Almanac

Viewpoint - September 8, 2010

Letter: Good bet on bad deal

You could have made a fortune if a bookie had odds on the Menlo Park City Council last Tuesday night.

You could have bet on the council making the decision to shorten allowed parking time in parts of downtown and charging for extended parking in other areas. This when business is down and retailers are struggling.

The funniest part of this decision is that they paid a consultant to come up with this plan.

When commerce is difficult, you try to stimulate the business community, not make it more difficult. This decision comes right out of last year's "stimulus package," only my guess is that it does much more damage to Menlo Park's local business community.

Pat White, Fremont Street, Menlo Park

Comments

Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 8, 2010 at 6:59 am

Liberals are so confused that the enact policies that defeat what they are trying to accomplish.

I remember in 1990 when the Democrat controlled House and Senate buried the yacht luxury tax in a tax bill that could not be lined out because there is no line item veto.

In 1992 I attended a party in the Tustin Hills and met a former yacht broker from Newport Beach who lamented on the devastation the tax bill inflicted upon the common working man.

Here is what the brilliant Democrat Yacht tax did. It virtually closed an industry in the United States with France being the largest benefactor. Wealthy people did not purchase yachts in the United States. They purchased them overseas and kept them overseas. This man had to close his business and all those blue collar workers making $50,000 to $75,000/year were out of jobs, collecting unemployment.

So the brilliant Democrats were not satisfied with just sales tax they had to have more. And lets face it the Rich do not accumulate wealth by being stupid. So instead of getting more tax revenue from yacht sales, the Dems were left with virtually nothing. Not to mention the lost sales revenue from businesses near yacht harbors.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 8, 2010 at 10:09 am

Your first line highlighted the "line item veto". Is this the same thing that Newt promised in 1994 with his contract on America?

Since then, conservatives have had control of the executive branch, house and senate for many of the following years. What happened to the line item veto?

Same thing as the other non "tax break for the rich" related items in that "contract", like term limits? Seems like Newt was only interested in protecting Paris Hilton or Koch brother type wealth.

You whine about yacht building, an odd connection for a story on parking restrictions; that said, my guess is there a reasonable industry for high end yachts for the increasing uber wealthy (those yachts that can be ported out of the country as you specify,) but do you have any links on the alleged lost jobs?


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Link on lost jobs by the liberal PBS.

Web Link

Get real. I can't believe that you don't think there were lost jobs. Liberals are in a constant state of denial when their bonehead tax policies backfire on them.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Hank:

Nice link, from 20 years ago, but it doesn't reference any hard data on jobs lost versus revenue gained via the tax.

So when Dems balanced budgets in the 90's, you feel the yacht buyers deserved a break?

Really, is that the best you've got?


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 9, 2010 at 6:12 am

Dear Willy,

Duh! The link is 14 years old because the distastrous luxury tax was enacted by the prescient dems 20 years ago. You are so smart! You can't grasp the fact that the luxury tax did not hurt the wealthy, it hurt the middle class people employed in the luxury goods industries.

If liberals could ever keep their eye on the ball we would not be in the dire economic straits we are in now. In their irrational zeal to punish the iniquitous capitalists they put at least 2 orders of magnitude more middle class people out of work. Now that is really judicious governance.

If the democrats ever focused on tax revenue instead of tax rates we would not be in the economic predicament we are in now. They should try to at least get a grasp on the concept of price elasticity and tax elasticity.

Can't wait for the mid terms.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:11 am

Hank:

Seriously?

"...they put at least 2 orders of magnitude more middle class people out of work."

I asked for data, I guess you can't find any on jobs lost in this industry vs revenue raised, as I requested. Funny, how without any data, your hyperbole goes wild, by several "magnitudes."

Yes, I will concede some yacht manufacturing moved overseas in the last couple decades - can you name a manufacturing area where that HASN'T happened? Since the 80's, America's manufacturing base has eroded dramatically.

I don't get why, under the cloak of caring for middle class jobs, you are defending Paris Hilton and the other trust fund babies of the world from the evils of "distastrous luxury tax."


