The Obamacare tax increases

There are some twenty new taxes or tax increases that click in with Obamacare.  Here are the most notable:

The Obamacare Medical Device Tax – a $20 billion tax increase: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will increase the cost of your health care – making everything from pacemakers to prosthetics more expensive.

The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” – a $13 billion tax increase: The 30-35 million Americans who use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs will face a new government cap of $2,500 (currently the accounts are unlimited under federal law, though employers are allowed to set a cap).

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There are several million families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.

The Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income – a $123 billion tax increase: This is a new, 3.8 percentage point surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). . . .

The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions – a $15.2 billion tax increase: Currently, those Americans facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). This tax increase imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. By limiting this deduction, Obamacare widens the net of taxable income for the sickest Americans. This tax provision will most harm near retirees and those with modest incomes but high medical bills.

The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike — an $86.8 billion tax increase: The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and self-employment profits. Under this tax hike, wages and profits exceeding $200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent rate instead.

via Americans for Tax Reform : Top Five Worst Obamacare Taxes Coming in 2013.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    “If you worked for something that you have created, you really didn’t create that”. (paraphrased)

    So don’t expect to be allowed to keep something that is not really yours to begin with.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    “If you worked for something that you have created, you really didn’t create that”. (paraphrased)

    So don’t expect to be allowed to keep something that is not really yours to begin with.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 1, nice paraphrase, if you ignore the context of Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark, i.e., the fact that he was referring to public education and infrastructure – things American business depends on.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 1, nice paraphrase, if you ignore the context of Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark, i.e., the fact that he was referring to public education and infrastructure – things American business depends on.

  • Patrick kyle

    Are we really shocked? A Socialist president sneaking in destructive and punitive tax increases in the name of reforming healthcare. Who could have guessed?

  • Patrick kyle

    Are we really shocked? A Socialist president sneaking in destructive and punitive tax increases in the name of reforming healthcare. Who could have guessed?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I see this some of this as the opposite of socialism. Basically the sick are having to pay more of their own bills. It won’t make much difference to the rich who will have to pay more, but it will be hard on those who make too much to qualify for free government stuff, but not enough to just have all kinds of extra money. In that sense it is more socialistic because it evens out the actual standard of living of the 99%. It narrows the gap between the burger flipper and the engineer. It widens the gap between the engineer and the investment banker. So, they are serving their masters well.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I see this some of this as the opposite of socialism. Basically the sick are having to pay more of their own bills. It won’t make much difference to the rich who will have to pay more, but it will be hard on those who make too much to qualify for free government stuff, but not enough to just have all kinds of extra money. In that sense it is more socialistic because it evens out the actual standard of living of the 99%. It narrows the gap between the burger flipper and the engineer. It widens the gap between the engineer and the investment banker. So, they are serving their masters well.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    That FSA cap (tax #2) is killer for us. We max that FSA out every year for our child’s autism therapies. There is no way that the government can know, much less provide for, the needs of everyone.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    That FSA cap (tax #2) is killer for us. We max that FSA out every year for our child’s autism therapies. There is no way that the government can know, much less provide for, the needs of everyone.

  • fjsteve

    Tom,

    Good point. Obama was justifying taxing people who earn more by stating they used the infrastructure built by the state–therefore by all taxpayers. The same infrastructure used by people who pay no income taxes at all. So the fact still remains, people who build successful businesses contribute more to infrastructure. They can not only claim “I built my business” but “I helped build that road you’re driving on but not paying for.”

  • fjsteve

    Tom,

    Good point. Obama was justifying taxing people who earn more by stating they used the infrastructure built by the state–therefore by all taxpayers. The same infrastructure used by people who pay no income taxes at all. So the fact still remains, people who build successful businesses contribute more to infrastructure. They can not only claim “I built my business” but “I helped build that road you’re driving on but not paying for.”

