“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”

The essence of the socialist creed. No individual creativity, innovation or initiative. It’s all a collective enterprise. The role of the entrepreneur is a mere detail in comparison with the rest of the community which built the roads, bridges and power lines. You the owner of a business are really just sponging off the rest of the community which had build the infrastructure you have put to use.

Tell that to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. It’s a belief as ignorant as the day is long and twice as dangerous.

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81 Responses to “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”

  1. Fisky

    He is a disgrace. And he is ruining the economy with this rhetoric, along with his reelection chances. Who will want to invest anything and employ people with this clown in the way? Employment data will continue to get worse for the next four months.

    But after he loses, it’s a different story. Heaps of withheld investment will flood onto the market. I’m betting there will be a sudden 200K+ rise in monthly figures as soon as the Kenyan’s loss is announced.

  2. Fisky

    Oops, monthly employment figures.

  3. C.L.

    The RNC should mash that clip with this one:

  4. Splatacrobat

    If your an HSU offical and you go and get a root on your credit card, SOMEONE ELSE PAID FOR IT!

  5. Big Jim

    If you’re an affirmative action President, someone gave you a little help on the way… If you’re a organiser in a community, you didn’t build that. From his experience he projects forth a worldview.

  6. derp

    Elizabeth Warren spouted that same line

  7. C.L.

    Will Romney’s people please get in the fucking ring?

    We have a cocaine fiend president who armed the Mexican drug cartels openly calling the cleanest candidate since George Washington a felon.

    Obama campaign tells Romney to ‘stop whining’ about Bain Capital attacks.

  8. Nanuestalker

    The GOP should respond with an ad campaign based on:
    “You didn’t pay for that Mr. President”
    Lots of material out there!

  9. Infidel Tiger

    It’s doubtful the US will ever elect a homosexual, dog eater again.

  10. Youngster

    As much as I dislike Obama’s politics, I believe your headline is misleading. It seems pretty clear that Obama (with poor syntax admittedly), was referring to ‘bridges and roads’ when he said “you didn’t build that”. And he is correct to a degree. If you have a transport business, your success is enabled by society paying for the roads you use. That’s not to say that you didn’t take huge risks and work extremely hard.

    I do hate Obama’s continued campaign against free enterprise. As someone said recently, apparently Obama wants American voters to be more concerned about what Mitt Romney did with his money than what Obama is doing with theirs!

  11. Nanuestalker

    poor syntax

    Are you serious?

  12. thefrollickingmole

    Hmmm, take away Obamas colour and whats left.

    A son of a privelidged family which sent him to the best schools, who then used his uni connections to grease up the political ladder.

    Theres not a lot to admire there.
    Plus the 6 figure job he secured for his wife with a few strategicly placed funding arrangements, so vital it was discontinued after she left..

    (that link is funny, trying to make it less of a scandal by using extremely neutral language)

  13. Tapdog

    From Instapundit comments

    “Obama to Americans: You don’t deserve what you’ve earned”

    Americans to Obama: “Funny, we were thinking the exact same thing about you…”

  14. Anon

    Be fair – he is referring to businesses benefiting from the roads and bridges they didn’t build.

    However, he is still wrong. The businesses that exist now will be paying for infrastructure that they will not benefit from in the future.

  15. Pickles

    That’s how I hear it youngster and Anon.

  16. Yobbo

    He’s clearly talking about roads and bridges.

  17. Steve Kates

    The role of the entrepreneur is a mere detail in comparison with the rest of the community which built the roads, bridges and power lines. You the owner of a business are really just sponging off the rest of the community which had build the infrastructure you have put to use.

    I think I have paraphrased Obama perfectly. Those entrepreneurs who run their businesses, they are a mere detail in comparison with the past accumulations of capital the community has at its disposal. Which is true as a statement of existential reality and I teach this very point. But Obama clearly wishes to make a further point which is that if you are making money in your business then you have to pay extra for the infrastructure that is there, which ignores that a business’s profitability is a reflection of the satisfaction that business brought to its customers who bought the products it sold and so the community has already benefited. Businesses do more for a community than employ and pay taxes. I wonder if he really understands that.

