American Elephants

Senator Schumer Sees Schemes to Avoid Taxes, And He’s Not Going to Let You Get Away With It! by The Elephant's Child

One of the founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, relinquished his U.S. citizenship in September 2011 , before the company announced its planned initial public offering of stock, which appears this week.  He owns an estimated 4 percent of Facebook and stands to make an estimated $4 billion when the company goes public. The move is assumed be a financial one, for as a permanent resident of Singapore he would face no capital gains taxes.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), lifetime politician, is outraged. The Democrats are in the midst of a War on the Wealthy, and waging war on Saverin will help the cause along if he can rouse up enough public indignation about the young man renouncing his citizenship. It is not like Saverin in escaping all taxes, expats have to pay a 15 percent tax on all unrealized capital gains when they renounce their citizenship — which would be more than he would have to pay if he doesn’t sell his Facebook shares. Only the shares he sold would be taxed.  Saverin was born in Brazil, and has lived in Singapore since 2009.

Let’s assume that he decided to renounce his citizenship for financial reasons. Barack Obama with all his talk about “the Buffet Rule” has never grasped that nobody, including Warren Buffett is simply dying to pay more taxes. Obama simply thought he’d rouse up the envious, as a political ploy. Walter Wriston, onetime CEO of Citibank put it very succinctly in The Twilight of Sovereignty:

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay
where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation
or onerous regulations of it value or use
and no government power can restrain it for long.

With the election of the new socialist president of France Francois Hollande, wealthy Frenchmen are in the process of moving to Britain. Californians are departing the Golden State for states with no income tax like Florida, Texas, Nevada or Washington. Wealthy residents of New Jersey, Governor Christie complains, are moving to other states and he wants to fix New Jersey’s tax system. The wealthy have options. Doctors from New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut are moving to Texas. John Kerry, the wealthiest man in the Senate, was famously mooring his yacht elsewhere to avoid Massachusetts taxes.

Democrats are ever so sure that if they just raise taxes on the wealthy high enough, they will raise revenue enough to take care of the budget deficit and the debt that the Republicans are always complaining about. If you get down into the details of taxation and revenue, you find that raising taxes usually brings in less revenue, and lowering taxes significantly raises revenue. It is counterintuitive, but true. When taxes are low, the well-to-do have more income to invest, and more expectation of profit from their investment — which is exactly what happens.  And the government gets more revenue and more economic activity. When there is more investment, more people are put to work, and they pay taxes too. Outraged Democrats, who are sure that taxes on the richest nearing 100% will being in lots more money, have never been able to grasp that simple fact. They sneered, and called it “trickle-down economics” which was a misnomer.

Well, Schumer wants to charge anyone relinquishing their citizenship a whopping fee for the privilege (?).  Next thing they’ll be building a wall to keep people in. Well, it’s all a political ploy, and you shouldn’t pay much attention.  Saverin must be punished for following the law that the liberals wrote. Schumer also wants to punish him, if he does evade the taxation net, by barring him from ever returning to the U.S.  Schumer wants to apply the law retroactively to all expatriates for the last ten years.

Pathetic, Mr. Schumer, really  pathetic.

If You Want Peace, You Must Prepare for War. by The Elephant's Child

These videos from the Heritage Foundation explain some of the problems with America’s current defense posture. Whenever a war in ended and troops returned home, politicians are sure that was the last war, and they can quit spending money on a lot of military stuff, and spend it instead on things that will buy more votes at home. “The Peace Dividend” they always call it. Liberals are sure that we wouldn’t have any wars if it weren’t for the warmongering Republicans always in favor of throwing our weight around — around the globe.

It is partly a matter of basic philosophy. Liberals are usually opposed to guns, sure that if there were fewer guns, there would be less crime. That attitude spills over into national defense. What we need, they are sure, is simply more dialogue, more peacekeeping, more U.N. Obviously, I’m generalizing here.Liberals believe that the natural state of the world is Peace.  Conservatives are more apt to recognize that War is pretty much the natural state of the world, and that the periods of Peace are to be celebrated, but to have Peace, you must prepare for War. Nicely encompassed in the statement “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”

In 1933, the Army of the United States was 137,000 men. The U.S. Army was 16th in size in the world. The French Army, on the other hand numbered 5 million men. The military had built up somewhat by Pearl Harbor, after all, the war had been going on in Europe and China for a couple of years. Germany had invaded France in May of 1940. ,We were desperately unprepared, with obsolete planes, battleships for a carrier war. We couldn’t even strike back until Midway in June of 1942, and that was mostly luck. It was a long desperate slog until the American arsenal began to catch up with military needs. When the troops came home, we had a “Peace Dividend.”

By 1948 the army had declined to 554,000, and we were totally unprepared for the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950. And so it goes. The Taliban is stronger than ever, and the government is discussing how to ‘dialogue’ with them. We can talk about how it is impolite to throw acid in little girl’s faces, because they want to go to school.

%d bloggers like this: