Category Archives: Crony Capitalism

Windfall profit tax on ex-government officials

For the second time in three days, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit mentioned the idea of a “50% surtax on the earnings of former government officials.”

On April 10, 2011:

SO OBAMA’S PEOPLE ARE TALKING TAX INCREASES AGAIN. Here’s my proposal: A 50% surtax on anything earned within five years after leaving the federal government, above whatever the federal salary was. Leave a $150K job at the White House, take a $1M job with Goldman, Sachs, pay a $425K surtax. Some House Republican should add this to a bill and watch the Dems react.

Then on April 12, 2011:

FORGET JOHN GALT, WHO IS PETER ORSZAG? Peter Suderman writes: “Here’s my answer to the question: He’s a pretty-boy pencil pusher whose business, as the top budget brainiac in the administration, was to mislead the public about the budget. . . . Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what Orzag is doing for Citibank. His primarily job duties are intangible. Mostly it seems he’s there to cast his sexy geek-boy light on the institution and serve as a conduit to Washington’s power centers.”

Seems like another good argument for my 50% surtax on the earnings of former government officials. After all, at least half of Orszag’s value to Citibank comes from his prior government service. Why shouldn’t the taxpayers claw some of that back? Shared sacrifice, dude. . . .

While I almost always oppose taxes, I might be able to get behind this one. However, I don’t like the idea of a surtax. I think it should be called a windfall profit tax.

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Is President Obama corrupt or just naïve and inept?

Arnold Ahlert describes in a recent piece how GE CEO Jeffery Immelt, Obama’s head of the newly-created President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, is a crony capitalist. Here are some of the key excerpts:

Mr. Immelt has made no secret of his intention to advance the fortunes of General Electric using government contracts as his vehicle of choice.

Beginning in 2007, General Electric was also directly involved in the successful campaign to eliminate incandescent lights bulbs.. On September 8, 2010, GE shut down its last incandescent bulb factory in the United States, laying off 200 American workers in the process. Where will they be manufacturing their new fluorescent bulbs? In China.

Immelt is so confident about his company’s “special” relationship with the Obama administration that, according to Fox News, he has “consistently argued to shareholders that there is big money to be made in advancing the Democratic agenda.” Not the American agenda. The statist, crony capitalist, corporation-nationalizing, Obama administration agenda. The one which most recently demonstrated that agenda by granting waivers from the health care bill to over 200 “favored” constituencies, including unions in favor of the bill.

How good are Immelt’s credentials regarding job creation? During his tenure, GE has seen a decline in the number of its employees, and its stock underperform the Dow and the S&P by 60%. More importantly, GE was given a $139 billion government bailout for its lending subsidiary, GE Capital, during the financial crisis.

Did Obama choose Jeffery Immelt for his cronyism or does the President really believe that Immelt will help create jobs. Is President Obama corrupt or just naïve and inept? Discuss!