Sunday, July 25, 2010

The funniest story of the week

The story that earns the award for the funniest of the week is the Boston Herald reporting on John Kerry's $7 million yacht that he had made in New Zealand and now docks in Rhode Island so he can avoid Massachusett's high taxes.
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?

Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with people doing what they can to avoid paying higher taxes, but the irony is sublime when liberals who are always railing about taxes on the rich then turn around and take advantage of whatever tax breaks they can find. Howie Carr points to the example of the Kennedy family.
Do as I say, not as I do. Taxes for thee but not for me. Just like when the Kennedys were allowed to file Rose’s will for probate in low-tax Florida, even though she hadn’t left Massachusetts for the last 12 years of her life.

John Kerry was for higher taxes before he was against them.
When questioned about this, John Kerry tried to shift the blame to his wife.
“My wife is the majority stockholder of this, eh, holds it and she’s a Pennsylvania taxpayer so let’s not get silly here. We pay enormous taxes to the state of Massachusetts and there is nothing illegal here. . . .

“I’m not going to get hounded by a bunch of politics in this . . . and that’s the way it is.”
Ah, there is the answer of the man known to ask lowly others, "Do you know who I am?" Well, yes, we do know who you are Senator. You are a jerk.

But when you were using your wife's first husband's trust fund to buy a yacht, would it have been so difficult for you to have bought an American-made yacht. That $7 million would have been very welcoming to those workers in the yacht-building industry in America who haven't had much business in the past couple of years. And they're rather irritated that you took your talents to New Zealand when you wanted to purchase your luxury yacht.
New England boat builders say shame on Sen. John Kerry for buying a $7 million New Zealand-built luxury yacht while local ship makers struggle to find work.

“Darn, that would have been a wonderful job for a Maine builder,” said Jane Wellehan, president of the trade group Maine Built Boats. “If someone comes to build a $7 million boat that would employ half the population of some towns for a year or two. Boat building is such a critical component of our coastal economy.”

Gregory Egan, who owns the Crosby Yacht Yard in Osterville, said Bay State boat builders must feel cut adrift by Kerry as well.
Sorry, all that buy-America c**p coming out of Congress and being encourage in bills that Kerry supports doesn't mean a thing when it comes to buying that glossy teak interior for his private use. As his spokesman attempts to weasel his way around this, they just expose his hypocrisy even more.
When asked to respond to criticism of Kerry’s decision not to buy American, his state director, Drew O’Brien, said: “When it comes to creating and preserving jobs and economic opportunity in Massachusetts, no one has worked harder in Washington than John Kerry. Sen. Kerry is using smarts, clout and good old-fashioned hard work to make the Massachusetts economy grow and prosper.”

Steve Capozzola, media director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing, was surprised at Kerry’s move. House Democrats are pushing legislation to boost American manufacturing jobs.

“It’s ironic that he’d be buying a foreign-made boat when the House Democrats are considering a number of measures to revitalize American manufacturing,” he said.
See, he's willing to pass laws and spend federal money to boost American manufacturing, just not spend any of his wife's trust fund to do so. Isn't he special?

28 comments:

ic said...

I'm disappointed at how dense you are. Taxes are for little people who cannot hide their incomes, who have never seen $7,000,000.00 in their life times. Frankly, the good senator could never live himself in luxuries when his voters are struggling. He must make someone pay, mustn't he?

In medieval Europe, pre-Bastille France, the landed aristocrats didn't pay taxes, the artisans, the craftsmen, the tradesmen paid. There's nothing wrong with continuing that tradiition, isn't there?

From time immemorial: the ruling class rules, the little people pay. In medieval Europe, the little people were born to be ruled, in 21st century democratic America, the "free" little people voted to be ruled.

So Cal Jim said...

ic.....and Kerry never has made a secret of his love of all things France. I guess we just never knew his love extended to the "good old days" when the aristocracy acted like a bunch of wealthy Democrats.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Taxes are for little people who cannot hide their incomes

so i guess "conservative" republicans are starting to think like progressives now?

the big corporations and people rich enough to hire lawyers have been evading taxes forever, while middle class people like us have no way to get around the tax laws

then republicans whine some more about how the poor widdle multinational corporations and poor widdle put upon millionaires and billionaires need more "tax relief"

geesh

Tacitus Voltaire said...

doesn't mean a thing when it comes to buying that glossy teak interior for his private use

i'm amazed that you guys will rant and rave like the most naive old school marxist when the subject happens to be a member of the democratic party

/

what's this? class warfare? jealous of the more successful? what's the matter if a successful american protects his wealth from you marxists trying to redistribute it to the less successful and those people drawing government paychecks and pensions that are only damaging the economy with it?

