My Beautiful Wickedness


A list you don’t want to have to know about
October 14, 2008, 11:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a list of the banks that have failed in the last eight years under Bush’s administration. Fifteen have failed so far this year; five have failed in the last six weeks.

Although McCain said he wasn’t going to announce any new plans, I guess he felt he had to say something besides singing the boo-rah “Fight fight fight” song. It would be great if he could come up with something insightful, but this is not it. Guaranteeing people’s savings sounds good, but that’s something that’s already in place, so that’s not a new departure. The FDIC already guarantees savings per account of $100k. If you’re even modestly in touch with economic news, you know that few Americans have that much in their savings accounts; if you’ve got kids going to college, you’ve got even less. I’m waiting to hear him say the magic words “we’re going to invest in our country’s future by making student loans more accessible and lengthening deferments for recent graduates” but I could die holding my breath, I think.

Dropping the tax penalty on early withdrawals from IRAs sounds like a good idea (letting people who have saved money have at their own funds), but I’d have to look at the costs of doing that before I draw any conclusions; I am guessing that the costs outweigh the modest benefits, since this plan is only going to apply to people 59 and older. Yep, you younger IRA holders are out of luck, not that you have been able to put anything in your IRA anyhow. Here’s the guy who voted to hike the retirement age to 68 and has repeatedly supported the privatization of the Social Security system (and remember, Phil Gramm, his big financial adviser, is pushing for a 70-year retirement age) and he’s now proposing making the same seniors he screwed over pay for their bridge to Social Security. And who exactly is this designed to help? Wealthy seniors — the very people who are most likely to vote for him anyhow. We might as well call this one “Oh please, Florida, don’t abandon me in my hour of need.” It’s not getting the fizz where the trouble is.

Same with accelerating the tax write-off for stock losses. Is he just not getting it? Most Americans don’t own stock, for heaven’s sake.

It’s so frustrating — he has a real opportunity to demonstrate leadership and instead he’s waving his hands around like a lunatic and throwing bones to his golf buddies and pandering to the elderly ladies in Tampa/St. Pete while the rest of the country goes to hell.

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3 Comments so far
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“Most Americans don’t own stock, for heaven’s sake. ”

Huh?

The percentage of Americans who invest in stocks either directly or through mutual funds (mostly by various retirement accounts) hovers right about 50%, and has for years.

Which, ironically, is the approximate percentage of eligible people who vore in presidential elections.

Comment by Slartibartfast

If you exclude the people who have stocks managed in a 401k or other third-party-managed and tax-deferred accounts (tax-deferred means you won’t be affected by McCain’s plan whatsoever, as I understand it — you don’t pay taxes one way or the other until you take the money out and the managing firm is the one that has to write-off the losses), the number of “investors” drops to around 20%. That number reflects the people who would be affected — the “investor class” who voluntarily puts money in the stock market, actively manages those stock investments, and are therefore eligible for the type of accelerated write-off that he proposes.

80% — not eligible for the benefit he proposes. That would be “most.”

Comment by bridgett

bridgett:

The piece I skimmed on Yahoo says McCain wants to guarantee ALL savings for six months “in order to calm fears”. I wonder if an intended consequence is that the 1-2%er’s will be able to remove their money and convert it to Mooserands (the new gold coin Sarah will be introducing)?

Comment by democommie




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