Friday, February 12, 2016

Bitching About Taxes

One day recently Jamie Dimon looked around his house and found some spare change, so he decided to buy some stock.

Shares of JPMorgan (JPM) are jumping in early trading after CEO Jamie Dimon bought $26.6 million worth of the bank’s stock. The purchase, disclosed in a company filing, added 500,000 shares of JPMorgan Chase to Jamie Dimon’s portfolio.
It's nice that Jamie Dimon is showing faith in his own company. That's a positive thing, isn't it? It also must be nice to have $26.6M to invest.

The only reason I'm using Jamie Dimon as an example here is because his stock purchase is current news. He is convenient.

Members of the Republican Party love to complain about taxes. They also love to complain about poor people. If you are poor and you don't have $26.6M to invest it is your fault for not working hard enough. They also hate the minimum wage and are always against raising it. Does any of this sound familiar?

Let's play with numbers while thinking about Republican bitching.

Consider the fact that one could invest $2,660,000.00 in a New York Municipal Bond Fund or ETF. Before I go on I want to emphasize that I'm talking about $2.66M, which is considerably less than the amount that Jamie Dimon invested. For the bitching one per centers this really is spare change.

New York Municipal Bond ETF's currently yield about 2.58%. Doing the math, we find that this investment will yield $68,628.00 a year in interest. That translates into $1319.77 a week, and $32.99 an hour for a 40 hour time period.

But wait, there's more! If you live in New York State this money is completely tax free!

But wait, there's even more! Someone who makes this investment does not have to lift a finger to make $68,628.00 a year!

But wait, there's even more! Someone who makes this investment and doesn't need to live off of this money can let it compound. Do you think that rich CEO's and other one-percenters need to live off their investments while they are currently earning multi-million dollar salaries?

But wait, yes, there's even more! Are you feeling sorry for some one-percenter who has maxed out his 401(k), his IRA's, and every other tax shelter he and his army of financial advisors can think of? Don't feel sorry, municipal bonds will rescue them.

But wait, there is still even more! Municipal bonds help with things like:
Municipal bonds are securities that are issued for the purpose of financing the infrastructure needs of the issuing municipality. The financed infrastructure needs vary greatly but can include schools, streets and highways, bridges, hospitals, public housing, sewer, water systems, power utilities, and various public projects.
Municipal bonds can pay for all those things that everyone likes, but no one, especially Republicans, want to pay for.

Let's examine some Republican bitching.

Here are two quotes from Rush Limbaugh on taxes:
Government is not capable of caring. Government gets things done through coercion. They fine, they penalize, they tax, they confiscate, they jail, they bully to get what they want.
As far as I'm concerned, the people who aren't paying taxes don't get to run around claiming that they built everything, that they built the roads and that they built the bridges and so forth.
One way that local governments can get things done is by issuing municipal bonds. This involves no coercion, fines, penalties, tax, confiscation, jailing, or bullying. Municipal bond investors may be paying other taxes, but in terms of their municipal bond investment they are "the people who aren't paying taxes", and yet they actually can claim "that they built everything, that they built the roads and that they built the bridges and so forth."

Let Bernie Sanders tax the rich, they can handle it.

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