Wealth Articles

Money Well Spent

Notes on the Biltmore estate.
2:23 PM, Sep 16, 2015

Asheville, N.C.

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Jeb Tax Plan Closes Hedge-Fund Carried Interest 'Loophole'

7:06 PM, Sep 08, 2015

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has announced the outline of his tax proposal in a new Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday evening. Among Bush's proposals are three income-tax brackets (28 percent, 25 percent, and 10 percent), cutting the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, and eliminating several "convoluted, lobbyist-created loopholes" in the code.

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Hillary Unveils 'Profit Sharing' Tax Plan

3:46 PM, Jul 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton has unveiled a "profit sharing" tax plan. The details of the plan have been published on her website.

"Clinton’s Plan for a Profit Sharing Tax Credit," the headline of the item on Clinton's website reads.

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The Wealth Chasm Widens

8:32 PM, Dec 18, 2014

Neil Shah of the Wall Street Journal writes:

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Considering Ways to Look at Income Inequality

8:35 AM, Jul 17, 2014

The discussion over economic inequality in the United States seems to have captured the public imagination, at least on the political left.  President Obama has called it “the defining challenge of our time,” and Secretary Clinton has deemed it “a cancer.” Given the shorthand manner in which politicians sometimes refer to policy matters it is not always clear if Obama and Clinton are referring specifically to inequality, the ratio or distribution of wealth in society, or to raw poverty—the fact that millions of Americans live in impoverished circumstances. There is a keen difference in which of these two approaches one takes to the challenge of alleviating misery. Here, I’ve devised a simple test to understand the issue:

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Obama Pivots from 'Wealth Inequality' Talk

3:57 PM, Jul 05, 2014

The president and his party are reworking the message. Envy is out – or to be downplayed, anyway – and optimism is in. They tried “wealth inequality,” and it didn’t resonate. Now, as Zachary A.

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Bill Clinton: We're Not Out of Touch, We Talk to People at the Local Grocery Store

3:46 PM, Jun 24, 2014

Former President Bill Clinton insists he and his wife, Hillary Clinton, are not out of touch. The examples he cites? They talk to people at their "local grocery store on the weekend" and, he adds, they "talk to people in [their] town."

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Hillary to Get $225k from School Raising Tuition

7:04 AM, Jun 24, 2014

Hillary Clinton will be getting $225,000 to speak at a university fundraiser later this year. Students at the same school, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, have recently been outraged that the institution is raising tuition by a staggering 17 percent.

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Biden Hits Hillary: 'Don't Hold It Against Me' I'm Not Rich

9:31 AM, Jun 23, 2014

In what some are interpreting as a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden says that the fact he isn't rich shouldn't be held against him:

I make a lot of money as vice president, Biden said in the Washington, D.C. speech this morning. But, he said, he was the poorest member of Congress when he was a U.S. senator.

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Major Donor Complains About No Valet Parking at White House

6:53 AM, Nov 26, 2013

At a Beverly Hills estate last night, President Obama heard a complaint from a major donor: There's no valet parking at the White House. The complaint was made by Haim Saban, who hosted a fundraiser with the president last night.

Via the pool report:

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Washington, D.C. Surpasses New York, L.A. as Fastest Growing Region of Wealth

9:00 AM, Nov 18, 2013

Washington, D.C. is booming. That's in large part because of a massive growth in lobbying expenditures and federal contracts.

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Richer and Poorer: The Washington Economy

9:05 AM, Sep 20, 2013

It is no secret that Washington generally prospers even as the rest of the country struggles. In a rough fashion, prosperity in the capital and economic hardship in the rest of the country are inversely related. An economic crisis means lots of new government pump priming--remember the stimulus?--which means new departments and programs in Washington. More opportunities for the tribe of lawyers and lobbyists. 

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Obamacare: A Boon to Lobbying & Logrolling Inc.

7:03 AM, Aug 26, 2013

The bigger and more bewildering the legislation, the better for the Lords and Ladies of K Street.  So as Megan R. Wilson of The Hill reports:

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NYTimes Columnist: Bill Gates Is 'Richer Than God'

9:49 AM, Jan 30, 2013

This morning on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof asserted that Bill Gates, who was seated nearby on set, is "richer than God":

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Obama: 'I Won’t Compromise On' Higher Taxes for the Rich

7:31 PM, Dec 10, 2012

President Barack Obama made his position on tax rates clear today in remarks at the Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant in Redford Michigan.

