Saturday, July 24, 2004
A Minimum-Wage Hike Wouldn’t Add Up
Book review: P.J. O'Rourke's "Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics"
Economics balks at the benefits of a Virginia major-league team
Top Ten as rated by you
Neil CavutoFor the life of me ... what about life?Robert NovakBerger bluesJay BryantNot With a Bang, But a WhimperEdwin J. FeulnerDangerous DelayRich TuckerYou Can’t be SeriousMark AlexanderDefending, protecting and extending the peaceJonah GoldbergBerger's revealing footnotesJohn McCaslinClinton coup
Today's American Minute
[ More Opinion]
A Capital Idea from Microsoft
by Larry Kudlow (archive)
July 23, 2004 Print Send
The stunning Microsoft decision to return more than $75 billion in cash to shareholders over the next four years is a smashing endorsement of the importance of President Bush’s pro-growth tax cuts. It is also a tremendous boon to investors, who will recycle this windfall into thousands of businesses both large and small -- a process that will significantly increase new jobs and grow the economy.
The Redmond, Washington-based software maker intends to pay a special $3 dividend for every investor share, for a total of $32 billion. Additionally, Microsoft will double its annual dividend and buy as much as $30 billion of its own stock over the next four years. If this new policy raises the Microsoft share price -- as is likely -- then the total package could be worth over $100 billion to shareholders.
Ironically, Microsoft’s corporate decision, induced by supply-side tax cuts, will also provide a huge Keynesian injection of fiscal stimulus to the economy, one that will more than offset the temporary effects of higher energy costs on consumer purchasing power. Even better, this sea-change policy will ripple through corporate America, forcing public companies to take similar actions.
When President Bush launched his initiative to equalize the tax rate on capital gains and investor dividends at 15 percent, there was a derisive outcry. Mainstream thinkers claimed the plan would only benefit the rich and have no impact on economic growth or jobs. Now that the economy -- led by business investment -- is growing at the fastest pace in two decades, the liberal establishment may wish to rethink its position.
Basically, the Bush plan significantly reduces Uncle Sam’s tax bite on profits and investment capital, leaving more in private hands for channeling into job-creating businesses. Remember, both dividends and capital gains are taxed at the corporate level, the individual level, and as capital gains. While this triple taxation of capital was not eliminated, the tax penalty was substantially lowered. As the capital-gains levy was cut from 20 percent to 15 percent on the marginal dollar, the dividend rate was reduced at the top income level from 40 percent to 15 percent. Meanwhile, personal income-tax rates were reduced across the board.
The charge that this policy would only benefit the rich is patently false. A recent Zogby poll shows that a substantial 59 percent majority of investors has a portfolio valued at less than $100,000. In addition, 28 percent of investors earn a modest $50,000 to $75,000 a year; another 19 percent earn $35,000 to $50,000; and 7 percent earn less than $35,000. According to Zogby, “The majority of investors earn less than $75,000. . . . This helps explain why old-fashioned [class-warfare] populism does not work in political campaigns nationwide.”
Steady dividend flows over time reduce equity risk and add enormous investor protection for retirement and other purposes. So what we’re seeing now is a return to the old-time religion of investing for both dividends and capital-gains returns.
According to the American Shareholders Association, investor wealth has increased $2.2 trillion, or 25 percent, since May 20, 2003, the start date of the Bush policy. So far this year, 161 of the S&P 500 companies have raised or initiated dividends. According to Standard & Poor’s, year-to-date dividend-paying issues in the S&P 500 index are averaging a 4.8 percent gain while non-dividend payers are down 3.5 percent.
Professor Jeremy Siegel of the University of Pennsylvania calculates that stock market returns including dividends have produced a 7 percent annual increase (adjusted for inflation) over long periods of time. But dividends fell behind in the last two decades because capital gains were taxed at a lower rate. Now, however, with a sharp reduction of the double-tax on dividends, dividend issuance is more efficient, with corporate payout policies more often based on the economics of a decision than just the tax consequence. Stock buybacks now have equal footing with dividend issuance. At lower tax rates, CEOs also have an incentive to pay out more cash to shareholders, rather than build internal empires or make unwise investment decisions.
In effect, the new law democratizes corporate governance. It puts real financial power into the hands of the shareholder constituency and removes it from the corpocratic front office.
Bush critics -- especially Kerry and Edwards, who wish to overturn the Bush policy -- fail to understand that reducing the double and triple taxation of investment capital is a business-funder, job-creator, and economic-grower. Simply put, capital is the best friend of both businesses and workers.