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve, you miss the President’s point, i.e., that an extremely individualistic view of private sector success should be tempered by the realization that public sector accomplishments make such success – or such a high level of success – possible. And that those who profit the most from public sector accomplishments should contribute the most to the national treasury.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve, you miss the President’s point, i.e., that an extremely individualistic view of private sector success should be tempered by the realization that public sector accomplishments make such success – or such a high level of success – possible. And that those who profit the most from public sector accomplishments should contribute the most to the national treasury.

  • KathyS

    Tom, if it weren’t for the success of the individuals, there would be no money for all that government infrastructure. Where does the government get its money to build all that? From those successful, tax paying individuals. So, yes, we did build it! fjsteve has it right. And ;those who don’t pay income tax get to take advantage of what tax money builds.

  • KathyS

    Tom, if it weren’t for the success of the individuals, there would be no money for all that government infrastructure. Where does the government get its money to build all that? From those successful, tax paying individuals. So, yes, we did build it! fjsteve has it right. And ;those who don’t pay income tax get to take advantage of what tax money builds.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And that those who profit the most from public sector accomplishments should contribute the most to the national treasury.”

    That will never happen.

    Those who profit most are not those who contribute most. The people at the bottom benefit disproportionate to their contribution as do the top 1%. That great big middle would be far richer without the bottom 10% and the top 1%. The people who invent cool stuff like iPhones, air planes and vaccines come from and largely remain in that big middle.

    If our bottom 10% moved to another less prosperous country, they would be far poorer commensurate with their contribution. If our top 1% moved to a less prosperous country, they too would be poorer in terms of quality of life, safety, etc. If our middle moved, they would make another country more prosperous.

    People make a country what it is. Search this document for the word, American.

    http://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/Sweden%20Paper-%20revised.pdf

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And that those who profit the most from public sector accomplishments should contribute the most to the national treasury.”

    That will never happen.

    Those who profit most are not those who contribute most. The people at the bottom benefit disproportionate to their contribution as do the top 1%. That great big middle would be far richer without the bottom 10% and the top 1%. The people who invent cool stuff like iPhones, air planes and vaccines come from and largely remain in that big middle.

    If our bottom 10% moved to another less prosperous country, they would be far poorer commensurate with their contribution. If our top 1% moved to a less prosperous country, they too would be poorer in terms of quality of life, safety, etc. If our middle moved, they would make another country more prosperous.

    People make a country what it is. Search this document for the word, American.

    http://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/Sweden%20Paper-%20revised.pdf

  • Tom Hering

    KathyS, you’re still viewing it in one-or-the-other terms, when the President’s point was that private sector success depends on a combination of individual effort and public programs. How far back do you want to go with your chicken-or-egg, individual-or-government argument?

  • Tom Hering

    KathyS, you’re still viewing it in one-or-the-other terms, when the President’s point was that private sector success depends on a combination of individual effort and public programs. How far back do you want to go with your chicken-or-egg, individual-or-government argument?

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 9, get rid of the current 10% at the bottom, and the current 1% at the top, and guess what your “great big middle” will have? Yup, statistically, its own bottom 10% and its own top 1%. So I’m kind of lost as to the point you’re trying to make. Is it that the middle class is getting the worst part of the deal? Huh. They’re not the poor, so its kind of a hard argument to swallow. But then your quite the skeptic when it comes to questions of real suffering or disadvantage among America’s poor. So, like, whatever.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 9, get rid of the current 10% at the bottom, and the current 1% at the top, and guess what your “great big middle” will have? Yup, statistically, its own bottom 10% and its own top 1%. So I’m kind of lost as to the point you’re trying to make. Is it that the middle class is getting the worst part of the deal? Huh. They’re not the poor, so its kind of a hard argument to swallow. But then your quite the skeptic when it comes to questions of real suffering or disadvantage among America’s poor. So, like, whatever.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So I’m kind of lost as to the point you’re trying to make.”

    Basically, it is like the 80-20 rule.

    The rich don’t subsidize the poor. The middle class produces the wealth that subsidizes the poor and the middle class productivity is what makes the rich, rich. So, if the middle class didn’t have to give anything to the bottom or to the top, they would be richer and safer.