    But aside from the fact that businesses do pay for this infrastructure through payments to other businesses and in the taxes they already pay, what else is there to say? And what else he means to say, which is his silent point, is that if you are a successful businessperson that you owe even more than you are already paying. What he leaves out is that there are generations of past businesspeople (with a bit of government thrown in) who have put this infrastructure together. It is a point the President seems incapable of seeing for himself. Incredibly ignorant of how a free market economy works, and through that ignorance he is incredibly dangerous to the wealth and prosperity of us all.

  18. Token

    This is the Elizabeth Warren quote which is so similar to the Sun King’s quote:

    The following is a quote from Elizabeth Warren, current favorite of progressive activists and a candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, which I found via MoveOn:

    There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you!

    But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

    But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

  19. dianeh

    If you pay taxes, then you built those bridges and roads. Obama cannot be suggesting that govt built the bridges and roads with its own money. It has no money. It only has taxes and taxes come from individuals, from sales tax, from capital gains tax and from company tax.

    Business pays tax and therefore has the same ownership as the rest of the economy/community.

    Fisky is right. Obama is a disgrace.

  20. Winston SMITH

    What Obama said would have to be the most ignorant statement I have ever heard.
    Those businesses pay more in taxes toward infrastructure than the bottom 50% of citizens.

  21. Yobbo

    The question remains then why America taxes expats who live overseas, who are benefitting from the roads, police force and education paid for by taxpayers from other countries.

    America is the only country in the world that thinks expats owe them taxes AFAIK.

  22. Keith

    I guess the big O would hard-pressed to explain toll roads and bridges then.

  23. Nuke Gray

    However, here in Australia, the days are not long!!! Was that deliberate, or did you just miss it? And whilst Obama is trying to make the case for big government, to what does he attribute America’s powerful economy? Does he really think that if you build the roads, that will create successful businesses? That’s an unconvincing argument!

  24. Nanuestalker

    Obama believes the goose that laid the golden egg survived the Caesarean section.

  25. C’mon, peeps, lift your games!

    What’s completely missed is that there’s all these roads and infrastructure and whatnot that’s been paid for by everyone but that only some people have been smart enough to use and make themselves successful.

  26. C.L.

    Obama hates America. It’s that simple.

  27. Simon Says

    Now perhaps you can tell us what entrepreneurial skills Jeff Immelt and Daniel Akerson possess apart from a shameless capacity to hold out their hands? And while you are at it how about you throw in Kelly, Cameron, Narev and Smith seeing they are all in Australia’s top ten recipients of government largess. Then give Diamond a go and the other Libores. This is about the closest this guy has been and will ever be to reality and he gets condemned for it.

  28. The notion that businesses take from society is deeply entrenched in Australian culture too. Think of all the times you hear someone talk about “giving back” to society. Even business people do it.

    My business gives people jobs and pays taxes. I have taken nothing. If I choose to contribute to a social cause, it won’t be because of any misguided guilt trip.

  29. val majkus

    talking about infrastructure I loved Tim Blairs column
    refresher course

    Gather around, people. Let me tell you of a time long ago when blogs didn’t have any reader comments. It’s true! There were once no click-to-comment facilities at all. To be heard in those days you’d have to hike across the icy, pre-warming Australian tundra, dodging mastodons and the like, until you finally found the cave where your blogger dwelled. Then you’d stand outside and shout: “Yesterday’s landing at Gibraltar by Tariq ibn-Ziyad was NOT an example of expansionist Islamic militarism and your post should be immediately corrected. It was just part of a faith outreach program designed to educate ignorant hateful Western idiots about true friendliness and peace.”

    “Hi, Talal,” I’d reply.

  30. brc

    This ‘bridges and roads were supplied by the community’ is really a brainless position.

    If necessary, business owners will build the infrastructure to get their product to market. Plenty of remote mines have done this, and a historic example is Josiah Wedgewood building canals to get his pottery to market.

    However, in all cases where the business provides the infrastructure to get its product to market, the consumer suffers because either (a) the cost goes up or (b) the product is not viable, and therefore is not available.