Bush’s policies make more capital available by reducing its after-tax cost and raising its post-tax investment return. When it is more profitable after-tax to invest, the mighty investor class will do so. And by supplying ever more capital to business and the economy, 90 million investors will expand America’s virtually unlimited potential to grow, create jobs, and prosper.
I have heard some say that you should take care of the details and the big stuff will take care of it self. I have also heard that you should take care of the big stuff and the little stuff will take care of itself.
I say you have to know when to take care of the big stuff and when to take care of the little stuff and then the picture will begin to develope.
As you can see this verse is about old bags and what they think they know and believe. It seems that once old people get set in thier ways they gotta die with what they believe lest they get messed up in the head about what the truth really is. Blessed is the old one who still has a supple enough of a mind to know the truth when they hear it and thank God for learning it.
Here are the surprising results, reported by the BBC News Online:--20 percent dieted for up to a month at a time, while 10 percent lasted a full eight weeks.--25 percent said they got bored with dieting and gave up.--Nearly 50 percent said they found dieting too hard and gave in to food cravings and temptation.--Only 20 percent ever reached their target weight.--33 percent said they ended up heavier than their original weight just weeks after their diet ended.--36 percent returned to their original weight. --20 percent of those who gained weight soon after the diet ended, admitted to gaining more than 14 pounds.--66 percent put all the weight back on that they had lost on the diet with nearly half of those taking just a month to pile on the pounds.--Women were less successful in their dieting than men. Nearly 40 percent of women ended up being heavier than when they had started dieting, compared with 20 percent of men.--Most of the men and women said they were unhappy with their weight."This really confirms what we have been saying all along. All these fad diets don't work," dietician Amanda Wynne told the BBC News Online. "They are very temporary solutions to weight loss. People are putting the weight back on afterwards.
" What can you do to successfully lose weight? Wynne advises people to make small, achievable changes to their diet, such as less fat, smaller portion sizes, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising more.
I want to add my thoughts in support of the very last statement that also you must let yourselves be a little hungry for a time each day and that should allow your stomach to shrink a little. I also eat less per meal and eat more times during the day creating a very stable weight for myself. I also believe that pushing yourself to a training heart rate for as little as 5 mimutes a week will keep your body metabolism up. Mainly people need to realize we eat to survive. A little self hypnosis will help in that department. Meditatiing which I of course recommend the Bible. Doing stuff that keeps your mind off of food. When you get those hunger pangs find the high in them. Think about God in the pain. Ride the wave. It is amazing what God may reveal to in those moments. People think I have a high tolerance for pain but I do everything I can to avoid injury yet when I get injured or ill I find that wave that is there and float in it. Sounds Zen I guess but that is where I go. I don't cut the pain off necessarily because it is always there but I ride it not fight it. I don't need no drugs I got God in the spirit. Makes a big difference.
Friday, July 23, 2004
[Open letter to veterans signed by twenty-one Medal of Honor recipients]
Dear fellow veterans:
We have listened to Senator Kerry falsely attack President Bush for months over funding for veterans, and it's time to set the record straight. The truth is President Bush has led the way on improving veterans' benefits, supporting our troops and restoring honor and dignity to the White House.
Since 2001, President Bush has increased veterans funding by over $20 billion, and funding for veterans' health care has increased by 40 percent since he took office. Funding for veterans has gone up twice as fast under President Bush as it did under President Clinton, and those who accuse the President of cutting funding are simply not being honest with veterans.
Meanwhile, John Kerry voted against a $1.3 billion increase in veterans health care, skipped votes on concurrent receipt and voted against funding for our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. And while he talks a good game, Kerry's record shows he is out of the mainstream. The American Flag symbolizes our ideals, our history and our values. President Bush shares this belief and supports a Constitutional Amendment banning desecration of the Flag. John Kerry believes this is "an attack on free speech."
We are disturbed that John Kerry would try to scare veterans with his false accusations, and we are disappointed in his lack of support for today's troops. Please join us in setting the record straight and showing your support for President Bush -- a leader who has proven his support for those who have served, backs our troops defending our nation and shares our values.
Sincerely,*The signatures on this letter of Medal of Honor recipients does not denote the support or endorsement of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1Co 6:4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 1Co 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between, his brethren? 1Co 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 1Co 6:7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law, one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Any way on to the title of this entry. Zacchaeus a man most despised of men yet God loved him anyway and desired him to be in his eternal court. This comes to my attention from the preache's son in a sermon from last Sunday. I am just finally now getting around to making comments on the matter.