    That is not an argument for anything. It is a description.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So I’m kind of lost as to the point you’re trying to make.”

    Basically, it is like the 80-20 rule.

    The rich don’t subsidize the poor. The middle class produces the wealth that subsidizes the poor and the middle class productivity is what makes the rich, rich. So, if the middle class didn’t have to give anything to the bottom or to the top, they would be richer and safer.

    That is not an argument for anything. It is a description.

  • Tom Hering

    … the middle class productivity is what makes the rich, rich.

    So why have the rich gotten a lot richer during the same period the middle class has contracted and its income has been stagnant?

  • Tom Hering

    … the middle class productivity is what makes the rich, rich.

    So why have the rich gotten a lot richer during the same period the middle class has contracted and its income has been stagnant?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And that those who profit the most from public sector accomplishments should contribute the most to the national treasury.”

    Tom, my point is that should and is are not related (see David Hume).

    It is structurally impossible for those who benefit the most to contribute the most, precisely because those who benefit the most cannot really contribute commensurate with what they receive. A blind child born into a poor family can grow up healthy and successful here because our society values individuals. He can get free public schooling appropriate to his needs and he will be able to develop his talents even though his family could not afford to provide them for him. I think that is a good thing. Likewise the CEO of United healthcare can “earn” $1.6 billion even though it is hard to argue he personally provided that much value to US healthcare and he could not have “earned” that much in an economy without a productive middle class to skim the cream off.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “And that those who profit the most from public sector accomplishments should contribute the most to the national treasury.”

    Tom, my point is that should and is are not related (see David Hume).

    It is structurally impossible for those who benefit the most to contribute the most, precisely because those who benefit the most cannot really contribute commensurate with what they receive. A blind child born into a poor family can grow up healthy and successful here because our society values individuals. He can get free public schooling appropriate to his needs and he will be able to develop his talents even though his family could not afford to provide them for him. I think that is a good thing. Likewise the CEO of United healthcare can “earn” $1.6 billion even though it is hard to argue he personally provided that much value to US healthcare and he could not have “earned” that much in an economy without a productive middle class to skim the cream off.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#7 They already do. Why should they have to pay even more?

    Personally, I am getting pretty tired of the so called public sector. They are nickle and diming me to death at a time when it is getting harder and harder to afford even getting to work. And they are providing crap services. At a time when everybody else is having to cut back on spending, the governments are expanding their expenditures? It doesn’t make sense, and then to feed us the line “you didn’t build that” is quite frankly one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Well not quite, it is only slightly better than Al Gore’s “I built the internet.”

    I know what small business owners fork out in taxes, they paid to use the infrastructure from the get go. So really, they paid their dues. I see no need to make those who succeed pay even more.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @#7 They already do. Why should they have to pay even more?

    Personally, I am getting pretty tired of the so called public sector. They are nickle and diming me to death at a time when it is getting harder and harder to afford even getting to work. And they are providing crap services. At a time when everybody else is having to cut back on spending, the governments are expanding their expenditures? It doesn’t make sense, and then to feed us the line “you didn’t build that” is quite frankly one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Well not quite, it is only slightly better than Al Gore’s “I built the internet.”

    I know what small business owners fork out in taxes, they paid to use the infrastructure from the get go. So really, they paid their dues. I see no need to make those who succeed pay even more.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Tom,

    He said, “if you have a business, you didn’t build that.”

    Yes, he meant roads and bridges, etc.. Well, no kidding. But building a business is hard and it takes a lot of work and should be rewarded.

    I could say that if you posted here, ‘you didn’t type that’. Somebody had to build the keyboard, etc. .

    That would be just asinine.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Tom,

    He said, “if you have a business, you didn’t build that.”

    Yes, he meant roads and bridges, etc.. Well, no kidding. But building a business is hard and it takes a lot of work and should be rewarded.

    I could say that if you posted here, ‘you didn’t type that’. Somebody had to build the keyboard, etc. .