    So, to the extent that ‘society’ (whatever that is taken to mean) provides infrastructure, they benefit by lower prices and/or greater availability.

    Take it like this : if a farmer refused to ship his food to market, and the local townsfolk decide to build a road to his farm, who benefits the most? Is it the farmer, who gets to sell more product, or is it the townsfolk, who get to eat more food?

    In reality, roads are nothing more than formalised and paved rights of way that have existed since ancient times.

    To suggest that somehow only businesses benefit from transport infrastructure shows a complete ignorance that free exchange of goods and services is a completely voluntary transaction. It is ignorance at a level I would expect from people of very low education levels.

  31. sdog

    “I hate Illinois nazis socialists.”

  32. mareeS

    “people of very low education levels” seems to describe a lot of people in politics, including the Obamas and our own PM. I’d probably modify that to “people of very low IQ.”

    One shouldn’t speak of black bogans in the white house, or lying slappers from altona, but if the shoe fits….Time’s up for these people.

  33. brc

    @mareeS I don’t like to delineate on education vs IQ. Plenty of smart people never got much of an education, plenty of educated people don’t have much IQ.

    Much of economic theory is counter-intuitive, because of what is seen and unseen. So people with low education levels tend not to realise the unseen effects, the unseen reasons why things are the way they are.

  34. Rabz

    To suggest that somehow only businesses benefit from transport infrastructure shows a complete ignorance that free exchange of goods and services is a completely voluntary transaction. It is ignorance at a level I would expect from people of very low education levels.

    And it ain’t going away any time soon.

    In fact, lefties are starting to bleat more and more often about how roads (for ‘private transport’) constitute a massive cost burden on the community and that users only pay a tiny fraction of the cost of building and maintaining them. There are idiots on this blog who’ve used the exact same argument recently.

    People making these types of arguments are utterly braindead and they need to be kept away from positions of power and/or influence.

    That destructive idiot mayor of Sydney is a classic example.

  35. .

    If necessary, business owners will build the infrastructure to get their product to market. Plenty of remote mines have done this, and a historic example is Josiah Wedgewood building canals to get his pottery to market.

    Also see

    “The Voluntary Provision of Public Goods?: The Turnpike Companies of Early America” in Economic Inquiry vol. 28 (1990)

    http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/klein/PdfPapers/VoluntaryProvisionPublicGoods.pdf

  36. Dangph

    I’d probably modify that to “people of very low IQ.”

    I disagree. I’d say that most politicians have a slightly above average IQ (apart from Christine Milne). Because they are smart, they overestimate their abilities. They feel like they can and should tell everyone else how to live their lives. Unfortunately they are not smart enough to realize the limitations of their powers.

  37. Patrick

    “If you’re the President, that’s not because of you. Somebody else made that happen”

  38. JC

    Do you really think The lying slapper is smarter than average? I don’t think so. I think Rudd was but he was a tool. The slapper is jut a bumbling fool.
    And Tubbie Milne is below average.

  39. Dangph

    It takes some intelligence to be able to talk about dialectical materialism, say, and sound credible. You need to be in a certain band: smart enough to talk about it but not smart enough to realize it is bollocks.

  40. brc

    I’d say Gillard is definitely more gullible than average.

    She’s admitted as much herself in relation to the Wilson scandal.

    ‘Really, all this money fell from the sky and now I can go clothes shopping and fix up the house? Wow!’

    Her gullibility extends to believing Milne and Brown that the public wouldn’t vomit up the carbon tax after having it stuffed down their throat.

  41. Anne

    Government doesn’t generate wealth. It taxes people who do.

    Unless Obama’s got a veggie patch out the back of the White House.

  42. Scott

    That could be a quote from “The Sopranos”.

  43. Anne

    Ayn Rand must be spinning in her grave!

  44. .

    That could be a quote from “The Sopranos”.

    …I suppose Mc Clelland might say…”well it ain’t my fucking union!”

  45. Anne

    Think of all the times you hear someone talk about “giving back” to society.

    David, when I hear people say this I challenge them angrily. WHAT HAVE YOU TAKEN?!!

    It’s a Fabian plan of finessing and gradual brainwashing so future Socialist Governments can impose a rent on businesses for their use of “community” assets. That rent going to the Govt which represents the community. CO2 tax on production is just the beginning.

