Soak the Rich: UnitedHealth Group

Like the other fat-cat corporations we’ve soaked recently, UnitedHealth Group is a deserving recipient of a good ol’ fashioned Sherrod Brown tax hike. As a health insurance and services company with 65 million American customers, UnitedHealth is one of the problems Obamacare will solve. Until that glorious day in 2014, UnitedHealth must be penalized for all the money they make! Not only do higher taxes force companies (and their competitors) to act nicer, Sherrod insists this is the way out of our $1.62 trillion 2011 budget deficit.

Now Soaking: UnitedHealth Group

Fear not: this punitive tax policy – like the millions of pages of bureaucracy Obamacare will spawn – won’t increase the cost of health insurance or care. Although a “free market” is nothing more than evil fat-cats cheating helpless saps out of money, Sheriff Sherrod’s patrolling these parts! Supply, demand, risk, cost, and reward are shadows from the dark old days.

None of UnitedHealth’s 87,000 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. Last and least, the only funds & individuals holding any of UnitedHealth’s 1,080,000,000 outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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Soak the Rich, Week 8

Senator Sherrod Brown thinks cutting federal spending is wrong, and insists we can balance the budget by raising taxes on America’s largest employers. For two months now we’ve been calculating the results of applying Sherrod’s Sure-Fire Budget Oil to evil corporations and their fat-cat CEOs. It’s an uphill climb, considering the U.S. government’s 2011 budget deficit of $1.62 trillion.

Starting with the ten largest corporations in the S&P 500 index, we’ve soaked 16 of the planet’s most successful businesses. This is what Senator Brown and President Obama want, right? Everything they do suggests federal spending is an objective good… as long as it’s not military spending. Though Brown and Obama aren’t specific about their assuredly non-socialist methodology, we’ve taken a leap to doubled corporate income taxes and fully “reclaimed” CEO pay.

If these extreme measures (view Excel summary) won’t work, there’s a tiny chance Sherrod Brown is either ignorant or dishonest to claim the budget could be balanced by making The Rich pay their fair share!

 

By dramatically increasing taxes on sixteen of America’s largest companies, we could reduce the 2011 U.S. budget deficit from $1,620,000,000,000 to $1,533,427,121,060. That’s a 5.344% slice of a single year’s deficit pie. Even if soaking a few hundred more employers could cover the remaining 94.656% of the 2011 deficit, would it be worth it?

Of course it would! As any Progressive will tell you, raising taxes on The Rich has no negative effects. Among the things that won’t happen if Sherrod Brown taxes his way to the chart above:

  • None of the corporations’ 4,677,960 employees will lose their jobs.
  • None of the products or services – gasoline, air travel, fast food, construction equipment, business & consumer lending, the thousands of items available at Wal-Mart, prescription drugs, medical devices, computer software, cell phone service, broadband access, Band-Aids, baby soap, iPods, laptops, servers, networking equipment, toothpaste, diapers, detergent, etc. – sold by these companies will get more expensive.
  • None of the funds or individuals holding the corporations’ 58,281,800,000 shares of stock will be ruined… unless they deserve it!
  • None of the world’s entrepreneurs or executives will stop investing in American businesses.

It’s a good thing raising taxes is an all-around win, because Sherrod Brown is our only hope and soaking The Rich is his only idea.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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Soak the Rich: Boeing

The Boeing Company is bad news – not only do they produce fossil-fuel-using, planet-killing aircraft, they refuse to obey the unions! Sherrod Brown need only ask one question when raising someone’s taxes (are they rich?), so there’s a surplus of reasons for Boeing to pay their fair share. All the corporations that employ Americans will need to spread the wealth if we’re going to tax our way out of this $1.62 trillion 2011 budget deficit!

Now Soaking: The Boeing Company

Fear not: this punitive tax policy won’t affect the price of air travel. Although a “free market” is nothing more than evil fat-cats cheating helpless saps out of money, Sheriff Sherrod’s patrolling these parts! Supply, demand, risk, cost, and reward are shadows from the dark old days.

None of Boeing’s 160,500 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. Last and least, the only funds & individuals holding any of Boeing’s 738,000,000 outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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Soak the Rich: Halliburton

I feel like I’ve got to start this post with an apology. If we’re going to try out Sherrod Brown’s solution to America’s $1.62 trillion 2011 budget deficit, we’ve got to soak the right rich people! I’ve tried these past seven weeks to target the worst corporations first, but I overlooked one of the evilest businesses of all…

Now Soaking: Halliburton

Fear not: this punitive tax policy won’t affect the price of oil exploration or, by extension, energy. Although a “free market” is nothing more than evil fat-cats cheating helpless saps out of money, Sheriff Sherrod’s patrolling these parts! Supply, demand, risk, cost, and reward are shadows from the dark old days.

None of Halliburton’s 60,000 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. The funds & individuals holding Halliburton’s 915,000,000 outstanding shares of stock might suffer – but they deserve to, for investing in an evil corporation!

