PoliticsPresident Barack Obama

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To: mindmeld who wrote (108177)1/26/2012 8:02:14 AM
From: Road Walker
   of 149288
BTW... off on a cruise later this morning. Paid for by the company as we had a huge record year. I'm suffering terribly in this unjust and horrible economy that Obama has shoved down my throat... ain't socialism grand!

See ya next week.

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To: Bread Upon The Water who wrote (108181)1/26/2012 9:05:52 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
Go Obama! Looks like he wants to tax the rich after all. I wonder if he could make it stick?


Obama's 30% millionaire tax

By Jeanne Sahadi @CNNMoney January 26, 2012: 8:26 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- President Obama this week defined what he believes should be the minimum "fair share" for millionaires and billionaires to pay in taxes. His answer: At least 30% of their income.

"If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30% in taxes," Obama said during his State of the Union address.

The 30% marker is the first real detail Obama has offered since proposing the so-called Buffett Rule last September. That rule is a guideline intended to ensure that the very wealthy don't pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than anyone in the middle class.

It's named, of course, after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has repeatedly asserted that he pays a lower percentage of his income to the IRS than his secretary.

The Congressional Research Service this fall estimated that a quarter of millionaires don't pay enough in federal taxes to satisfy the Buffett Rule. The CRS arrived at the number after considering what filers pay in federal income, payroll and corporate taxes combined.

Billionaires with 1% tax ratesIt's not clear, though, whether the president wants the rich to pay a minimum of 30% in federal income taxes alone or on a broader swath of taxes like CRS measured. Nor is it clear how he defines $1 million in income. Is it gross, adjusted gross, modified adjusted gross or taxable income?

Obama also called for an end to tax deductions for millionaires on home, health care, retirement and child care. It's not clear how that might work in conjunction with the 30% rule.

The White House did not respond to requests for more details. Obama is set to submit his 2013 budget proposal to Congress on Feb. 13, when he might flesh out his new millionaire tax proposal.

Obama's 30% " fair share" rule raises many other questions as well.

The lessons of Romney's taxesAmong them, would it operate as a kind of alternative Alternative Minimum Tax? If so, a wealthy taxpayer might need to calculate his tax liability three times instead of just two and pay the highest tax bill of the three.

Then again, the president often talks about the Buffett rule in conjunction with tax reform. But a full-blown overhaul of the tax code is often proposed as a way to make it simpler and more efficient.

In that context, the Buffett Rule would fail the simplicity test.

"We're not simplifying the tax code here," said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center. "Anytime you say, 'I'll follow the rules except when the rules aren't good enough,' it complicates things."

Of course, many see tax reform as an opportunity to make the tax code fairer, however they define it.

In that sense, Obama might get some support for a 30% rule, although not necessarily enough in Congress to pass it anytime soon.

At least one billionaire who could be hit hard by the 30% rule came out in support of the idea this week.

"I think it's fair," hedge fund manager George Soros told CNNMoney's Poppy Harlow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "There are a lot of people like me ... in the 1% who feel this is appropriate."

As for the charge that Obama is pursuing class warfare? "Well, that's what my fellow hedge fund managers are saying," Soros said. "But I think it's because they don't like to pay taxes."

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To: mindmeld who wrote (108206)1/26/2012 9:13:45 AM
From: steve harris
   of 149288

Again, it's all semantics, they keep saying "income" over and over......

30% tax on "income" ain't going to touch the rich, the majority of the American people don't understand it and swallow the sound bite hook, line, and sinker.

With politicians passing the law that they are exempt from insider trading rules, they sure the hell ain't going to raise taxes on themselves or their sugar daddys.

If Obama was serious about making the rich pay more, he would actually talk about them paying more would he not?

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To: koan who wrote (108184)1/26/2012 9:47:48 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
I woke up this morning and found that Obama did two things I liked:
* He's proposed a minimum 30% tax for people who make more than $1 million (Go Obama!)
* He's trying to lift demand for natural gas to replace other energy uses by proposing a tax break for natural gas vehicles (damned good idea because the US is natural gas rich and it pollutes less than oil and gasoline, as well as burns cleaner than coal, plus it has the added value of reducing our oil imports)

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Obama seeks to lift natural gas demand

By Ed Crooks in New York

Plans to increase US demand for natural gas, including a new tax break for gas-fuelled trucks, are being unveiled by President Barack Obama on Thursday as part of the effort set out in his state of the union address to support “American-made energy”.

The proposals, some of which will require legislation from a Congress that has been reluctant to endorse any of president Obama’s initiatives, include a new lease sale of offshore drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico, the second since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

The plans to strengthen gas demand follow a slump in the US gas price to a ten-year low last week. This was caused by the boom in reserves that were previously thought to be uneconomic, weak demand because of warmer weather than expected and the slow growth of the economy.

Gas producing companies such as Chesapeake Energy and ConocoPhillips have been announcing plans to cut back their North American gas output.

They are also hoping, however, that increased demand will help lift prices from their present levels of about $2.75 per million British thermal units.

President Obama’s proposed tax break for trucks powered by gas or other alternative fuels would be worth half the difference in price between one of those trucks and a conventional diesel-powered vehicle.