  46. Entropy

    My business gives people jobs and pays taxes. I have taken nothing. If I choose to contribute to a social cause, it won’t be because of any misguided guilt trip.

    I dig your basic thrust, David. But you don’t “give” someone a job. As the great John Wayne said in McLintock!

    Devlin Warren: About that job Mr. McLintock.
    George Washington McLintock: Look son, I told ya, I got no need for farmers. Or use for them either.
    Devlin Warren: Just one minute, Mr. McLintock. My father died last month, how come we don’t have a homestead. I’ve got a mother, a little sister to feed. I need that job badly.
    George Washington McLintock: What’s your name?
    Devlin Warren: Devlin Warren.
    George Washington McLintock: Well, you’ve got a job. Go see my home ranch forman. He’s over by the corral.
    Devlin Warren: Step down off that carriage, mister!
    George Washington McLintock: [Swings and McLintock and gets thrown to the ground] Hold that hog leg! I’ve been punched many a time in my life but never for hirin’ anyone.
    Devlin Warren: I don’t know what to say. Never begged before. Turned my stomach. I suppose I should have been grateful that you gave me the job.
    George Washington McLintock: Gave? Boy, you’ve got it all wrong. I don’t give jobs I hire men.
    Drago: You intend to give this man a full day’s work, don’tcha boy?
    Devlin Warren: You mean you’re still hirin’ me? Well, yes, sir, I certainly deliver a fair day’s work.
    George Washington McLintock: And for that I’ll pay you a fair day’s wage. You won’t give me anything and I won’t give you anything. We both hold up our heads. Is that your plug?
    Devlin Warren: Yes sir.
    George Washington McLintock: Well, hop on him and we’ll go get your gear.

  47. John Comnenus

    I would have thought it was the other way around. Romney should say:
    ‘All those roads, all that infrastructure, hospitals and schools were paid for from the taxes paid by individuals and companies. Government didn’t build this infrastructure alone. It relied on the helping hand from wealth created by business. It’s called a virtuous circle. A strong business sector generates the wealth that funds a stronger broader community which in turn helps create a wealthier private sector that further builds the community. But you have to build the wealth first.’

  48. brc

    Well, JohnC, to be accurate, first you have to stop killing each other. Then you can start to build wealth.

    So many countries seem to keep getting stuck at the first part.

  49. Peter Patton

    Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

    But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

    While I have gone medieval on Pocahontas’ ass on other issues, I think here she has a point.

  50. Alan

    How many businesses do you manage, Steve?

  51. JC

    While I have gone medieval on Pocahontas’ ass on other issues, I think here she has a point.

    What are income taxes for, payroll taxes, employment benefits, commercial registration of motor vehicles which a study here showed (commercial users) pay way more than their fair share.

    What point is she making that could even be considered rational.

    Furthermore are there no benefits derived by consumers? How is that taken into account?

  52. Entropy

    Quite so. Today’s taxes pay for today’s services. And also, underlying Pocahontas’ theory is that it will be the government that will make a success of the next kid that comes along, not their own efforts.

  53. wreckage

    But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

    Like businesses don’t. Her sentence is meaningless unless businesses don’t. Businesses do, and almost universally they voluntarily do in additional ways. Because competition is all very well, but businesses only thrive if they can also co-operate. There’d hardly be a businessman or woman out there who didn’t routinely do a bit extra to help other businesses, family, community, and society in general.

    Her implied point is vicious and stupid.

  54. Ellen of Tasmania

    Besides, couldn’t you just as easily argue that the roads were there for the consumers, so they could get goods that were made a long way from home? After all, they do believe that consumers drive the economy, don’t they? You wanted a fridge? Good for you, but you couldn’t have got it without the roads etc…

  55. Sea Wolf

    That’s right.

    Because Government is just so facilitative when it comes to helping out businesses. Green tape, red tape, payroll tax, GST, superannuation mandates, IR laws, rent taxes, ‘super profit’ taxes, capital gains tax, carbon tax.

    FMD.

  56. Token

    Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea — God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.