/ sarcasm off

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Of course, there is nothing wrong with people doing what they can to avoid paying higher taxes

oh, i'm sure it's just peachy keen and patriotic to avoid taxes when you are a republican legislator who spends all their time lowering taxes and writing loopholes for the wealthy and for multinational corporations -

therefore shifting the percentage of taxes paid down the economic scale onto people like us

/

oh, that's different! oh, then it's great!

why shouldn't we praise legislators who want to get that awful tax burden off of the delicate shoulders of the wealthy and multinational corporations, and put more of it on the middle class! that's so much more patriotic than trying to push the tax burden up the economic scale! lawmakers like that actually deserve to evade taxes!

/ sarcasm off

Taxes are for little people who cannot hide their incomes

you said it, not me - but, it looks a little different when you consider that the people working the hardest to make this come true are republicans who like to call themselves "conservatives"

Tacitus Voltaire said...

here, a little high school arithmetic to help you understand how lowering taxes on the wealthy and multinational corporations shifts the tax burden toward the middle class:

let's say we have a regular person making $100k/yr, and prosperous person making a million a year. the middle class person pays, say, 33% => $33k in taxes, and the millionaire pays, say, 45%, => $450k.

(except, of course, in reality they don't, since they hire lawyers to figure out how to get around taxes!)

so, for this first year, the tax take is 450 + 33 => $483k. now, out of this amount, the middle class person pays 33/483 => 6.83%

so, a conservative republican legislator complains that it's unfair and bad for the economy if the poor, delicate millionaire has to pay a higher percentage of taxes, so he passes a bill making the tax rates the same 33% for everybody. then, the next year, (assuming for the sake of clarity that the two people make the same as the year before,) the tax take becomes $333k + $33k => $366k. now, the middle class person's percentage of the tax revenues has gone up from 6.83% to 33/366 => 9.01%!

oops!

so, remember - when you support lowering the tax rates for people who make more than you, you are supporting your paying a bigger percentage of total taxes than you were before

is that what you want?

Pat Patterson said...

And who wrote the tax laws for Massachusetts? And who in paticular came up with the idea and implemented the luxury tax? Hint, it wasn't any Republican. It's not really who to blame but rather the unwillingness of the Left to admit that people behave in their own self-interest and so doing easily out smart the panjandrums.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Hint, it wasn't any Republican

hint: the republican party exists for the purpose of lowering taxes for large corporations and getting rid of or figuring ways around regulations that protect consumers so that large corporations - as we've seen with BP - can operate more cheaply

hint: all other promises that they make to you that do not serve these ends will never be fulfilled

hint: you're being lied to by politicians, especially republican politicians, all the time but only some of you are beginning, just now, to figure it out

tfhr said...

TV,

Four consecutive posts from you without explaining why you support John Kerry dodging out on his taxes.

Whatever.

One thing about raising taxes on corporations...just who do you think they pass their tax burden along to? (secret hint for you TV: C O N S U M E R S) And when we all pay a little more for the same goods and services, just how does the little guy avoid that? When the taxes go up for Wonderbread, Wonderbread costs more. Even for the little guy.

Worried about rich Republicans getting away with helping their rich friends like Mrs. Kerry and George Soros? Stand up and demand a FLAT TAX. I'm sure the Dems would support that, wouldn't they?

By the way, don't you think it's a little unseemly of you to suggest that Kerry is a victim of "class warfare"? I'm also puzzled why you think anyone could be "jealous of the more successful", in this case Kerry, who gets his money from Heinz, via a wealthy widow. I'm not sure how you gauge "successful" with that sort of thing but I don't think it should surprise you when we call him on advocating higher taxes when he goes to such lengths to avoid paying them on his toys?

Pat Patterson said...

How fair or ethical is a system that sees something like 1% of its citizens pay over 37% of the taxes?

http://tinyurl.com/7zczh

And they pay these taxes simply because the legislature has decided that not only do they not have the same rights to keep their income but that somehow the government is a better shepherd and should spend the money on "good" things. And then when enough can't be collected in taxes the government simply loans itself money a a lower rate then an investor can get.

Pat Patterson said...

And Republicans have done such a good job of lowering corporate taxes that the US taxes cororate profit and investment higher than most if not all nations in he world.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/22917.html

Plus TV changed the subject from who created most of these tax incentives to those who want those incentives to accrue to all citizens.

LarryD said...

TV, wake up, class warfare is a tactic by the rich to preserve their class against outsiders.