Luk 19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.Luk 19:2 And, behold, there was a man named, Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.Luk 19:3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. Luk 19:4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. Luk 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.Luk 19:6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.Luk 19:7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
During this dinner Zaccaeus true heart came out because God had seen fit to visit him and what he truly desired was the recognition from God. I have no doubt that he had desired this all his life and God made it so. Also note that no man can come to this place without God putting it in his heart and keeping it there.
Zaccheus was so overjoyed that he repented and deamed to make all things whatsoever he could right.
The study: More than 13,300 nurses participated in a long-running health study that included tracking their eating habits over a span of 10 years when they were in their 60s. When they reached their 70s, the women were given a bundle of tests measuring memory, verbal ability, and attention. The tests were administered twice, two years apart. They included remembering word lists after 15 minutes, naming as many animals as possible in one minute, and reciting a list of numbers backwards. Then the researchers compared the women's diets when they were in their 60s to their test results in their 70s, especially noting score declines in the two years between testing sessions. A pronounced drop in performance could signal the start of Alzheimer's disease. The results: Most of the women showed some decline, but those who had regularly eaten the most green leafy vegetables showed less decline than those who ate the least veggies. "It was almost like they were younger by one or two years in terms of their cognitive declining," Kang told Reuters.
The magic amount to eat? It appears to be eight servings a week. The study findings were reported to the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related D
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
My Brother Al(Old Whig) brought something up I havent written about.
I was a shotputter (mediocre, but I won a few ribbons) in highschool. When I started running for exercise, I discovered that I'm actually pretty fast when I try to be, so I missed an opportunity there. A couple times as a blocker in football I ran down defensive backs, but you have to watch it when you do that that you don't clip 'em. Tough to make a good block in those circumstances. I sort of specialized in backside blocking, which, if you don't know, means that when the play was going to the left - I was the right guard - I had to take out anybody going for the ball from the right. If I didn't take out three guys I was disappointed. We had a lot of long runs to the left. Wow, that's gotta be dull for non-football fans. Or most fans, because very few people give a rat's behind about the intricacies of offensive line play. I, personally, could care less about what's going on with the ball. Unless it crossed the goal line because of me. I am, fortunately or un, my brother's brother. But we try not to afflict the world with reminiscences of our glory days too often.Posted by: Al / 9:58 PM
Go ahead, afflict! Afflict!Being a non-traditional student, I'm surrounded by really young people. It is very easy for me to be the old guy telling old stories. Depending on the specific individuals around me, I fight the urge in differing degrees. Dump punks get the full telling in the most rambling fashion. Attractive young women get ethe same stories but in a slightly more heroic form.Of course, my web site gets absolute gibberish.LiberyBob Homepage 07.19.04 - 12:53 pm #
Gotta be careful around those dump punks. Hey! I gotta check up on the poetry... uh... thing, at LibertyBob's.Old Whig Email Homepage 07.19.04 - 2:58 pm #
Ah yes. The good old days. Remember when I had you bring your gear home and we went out in the back yd and I......Hm. Well any way showed you what it felt like to put a lick on someone. Me no pads and you fully padded. I want you to know that those damn pads hurt. I was looking through my old year books and showing Karen a few things we had not gotten around to looking at and showed her the picture of the young Tim Larsen ( the guy who accidentally hit me just right and gave me whiplash). My teammates thought I was wild. I played on a broken ankle, broke my hand, had one stroke and got whiplash. Whooee I wanted to play bad. I would have had to die to have stopped playing. There was nothing like being out there thumpin and gettin thumped. And there was nothin like playing for a team that played as well as we did.ron Homepage 07.20.04 - 5:59 pm #
I remember watching our former q-back Bruce Mathison finally getting a start with the B-Bills and the announcer mentions that he was from Superior; Wisconsin, and that they play good football up there. Now thats some vicarious living. It still puts a smile on my face.Bruce won the game for the Bills that day. The one and only game they won that year.He scored on an option left from 3 yds. out.ron Homepage 07.20.04 - 6:04 pm #
As for watching you I could not see you in the cluster but I learned to watch the Left side backside linebacker. They always did a dissapearing act. I knew you were responsible for them. Its kinda funny when your watching a bunch of people flowing left and one of them goes boop! Gone.ron Homepage 07.20.04 - 6:08 pm #
I don't know if I was a star even thoug I got two defensive player of the game awards, and a player of the region award the previous year( for blocking a punt that sealed the game against St. Paul Benilde)but I know I saw plenty of stars. You know the kind that flash in front of your eyes as you momentarily blank out from a crusing hit. If I didn't see stars a couple of times a game it was a lame game.Well on and on I could go You know how it is.ron Homepage 07.20.04 - 6:13 pm #