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Willy Nilly,

The United States manufacturing has seriously declined for two main reasons

1) Democrats enacting nonsensical regulations that dramatically increse manufacturing overhead with a decrease in productivity; and

2) Unions unreasonable featherbedding, salary, and pension demands

Akio Morita once said that when the United States ceases being a manufacturing power it will be a second class world power. Between the Democrats, the Unions, and Obama's experiment with Socialism the United States could very well become a second class power.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Hank:

I see you've given up on your yacht anecdote. Defending Paris Hilton gets tiresome, eh?

Still waiting on your facts about the luxury tax killing the massive American yacht manufacturing industry, more so than the decline in American manufacturing in general, also versus revenue generated from that tax.

About the pivot in your recent screed: make it easier on me, and just tell me:

is there any problem DON'T you blame on liberals, Democrats, working people or the rest of your American enemies?


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

The old guard democrats did OK. The ones post JFK have a poor record with the exception of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did OK after a disastrous 2 years because he had a responsible House and Senate keeping him on the straight and narrow but even with his relatively good record (comparatively speaking) he said some things that were way over the top. For instance, when he was talking about implementing a tax cut he said "How do we know they'll (the taxpeyers) will spend the money wisely".

This is the height of arrogance. It is no one's business how people spend their money as long as it is legal. But the social engineers in the white house want to make every taxpayer's activity their business. They have seem to forgot whom they work for.

BTW, I have never defended Paris Hilton. I don't ever defend scatter brain democrats- especially ones who live in Woodside with more dollars than sense.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Hank:

Your name calling arrogance belies your attempts at discourse.

I will stick with:
"I see you've given up on your yacht anecdote. Defending Paris Hilton gets tiresome, eh?

Still waiting on your facts about the luxury tax killing the massive American yacht manufacturing industry, more so than the decline in American manufacturing in general, also versus revenue generated from that tax."

re: dems and repubs from a bygone era - do you think Ike (beware the military industrial complex, beware texas oilmen,) Nixon (opening commie China, setting up the EPA) or even Goldwater (get the government out of the bedroom) would even come close to being accepted in today's GOP?

They wouldn't make it past a tea-bagger's primary.

regards...


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:00 pm

None other the most liberal of national Newspapers The New York Times states how the luxury tax devastated the yacht industry. From September 30, 1990 to December 27, 1990 there was not a single sale of a yacht in the United States according to the National Marine Manufacturer's Association.

However in the same 3 months there were layoffs in excess of 100,000 workers in the yacht industry and numerous yacht manufactures went out of business. And guess what the U.S. Government did not collect one red cent in luxury sales tax from yachts during that period.

Web Link

Read em and weep- wee willy.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Again, I must ask: are you serious?!?!?

That's a LETTER, not an article with facts that have been independently checked or verified. According to that letter writer's opinion, 100K workers were instantly idled by a 10% luxury tax, according to his interpretation of what the yacht builders LOBBY reported.

He extends the fallacy to imply all 600K workers will be idled.

Does any of this even pass the smell test?!?!

Surely, you must be able to do better than that.

1990 was also in the Reagan/Bush recession. Makes me wonder how many yachts were sold during the booming Clinton economy?


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Willy,

You must be following Bill Clinton's advice when he coached Jennifer Flowers on the tawdry affair they had. "Just Deny Deny Deny!"

The facts are quite clear. If you choose to ignore them then that is your problem.

One thing you can count on though is that the Democrats will lose the House of Representatives in 54 days. Then San Fran Nan will just be House Minority Leader. John Boehner will be second in line for the presidency. Things are looking up.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2010 at 1:04 am

Hank:

Good work! You quit calling other posters derogatory names, instead, you've moved to the most powerful woman in American history!

"The facts are quite clear." Nice try. Just post a link to the facts, not a letter from the yacht builders lobbying group.

Yet again: Surely, you must be able to do better than that.

Reach for the brass ring, Hank.

Try to actually prove your point.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:16 am

Willy,

There is a preponderance of documented proof that the luxury tax caused massive losses of jobs in the luxury goods industry. I pointed you to two sources. You are just in denial. The Democrats in their zeal to punish rich people put hundreds of thousands of middle class people out of work. Three years later when they realized the devastation they caused they repealed the luxury goods tax (except for cars which lingered longer).

