas of reform that both parties should like.

  • Reducing the combined employer-employee tax rate from 12.4 percent to 7.6 percent, a 40 percent rate reduction.
  • He also would establish a retirement age of 70 for everyone born after 2024.
  • Eliminate the current contribution cap, or the cap at which annual income is taxed for Social Security (the cap in 2011 was $106,800)

Sand said eliminating the cap would, in essence, create a flat tax and would ensure that all taxpayers, including those who make more than the $106,800 cap, are paying their fair share.

Sand also proposes to apply means testing to Social Security benefits based on retirement income needs, which he said would allow the program to cease being an entitlement regardless of income and act as a “true safety-net program.”

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Recall Elections – The Modern Day Sore Loser Syndrome

Democrats in Wisconsin have announced they (allegedly) have over 1 Million signatures on petitions requesting the removal of Gov. Scott Walker.  Before you go thinking, “Man, 1 Million, that is a lot” bear in mind, these are not 1 Million unique signatures, just signatures.  There have been multiple reports of people signing petitions multiple times and other not-so-legal but not illegal activities related to this recall process.  However, what is completely ignored is the general abuse of the over all recall process.  It is something that both parties have used to their advantage over the past few years, but that certainly doesn’t make it right.  I dare say that recall elections are actually anti-American – circumventing the official election process while costing the people of your state/district/town thousands if not millions of dollars in expenses certainly fits the bill of un-American to me (and that is not something I throw around lightly).

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Jon Huntsman – Good Candidate, Bad Campaign

Yesterday, Jon Huntsman announced he was exiting the race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012.  Sadly, this was all but inevitable.  Huntsman failed to get traction in what was a very misguided race.  With our current election system set up (a poorly designed setup that gives an 3 states an overwhelming say in the nomination process) you must make plays in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.  Huntsman completely ignored Iowa and spent very little time in South Carolina prior to the New Hampshire primary.  While he could not have won Iowa, he certainly could have made an impact there considering the vote difference between Romney and Santorum was 8 votes.

I was able to hear Amb. Huntsman speak in Indianapolis this past summer.  He spoke with conviction but spoke with broad brush strokes on policy issues.  If you took the time to read some of his policy action items on his webpage, you could see the direction he wanted to go.  However, you have to push the message out to voters rather than pull them to a site.  Huntsman ran on logic and reasonableness in a time when emotion and soundbites are what many in the Republican base seem to crave.  There  should have been a base of voters that would embrace that, but he somehow failed to capture them enough to make a difference beyond New Hampshire

If you sat and listened to Jon Huntsman on TV, you could imagine this man being President.  Hopefully, he will take another shot down the road.

Finally Back!

You may have noticed that we took an unintended hiatus from writing…since about August.  There are significant apologies to go around, but hopefully you will come back and read what we have to say in 2012.  It certainly will be a year filled with important political news.commentary on the federal and state levels.

We have already had one nomination contest for the Republican Presidential Campaign (which sometimes feels like a campaign to become President of the Republicans rather than the 300+ Million who make up the citizenry of the United States).  With Iowa behind us and New Hampshire tomorrow, the nomination could be cemented for Mitt Romney..but I doubt it is.  I am betting we go into South Carolina with a 4 man race (and Ron Paul).  If Jon Huntsman can make a strong showing in New Hampshire, he has the same type of momentum that Rick Santorum has…except he is going into a state that is much more wide open that New Hampshire.  If things break the right way, we might even head to the convention with a nominee.

We will do our very best to put out thoughtful opinions and timely commentary.  Hopefully you come over and make some comments too.

-SamEagle76