    But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

    While I have gone medieval on Pocahontas’ ass on other issues, I think here she has a point.

    I thought the Cat would be the last place we would have to drag out the graphs showing the bottom half of taxpayers pay nothing and the top 10% pay the majority of tax.

    The fact is, the “wealthy” already gave back by providing the infrastructure and people who are net welfare recipients gave nothing and are free-riders.

  57. Token

    This is just the typical distraction by the Democrats who were the big criminals in Peter Schweizer’s book “Throw them Out”.

    It would take an entire book to analyze every single grant and government-backed loan doled out since Barack Obama became president. But an examination of grants and guaranteed loans offered by just one stimulus program run by the Department of Energy, for alternative-energy projects, is stunning. The so-called 1705 Loan Guarantee Program and the 1603 Grant Program channeled billions of dollars to all sorts of energy companies. The grants were earmarked for alternative-fuel and green-power projects, so it would not be a surprise to learn that those industries were led by liberals. Furthermore, these were highly competitive grant and loan programs—not usually a hallmark of cronyism. Often fewer than 10 percent of applicants were deemed worthy.

    Nevertheless, a large proportion of the winners were companies with Obama-campaign connections. Indeed, at least 10 members of Obama’s finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers were big winners in getting your money. At the same time, several politicians who supported Obama managed to strike gold by launching alternative-energy companies and obtaining grants. How much did they get? According to the Department of Energy’s own numbers … a lot. In the 1705 government-backed-loan program, for example, $16.4 billion of the $20.5 billion in loans granted as of Sept. 15 went to companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers—individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party. The grant and guaranteed-loan recipients were early backers of Obama before he ran for president, people who continued to give to his campaigns and exclusively to the Democratic Party in the years leading up to 2008. Their political largesse is probably the best investment they ever made in alternative energy. It brought them returns many times over.

  58. Token

    Or read more here about what the man who could’ve been president in 2004 was doing in 2003:

    While examining trades made around the time of the 2003 Medicare overhaul, Schweizer experienced what he calls his “Holy crap!” moment. The legislation, which created a new prescription-drug entitlement, promised to be a huge boon to the pharmaceutical industry—and to savvy investors in the Capitol. Among those with special insight on the issue was Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the health subcommittee of the Senate’s powerful Finance Committee. Kerry is one of the wealthiest members of the Senate and heavily invested in the stock market. As the final version of the drug program neared approval—one that didn’t include limits on the price of drugs—brokers for Kerry and his wife were busy trading in Big Pharma. Schweizer found that they completed 111 stock transactions of pharmaceutical companies in 2003, 103 of which were buys.

    “They were all great picks,” Schweizer notes. The Kerrys’ capital gains on the transactions were at least $500,000, and as high as $2 million (such information is necessarily imprecise, as the disclosure rules allow members to report their gains in wide ranges). It was instructive to Schweizer that Kerry didn’t try to shape legislation to benefit his portfolio; the apparent key to success was the shaping of trades that anticipated the effect of government policy.

  59. wreckage

    Because Government is just so facilitative when it comes to helping out businesses. Green tape, red tape, payroll tax, GST, superannuation mandates, IR laws, rent taxes, ‘super profit’ taxes, capital gains tax, carbon tax.

    But apart from calculating and paying your taxes, employing people, calculating and paying their taxes, calculating and paying GST, and implementing government policy at your own personal expense, all while providing consumers or businesses with what they need or want, paying your own wage and covering your own super, sometimes paying tax on the same income three times over… and apart from paying the vast majority of taxes so that the majority of people effectively do get their roads, hospitals and schools for free…

    … what have you ever done for us, greedy businessman? Nothing, that’s what, you evil fucker.

  60. Token

    Good to see the Romney campaign has decided to talk about the crony capitalism surrounding the Sun King’s court:

    Romney Adviser: Obama Political Donors Doing Fine, Middle Class in Jeopardy

  61. It frightens me to think that their view of big business might have been shaped by The Simpsons’ Monty Burns.

    Yeah, sure, fine, let’s end big business with the wave of a hand tomorrow. Now what are you going to do about all those people you’ve just put out of work?

