Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Day for the Rich

Seems to be a good day to be rich. Today, the NY Times has an article on the Supreme Court overturning a campaign finance law in Arizona that provided matching funds to candidates accepting public funds that were outspent by wealthy opponents that could spend whatever they wanted. Apparently having someone else spend as much as a wealthy person "chills" that wealthy person's speach. I guess I'd feel my freedom of speech was curtailed too if I was used to getting what I wanted by outbidding everyone else and then someone came along and gave the poor peons the same bidding power.

In other good news today, the first billionaire level inheritance to avoid any inheritance taxes was also reported in the NY Times. Apparently Congress somehow managed not to get its act together and close a loophole in the inheritance tax laws that left 2010 with no taxes. This in an environment where public sentiment is strongly turned againt the rich. Unbelievable, imagine if it was a banker. The taxes on this would have paid off a not inconsiderable portion of this year's deficit too, so that should piss of the deficit hawks as well.

And our third piece of good news for the wealthy today is the primary wins in California. Who says money can't win an election?

Of course, with the exception of the California races none of these things actually were first announced today, just reported. Still, this feels like a little too many trends favoring the wealthy, especially with the economy and public sentiment where it is, to let all this pass unmentioned.

[Edit: I missed this yesterday and it fits well here. Here's a post from Free Exchange on a billionaire managing to make most of his income taxable through capital gains and not income tax. While I've personally got nothing against wealth, I do generally feel that income should be treated as income regardless of source. While there are some good reasons for making capital gains distinct, there are cases such as this that show there are also problems with doing this. If capital gains represent the majority of your income, it should be taxed as income. At this level it simply priviliges professions that can do this over professions that can't. Why does our society create incentives to be investment bankers over doctors or other high paying professions? It resembles a medieval sense of privilige more than anything else I can think of in modern society.]


  1. I have a different view of the California primary. I didn't vote for Whitman. I hadn't planned on voting for anyone in the gubernatorial primary but there was a *%@$ing railroad switchman on the ballot and there was no way I wasn't for him. I did vote for Fiorina.

    Obviously, money was a big part of what made the Whitman and Fiorina candidacies possible, but there was also a motif of unburdening the GOP of its onerous base. Whitman bought tons of ads pretending to be a perfect right-winger, but Fiorina's ads (after the demon sheep one) were fairly positive and some were somewhat intellectual and mainly focused on Boxer.

    Fiorina's opponents were Tom Campbell, a pretty good legislator who is nonetheless an orthodox Republican, and Tom Devore who I wouldn't hire to chop brush on my property as long as there are decent upstanding immigrants available. In voting for Fiorina, I was, more than anything, voting for a better Republican party.

  2. Doug,

    All good points. I don't know much about that particular race, mostly what I got off of DiA. Your take on the race certainly added a lot to what I know, DiA's take today didn't have much detail. If the GOP can unburden its onerous base I'd certainly be willing to vote for anyone trying to do that. Good luck to Fiorina.

    What I'm simply trying to do here today is round up all the day's good news for rich people since it seems to be an unusually good day for them. I'd say every day is a good day to be rich but today seems better than most.

  3. Yeah, I understood but only had something to offer on one of your points.

    I wish I had a nickel for every good day for the rich.