    That would be just asinine.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So why have the rich gotten a lot richer during the same period the middle class has contracted and its income has been stagnant?”

    Dual income households that concentrate wealth. High college tuition which is a huge burden especially on those who don’t graduate. Income taxes that tax income not wealth. Laws that favor the super wealthy and their assets, ie. bank bailouts. Immigrants that are predominantly very poor or very skilled and little in between. Etc.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So why have the rich gotten a lot richer during the same period the middle class has contracted and its income has been stagnant?”

    Dual income households that concentrate wealth. High college tuition which is a huge burden especially on those who don’t graduate. Income taxes that tax income not wealth. Laws that favor the super wealthy and their assets, ie. bank bailouts. Immigrants that are predominantly very poor or very skilled and little in between. Etc.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I guess Freedom just isn’t good enough for most Americans these days. We’d rather be part of a great big managed herd.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I guess Freedom just isn’t good enough for most Americans these days. We’d rather be part of a great big managed herd.

  • Jon

    $250B in new taxes, huh. I fear that’s only a drop in the bucket that it’s going to take to fund this monstrosity.

  • Jon

    $250B in new taxes, huh. I fear that’s only a drop in the bucket that it’s going to take to fund this monstrosity.

  • DonS

    Notice that all of these taxes were scheduled, in 2009, to go into effect in 2013. Hmm. What an odd coincidence — right after Obama planned to win his second term. Most people have no idea of the tax tsunami in store for them in January.

    I do a lot of work for small start-up medical device companies, and the 2.3% gross receipts tax is killing them. Most of them are in the development phase, in the red as it is, and relying on V.C. money to supplement the receipts from their new product lines. But the tax applies to gross receipts — before any expense deductions at all. Why in the heck do you tax the industry you are trying to re-make, and which is already beset by high costs? And why just devices? Why not pharmaceuticals? Of course, we all know the reason — the pharmaceutical companies had better lobbyists who bought off the Democrats to exclude them. This is a classic example of why you should never encourage government to involve itself to fix ANYTHING.

    The FSA cap is also asinine. Again, the government is taking the exact wrong approach to try to curb health care costs. FSA’s and HSA’s are vehicles to helping consumers re-capture their spending authority in the marketplace — lowering the number of transactions that have to process through the insurance system and empowering consumers to spend for services more intelligently and with price consciousness. But, as usual, government’s view is that we the citizens are incapable of successfully managing our own lives.

    The other three taxes are equally absurd, for obvious reasons. Take, for example, the medical deductions provision. Why in the world would you think it is a good thing to further impact people facing high out-of-pocket medical costs by reducing their ability to deduct those costs against taxes owed? In the context of overall tax reform, sure, you might want to eliminate all or most tax deductions. But in isolation this makes no sense.

  • DonS

    Notice that all of these taxes were scheduled, in 2009, to go into effect in 2013. Hmm. What an odd coincidence — right after Obama planned to win his second term. Most people have no idea of the tax tsunami in store for them in January.

    I do a lot of work for small start-up medical device companies, and the 2.3% gross receipts tax is killing them. Most of them are in the development phase, in the red as it is, and relying on V.C. money to supplement the receipts from their new product lines. But the tax applies to gross receipts — before any expense deductions at all. Why in the heck do you tax the industry you are trying to re-make, and which is already beset by high costs? And why just devices? Why not pharmaceuticals? Of course, we all know the reason — the pharmaceutical companies had better lobbyists who bought off the Democrats to exclude them. This is a classic example of why you should never encourage government to involve itself to fix ANYTHING.

    The FSA cap is also asinine. Again, the government is taking the exact wrong approach to try to curb health care costs. FSA’s and HSA’s are vehicles to helping consumers re-capture their spending authority in the marketplace — lowering the number of transactions that have to process through the insurance system and empowering consumers to spend for services more intelligently and with price consciousness. But, as usual, government’s view is that we the citizens are incapable of successfully managing our own lives.