Also, Perhaps in the circles you run in Jennifer Flowers is the most powerful woman in American History. But most people would disagree with you. But I have to admit she held power over Bill Clinton.

The Democrats realized the mistake they made by repealing the tax. Why can't you seem to understand that? I question your reasoning ability.

Can't wait for the midterms. Would you like to place a wager on which party will control the House of Representatives in the next session? I am willing to put my money where my mouth is, are you?


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hank:

There may be a "preponderance of documented proof." You just haven't shared any of it. Your two links were to a letter spouting yacht builder lobbyist claims, and a second piece that didn't reference where the numbers came from.

Where is the data that says the luxury tax killed American yacht manufacturing, above and beyond the already acknowledged decline in US manufacturing, and the Reagan Bush recession in the early 90's?

-----------

re: most powerful woman in American history - I was referring to your insult at the Speaker if the House. Do you disagree? Can you name a couple women that have politically achieved more?

-------

Only the far whacko right (and Fox news) keeps going back to Clinton and Flowers. They also conveniently forget that many of the Repub leaders going after Clinton resigned in disgrace or were also having affairs, or like Newt, both.

For example, Larry Craig's admonitions of Clinton ("you naughty, naughty boy...") rings a little hollow.

Coming out of an airport bathroom stall has that effect on sound, I suppose...


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

A Milwaukee housewife comes to mind. She emigrated from Kiev and became a U.S. citizen. later she left the United States to become the Prime Minister of Israel. Golda Meir accomplished far more than San Fan Nan whose fame is about to be very short lived when in January 2011 she will become House Minority Leader. That is unless Steny Hoyer challenges her for the position since she will be largely the blame for the Democrats losing the House of Representatives.

Also Hillary Clinton has accomplished more than San Fran Nan. With Obama continuing to crash it will be no surprise to me if she challenges the Socialist in Chief for the Democratic nomination and beats him handily.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:38 am

Golda is your answer to "most powerful woman in American history "???

re: Hillary - I almost agree with you, she's close as SecState, with potential as candidate or Supreme nominee.

But she hasn't accomplished more: the Speaker is third in line, as you've obliquely highlighted in a previous post.

And you keep bringing in tangents, you refuse to offer valid data to back up you original assertion:
Where is the data that says the luxury tax killed American yacht manufacturing, above and beyond the already acknowledged decline in US manufacturing, and the Reagan Bush recession in the early 90's?

--------------

re your "Obama crash"
Turn off fox.
**Relative** to the crap peddled by fox, rush and glenn, the President has been in a remarkably narrow range for a year:
Web Link

Will he be re-elected? Who knows? Maybe the half term guv can beat him. Other than her, who do you have? Newt? Willard Mitt Romney? Can the fringe tea-baggers and religious right accept a Mormon?

Who knows, the tea-baggers actually believe Beck...


Posted by Hank Lawence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 10, 2010 at 11:55 am

Dear Willy

Yesterday's Rasmussen Poll had only 23% of the American Public strongly approving of Obama and 47% strongly disapproving of him. That gave him an approval index of -24. Makes Jimmy Carter look good by comparison.

And you have to look at the person not the position. Hillary runs circles around Nancy Pelosi who is a dogmatic socialist. Hillary's a liberal but not a socialist and is far more informed, knowledgeable, and accomplished than Nancy Pelosi will ever be.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm

So Gallup isn't good enough because it doesn't fit the fox narrative?

Must have been infiltrated by them durn commie pinko democrats!!! Geez, Hank, wake up...

and by the way, your original premise:

Where is the data that says the luxury tax killed American yacht manufacturing, above and beyond the already acknowledged decline in US manufacturing, and the Reagan Bush recession in the early 90's?

still waiting, Hank....

------

But as for Ras, it's an outlier, and here's a few points on Ras:
Web Link

So let's take them ALL, even the outliers like Ras and discredited Zogby, etc...
Web Link

Again, remarkably different that what you hear on fox (who just donated a million bucks to the Repubs, how's that for fair and balanced?)


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Willy,

You are a broken record. You got your proof. Now how about that bet on the House of Representatives. Cat got your tongue?


