Weekend Newsletter (July 3, 2015)

by Bud Meyers, published July 3, 2015

First, a couple statistics worth noting:



In other recent news:

Jeb Bush’s Golden Nest Egg: Via the Washington Post (July 2, 2015):

A close review of the tax forms released this week show how Jeb Bush maneuvered to minimize his tax bill through his company Jeb Bush & Associates. The returns show that the company set up a generous and well-funded pension plan now rare in corporate America, allowing Bush to take large tax deductions while he and his wife built up their retirement portfolio.

Daniel Halperin, a professor at Harvard Law School who specializes in pensions, said federal law allows companies to take a tax write-off for large pension contributions in an effort to encourage them to offer solid retirement plans to their employees. He said those rules make less sense in the case of Jeb Bush & Associates, which offers the plan to only two people. “It is generous,” Halperin said. But, he added, “the law allows them to be generous.”

* EDITOR’S NOTE: Congress has always written laws that are generous for the rich and mostly favors the mega-wealthy — such as:

  • Taxing capital gains income (aka “investment income” from stocks, real estate, gold, etc.) at a lower tax rate than regular wages earned by labor.
  • Capping income subjected to Social Security taxes at $118,500 on regular wages — and not taxing capital gains income AT ALL for Social Security.
  • A very rich couple can also leave their kids up to $10.5 million TAX FREE in an inheritance — but grandma, who is working the graveyard shift at the local diner as a waitress, has to pay taxes on all her meager tips.

It should be noted that Senator Bernie Sanders, whose income is mostly from his $174,000-a-year Congressional salary, wants to raise the $118,500 cap for Social Security — meaning, he would be willing to raise taxes on himself to save and expand Social Security. What other politician would do that? Senator Bernie Sanders said he has raised around $15 million since April 30. Per the campaign: “99 percent of the almost 400,000 contributions by some 250,000 individuals were for $250 or less. The average donation was $33.51.”  Bernie-Mania has been sweeping the nation.

In other news…

Today on a show called “Outnumbered” on Fox News, during one segment they were discussing why Millennials were living at home and/or moving back in with their parents. Most of the females hosts were attributing the factors to low wages, the high cost of rent and not being able to find jobs. The lone male on the show, co-host Tucker Carlson, said one reason was because of the mass redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top under Obama. So I guess Fox News hosts have now become the vanguard for economic populism and the defender of the poor and middle class — and now believe that more money should trickle down to the undeserving and lazy slackers.

United Monopolies of America (Via Forbes) Just like the airline industry and many others (cable, media, etc.), the healthcare industry is also becoming a huge monopoly. Health insurer Aetna will buy Humana in a $37-billion deal that would create the second-largest managed care company.

Via the Boston Globe (another Ponzi scheme) A Daily Beast reporter emailed Scott Brown about his aggressive pitching of a diet supplement, and the former Massachusetts senator responded with a sales pitch that said she could get discounts if she too became a distributor.

Via the Wall Street Journal: A prominent Obama fundraiser is pressing Joe Biden to run in 2016. I like Uncle Joe, but just like Obama (and unlike Bernie Sanders), Joe supports fast-track and the pending trade agreements that will offshore more jobs. Joe will most likely just end up being a “spoiler” by taking votes from either Bernie or Hillary (and Joe is a lot more like Hillary, Obama and Jeb Bush than he is like Bernie.). According to Bloomberg, Obama is REWARDING his supporters of fast track and TPP (to offshore more jobs overseas).

This must be what’s called an “oxymoron” (Also via Bloomberg) The chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities in NYC said, “The labor market is good, there’s just not any wage pressure. The disappointment is on wages and on the participation rate.” (So then, what part of the labor market does this moron think is good?) Bloomberg also reported, “The labor force shrank by 432,000 people last month, accounting for the bulk of the drop in joblessness” — when the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 640,000.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bloomberg (like most others in the media) also reports an average wage of $24.95 an hour for private employers. This is very misleading, as people with very high earnings at the very top of the income brackets skews the average, and doesn’t represent the real “mean” (or middle) income earners. As an example: If 55 people earned $7.25/hr and 1 person earned $24.95/hr and 1 person earned $1,000/hr, the “average” hourly wage would be $24.97/hr. However, in this example, the “median” wage would be closer to $7.25/hr —> But from Social Security wage data, the ACTUAL MEDIAN WAGE is $24,031 a year — or $ 11.55/hr based on a regular full-time 40-an-hour-a-week job.

Ha ha ha!!! (Good laugh from Talking Points Memo) Andres Araya, the Latino co-owner of the “5 Rabbit Cerveceria” brewery told Chicago radio station WBEZ that he would stop making beer for Trump Tower’s “Rebar”. The brewery still has some leftover beer from the collaboration with Rebar, however. So 5 Rabbit Cerveceria has renamed its summer golden ale “Chinga Tu Pelo,” which translates to “Fuck Your Hair” in English.