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The Journal’s Tax Advice

10:25 PM, Dec 09, 2012

The Wall Street Journal editors are unhappy about the present correlation of political forces. Who isn't? They're also, I gather, unhappy about "Beltway sages" who, facing the fact that the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year, have suggested Republicans accept a modest increase in tax rates for the wealthy while leading the charge to keep taxes from rising for 98 percent of the American people.

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Watch What Warren Buffett Does, Not What He Says

4:16 PM, Nov 26, 2012

Warren Buffett is by now no stranger to the national debate over federal tax policy. In 2009, he penned a New York Times op-ed calling for "truly major changes in both taxes and outlays." Two years later, he returned to the Times with a widely publicized call for large tax increases on the "super-rich," noting that his own effective federal tax rate (17 percent) was far less than his employees' rates (ranging from 33 to 41 percent). President Obama liked the idea so much, he called for Congress to pass "the Buffett Rule" in his 2012 state of the union address.

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Don't Forget About the Payroll Tax

8:32 AM, Nov 26, 2012

The boss made the case over the weekend that the payroll tax should not be forgotten. Likewise, Ross Douthat writes:

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Despite Criticisms, Obama's Investments Share Similarities with Romney's

1:15 PM, Aug 25, 2012

President Obama used his most recent interview with the Associated Press, released today, once again to hit Mitt Romney for investing overseas. "[T]he small bits of disclosure that he has put forward indicate investments in the Bahamas, or Swiss bank accounts," Obama said of Romney.

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Biden: 'I Wish My Kids Would Become Wealthy'

1:06 PM, Jul 25, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden, speaking in Philadelphia this afternoon at the International Association of Fire Fighters 51st Convention, said, "I wish my kids would become wealthy."

Biden is the father of three living children, Ashley Biden, Beau Biden, and Hunter Biden, all of whom would appear to be doing just fine financially.

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Obama: 'Prosperity Has Never Come from the Top Down'

2:14 PM, Jun 22, 2012

Speaking this afternoon to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando, Florida, President Obama stated that "in this country, prosperity has never come from the top down."

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Biden Calls Himself 'Middle Class Joe,' Owns Mansion

12:29 PM, May 17, 2012

Joe Biden, speaking in Ohio today, said that he is "tired of being called a 'Middle Class Joe.'"

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OECD’s Prescription to Raise Taxes Is the Wrong Medicine for U.S.

4:17 PM, Apr 30, 2012

A report issued last week by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) finds that the average tax burden on income in the United States has been declining in recent years, in sharp contrast to the trend in the other OECD countries.

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Does Romney Want to Reduce Charitable Deductions for the Top 1 Percent?

6:03 PM, Feb 27, 2012

A few months ago, when President Obama proposed to restrict the deductibility of charitable contributions made by relatively well-off Americans, I asked why Obama is so opposed to having money go directly to the needy, rather than having it first be filtered through the government.

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Romney in Context

The candidate’s rhetoric needs a safety net.
Feb 13, 2012

On October 1, 2010, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney described the genius of the American idea and lauded its results. “No nation has done more to lift people out of poverty than this nation,” he said in remarks at Benedetto’s, an Italian restaurant in Tampa, Florida. “Our free enterprise system has lifted billions out of poverty.” 

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Special Editorial: From Bain to Main

1:50 PM, Jan 10, 2012

There’s a lot of silliness on all sides of the Bain Capital debate.

On the one hand, Newt Gingrich’s attacks (and the follow-on assaults by Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry) on Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital have been unfair, over the top, and, for that matter, all over the place. Gingrich, Perry, and Huntsman deserve much of the criticism they’ve received from conservative commentators.

On the other, Mitt Romney’s claim throughout his campaign that his private sector experience almost uniquely qualifies him to be president is also silly. Does he really think that having done well in private equity, venture capital, and business consulting—or even in the private sector more broadly—is a self-evident qualification for public office? One assumes Mitt Romney would agree that Chris Christie is a better chief executive of New Jersey than Jon Corzine, and that Rudy Giuliani was a better mayor of New York than Mike Bloomberg. But Romney’s biography looks a lot more like Bloomberg's or Corzine's (leaving aside Corzine's recent misadventures) than like that of Giuliani (pre-mayoralty) or Christie. Past business success does not guarantee performance in public office. Indeed, Romney sometimes seems to go so far as to suggest that succeeding in the private sector is intrinsically more admirable than, e.g., serving as a teacher or a soldier or even in Congress. This is not a sensible proposition, or a defensible one.

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Romney, His Wealth, and His Tax Returns

12:22 PM, Dec 23, 2011

NBC journalist Chuck Todd reportedly asked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney whether he’d release his tax returns this election cycle. “I never say never,” Romney responded, according to the New York Times. “I don't intend to do so.”

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