CNN Business Nonsense

I watched this show yesterday. A great “interchange” from it:

CHUCK COLLINS, CO-FOUNDER, WEALTH FOR THE COMMON GOOD: Yep. I think this is an important issue for a lot of our Wealth For The Common Good members. They feel it’s a small price to pay for a much broader health insurance that will cover those 50 million people that have no health insurance.

VELSHI: A matter of interest, are there a lot of your Common Good members who would be subject to the tax?

COLLINS: Absolutely. We have an online petition. We’re asking people who will pay the tax, who want to reverse the Bush tax cuts of the last 10 years, and to make those investments in health care and energy independence. These are folks who are part of, I think, a silent majority —

VELSHI: Let me just ask you again. Because there is no – hang on a second. There’s no majority of people who would be subject to this tax. It’s a very small portion of people.

COLLINS: That’s right.

VELSHI: Are there members of yours, who would be subject to these types of proposals about taxing people who earn over $250,000 each, or $350,000 as a couple.


VELSHI: Who would say I would be willing to do that?

COLLINS: Yes, so we have hundreds of people who have signed on to this public petition and more are signing on and we’re gathering that right now. What I was saying is the silent majority of people who will pay this tax actually don’t resent it. I mean, this will sound strange. But this is a group — those of us in the top 1 percent, have got a $700 billion tax cut, thanks to George Bush. Many us didn’t ask for it. Many of us were embarrassed to be getting tax cuts while other members of our country were going to war and making enormous sacrifices. This is a time of national sacrifice. We urgently need to address the health care situation.

ROMANS: Right. Dan Mitchell from CATO Institute, you disagree. There are some on the right and libertarians who are saying, like, look, this smacks of redistribution of wealth. This smacks of socialism. Taking from one part of the society to pay — although you could argue the entire tax code does.

VELSHI: Yes, well, the taxes exist.

ROMANS: But what do you think about this, about taxing the rich for health care?

DAN MITCHELL, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, it’s almost beyond parody to listen to someone who inherited a lot of money to say let’s tax the rich. This is pulling up the ladder so that other people can’t become rich. As far as I’m concerned, what we need to focus on is what are the policies that are going to make America more prosperous. And going down this path to a 1970-style tax and spend big government is a recipe to make our economy more like France. If taxing the so-called rich was such successful policy why is America so much richer than France? We definitely do not want to punish success in this country. I want more rich people. I don’t want fewer rich people. And I certainly don’t want people who inherited wealth trying to stop middle class people from climbing the economic ladder.

ROMANS: Chuck, you inherited — how did you inherit your money? He’s talking about your inherited wealth. Just tell us quickly how you inherited your money.

COLLINS: I’m the great grandson of Oscar Mayer. But I should say a lot of our Wealth For The Common Good members are entrepreneurs. There are people like Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, Warren Buffett, others, who are entrepreneurs. They don’t resent capitalism. They love this country. They love the amazing system for wealth creation. We also want to encourage wealth in creation. What we believe is a healthy capitalism has a healthy safety net. And if we make — we have long overdue investments not just in health care, but education, energy independence. If we want to be a competitive country, if we want to have the next generation of millionaires and billionaires come up the ladder, and come from all the walks of society, we need to make these long overdue investments. Where is the money going to come from? Where else is the money going to come from?

22 thoughts on “CNN Business Nonsense

  1. I just don’t get some people who inherit wealth. It’s as though they’re embarassed by having money. Mr. Collins, if you want to give all of your money away to the “uninsured”, so be it. But, don’t tell me what to do with my money just because you’re ashamed of the way you attained wealth.

    Are these people stupid, or just plain evil?

  2. That’s a really good question! I tell you what is killing me about this damn “healthcare” debate. It has nothing to do with “healthcare”. It is all about “fatcare”. Why don’t we all call like it is: one group of Americans is being asked to pay for the bad eating habits of another group of Americans. The vast majority of all healthcare costs are related to American obesity.

  3. Would someone please identify a segment of the population that is dying on a routine basis from the lack of medical attention? This would be, of course, against the law. A hospital that receives any government payments cannot refuse to treat a citizen, whether they have insurance or can pay out of pocket, or not at all. I am also sure that they treat non-citizens (see California). We should be asking Mexico to pay for the healthcare that we deliver to their citizens.

    These uninsured presently have their medical attention paid for by the goverment, which does so through the taxes of the 40% of the productive citizenry who pay income taxes. How is it that these same taxpayers will now pay additional taxes so theses uninsured will now have an insurance policy?
    Again, my question is; who is being turned away from a hospital when they show up?