  62. WadeJ

    Steve:

    “I think I have paraphrased Obama perfectly” isn’t that an oxymoron. Where does he say it’s a mere detail? Or are you just making up a quote to fit in with your pre-conceived notions.

    I also love that you put a ton of extra motives in what he hasn’t said.

    You also use Bill Gates as an example, who’s rich public high school supported his computer study from an early age. Or the fact he accessed the early computing systems over a government network.

    You can not take this statement out of the context of the current US political debate, which has the Right screaming blue bloody murder anyone dares suggest that the Billionaires that fund the machine owe anything, to anybody, and that they all got to where they are SOLELY through their hard work.

    That’s the level of the debate, and the overton window has shifted so dramatically that for Obama to argue for the same tax rates as the Clinton years, he’s a screaming socialist who will wreck the American way of life.

  63. .

    You also use Bill Gates as an example, who’s rich public high school supported his computer study from an early age. Or the fact he accessed the early computing systems over a government network.

    Bill Gates is not rich because of that.

    He is rich solely due to his hard work.

  64. JC

    You also use Bill Gates as an example, who’s rich public high school supported his computer study from an early age.

    Which his parents funded through much higher local property taxes in the US as a result of local school funding, you moron.

    Or the fact he accessed the early computing systems over a government network.

    News alert! WadeJ is saying there wouldn’t be a Microsoft if Gates didn’t access a government network. You fool, the government network of the time looked nothing like what he conceived.

    You can not take this statement out of the context of the current US political debate, which has the Right screaming blue bloody murder anyone dares suggest that the Billionaires that fund the machine owe anything, to anybody, and that they all got to where they are SOLELY through their hard work.

    Well it appears now that may not be the case. If you’re the Kenyan’s crony you’ll make money.

    That’s the level of the debate, and the overton window has shifted so dramatically that for Obama to argue for the same tax rates as the Clinton years, he’s a screaming socialist who will wreck the American way of life.

    Umm that’s not the only part of it, you dickhead. There’s also Kenyancare taxes that will take the federal take to over 50%, you moron. Include in state corp taxes and in some sates you would be talking 60%.

    You do realize that small business in the US files as sub S corps as individual, right?

    You really are an un-clued up moron WadeJ

  65. WadeJ

    JC – do you understand marginal tax rates or do I have to to explain it to you.

  66. Alex Pundit

    I think his post just proved that he does, WadeJ.

  67. JC

    JC – do you understand marginal tax rates or do I have to to explain it to you.

    Would you please. I need some help in understanding it as I Believe the bottom 51% of Americans pay no income tax and come to the conclusion that they have zero marginal tax issues. Is that wrong WadeJ?

  68. JC

    WadeJ

    Going for the Kenyan’s tax increase would raise the marginal rates to 60% in some states where it really counts, you intellectual lout.

    Now I think you’re a alliance voter and therefore love grabbing other people’s money, however I can’t imagine even you peddling for over 60% as the highest marginal tax rate in Australia. In fact not even the fucking Greens would. However here’s WadeJ pushing for that very thing in the US.

    WadeJ, do you really love the Kenyan so much that you’re prepared to see the US become an economic toilet?

  69. WadeJ

    So tax rates that would be less than those in the booming 90’s and significantly less than the post-world war 2 boom will send America down the economic toilet? Do you think Bill Gates looked at the corporate tax rate of 50% and decided not to start his company. Or a personal income tax of around 40% and thought, I don’t really want to launch Windows I’ll get taxed too much.

    I agree that the Laffer curve exists, but disagree that the levels of taxation that Obama is suggesting will push the government into a land of economic decline.

  70. entropy

    If Gates founded microsoft because of his publicly funded high school, how come the rest of his class didn’t found their own microsoft?

    Ironically, Gates also went to the privately funded Harvard.

  71. .

    Do you think Bill Gates looked at the corporate tax rate of 50% and decided not to start his company.

    No dickhead, he hired a tax accountant. Clearly he thinks he can spend his largesse better than Uncle Sam anyway through his foundation.

    You clueless fucking muppet.