A real attack upon the wealthy class would target those trusts, we'd be better off of the grandchildren of the founders of fortunes could spend themselves into poverty once again. Death taxes only raise a barrier against entry, which is exactly how the wealthy want it.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Four consecutive posts from you without explaining why you support John Kerry dodging out on his taxes

i don't. i'm just amused at how quickly you all devolve into class warfare rhetoric when it suits your purposes

One thing about raising taxes on corporations...just who do you think they pass their tax burden along to?

not if they want to remain competitive in the market place. besides, here you are just begging to take the "burden" off of the poor widdle corporations, and pay it directly. this makes you a sucker

Stand up and demand a FLAT TAX.

i explained to you above how this would shift the tax burden down to you

listen, tfhr - can you please respond to what i say instead of making up opinions that i don't believe? please debate with me instead of your sock monkey


By the way, don't you think it's a little unseemly of you to suggest that Kerry is a victim of "class warfare"? I'm also puzzled why you think anyone could be "jealous of the more successful"


see

ic said...

I'm disappointed at how dense you are. Taxes are for little people who cannot hide their incomes

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Pat Patterson said...

How fair or ethical is a system that sees something like 1% of its citizens pay over 37% of the taxes?


how easy it is for the republican party to get you to protect the interests of people who wouldn't even condescend to have dinner with you

for capitalism to succeed, we all need to look after our own interests - see adam smith, the invisible hand

pat, you need to learn to think of your own interests

bobdog said...

Uh, he should have had it made by American minority gay-lesbian-transgendered-confused union Democrat-contributor shipbuilders here in some Democrat controlled state with really high tax rates using all environmentally friendly materials and non-toxic paint.

Even if he had done ALL that, he would still be a jerk. A jerk who still thinks he should have been President of the United States.

Pat Patterson said...

If the wealthy don't have rights then none of us do.

tfhr said...

TV,

You said, "people who wouldn't even condescend to have dinner with you", immediately after chiding me for engaging in what you called "class warfare". You're developing a flair for irony, even if it's unintentional.

Are you now denying that corporations pass their higher operating costs on to the consumer? Where is your proof of that? It's what happens and that includes taxes. It's also another reason we see more companies moving overseas.

When operating costs increase for those greedy corporations you so despise, that employ so many greedy Americans, and provide us with the crass goods and extravagant services we use, we all pay more for those goods and services as a result. You can't see that?!

I don't care if some rich guy gets richer because his corporation is doing well. That's his success and I don't suffer these pangs of envy over it that you seem to have. When that rich guy hires more people to expand the business, that's a good thing but then as an Obama follower, you're not really tracking on the whole job creation issue.

I was amazed to see you use the word "competitive". Isn't that a dirty word for Progressives? So you're saying that if corporations are saddled with higher taxes, they'll need to eat the expense rather than pass the costs on to their customers? That would make them competitive how?

I guess they could do that but there might be an impact on hiring and retaining employees. At nearly 10% unemployment nation wide, I shudder to think how high that figure may rise if tax rates continue to climb and previous tax breaks are rescinded. There could be reductions in R&D or other areas where investment is essential for growth. But if you'd rather that corporations just "suck it up" and attempt to convince their stockholders that everything is just fine, I'm sure those investors wouldn't be put off by the prospects of a company that is withering under greater tax burdens.

Or like I said before, those corporations can relocate to a more favorable environment. Kind of like Kerry did with his yacht.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Are you now denying that corporations pass their higher operating costs on to the consumer? Where is your proof of that? It's what happens and that includes taxes.

i see you don't have any understanding of the dynamics of the marketplace. unless companies have other ways of differentiating their products, people will buy the cheaper brand instead of the more expensive brand. companies that just blindly "pass it along to the consumer" run the risk of quickly pricing themselves out of the market

I was amazed to see you use the word "competitive". Isn't that a dirty word for Progressives?

um, no. (???) you do remember that i have my own little private enterprise that i'm currently growing.

So you're saying that if corporations are saddled with higher taxes, they'll need to eat the expense rather than pass the costs on to their customers? That would make them competitive how?

ah, a glimmer of understanding! see above. and, read the biography of henry ford, for example

a company that is withering under greater tax burdens

you imagine this to be true, but try and come up with concrete examples from reality to support this contention

Or like I said before, those corporations can relocate to a more favorable environment

you know, you might pause to realize that there are many factors besides taxes that companies take into consideration when deciding where to operate. that's why a high tax state like california remains one of the largest and most prosperous economies in the world

your theories need to meet up with reality

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Pat Patterson said...
If the wealthy don't have rights then none of us do.


please excuse me, pat, if i find that one of the most amusing and revealing answers of all time! :-) i will definitely report that one back to the progressive blogs that you all fail to read!

by the way - what "rights" of the wealthy are you defending here?

Tacitus Voltaire said...