  4. I think the U.S is way past the point of no-return with regards to heading headlong into a socialist system – you are already a socialist/communist system – you support the weak and punish the strong / you support those with little talent such as the entire financial industry and the most incredible thing is that there are those in China – a communist country – that have been finding it very humurous just what a socialist country the USA is – unfortunatley this is a major turning point in history (something U.S stock market bulls haven’t fathomed out yet) – and the U.S has turned in completely the wrong direction

  5. “unfortunatley this is a major turning point in history (something U.S stock market bulls haven’t fathomed out yet) – and the U.S has turned in completely the wrong direction”

    I really have to question the sanity of the mob in Washington running the country [into the ground] these days. But I still have some optimism Chris even though things look pretty bleak now as you’ve stated. I just keep reminding people that we had to go through Jimmy Carter, the last Socialist, to get Ronald Reagan. This isn’t the first time we’ve been through this. When the unemployment rate remains consistently in the 10-15% range, I’m hoping that once again people will realize that big government and Democrat class warfare is the problem, not the solution. And contrary to the nut job on CNN, there is already an enormous backlash by the “rich” against all of these big government programs and the threat of higher taxes. For starters, they ain’t buying nothin’ and they ain’t hiring. Some are going shruggin’ until Washington regains its sanity.

  6. The Washington gang doesn’t give a shit about their constituents…. They have their own private retirement and health care accounts all set up…..
    Make the crooked sonsofbitches live like the rest of us and you would see how quickly things would get changed…..
    OH yeah thats right they used to be like the rest of us and they changed the laws to accommodate themselves…… Elitist bastards.

  7. Everyone can have their view, but I don’t think Obama does what he does because he is black or not black or green or blue. That debate is not worthy IMHO.

  8. He is just a politician with a political view that is shared by many others…many of whom are not black. This is really about issues and directions and not skin color.

  9. As with all of these sites, the posters are in the minority! The readers as a mass just read and don’t post!

  10. Michael- Kudos to you for speaking your mind and for questioning nonsense. Most Americans aren’t willing to step outside the box and actually think anymore, but rather simply regurgitate the CNN headlines. So here’s an on-point question… We see the direction of the country and I won’t feed the liberal fire here, but you and I clearly know where things are going. We also know that share price appreciation is not the equivalent of an economic recovery, no matter how dramatic the reduction in google “economic depression” searches appears to be. How has the current market (political) environment changed your risk management views?

  11. Michael- speaking specifically about cash management. We typically look at risk management from the perspective of the individual position and mitigating losses, etc… However, from a cash management perspective, all of the capital that isn’t working for me is held in US $ waiting to be deployed. Eventually, either hyperinflation or something substantially worse will prove this to be a foolish way to allocate my “dry powder”. I’m just curious what your thoughts would be here.

  12. Tough calls, but having all assets denominated in US Dollars is scary no doubt. Your questions raise the big issue: are we at some new tipping point that changes the basics of the game?

  13. This issue is not entirely black and white, metaphorically speaking!

    In order for the capitalist model to function, society must have balance and be stable.
    If Societal balance isn’t maintained, society degenerates into anarchy. Thus a certain amount of socialism is absolutely necessary for capitalism to ultimately function.

    Health care is one aspect of a society that has recognised the need for social stability and I would argue that Health care is a necessity of our modern life.

    To all who disagree, consider the capitalist entrepreneur who gets cancer before striking it rich. Should we let that person rot on the side of the road, because he can’t afford health care?

    Ultimately, Government spending has a place in capitalist society. Especially in a depression/recession, Government spending represents fiscal and monetary stimulus to an ailing economy.
    This does NOT mean we are reverting to a socialist model.

  14. lol Karl, funny stuff. Government spending is not needed. I can attest that government spending and the Talf (abc names of govnt bond programs) have screwed up the bond market…. I don’t need a crystal ball to see how it will screw up the medical field. What docter is going to want to become one when it cost 200-300k just for student loans, then to come out into the workforce and be capped at 85k a year by govnt mandates?

  15. Karl get a reality check. No one in this country who is ill rots on the side of the road. Just the opposite… we have many who come to this country for their healthcare because their government run healthcare system rations their coverage… basically telling them to rot on the side of the road.

  16. As Tyler said over a hundred years ago in “Why Democracies Fail”…

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

  17. The next phase for the US?…Bondage, probably to China and the Middle East as they are now the US’s bankers. See Jim Rogers on this idea…Remember, every great civilization in the past thought it was “too great” to fail. Everything in the US comes from its wealth and we all take it for granted, thinking we can continually harm the wealth creators and they will continue to produce for us. Not so.

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