    The other three taxes are equally absurd, for obvious reasons. Take, for example, the medical deductions provision. Why in the world would you think it is a good thing to further impact people facing high out-of-pocket medical costs by reducing their ability to deduct those costs against taxes owed? In the context of overall tax reform, sure, you might want to eliminate all or most tax deductions. But in isolation this makes no sense.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I do a lot of work for small start-up medical device companies, and the 2.3% gross receipts tax is killing them. Most of them are in the development phase, in the red as it is, and relying on V.C. money to supplement the receipts from their new product lines. But the tax applies to gross receipts — before any expense deductions at all. Why in the heck do you tax the industry you are trying to re-make, and which is already beset by high costs? And why just devices? “

    Not to worry. As soon as those industrious inventors prove that their product can be profitable some VC will buy them out and have the devices built overseas at a tenth the cost of American workers and the top 1% will get richer. So, it is all good.

    This is why I say there is no true left in this country that cares about American workers. Both parties serve the very small group at the top.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I do a lot of work for small start-up medical device companies, and the 2.3% gross receipts tax is killing them. Most of them are in the development phase, in the red as it is, and relying on V.C. money to supplement the receipts from their new product lines. But the tax applies to gross receipts — before any expense deductions at all. Why in the heck do you tax the industry you are trying to re-make, and which is already beset by high costs? And why just devices? “

    Not to worry. As soon as those industrious inventors prove that their product can be profitable some VC will buy them out and have the devices built overseas at a tenth the cost of American workers and the top 1% will get richer. So, it is all good.

    This is why I say there is no true left in this country that cares about American workers. Both parties serve the very small group at the top.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    The Left cares about workers in the same way that the farmer cares about his draught animals.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    The Left cares about workers in the same way that the farmer cares about his draught animals.

  • Tom Hering

    This is why I say there is no true left in this country that cares about American workers. Both parties serve the very small group at the top. (@ 21)

    I don’t think the Democrats have ever been a Leftist party, though low brow and middle brow conservatives (obviously not all conservatives) like to label them as such. The true Left would heartily agree with your statement, “Both parties serve the very small group at the top.” And the true Left, which is indeed concerned about workers, has itself always been a very small group.

  • Tom Hering

    This is why I say there is no true left in this country that cares about American workers. Both parties serve the very small group at the top. (@ 21)

    I don’t think the Democrats have ever been a Leftist party, though low brow and middle brow conservatives (obviously not all conservatives) like to label them as such. The true Left would heartily agree with your statement, “Both parties serve the very small group at the top.” And the true Left, which is indeed concerned about workers, has itself always been a very small group.

  • DonS

    sg@ 21: That’s not how things work in the medical device business. They are built here, where the FDA can regulate and oversee them. It is one of the few businesses that offers highly skilled, high paying middle class jobs.

    And Obamacare will damage them.

  • DonS

    sg@ 21: That’s not how things work in the medical device business. They are built here, where the FDA can regulate and oversee them. It is one of the few businesses that offers highly skilled, high paying middle class jobs.

    And Obamacare will damage them.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Thanks for the info, DonS. I learned something.
    :D

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Thanks for the info, DonS. I learned something.
    :D

  • DonS

    No problem, sg :-)

    I should have qualified my statement, anyway. They are built here for the most part

    There are exceptions, as always. There is some manufacturing of long-established, simple products, such as catheters and stents, in Mexican border region Maquiladoras, for example, which could potentially expand. Also, it is possible that some device development could be pushed entirely overseas, to overseas companies, and then imported into the U.S. (as opposed to U.S. companies outsourcing the manufacturing, which is a management headache because of the tight regulations). However, the 2.3% tax still applies to imported devices.

  • DonS

    No problem, sg :-)

    I should have qualified my statement, anyway. They are built here for the most part

    There are exceptions, as always. There is some manufacturing of long-established, simple products, such as catheters and stents, in Mexican border region Maquiladoras, for example, which could potentially expand. Also, it is possible that some device development could be pushed entirely overseas, to overseas companies, and then imported into the U.S. (as opposed to U.S. companies outsourcing the manufacturing, which is a management headache because of the tight regulations). However, the 2.3% tax still applies to imported devices.

