Thursday, December 17, 2009

How the Bonus Tax Can Steal Christmas

Bonus taxes on bankers are all the global rage. Soon they’ll likely be extended to corporate executives and other greedy individuals. So, why not impose them on their most vocal advocates, the disproportionately left-leaning professors, especially in the highly-paid elite universities, who routinely support higher taxes on the wealthy to finance increased government spending on their favorite programs!

In keeping with President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on single persons earning less than $200,00 and married couples less than $250,000 a year, I suggest a 50 percent bonus tax on all professors whose earnings exceed those levels. Moreover, because the professors are so keen on progressivity, I further propose an additional 5 percent bonus tax on each incremental $50,000, up to a maximum bonus tax of 75 percent on earnings exceeding $450,000 and $500,000 for single and married taxpayers respectively.

Moreover, to avoid any loopholes, professors should also pay these bonus taxes on dividends and capital income, including hitherto tax-exempt bonds.

While we’re at it, how about applying the bonus taxes to state and local taxes!

Applying bonus taxes on academics will affirm their enthusiasm for living by their own doctrine. Or, will it? You place your bet.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Four Questions for President George W. Bush

Why did you fail to veto a single spending bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress during 2001-06?

Why did you keep Rumsfeld and his generals for four years in Iraq before replacing them with Gates and Petraeus?

If 15 of the 19 persons who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were Saudi nationals, and since the Saudis are the principal source of funding madrassas that teach the strict Wahabi form of Islam, why did you invade Iraq?

Finally, did any of your cabinet members, White House advisers, and other government economists warn you of the bubble that was building up in the economy that caused the financial crisis and recession?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Are the Swiss Becoming Hateful?

Swiss voters recently approved by a substantial margin (57 percent yes) a referendum to ban minarets on top of mosques. For this exercise of democracy the Swiss have been excoriated as racist bigots, bringing upon them the hostility of Muslims and Western proponents of diversity and tolerance. (Never mind that some Muslim countries do not reciprocate.)

The exercise of democracy has brought to power Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Vladimir Putin in Russia (with 70 percent approval), and Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, to name a few of the less attractive parties and regimes in the "democratic" world..

What is one to conclude? That democracy is good if supporters get the outcome they want, but bad if the process produces the "wrong" result.