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Hank:

"You are a broken record. You got your proof."

Nice try. You've been smoked. Your premise stunk and you can't prove it.

From before:

- There may be a "preponderance of documented proof." You just haven't shared any of it. Your two links were to a letter spouting yacht builder lobbyist claims, and a second piece that didn't reference where the numbers came from.

- Where is the data that says the luxury tax killed American yacht manufacturing, above and beyond the already acknowledged decline in US manufacturing, and the Reagan Bush recession in the early 90's?

Admit it and we'll move on to your "bet."


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm

The luxury tax did result in the loss of middle class jobs. When the tax was repealed in 1993 many of the jobs were permanently lost as many luxury goods businesses shuttered the drrs for good.

According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke 7,600 jobs were lost in the boating industry.

Please refer to the web link.

Web Link

Keep fooling yourself Wlly. The only thing you are doing is making everyone else reading this blog thinking that you are out of touch with reality.


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Hank:

God job. That's all you needed to do. The tax caused 7k jobs lost according to Bernanke (I'm no fan of his, fwiw, but I'll go with his numbers.)

The 2nd paragraph highlighted how to avoid that, and protect American jobs: tariff on overseas manufactured goods to protect US jobs.

Well done. It took you long enough, but it still isn't as hyperbolic as you claimed.

7k jobs vs *your* claims of 100k, sorry, not even in the same league, so who was trying to FOOL folks?

and your claim:

"...they put at least 2 orders of magnitude more middle class people out of work."

I still don't get that one. But good to bring real numbers in.

Have a good weekend.


Posted by Hank Lawence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 12, 2010 at 7:07 am

My contention that 100,000 jobs lost was wrong. However, the 7,000 jobs lost only applied to the boating industry. When you look at the total jobs lost it was far greater when you consider all the middle class people working in the luxury goods industry. Also, businesses the immediate vicinity of the manufacturing plants, that either shuddered their doors or had massive layoffs, were also affected by declining patronage.

When you consider not only the lost of luxury tax, but the loss of sales tax, the loss of income tax for people who lost their jobs, the addition of unemployment benefits being paid out, and welfare payments being paid out for people whose unemployment insurance ran out, and the ripple effect it had on the economy the luxury tax was the worst thing the 1990 Democratic controlled Congress had concocted.

When the tax elasticity is above 1, reduing the tax rate actually decreases tax revenues. But the Democrats would rather engage in class warfare and cut off their noses to spite their faces.

Now how about that bet on who will be in control of the House of Representatives in the 2011-2012 session. My contention is that the Republicans will gain control of the House and San Fran Nan will no longer be Speaker of the House. Do you have the courage to put your money where your mouth is? If you win I will donate the proceeds to the Democratic National Committee in your name , If I win you will donate the proceeds to the Republican National Committee in my name.

Now show some courage Willy!


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 12, 2010 at 7:15 am

A little clarification

When the tax elasticity is above 1, reducing the tax rate (as long is the tax elasticity remains 1 or above) will actually increase tax revenues.

What is reckless and irresponsible is raising the tax rates when by doing so will actually result in a decline in tax revenuses. That is idiocy and that is what the Democratic party and Obama are proposing to do.

JFK was right when he reduced tax rates. It is a proven fact that his actions resulted in a dramatic increase in tax revenues. What the Democratic Party is doing is engaging in class warfare that targets the rich at the expense of the U.S Treasury. Throw the bums out!


Posted by Willy, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 12, 2010 at 10:13 am

So 7k jobs lost in a particular manufacturing sector, wonder how that compared to other manufacturing job losses during the Bush I era.

Threr also was a little thing called the Early 1990's recession.
Web Link

Last point on the luxury tax - if there was a reasonable tariff on imported yachts, it would have protected American jobs in that sector.

---------

Next: cutting taxes raises revenue - prove that they continue to raise revenue after the first year or two, please. Kennedy's tax cuts (to what: 70%?) were coupled with a rewrite of the code that eliminated lots of tax shelters and other income hiding schemes favored by the wealthy, thus a net increase in revenue.

If cuts *raise* revenue, what happened to Bush's tax cuts? Revenue declined afterward.