  • Cincinnatus

    If Republicans were smarter, they would have centered this campaign on Obamacare. To wit, while the economy was burning, Obama’s first priority was to shove through Congress a poorly conceived healthcare bill whose most definite outcome is that it raises taxes on the middle class.

    But Republicans are not smart.

  • Cincinnatus

    If Republicans were smarter, they would have centered this campaign on Obamacare. To wit, while the economy was burning, Obama’s first priority was to shove through Congress a poorly conceived healthcare bill whose most definite outcome is that it raises taxes on the middle class.

    But Republicans are not smart.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Tom, I’m calling you out again! Obama’s remark regarding whether I “built” whatever I have was poorly-timed, at best, and deeply misguided and revealing of his ideology, at worst.

    Everyone knows the context. Everyone knows that a CEO can’t be successful without public roads, public education, public trash collection, etc. But everyone benefits from those public services, including the junkie in the trailer park and the single mom down the street. So what sets the junkie apart from the CEO? It’s not like, in general, the CEO gets benefits from the government that the junkie doesn’t. In fact, I’m almost certain that the junkie is getting more from the government than the CEO.

    In other words, government/public services are irrelevant to the entrepreneur’s success because everyone else gets them too.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Tom, I’m calling you out again! Obama’s remark regarding whether I “built” whatever I have was poorly-timed, at best, and deeply misguided and revealing of his ideology, at worst.

    Everyone knows the context. Everyone knows that a CEO can’t be successful without public roads, public education, public trash collection, etc. But everyone benefits from those public services, including the junkie in the trailer park and the single mom down the street. So what sets the junkie apart from the CEO? It’s not like, in general, the CEO gets benefits from the government that the junkie doesn’t. In fact, I’m almost certain that the junkie is getting more from the government than the CEO.

    In other words, government/public services are irrelevant to the entrepreneur’s success because everyone else gets them too.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So what sets the junkie apart from the CEO? It’s not like, in general, the CEO gets benefits from the government that the junkie doesn’t. In fact, I’m almost certain that the junkie is getting more from the government than the CEO.”

    Hmm. I’m not sure that is true. Consider the CEO living in some very undeveloped place. His talents could not get him there what he has here. There would be far less opportunity for him to without a strong middle class from which to access workers and markets. Even if he managed to be wildly successful, who would he have to hang out with and what would he do for leisure and with whom? He would have few peers. No Rockefeller center or MLB games to go to because there wouldn’t be enough other prosperous people to support such institutions. The prosperous in such places have to spend a lot just for security, which in the US is paid for largely by the middle class, plus the middle class here is more of an ally than the impoverished desperate folks in less developed countries.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “So what sets the junkie apart from the CEO? It’s not like, in general, the CEO gets benefits from the government that the junkie doesn’t. In fact, I’m almost certain that the junkie is getting more from the government than the CEO.”

    Hmm. I’m not sure that is true. Consider the CEO living in some very undeveloped place. His talents could not get him there what he has here. There would be far less opportunity for him to without a strong middle class from which to access workers and markets. Even if he managed to be wildly successful, who would he have to hang out with and what would he do for leisure and with whom? He would have few peers. No Rockefeller center or MLB games to go to because there wouldn’t be enough other prosperous people to support such institutions. The prosperous in such places have to spend a lot just for security, which in the US is paid for largely by the middle class, plus the middle class here is more of an ally than the impoverished desperate folks in less developed countries.

  • DonS

    sg @ 29: Setting aside, specifically, the CEO, let’s talk about the entrepreneur, who was the real subject of Obama’s gaffe.

