Joseph P. Porter's  Instablog

Joseph P. Porter
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I am a retired college faculty in Philosophy, with specializations in Ethics, Socio-political Theory and Rational Choice/Decision Theory. My teaching focus was on Business Ethics, Medical Ethics and Logic. After retirement I freelanced as a Grant Writer/Fund Raising Consultant. I have taught at... More
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Joseph P. Porter's Instablog
  • Fiscal Cliff? - - - Meh 0 comments
    Dec 30, 2012 1:50 PM

    As late as mid-October the market was doing okay. QEternity was getting under way, market was up, people were happy.

    My portfolio was up by about 12%. I was happy.

    Then came the election. The business-oriented demographic apparently really wanted Romney to win, because as soon as Obama took the election, The market started its slide. The occasional dead-cat bounce raised hopes a little, but overall, the market was trending downwards, and still seems to be.

    My portfolio is now only up by 2%. I am not so happy now. Mostly because my spouse is majorly P.O.'d about the loss of a couple $K's.

    If my spouse is unhappy, I'd best be really unhappy. She's funny that way.

    "WTF?" she exclaims (only she doesn't use the abbreviations). "Where'd all that money go? Did you buy shares in Apple or something?"

    That's mean. I would never invest in Apple - or any stock that cost that much. Especially given the piddling yield they offer.

    "Everyone is afraid of the fiscal cliff, light-of-my-life. Raising taxes! Cutting spending! The prospect of federal responsibility! People are confused!"

    "FISCAL CLIFF!" she shrieks. "Our butts are going down the fiscal toilet! Do something."

    Yeah, right. Congress has been divided by the issue as effectively as Moses divided the Red Sea. And I have to do something about it. Maybe I don't want to.

    An increase in taxes isn't really going to bother me that much. I'm retired, my spouse is retired. We don't pay that much in taxes anymore. Everyone may be hit a little by the tax increases, but the people who are going to "suffer" are the people making more than $250,000. I'd love to suffer that much.

    The highest tax rate would move up to 39.6%. It has been 35%. I'm sorry - that's just not a huge tax increase. Especially since it's going to the people earning the most money. What bothers me most was the comment made by Mitt Romney, who - in a fit of electioneering honesty - publicly announced that he had never paid less than 13% on his federal taxes.

    While earning enough to qualify for the 35% tax rate.

    Is there anything in the oncoming cliff that is going to close off the little loopholes that enabled Romney (and, no doubt, others in his tax bracket) to take a 60% tax cut? A few token write-offs may be sacrificed, but I'm sure the 1% will find some way to pay the same rate as the average wage earner.

    Give me something real to be afraid of. Like my wife wielding a rolling-pin.

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