Among other proposals, he also wants a competitive grant programme to give funds to communities that come up with ways to break down the barriers to greater use of natural gas, support for investment in infrastructure such as filling stations and help for municipalities to switch to gas for their buses and trucks.

With US crude oil at about $100 a barrel, gas is a much cheaper alternative.

However, the growth of vehicles using natural gas as fuel has been restricted by the lack of infrastructure such as filling stations to give drivers the confidence that they will be able to refuel when they need to.

President Obama will be making his speech at a UPS depot in Las Vegas, which has trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (super cooled to minus 162 degrees centigrade) in its fleet.

UPS had been reluctant to deploy LNG-powered trucks in that area, the administration says, because of the lack of infrastructure, but the company was able to switch to gas after a filling station was opened in the city, thanks in part to help from the president’s 2009 stimulus package.

Mr Obama has been stressing the value of US gas production in terms of job creation and the environmental benefits of burning gas rather than coal to generate power.

The substitution of gas for oil in transport could help US energy security, given that oil imports are still running at almost 9m barrels a day.

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To: mindmeld who wrote (108124)1/26/2012 9:52:07 AM
From: steve harris
   of 149288
It would be a huge advancement if people would only watch what the politicians do and stop listening to their speeches and pundits in the media.

Save a tremendous amount of time too.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (108187)1/26/2012 9:59:20 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
Cisco's Chambers: Business is easier in Russia

By Aaron Smith @CNNMoney January 26, 2012: 9:28 AM ET

DAVOS, Switzerland (CNNMoney) -- Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers said Thursday that doing business in other countries, including Russia, is easier than in the United States.

"Right now, it's a lot easier to do business in the U.K., or Canada, or Russia, which I never thought I would say, or in China," Chambers told CNNMoney's Poppy Harlow.

Cisco is holding $43 billion overseas and not bringing it back to the U.S. because of the tax on repatriated profits. Chambers said this tax is 33% in the United States.

"No other developed country in the world pays more than 2% on their foreign earnings," he said.

Chambers, attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, said the one regulation keeping Cisco ( CSCO, Fortune 500), a technology communications based in San Jose, Calif., from hiring more workers is the corporate tax on repatriated profits.

Which candidate paid the most taxes?He also said the capital gains tax should remain between 15% and 20%.

He acknowledged that Cisco cut thousands of jobs last year because the company "got fat."

When asked if a Republican in the White House would make a meaningful difference for American business, Chambers answered "yes" and said that he endorses businessman and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president.

"He's got the experience of being a prior governor; he's run large operations," said Chambers. "He's a moderate and I think Americans want somebody who would be in the middle road."

When asked about the 14.5% rate that Romney paid in federal taxes, Chambers replied, "I think all of us have to be transparent about what we do."

Romney's real estate Romney is currently embroiled in the race for the Republican primary. Romney faces a tough fight with former House speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida's primary on Tuesday.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM, Fortune 500) Chief Executive Jamie Dimon told CNN's Richard Quest that he believes Romney will win the GOP nomination, but did not announce support for him.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (108187)1/26/2012 10:21:47 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
I think I know why Bernanke announced that rates will be low through 2014. They are seeing the same data I am seeing and are worried. The leading indicators look terrible. So he's building a moat to insulate us from the risks. Of course, I think that economic cycles have to run their course, so I think it's a fool's errand, but it's easy to see why he's doing what he's doing according to his philosophy...

Baltic Dry Plunges 42% More Than Seasonal Norm To Start The Year

Whether it is an over-abundance of ships (mis-allocation of capital) or a slowing global growth story (aggregate demand), the crash in the Baltic Dry Index has been significant to say the least. Seasonals are prevalent (and Chinese New Year impacts) but to try and clean up that perspective, we find that so far this year the Baltic Dry has fallen 42% more than its seasonal normal and is down by more than 50% since 12/30/11. Nothing to see here move along.

and on a log scale, this is indeed an impressive drop...

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To: Eric who wrote (108190)1/26/2012 10:24:29 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
No kidding. I wish the GOP would stop the attacks on environmentalism. It's just so stupid. I understand the need to have a healthy balance between economic prosperity and environmentalism, but their utter disregard of the need for a clean environment has always baffled me. The fact that the costs of pollution are hidden does not mean they are not real.

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To: tejek who wrote (108194)1/26/2012 10:28:18 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
it's all spin. Go to and look at the civilian employment and labor force numbers. Civilian employment is stagnant and the labor force is growing. That's a disaster. Is it Obama's fault? He didn't create the mess for sure. However, I believe the non-stop bailouts, ZIRP, lack of enforcement of the laws on the books, increasing deficits and debts is creating an uncertain economic environment where private sector investment gets crowded out and employment suffers. Obama would be much better off if he'd re-hire Volcker and then take all his advice from a combination of Volcker and Buffet. He should kick Geithner and Bernanke and all his other advisors to the curb.

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (108195)1/26/2012 10:37:01 AM
From: mindmeld
   of 149288
Exactly. I know a lot of people nowadays thing the GOP is evil. Hell, I'd even agree with them. But they haven't always been that way. I'm old enough to remember when the GOP was honorable and put country first. It's only since Clinton that the GOP has become so vitriolic and focused on gaining and holding power at any cost, even to the detriment of the country. I don't know why they changed, but they lost voters like me as a result.

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