A Little Background
I’m a white male in my 30s. I grew up in a fairly poor family, didn’t inherit anything from anybody. Spent the better part of a decade in the Military and then left and started my own consulting firm which has become quite successful and has earned me membership in the 1% by pretty much any definition of the phrase. My lowest paid employee (early 20s, only 2 years out of college) makes just over 100k/year right now even though I could definitely pay him less (I bill him out at a rate that supports his cost to me plus a reasonable profit).
Too Long, Didn’t Read: I’m a white, self made, well off guy.
Bernie Has It Right on Tax Reform: Part 1
This is 100% accurate. After all the write offs, business expenses, mortgage interest deductions etc… My Taxable Income is less than half of my Gross Income. Add in my capital gains earnings at their super low tax rate even though my gross income is well over the top tax bracket my effective tax rate is usually around 17-18% every year and could actually be quite a bit lower if I put actual effort into (legal) tax avoidance strategies. This gives me a slightly lower effective tax rate than my housekeeper.
Bernie Has It Right on Tax Reform: Part 2
An annual income of $1,000,000 (makes math easy) under Eisenhower’s tax plan would result in a $630,000 tax bill assuming you paid full marginal tax rates on the gross earnings leaving $370,000 left over. Assume every single deduction still applies to shrink your AGI (i’ll use my own Gross vs AGI ratio as an example). That 1,000,000 gross income would end up paying about 337,000 in taxes. So please don’t let the “91% top tax bracket” fool you. The rich will still be PLENTY rich. My standard of living will change exactly 0% if I have to pay an effective 33% instead of an effective 18%. I’ll still drive an expensive car and go on nice vacations and pay my employees and buy the same things I always bought.
Bernie’s Opinion on Income Inequality
If someone is 100% employed and still on welfare and government housing then the taxpayer is picking up the bill. I’d much rather have that poor yet hard working person earn a wage that takes them off of the tax payer’s dime and distributes the cost to industry / the consumer etc… Feel free to look up all the studies of how very little product prices would have to increase to support doubling the minimum wage and still maintain profit margins. It’s laughable. I’ll gladly pay 50 cents more for a burrito if it means that everyone in the kitchen can afford rent and groceries. Paying a living wage / better wage is overall wonderful for business. I pay every one of my employees above market rates cutting into my own profit margins and here’s the result. I have a cult following. My staff do so much to sell our services that I no longer have a full time sales team. Morale is excellent and that bleeds through to our clients which results in even more business. Ever notice how so many of the most successful companies are also great places to work?
Bernie Sanders on Climate Change
We have the most to lose and the most ability to change. There is literally zero reason why we need to have a single coal or oil fired power plant. If we 100% killed the entire coal industry in an instant from mining to power plants at worst we only lose 170k jobs. If we phase it out over a decade and replace with Nuclear, Natural Gas, Renewables and fund retraining programs the impact will be negligible. The short term pain of making the transition is immeasurably less than the long term pain of exacerbating climate change. To the inevitable climate change deniers: You are like flat earthers and creationists in the eyes of the entire scientific community.
Bernie Sanders on Trade
I see this first hand every single day. Every single one of my clients that manufactures anything does so almost exclusively outside of America. Every single one, even the iconic American brands. These factories are often very depressing to visit and when we look at the net savings of manufacturing overseas it’s usually in the single digits to very low double digits percent wise meaning in order to keep the exact same profit margin on a product the price would (usually) only have to go up slightly. And for your defense hawks out there imagine what would happen to big aggressive China if we started pulling all our manufacturing jobs and dollars back to the US?
Bernie on Education
I’m sick of having job openings sit vacant for months. I hate having to resort to hiring H1B candidates because there aren’t enough people locally who have the skills / education to do the job. You want to see welfare costs shrink? You want to see the economy grow? You want to see America retake a vast lead in the global economy? This is how it’s done. I’ve not done or looked up a study on this but I’d bet every single one of you dinner that every dollar we spend on education we see returned back to the economy at least two fold.
The Author: secretingredients
Cover Photo: DonkeyHotey