    Entrepreneurs, by nature, solve problems. If they find themselves in an area with inadequate public infrastructure, they will work to build that infrastructure. How do you think the U.S. got started? The Pilgrims didn’t wait for a big federal government to come build their roads and villages. The Founding Fathers and our other American ancestors built a country from scratch. The historic success of the free west, particularly here in North America, is that it was built from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

  • DonS

    sg @ 29: Setting aside, specifically, the CEO, let’s talk about the entrepreneur, who was the real subject of Obama’s gaffe.

    Entrepreneurs, by nature, solve problems. If they find themselves in an area with inadequate public infrastructure, they will work to build that infrastructure. How do you think the U.S. got started? The Pilgrims didn’t wait for a big federal government to come build their roads and villages. The Founding Fathers and our other American ancestors built a country from scratch. The historic success of the free west, particularly here in North America, is that it was built from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg: I agree with you, but I really think you’re overanalyzing Obama’s gaffe. As I read it, Obama was attempting to demonstrate that the idea of the entrepreneur as individualistic hero is chimerical. So far so good. But he did so by claiming that businesses are established and achieve success only because they benefit from a basket of public services that the middle class pays for via taxes: roads, good healthcare, public schools, etc.

    On the one hand, this is true enough. On the other hand, it’s so self-evident as to be meaningless. Yes, the entrepreneur doesn’t have to build his own roads. But neither does the junkie have to pay for the sidewalk where he buys his meth. Thus, what makes the entrepreneur successful must obviously be something that the junkie doesn’t have. I mean, I benefit from public roads, schools, clinics, etc., but it’s not making me successful. Maybe things like hard work, long hours, individual initiative, thrift, and diligence ought to have come to mind.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg: I agree with you, but I really think you’re overanalyzing Obama’s gaffe. As I read it, Obama was attempting to demonstrate that the idea of the entrepreneur as individualistic hero is chimerical. So far so good. But he did so by claiming that businesses are established and achieve success only because they benefit from a basket of public services that the middle class pays for via taxes: roads, good healthcare, public schools, etc.

    On the one hand, this is true enough. On the other hand, it’s so self-evident as to be meaningless. Yes, the entrepreneur doesn’t have to build his own roads. But neither does the junkie have to pay for the sidewalk where he buys his meth. Thus, what makes the entrepreneur successful must obviously be something that the junkie doesn’t have. I mean, I benefit from public roads, schools, clinics, etc., but it’s not making me successful. Maybe things like hard work, long hours, individual initiative, thrift, and diligence ought to have come to mind.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@30):

    The Pilgrims didn’t wait for a big federal government to come build their roads and villages. The Founding Fathers and our other American ancestors built a country from scratch.

    Yeah! They got no help from no one. Certainly not any natives around (remember: they were part of the “scratch”). Nor did Great Britain at any point aid in the building of any part of this country. Nor did France ever aid in its defense.

    Nope, we did it. All ourselves. Just like successful businessmen do everything themselves, too.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@30):

    The Pilgrims didn’t wait for a big federal government to come build their roads and villages. The Founding Fathers and our other American ancestors built a country from scratch.

    Yeah! They got no help from no one. Certainly not any natives around (remember: they were part of the “scratch”). Nor did Great Britain at any point aid in the building of any part of this country. Nor did France ever aid in its defense.

    Nope, we did it. All ourselves. Just like successful businessmen do everything themselves, too.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@32:

    …actually, the original Puritan colony didn’t receive much notable assistance, either from the “natives” or the British crown. There’s a reason many of them starved during the first few years. I mean, they weren’t left to fend entirely for themselves, but when it takes multiple months one way to cross the ocean, you’re kind of on your own.

    DonS is raising a valid point in general, though: there’s a meaningful, qualitative distinction between getting together as a neighborhood to build a road (a common phenomenon notable to Tocqueville in the mid-1800s) and relying on a State apparatus to do it for you. That is, there is a meaningful sense in the modern world in which the State is not us, an instrument of us, or answerable to us, regardless of popular rhetoric.

    Not to sound like a partisan hack, but that was what was so troubling about the Democratic national convention this year. A recurring thesis was that the State is what binds us together and forms us into a coherent community. If that’s the case, fascist theorist Carl Schmitt would like a word with you.