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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Adventures in Government Accounting

Today something arrived in the mail that filled me with dread: an envelope with the Ohio Department of Taxation logo in the return address.

The past several years I’ve been coughing up $70 for a fancy edition of TurboTax, but that’s hardly protection from the tax code’s – and my own – obtuseness. So I opened the envelope thinking, “what did I screw up, and what’s it gonna cost me?”

What I screwed up is… nothing. The third page of a packet beginning with “WE HAVE RECALCULATED YOUR 2010 OHIO INCOME TAX RETURN” lists several dozen line items from my return – in an AS REPORTED column and an AS CORRECTED column. I reported state income tax withheld directly from my W2, to the tune of more than $1,100. The Ohio Department of Taxation helpfully corrected this number – to $0.00.

Good one, desk jockeys. The copy of my W2 that I sent with my 1040 was somehow insufficient, so you’re sending me a “correction” two months later? In the form of a bill for more than $1,100, because apparently my state taxes weren’t withheld by The Ohio State University?  I can’t believe this is the process; if you lost my W2, send me a documentation request. The outcome would be the same, minus the heavy circles I added around box 17 and your “correction!”

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In Support of Tom Friedman

Fair readers, mark your calendars: this is the day I prove what a warm, fuzzy moderate I am. This is the day I agree with Thomas Friedman.

Because he’s such an impeccable centrist, Friedman opened Tuesday’s column by criticizing politicians in both parties:

There is something crazy about what is going on in our country today. Our fiscal condition continues on an unsustainable path, the European currency is heading for a crackup, the Arab world is in the midst of a crackup, unemployment is creeping upward and basically our two parties are telling us that they will not make the reforms that we know are necessary because it would involve too much pain and could imperil their chances of winning the presidency in 2012.

Now, if you’re wondering which of Tom’s ideas I agree with… we’ll get there. First I wanted to let Friedman’s own words illustrate that he has never heard of Congressman Paul Ryan, and is oblivious to unified Republican support for Ryan’s budget proposal. Strange things for a New York Times columnist to be in the dark about, given the fit Paul Krugman pitches at the mention of Ryan’s name.

Since friends have to be brutally honest in this flat, hot, crowded, crazy world, I’d also like to ask my new pal Tom whether this is what an unemployment rate “creeping upward” looks like -

Enough senseless bickering over a few hundred billion dollars and a few million measly jobs! Let’s hear Tom’s solution to the partisan divide in America today.

That’s right. We need to do four things at once: spend, cut, tax and invest. And unless we do all four at once we’re not going to break out of our slow decline. But to do all four at once will require a new hybrid politics, which does not conform to the political agenda of either major party.

A new hybrid politics! Like all Friedman readers, I am on board for anything that is both new and hybrid!

Maybe it is just my friends, but I find more and more people completely disgusted by this situation and looking for a serious Third Party candidate who could run in 2012 and deliver the shock therapy to the corrupt, encrusted, two-party duopoly now running the show in America.

Such a Third Party would have a simple agenda: 1) Inject a short-term stimulus. 2) Enact Simpson-Bowles. 3) Shrink our presence in Afghanistan. 4) Raise automobile mileage standards. 5) Impose a gasoline tax to pay for a massive increase in government-supported scientific research and a carbon tax to pay for new infrastructure and stimulate clean-power innovation.

Yes, Thomas Friedman! Please convince the Democrats who take you seriously that America’s troubles could be solved by – to use your numbering:

  1. More failed deficit spending
  2. Modest entitlement cuts and not-so-modest tax hikes
  3. Something President Obama is already doing with widespread support, given our leaders’ disinterest in defining any sort of “mission” or “goals”
  4. Government-increased car prices
  5. Government-increased fuel prices for new government energy boondoggles

I give this plan a five out of five for getting America on the right track! Not because any of Friedman’s ideas are especially new or good, but because a monied far-left candidate hawking what Friedman suggests would pull away enough Obama supporters to ensure a Republican landslide in 2012. More than at any point in my brief memory (I wasn’t quite old enough to vote in 2000 – do the math) the GOP, led by Paul Ryan, is taking the side of freedom over the sort of European statism Thomas Friedman endorses.

In a way, it’s impressive that Friedman managed to write an entire article about the need for a Progressive third party without once mentioning the tea party movement. In another way, it’s sad that one of the left’s allegedly great thinkers is so invested in his own spunky originality that he can’t give credit where it’s due.

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Soak the Rich, Week 7

Because seven is such a lucky number, many of you are thinking the seventh week of Soak the Rich is the one where we fill in the 2011 U.S. budget deficit – a $1.62 trillion gap – by cranking up taxes on big corporations. Many of you are 5.215% correct.

Starting with the ten largest corporations in the S&P 500, we’ve soaked 14 of the most successful businesses in the world. Though sophists like Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama aren’t specific about their assuredly non-socialist methodology, we’ve taken a leap to doubled corporate income taxes and fully “reclaimed” CEO pay.