Here's a link to the far right Heritage site:
Web Link

Looks like revenue peaked at 2.5T under Slick Willy. Took half a dozen years of giving away money to the top 2 percenters, before it got back there, briefly.

-------------------------

Bet? Nope, and you may crow all you want about it. I keep this nearly anonymous for a reason (several, in fact.)

So rock on if you like. Those on this board with full names get a bit of enjoyment at it, I see. ;-)

I did, some number of months ago, maybe six, engage in predictions with the esteemed Pogo. I predicted -20 and -5 for the Dems. Looks pretty optimistic at this point. I was rather hoping the tea-baggers would fracture the republicans and their corporate masters, doesn't look like that happened.

Though the tea baggers may have saved Harry his job by electing Angle, with her "2nd amendment solutions." Tis a pity, I imagine we both want Harry gone, albeit with different outcomes, and for far different reasons.

Am more then willing to revise those predictions, but might as well wait a bit until the final primaries are over, quite soon, I believe.


Posted by Hank Lawence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 12, 2010 at 11:18 am

Government revenues in 2008 under President Bush (43) were 2,524 Billion
Government revenues in 2009 under President Obama were 2,105 Billion

So under the last year of Bush (43) the U.S. treasurey had 17.63% more gross receipts than under the first year of Obama. Obama is doing wonders for this country.

Under Bush (43) the real GDP had a CAGR of 1.99% for the 8 years he was in office

Under Obama the real GDP increased an anemic 0.1% in his first year.

So under Bush our economy as had almost 20 times the growth rate than under Obama in his first year.

So Willy,

When are you going to quit dawdling around and put your money where your mouth is or are you too afraid to bet. Say good bye to San Fran Nan. Say hello to John Boehner- the new Speaker of the House in the 2010-2011 session.

Good bye and good riddance to the Obama Socialist experiment fiasco.


Posted by bad data, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

How about comparing the last year of Clinton to Bush's??
How about looking at the long term boom under Clinton and the long term decline under Bush?
Bush created a mess that is still being cleaned up. I have zero doubt that any other president of any party would have had a better two years since Bush left office because he left such a mess.


Posted by It Doesn't Matter, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:34 am

It doesn't matter what the posters say above this one, Clinton, Bush etc., I just know it's somewhat difficult to "fix the budget deficit" when you add programs that continue to incentivize people not to contribute aka additional months of welfare, or throw money at something that has not made a dent in the auto industry aka $3B for Cash for Clunkers, or add a program that require 15K more government accountants aka Obamacare, but don't focus on the COST of medical. Obama seems like a nice guy, great speaker etc., but he is NOT an economist, and the damage he has done in less than 2 years, will take decades to fix, or perhaps we won't be able to fix, and it's over for a privatized, free market economy. Sorry fellow Democrats, this is not working.


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 14, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Under the first 6 years of Bush (43) with a Republican congress the economy had a CAGR of 2.26%

Under the last 2 years of Bush with a Democratic Congress the economy had a CAGR of 1.29%.

So under the Democratic Controlled Congress during the last two years of the Bush administration the economy only grew at 56.9% of the rate it did under the Republican controlled Congress.

The 2009 data is incomplete but the ERP has predicted a real GDP of 12,988.7 Billion with 2008 coming in at 13,312.2 Billion or the economy shrunk 323.5 Billion dollars or 2.43% under Obama's first year in office if the 2009 numbers still hold.

Under Clinton and the Democratic controlled congress during his first two years the economy had a CAGR of 3.46%.

The economy under Clinton during his last 6 years had a CAGR of 3.57% with a Republican controlled Congress or did 3.23% better than the Democratic controlled Congress.

Bush 43 despite his profligate spending did much better in growing the econmy than Obama has.

And that 1.3 Trillion dollar deficit Obama claims he inherited from Bush. Not quite True. Bush was responsible for 3 2/3 months and Obama was responsible for 8 1/3 months. So 72% of that $1.3 Trillion or $965 Billion is on Obama and $365 Billion is on Bush. So Obama's falsehood reveals that he actually aggravated the deficit 2.56 times more than Bush during that year where he heaped all the blame on Bush.


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