Tim Couch: “Any news from the guru on how far this might go?”

He thinks approval will come Tuesday and an opening price near 12 on Wednesday.  Here’s a more in depth analysis.


And may weigh 500 pounds less.  Which is saying something, when added to the weight of a passenger jet.  No specific news, but the saga continues.


Here I refer not to nose wheel motors but to clout — the clout of the very rich.  Theirs is bigger than ours.  Which sounds like a good thing if you’re very rich, and basically is . . . but may not be so good, even for the very rich, over the long run.  As argued here in the New York Times.  Look what happened to Venice, once the economic envy of the world.  It relates to our own growing inequality.

. . . Even as the winner-take-all economy has enriched those at the very top, their tax burden has lightened. Tolerance for high executive compensation has increased, even as the legal powers of unions have been weakened and an intellectual case against them has been relentlessly advanced by plutocrat-financed think tanks. In the 1950s, the marginal income tax rate for those at the top of the distribution soared above 90 percent, a figure that today makes even Democrats flinch. Meanwhile, of the 400 richest taxpayers in 2009, 6 paid no federal income tax at all, and 27 paid 10 percent or less. None paid more than 35 percent. . . .

It does not bode well, and Romney would make it worse.   To keep from outright lying, he promises that the “share” of taxes paid by the rich would not fall.  But even if that promise were kept, it would still be a bonanza the rich — a bonanza that would somehow have to be made up by others.  Cut everyone’s income tax by 20% and the family paying $2,000 a year saves $400 and the family paying $10 million a year saves $2 million.  The shares may not have changed, but it’s still a lot of money for the rich that can’t possibly be made up for by eliminating their mortgage deduction or by making it more expensive for them to give to charity.  Cut the estate tax on billionheirs by 100% — to zero — as Romney is pledged to do, and that widens the inequality gap even further.

As always, for anyone who still hasn’t found the six minutes to watch, here is Nick Hanauer’s indispensable TED talk.  It blows up the idea of the rich as job creators.  It is the middle class who are the job creators.  Let’s put taxes back up to where they were under Clinton/Gore, more or less, and use much of that additional revenue to modernize our national infrastructure . . . which will put millions of people to work at decent-paying middle-class wages and ramp up the economic recovery.

I was going to use the foregoing as the launching pad to tell you about four misguided billionaire friends of mine, who are as passionate about firing President Obama as I am to see him reelected, but — heavens! — just look at the time.  You have to get to work.

Come back tomorrow.



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