If these extreme measures (view Excel summary) won’t work, there’s a tiny chance Sherrod Brown is either ignorant or dishonest to claim the budget could be balanced by making The Rich pay their fair share!

By dramatically increasing taxes on fourteen of America’s largest companies, we could reduce the 2011 U.S. budget deficit from $1,620,000,000,000 to $1,535,510,754,960. That’s a 5.215% slice of a single year’s deficit pie. Even if soaking a few hundred more employers could cover the remaining 94.785% of the 2011 deficit, would it be worth it?

Of course it would! As any Progressive will tell you, raising taxes on The Rich has no negative effects. Among the things that won’t happen if Sherrod Brown taxes his way to the chart above:

  • None of the corporations’ 4,457,460 employees will lose their jobs.
  • None of the funds or individuals holding the corporations’ 56,628,800,000 shares of stock will be ruined… unless they deserve it!
  • None of the products or services – fast food, construction equipment, business & consumer lending, the thousands of items available at Wal-Mart, prescription drugs, medical devices, computer software, cell phone service, broadband access, Band-Aids, baby soap, energy, transportation, iPods, laptops, servers, networking equipment, toothpaste, diapers, detergent, etc. – sold by these companies will get more expensive.
  • None of the world’s entrepreneurs or executives will stop investing in American businesses.

It’s a good thing raising taxes is an all-around win, because Sherrod Brown is our only hope and soaking The Rich is his only idea.

Wait, I nearly forgot – Sherrod Brown would be happy to cut defense spending! Because that isn’t one of the few things the U.S. Congress is actually supposed to spend money on.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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Soak the Rich: Caterpillar

To a government-for-all-seasons Progressive like Sherrod Brown, companies that build things are a necessary evil. They fund campaigns and pay taxes, but it’s not fair that private industry is better than government at making stuff. With that in mind, companies that build things which build other things are even more offensive. A company that builds things which build other things while consuming fossil fuels? Caterpillar, prepare to be soaked!

Now Soaking: Caterpillar

Fear not: this punitive tax policy won’t affect the price of heavy machinery or any of the building projects such machinery is used for. Although a “free market” is nothing more than evil fat-cats cheating helpless saps out of money, Sheriff Sherrod’s patrolling these parts! Supply, demand, risk, cost, and reward are shadows from the dark old days.

None of Caterpillar’s 104,490 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. Last and least, the only funds & individuals holding any of Caterpillar’s 644,000,000 outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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I-P-A-B spells “Death Panel”

Sarah Palin’s reportedly ignorant belief that Obamacare cuts cost by way of a “death panel” of bureaucrats passing down coverage decrees is nearly as notorious as Palin herself. Mind you, Palin was being ridiculed for this long before The Krugman, a bearded novelty act who does a traveling show for The New York Times, sung the praises of government-rationed care in an ABC appearance:

Here’s the infamous paragraph from Palin’s 08/07/2009 Facebook post:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Palin was responding, in part, to a statement by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, another crazed right-wing nut. If you have a memory or possess the power of Google, it’s not hard to recall the dinosaur media’s response. Smarmy leftists at The New York Times and MSNBC ranted and raved about lies and incited mobs, while slightly-better-hinged commentators settled for dismissing Palin’s thoughts as partisan nonsense.

Conservative pundits continue working to inform the public that Obamacare – sorry, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – relies exclusively on rationed care for the only cost savings that aren’t fabrications. As George Will details in a Washington Post op-ed, death panels by any other name are still terrible policy:

The point of PPACA is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending – which is 13 percent of federal spending – to certain stipulated targets. IPAB is to do this by making “proposals” or “recommendations” to limit costs by limiting reimbursements to doctors. This, inevitably, will limit available treatments – and access to care when physicians leave the Medicare system.

Will’s closing line is brilliant:

The essence of progressivism, and of the administrative state that is progressivism’s project, is this doctrine: Modern society is too complex for popular sovereignty, so government of, by and for supposedly disinterested experts must not perish from the earth.

So, Ohioans – have you signed a petition supporting the Health Care Freedom Amendment yet?

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.

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Soak the Rich: McDonald’s

Though I wouldn’t have thought it possible, soaking the rich is even more fun now that we’re finished with the S&P 500′s top 10 companies! Last week alone we made evil bank JP Morgan Chase and evil non-union retailer Wal-Mart pay their fair share, and there are plenty of other corporations Sherrod Brown would love to teach a lesson in the 488 that remain. Next up, the company responsible for rampant obesity and half of May’s new jobs!

Now Soaking: McDonald’s

Fear not: this punitive tax policy won’t increase the cost of fast food – and even if it did, that would encourage stupid Americans to patronize healthier restaurants! A “free market” is really nothing but an evil cabal of fat-cats cheating helpless saps out of money, but Sheriff Sherrod’s patrolling these parts! Supply, demand, risk, cost, and reward are merely shadows from the dark old days.

None of McDonald’s 400,000 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. Last and least, the only funds & individuals holding any of McDonald’s 1.04 billion outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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