Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oh No, I'm Rich and I Need Your Help Getting More

“The top 25 individuals in the industry [private equity and hedge funds] got paid over $10 billion, taxed at a rate of 15 percent. Those 25 people got paid three times the amount that was paid to all 80,000 people who teach in the New York City schools, and they paid roughly one-half to one-third of taxes on a percentage basis.” said Damon Silver, associate general counsel at the A.F.L.-C.I.O. Just for comparison, you and your employer pay 15.48% FICA on your wages up to $90,000. That has nothing to do with your Income Tax. So you know, this is how Mitt made his pile, that champion of lower taxes, guess whose taxes.

The NYT points out that these folks are connected, "The industry’s leaders include a variety of seasoned political hands. The senior chairman and co-founder of the Blackstone Group, for instance, is Peter G. Peterson, a former White House official and commerce secretary. Mr. Kravis’s ties to the Bush family go back decades, to the time when his father was friends with Senator Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather. Another major player in the debate, the Carlyle Group, is based in Washington and led by a group of well-connected former top government officials."

Billionaire Henry R Kravis just spent some time trying to persuade Congress just how important his industry is to Americans, it's a tough sell with sky high compensation and tax rates below much less well to do taxpayers. The assertion is that they take the risk and deserve the low capital gains rate and that they "rescue" American industries and also that raising their taxes will hurt all Americans. Oh yeah, the sawdust encrusted nail bangers who work for me take no risks and will benefit immensely if these paper pushers have to pay real taxes on their income. You can surely hear BushCo leaping to their defense, tax and spend Dems... Oooops, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) ranking (R) on Senate Finance Committee is part of the move to tax at the ordinary 35% for their bracket.

If you had an idea they'd just let this happen to them, NYT again,

"The newly founded Private Equity Council, which represents the largest industry players, has retained a battery of lobbyists from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld; Capitol Tax Partners; Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; and Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart. Kohlberg has several well-positioned lobbyists, including Kenneth B. Mehlman, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who is a partner at Akin Gump. "

Poor babies...

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