  72. brc

    Argument by Bill Gates is ridiculous. The guy and his company are an outlier, a once-in-a-generation event. To argue any type of public policy around the trajectory of Microsoft is foolish in the extreme.

    What’s more important is all the companies that either don’t get started, or don’t get expanded, because there is no point in it for the owners or investors.

    The companies that never get launched, or the companies that stay small – they’re the ones who won’t expand to soak up the ever-increasing ranks of unemployed. And plenty of people opt out of paying the tax by selling and retiring early. For a lot of people, playing golf is a lot more rewarding than effectively working for the government.

    That is what setting marginal tax rates too high does. That, and it increases the amount of tax evasion.

  73. Winston SMITH

    Token at 0903: That’s the point I made at 1507 yesterday.

  74. Token

    It is worth saying again Winston.

  75. Token

    That’s the level of the debate, and the overton window has shifted so dramatically that for Obama to argue for the same tax rates as the Clinton years, he’s a screaming socialist who will wreck the American way of life.

    Get over yourself WadeJ, I don’t see how Obama can be a socialist. He is part of the Democrat party that is using big government to systematically rob the American people on behalf of his selected cadre.

    If you follow the links I provided it links to a book which details the endemic cronyism and insider trading which is endemic (and technically legal) in the US Congress.

    This book has not be denied. It was ran on 60 minutes and no-one has refuted one claim.

    Rather, there is legislation in Congress to implement some of the recommendations.

  76. JC

    So tax rates that would be less than those in the booming 90?s and significantly less than the post-world war 2 boom will send America down the economic toilet?

    Well yes. Taxes in California for instance have simply been going up and the state is still in a hole and digging its way to China.

    the US has a spending problem, not a taxing problem. Raising the marginal corp tax rate to 60% for small business is going to screw the economy.

    I agree that the Laffer curve exists, but disagree that the levels of taxation that Obama is suggesting will push the government into a land of economic decline.

    So you think raising the highest marginal rate of 60% for small business is okay, do you?

    Answer the question, douchebag.

  77. WadeJ

    So dickhead – yes I agree with the economists listed in the link. Marginal rates in the 50 to 60% range do not hamper economic growth. Be sure to click through and not just dismiss it since is a list put together by the Washingtonpost.

    You’ll notice that only the “left wing” economists (who are likely centrist) could actually politically say a number without being called out by the right wing no-tax machine. The right wingers all refuse to answer the question or fudge it.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/where_does_the_laffer_curve_be.html

    Again, throughout the post-war boom years, with huge middle class wealth creation had very high marginal tax rates. The effective rates we’re talking about today are no where near that, and will not be raised to that amount again.

  78. WadeJ

    Token – I hadn’t seen the book but I’d read other reports about the issue. I agree on the premise that the US congress regularly uses their insider knowledge for their own financial gain. There was legislation passed recently to apply insider trading laws to those in congress but I’m sure there are loopholes you can drive a truck through. I don’t see this as an Left/Right issue, and it doesn’t fit the definition of socialist. It’s a reflection of the gerrymandered lifetime congressional seats and a general public that is incredibly disillusioned and disengaged with politics.

  79. JC

    Oh okay, so then you’re for even higher marginal tax rates than the Greens. At least you’re honest now rather than earlier when we could have saved a lot of time.

    Take a look at this chart, genius. The US federal take on income tax doesn’t change either with the high rates of the 50’s to 70’s and lower rates. It doesn’t budge an inch.

    I nicely explained all this to you some time ago that the lies that Krugman creates because of his peculiar nostalgia of the of earlier decades are just that lies.

    Yes the marginal rates were much higher, however very few people were caught in that dragnet because of the enormous number of loopholes and available deductions at the time. You do realize for instance that you could debit your credit card interest against taxes before Reagan closed them down and lowered marginal rates. You know this? The other deductions and allowances were huge which is why the chart hasn’t budged an inch over time.

    Ya know wadeJ if you weren’t so stupid and gullible I wouldn’t be as nice , which is why I go easy on a cretin like you. Stop reading leftwing rags and widen your reading to other stuff other then severe leftwing swill.

    Moron.

    You must have gone to Macquarie as no one can be this dense speaking about economics.

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