I shudder to think how high that figure may rise if tax rates continue to climb and previous tax breaks are rescinded

you are not thinking clearly here. the taxes that were lowered by the bush tax cuts of 2001 were as follows:

1. Income tax
2. Capital gains tax
3. Qualified and retirement plans
4. Educational savings incentives
5. Estate and gift tax rules

almost none of these were business taxes, which remain, IIRC, at the rate of 35%, as they have been for a while. the capital gains tax for property or stock held for five years being raised back up to 10% from the current 8% might affect some companies looking to sell things off, but the effect of this would obviously be marginal

the administration is only considering rescinding the "bush tax cuts" for individuals making over $250k/yr, as i hear it, so the impact on consumer spending is sure to be marginal

unless you're vitally concerned about the profits of the luxury yacht makers, or BMW, bently, or porsche

(oh, excuse me - those auto companies are in socialist countries where the economy is failing and taxing profitable enterprises out of existence - they can't possibly exist!)

however, i've gotten used to hearing people confuse personal and business taxes over the years

perhaps you could do some clear thinking, tfhr, and research the ways that taxes have been raised directly on businesses, here in CA or nationally, over the past 20 years, or what measures are currently before the CA legislature or congress to raise taxes on business

Tacitus Voltaire said...

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose backing of George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts helped persuade Congress to pass them, said lawmakers should allow the reductions to expire at the end of this year.

“They should follow the law and let them lapse,” Greenspan said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff,” citing a need for the tax revenue to reduce the federal budget deficit.

The former U.S. central bank chairman also said the economy is in “a temporary slump” and would emerge with a “sluggish” 3 percent growth rate in the second half of the year. He said banks’ lending will remain constrained because financial markets are pressing them to maintain higher capital levels and predicted the Wall Street regulatory measure the Senate passed yesterday will reduce credit available for low- income consumers.

Pat Patterson said...

Capital gains taxes are now at 15% and are at the very least expected to rise another 5% to 13% in 2011. The US has one of the highest rates in the world and it will go up in 2011. Some people will see their estate tax jump from zero to 45%

So the tax rates are going up and many state governments and the Feds will not use this money to lessen the deficit but to spend even more money. Plus it is a mystery to me why TV would guote something, the penultimate passage, that proves the point of more taxes equals less money for private investment.

Pat Patterson said...

The second sentence should have included that we have one of the highest if not the highest corporate tax rates in the world.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

Pat Patterson said...

The second sentence should have included that we have one of the highest if not the highest corporate tax rates in the world


and we have one of the strongest economies in the world, if not the strongest

Pat Patterson said...

Well, then let's by all means follow TV's playbook and tax ourselves into mediocrity? If were that much better and bigger than surely we can tax ourselves more because we've got more room to maneuver. Or does TV not so the link between high personal tax and high corporate tax and the flow of investment capital offshore?

tfhr said...

TV's faith in raising taxes always makes me wonder why we don't hear him suggest that we should raise income and corporate taxes to 100%. With all of that revenue flooding in we could spend it all and never worry ourselves again!

Here's the deal TV: Taxing businesses and incomes, while necessary, if overdone, puts a drag on the economy when consumers and businesses could ultimately spend that money more efficiently that the government. Maybe your time as a small business owner has actually insulated you from the reality that huge government wastes huge sums on a regular basis. Having been in the Army and being associated with the Intelligence Community, I've seen it first hand. Some expenses are necessary and we accept the trade off that we must pay something for services but when you layer on more and more bureaucratic strata, inefficiency increases and with it, so do costs. If you can understand that, maybe someday you will understand that transferring wealth is not the same as creating it.

I've just returned from a friend's retirement this past Wednesday. Another soldier is stepping into the civilian ranks and he, like I, has found that the job opportunities around the country are nothing like those available right here in and around Washington, DC. Unemployment isn't going to be solved by these government jobs around this town. We just move tax dollars from one hand to another here in DC. They don't create wealth - they spread it! It is true that I invest for my own current and future income but let's face it, that money had to pass through a lot of expensive government hands to get to me. Without those "filters" that money could have been spent more efficiently on capital improvements at some company that might then have hired more employees.

Does this make sense to you? If more government and higher taxes to support it are better than private sector jobs, or even if we could convince ourselves that government does not place a burden on businesses and consumers, then just tell me who is going to pay the taxes to fund those government jobs? Printing money at the Treasury Department doesn't count! Whatever government does, it has to take money from someone or something else to do it but it does not create wealth.

Tacitus Voltaire said...

If more government and higher taxes to support it are better than private sector jobs

so what makes you think that i believe that?

tfhr said...

TV,

You are unrestrained in your support for more expansive government. You want government expanded beyond its current presence in health care. You know that more taxes will be needed to feed that beast, so yeah, you believe that or you would be advocating for less government in health care and more free market influence as a means for bringing down costs and making health care accessible to more people.