From around the blogroll

Karen, the Lonely Conservative, noted that President Obama has conceded that even just his proposed tax increases on the top producers would create an economic drag on the economy, and that he has proposed further stimulus spending to counteract that. She also has Yoko Ono’s new menswear line.

William Teach noted all of the non-Middle Eastern faces on the demonstrators who flew to Doha to protest for “climate justice.” He also noted that Moscow has seen its heaviest November snowfall in half a century, while the rest of Europe is experiencing earlier-than-normal winter conditions. While Mr Teach frequently mocks the warmists, as he calls them, I believe that he has missed something: since the rockets that the Palestinians keep firing into Israel produce hydrocarbon emissions, as does the explosive blast at the end, I think that we can blame global warming on the Palestinians! :)

Donald Douglas noted how one company is dealing with the anticipated tax increases:

Costco to Pay Out Current Year Dividends to Avoid Obama Tax Cliff

Sometimes plain old economics trumps any other form of behavior, such as benevolence or political loyalty. And in the case of Costco’s corporate board, behold how onerous tax policies impose massive constraints on otherwise publicly spirited entities and individuals.

A really laugh, at the Wall Street Journal, “Costco’s Dividend Tax Epiphany“:

When President Obama needed a business executive to come to his campaign defense, Jim Sinegal was there. The Costco 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.

More at the link. Costco took an unusual step, which, in effect, had the company borrowing money to pay out even higher dividends; your Editor suspects that this will mean more money for the members of the board of trustees.1 He also suspects that we will see a December full of news of early bonuses and dividend payouts to enable investors to avoid looming higher taxes.

Bridging the Gap has not posted a new article in almost four months; the site, which is still getting a couple hundred visitors a month, appears to have been abandoned.

William Jacobson at Le*gal In*sur*rec*tion noted an op-ed in The New York Times by law professor Paul Finkelman, calling Thomas Jefferson The Monster of Monticello, because Mr Jefferson was a slaveowner:

If there was “treason against the hopes of the world,” it was perpetrated by the founding generation, which failed to place the nation on the road to liberty for all. No one bore a greater responsibility for that failure than the master of Monticello.

Okay, Jefferson the man did not live up to his own ideals. The historical record should be written, but is the caricature and historical context presented by Finkelman complete or fair?

Professor Jacobson notes David Post’s response, which I found interesting, but one which fails to note — as do so many of the commentaries about Thomas Jefferson — that our third President was a very poor money manager; he lived a lifestyle which one might have expected for a former President, but one which was simply beyond the means of his estate to support. Perhaps Mr Jefferson would have manumitted his slaves, had his personal economy been in better shape, but he “opposed the practice of slave masters freeing their own slaves, as he believed this made slave uprisings more likely,” and he opposed a manumission law in the Virginia General Assembly in 1769.

President Kennedy once quipped, at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners:

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

Perhaps so, but we should never forget: Thomas Jefferson, renaissance man that he might have been, was still a man of the 18th century, and if we attempt to judge him by 21st century standards, we have failed at understanding the man.

Kate of the Victory Girls noted that today is the 57th Anniversary of the day Rosa Parks, the First Lady of Civil Rights, refused to give up her seat on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She also noted our version of Rule 5 Blogging, which she called “an awesome twist!” The picture on the right is one of those which rotates on the right side of the Victory Girls Blog, so I can see why Kate would approve!

Sister Toldjah has a post up noting the differences with which our friends on the left have treated two different Drs Rice when it comes to being nominated for Secretary of State:2

Murdock rightly goes on to call for what we all have been for years now: For the left to STOP  falsely playing the race card every time “one of their own” has been criticized, and save the criticisms, you know, for actual racism – not the phony type imagined or contrived for shameless political gain at the expense of the national discourse and, er … going forward on the issue of race in America.

Why should they? After all, it seems to have worked quite well for them so far.

Republicans have been either remarkably naïve or remarkably stupid — or perhaps both — about race and politics. They seem to think that doing something really radical, like actually treating people equally, regardless of their race, like holding people to the same standards, regardless of complexion, of not judging people “by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” would be the right thing to do, and proof positive against political charges of racism. But when it comes to the demagoguery of the Democrats, any such hope, any such logic, has clearly been shown to have been in vain.

Instapundit pointed to a site I hadn’t seen before, Minyanville, a financial and investment blog, which had the chart at the left noting the “return” on college tuition these days.

Your Editor has noted some of the photos of the Occupy protesters, lamenting a lack of jobs for the newly graduated, and asked in just what fields they earned their degrees. Then one of my Facebook friends sent me the photo on the right. Kind of makes me wonder in just what he got his doctorate.

From Duffy, on the Colossus of Rhodey:


Over in Britain, they have been trying to soak the rich for ever increasing taxes. How did that work out?

Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate: “In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.

It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, announced in the Budget earlier this year that the 50p top rate will be reduced to 45p from next April.

Since the announcement, the number of people declaring annual incomes of more than £1 million has risen to 10,000.”

More at the link. It’s hardly unexpected, and the same thing is happening in France, where the idiotic Socialist President, François Hollande, imposed a 75% tax on people earning over €1,000,000

Of course, most wealthy people can’t pick up and leave: their source of wealth is tied to their location, and for many, home is home. The whacko leftist site Think Progress has a story which claims that the top producers really don’t leave a state when their taxes go up, but apparently the government of the Pyrite State didn’t believe that, sending Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to Texas looking for California’s lost entrepreneurs.

Finally, from Moe Lane on Red State:

The National Health Service murders babies in Great Britain.

Oh, they don’t murder every baby. Just the babies that the National Health Service needs to murder in order to hit its ‘death pathway’ quotas thinks aren’t possible to save.

Sick children are being discharged from NHS hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death pathways’.

Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill adults.

But the Mail can reveal the practice of withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as severely disabled newborn babies.

…If you are the sort of person whose fingers start to involuntarily clench into fists when you contemplate a health care rationing system where possibly your baby’s life depends on your ability to convince a hospital bureaucrat that s/he should cut operating costs someone else then you probably shouldn’t click that link this morning. I recommend that you click it sometime, though: a lot of people in this country seem to think that Great Britain’s National Health Service is something to emulate. And a rather smaller, yet still frighteningly large, number of people seem to think that murdering babies is likewise something to emulate. I hate telling people to wade into the muck like this, but some of our opponents are already down there…

More at the link.

Your Editor’s wife is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Pediatric Nurse, and I’ve heard plenty of stories about children in the hospital who won’t have much of a life, but whom, in the American system, we don’t just starve to death. Much was made, during the debates on ObaminableCare, over the contention that the President’s health care plans would involve “death panels,” at which the Democrats scoffed and said that such was never, ever true, but just wait: with a deficit of over a trillion dollars a year, and cost cutting mandatory, with the federal government now having assumed ultimate responsibility for guaranteeing health care coverage, we will see that happen. It’s just a question of when it happens.

  1. The WSJ article noted that “every member of the board is also a shareholder.”
  2. Ambassador Susan Rice is widely considered to be President Obama’s most probable nominee to replace outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but the appointment has not yet been made officially.

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