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD@32:

    …actually, the original Puritan colony didn’t receive much notable assistance, either from the “natives” or the British crown. There’s a reason many of them starved during the first few years. I mean, they weren’t left to fend entirely for themselves, but when it takes multiple months one way to cross the ocean, you’re kind of on your own.

    DonS is raising a valid point in general, though: there’s a meaningful, qualitative distinction between getting together as a neighborhood to build a road (a common phenomenon notable to Tocqueville in the mid-1800s) and relying on a State apparatus to do it for you. That is, there is a meaningful sense in the modern world in which the State is not us, an instrument of us, or answerable to us, regardless of popular rhetoric.

    Not to sound like a partisan hack, but that was what was so troubling about the Democratic national convention this year. A recurring thesis was that the State is what binds us together and forms us into a coherent community. If that’s the case, fascist theorist Carl Schmitt would like a word with you.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 32: I think Cincinnatus @ 33 has nailed the point I was making, far more eloquently than I did.

    Of course I wasn’t saying that everything was done by individuals, alone. I was merely pointing out that we have a history of people who see problems standing in the way of their goals and manage to do the things necessary, often by banding together with others in the community who face similar needs, to address those problems. Roads and public infrastructure are among the problems that have historically been addressed in that manner, as they were largely private endeavors until the economy and population was built up sufficiently to support the establishment and funding of a government.

    Nothing has changed today. Entrepreneurs, individually and collectively, as the case may be, are problem solvers, and will somehow ensure that the infrastructure they need to support their businesses is put in place. And if that means is government, there is little doubt that the entrepreneurial set has made a very outsized contribution, at least collectively, to the governmental funding supporting that effort.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 32: I think Cincinnatus @ 33 has nailed the point I was making, far more eloquently than I did.

    Of course I wasn’t saying that everything was done by individuals, alone. I was merely pointing out that we have a history of people who see problems standing in the way of their goals and manage to do the things necessary, often by banding together with others in the community who face similar needs, to address those problems. Roads and public infrastructure are among the problems that have historically been addressed in that manner, as they were largely private endeavors until the economy and population was built up sufficiently to support the establishment and funding of a government.

    Nothing has changed today. Entrepreneurs, individually and collectively, as the case may be, are problem solvers, and will somehow ensure that the infrastructure they need to support their businesses is put in place. And if that means is government, there is little doubt that the entrepreneurial set has made a very outsized contribution, at least collectively, to the governmental funding supporting that effort.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    If you want to know why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, look at laws like Obamacare. Really.

    It’s counter-intuitive, but think about it. Big companies love regulations and campaign for it because it hamstrings their smaller competitors more than them. They’ve got their EPA compliance department, and so do their competitors–but Wal-Mart and the like can absorb the costs in their larger sales more easily than smaller competitors.

    And with those big companies–like the big insurance companies Obamacare requires us to patronize–have thousands of directors and VPs, don’t they? Those are a large portion of top 1%.

    On the flip side, look on the other side of regulation; those who are hurt most by Obamacare’s requirement for insurance coverage are the poor, who will be the ones not hired due to the cost of the regulation.

    So why is the gap between rich and poor growing? Largely because of government interference.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    If you want to know why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, look at laws like Obamacare. Really.

    It’s counter-intuitive, but think about it. Big companies love regulations and campaign for it because it hamstrings their smaller competitors more than them. They’ve got their EPA compliance department, and so do their competitors–but Wal-Mart and the like can absorb the costs in their larger sales more easily than smaller competitors.

    And with those big companies–like the big insurance companies Obamacare requires us to patronize–have thousands of directors and VPs, don’t they? Those are a large portion of top 1%.

    On the flip side, look on the other side of regulation; those who are hurt most by Obamacare’s requirement for insurance coverage are the poor, who will be the ones not hired due to the cost of the regulation.

    So why is the gap between rich and poor growing? Largely because of government interference.

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