LeBron’s Wise Decision

July 10, 2010

Not only will LeBron James win an NBA championship next year with the Miami Heat, but by signing with Miami, he saved himself millions of dollars in taxation.

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

We come not to praise or bury LeBron James, but only to note that by moving to Miami he’s going to save a bundle on taxes. We’ll take the King of ESPN’s word that he’s jumping to the Miami Heat from the Cleveland Cavaliers mainly for basketball reasons, but it is also true that Florida has no income tax. The rate in Akron, Ohio is a little over 7%.

Mr. James figures to earn close to $100 million in salary over five seasons in Miami. According to an analysis by Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, Mr. James’s net present value tax savings on his salary are between $6 million and $8 million by living in Miami versus his home town of Akron. Professional athletes do have to pay other state taxes for the dates they play in visiting team arenas, but most of Mr. James’s considerable endorsement income would be taxed at Florida rates.

The tax comparisons looked even worse for two other teams in the LeBron bidding, the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets. The New York Post estimated that New York City and state taxes of 12.85% on high income earners would have taken more than $12 million from Mr. James. New Jersey’s rate is nearly 9%. Both of those teams are lousy, but it can’t help their free-agent sales pitch to start out $9 billion to $12 billion in the after-tax hole.

While LeBron’s departure got extraordinary media attention, it is hardly unique. In the early 1990s, Ohio was the home of 43 Fortune 500 companies. Twenty years later the number is 24. Census Bureau data show that from 2004-2008 Ohio saw a net outmigration of $6 billion of income and some 97,000 taxpayers. Even Ohio’s famously liberal Senator, the late Howard Metzenbaum, moved to Florida late in his life to reduce his estate taxes.

We feel for Cleveland fans, but maybe they should allocate some of their wrath to the state politicians who keep driving high-income individuals and their businesses to financially sunnier climes.

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When it comes to basic economics, self-identified Liberals/Democrats show they’re not too bright

June 8, 2010

From Daniel Klein at the Wall Street Journal:

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Self-identified liberals and Democrats do badly on questions of basic economics.

Who is better informed about the policy choices facing the country—liberals, conservatives or libertarians? According to a Zogby International survey that I write about in the May issue of Econ Journal Watch, the answer is unequivocal: The left flunks Econ 101.

Zogby researcher Zeljka Buturovic and I considered the 4,835 respondents’ (all American adults) answers to eight survey questions about basic economics. We also asked the respondents about their political leanings: progressive/very liberal; liberal; moderate; conservative; very conservative; and libertarian.

[…]

How did the six ideological groups do overall? Here they are, best to worst, with an average number of incorrect responses from 0 to 8: Very conservative, 1.30; Libertarian, 1.38; Conservative, 1.67; Moderate, 3.67; Liberal, 4.69; Progressive/very liberal, 5.26.

Color me not surprised. These are the same people who think global warming is as big of a threat to America as Islamic terrorism, after all.

Make sure to click the link above to read about what questions the respondents were asked.


This Week’s Best Conservative Political Cartoons

June 6, 2010

From Gary Varvel at the Indianapolis Star:

From Nate Beeler at the Washington Examiner:

From Rick McKee at the Augusta Chronicle:

From Randy Bish at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

From Michael Ramirez at Investor’s Business Daily:

From Eric Allie with Cagle Cartoons:

Another good one from Allie:

From Jeff Koterba at the Omaha World Herald:


What Recovery?

June 4, 2010

From Ed Morrissey at HotAir:

The White House leaked to several media sources that the number of new jobs would exceed a half-million positions, mainly through temporary Census Bureau expansion, and that the private sector would gain around 150,000…

Yeah, about that…

Here’s the reality:

  1. 95.5% of all job growth in May came from the government, as 411k temporary census workers were hired.
  2. Private sector employment, however, grew by only 41k jobs.
  3. Meanwhile, 322k people dropped out of the labor force.

And as a result of all that, Wall Street tumbled 3% today.

Heck of a recovery, wouldn’t you say?


Obama at yesterday’s presser: “The easily accessible oil has already been sucked up out of the ground.”

May 28, 2010

Mr. President, as Congressman Joe Wilson would say, “You lie!”

Or maybe you just conveniently forgot about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska…

Charles Krauthammer, also a proponent of drilling in ANWR, writes in a new column:

There will always be catastrophic oil spills. You make them as rare as humanly possible, but where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people?

All spills seriously damage wildlife. That’s a given. But why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?

Hear, hear.


Fortune Mag: In Wake of ObamaCare, Companies thinking of dumping their health care plans in exchange for paying fees to the government

May 6, 2010

Woooow.

From Fortune:

Documents reveal AT&T, Verizon, others, thought about dropping employer-sponsored benefits

The great mystery surrounding the historic health care bill is how the corporations that provide coverage for most Americans — coverage they know and prize — will react to the new law’s radically different regime of subsidies, penalties, and taxes. Now, we’re getting a remarkable inside look at the options AT&T, Deere, and other big companies are weighing to deal with the new legislation.

Internal documents recently reviewed by Fortune, originally requested by Congress, show what the bill’s critics predicted, and what its champions dreaded: many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government.

The great mystery surrounding the historic health care bill is how the corporations that provide coverage for most Americans — coverage they know and prize — will react to the new law’s radically different regime of subsidies, penalties, and taxes. Now, we’re getting a remarkable inside look at the options AT&T, Deere, and other big companies are weighing to deal with the new legislation.

Internal documents recently reviewed by Fortune, originally requested by Congress, show what the bill’s critics predicted, and what its champions dreaded: many large companies are examining a course that was heretofore unthinkable, dumping the health care coverage they provide to their workers in exchange for paying penalty fees to the government.

That would dismantle the employer-based system that has reigned since World War II. It would also seem to contradict President Obama’s statements that Americans who like their current plans could keep them.

Ed Morrissey has more.


Will WA Have an Income Tax by the end of the Year?

April 21, 2010

Democrats in the legislature knew they couldn’t cram an income tax down the throats of Washingtonians, so instead, they’re going to be backing a push for a citizens initiative to be put on the ballot this November. Terrific.

From the Seattle Times:

State voters could see income-tax initiative for wealthy

OLYMPIA — Expect a push to seek voter approval in November for an income tax that hits couples earning more than $400,000 a year.

Bill Gates Sr. and others are expected to announce an effort Wednesday to put Initiative 1077 on the ballot.

The group would need to collect the signatures of at least 241,153 registered voters by July 2 to qualify for the ballot. Supporters typically try to collect more than the required number for a buffer.

There are 602,000 people in Seattle alone. The 1077 supporters should have no problem getting the 241,153 required signatures.

I’m just telling you right now, if this passes in November (which it likely will), you’re going to see wealthy citizens leave the state in droves. And they’re going to take their businesses with them.

Higher taxes are like a drug to Liberals in this state. They’re constantly looking for that next fix and are never satisfied when they actually get it. It’s a sick addiction.