Bain Capital isn't what Obama claims

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The companies Bain Capital invests in are ones with a good idea or product, lousy management, a bad business model, no business plan and/or poor staffing. They do not use public money for their turnaround aquisitions but rather go to a pool of private individuals, funds or investment groups who want a good return on their investment and are willing to assume some risk. Bain Capital, contrary to campaign rhetoric, has earned a good record of protecting and growing investor monies. That protection requires that each of the acquired properties be evaluated, reorganized and waste eliminated.

More often than not, the top management suffers from streamlining as much or more than the poor guy on the shop floor. Each person gets an evaluation that compares wages earned against value of the service provided. I would love to see that concept applied to our public sector government workers.

We have seen commercials with two steelworkers in Iowa who lost their jobs when Bain Capital failed to turn their company around. What is not said was that both guys got about six years of additional employment. Thank you, Bain! What is also not said is that three sister companies survived as a result of their consolidation.

Many of us have lost jobs and found it reassuring to believe it was someone else's fault. Reality is that they got along without our service and that is just the way it works. Companies like Bain Capital know who the producers are and who are the "hangers on." A valuable employee isn't just thrown out with the mopes because relocating an asset is better business than the risks involved in finding someone else.

The class warfare we see in the current political campaign, demonizes "The Man" by warping the facts to fit an agenda. A way to judge political claims might be to listen for "I know that" as opposed to "I feel that." As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say, "Just the facts, ma'am." Then verify that they are actually facts. Politicians never know for sure.

Ray Simpson
Oak Park

 

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Golden Years  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 12:17 PM

are spent "discussing" important issues 24/7 here.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 11:53 AM

"A discussion about a particular company or a particular decision is not attack on the free enterprise system" - Newt Gingrich

rj  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 11:00 AM

As demonstrated here on a regular basis it must be quite difficult for liberals to think logically when they've got everything upside down and backward as they feel they're moving forward. We feel for you.

Ask yourself  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 10:08 AM

Why don't you ask yourself: How are you worse off now that Obama is President from when Bush and the republicans held all branches of government(yes including the supreme court). You are only worse off by Bush policies, wars and Supreme Court appointees! AKA things Obama can't undo. And if all of the union busting ideas were so important to you, why didn't you demand it of baby Bush? You are all hypocrites, and fools voting against your own interest.

Russ  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 9:23 AM

Maybe the left can start their own "Ethical Private Equity" firms that focus on keeping bloated employee rolls, huge retirements, and questionable product lines of struggling companies. They can then risk all their union pension fund money on these dogs like Solyndra and pay the "fair share" tax rate of the top marginal income bracket on the capital they risked assuming there are in fact positive returns. After all, PE investing is easy. Not real work, right Jim?

Russ  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 9:11 AM

Econ, I pointed that out way earlier in this thread. It is hypocritical for the left to call Bain or any other PE companies corporate raiders or vultures. If that is the case, then I assume the left will start asking their beloved pension plans/401ks/university endowments, etc to divest their holdings from Carlyle, Blackstone, Bain, KKR, and other top PE groups since they surely don't want those outsized unethical returns?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 6:46 AM

Jim, Econ 101 is trying to add to the debate with facts and figures. You have found fault with our (conservative/ right wing) debate skills, yet when real information is presented you aren't interested. You have been linked with a philosophy and that is close to liberal Democrats. Sort of like Obama

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 19th, 2012 1:14 AM

Econ 101 has me mistaken as a spokesperson for President Barack Obama.

Why Bother  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 11:59 PM

@ Econ 101. Coughlin is an English Major from Columbia College / Chicago. He's good at liberal arts subjects. Business and finance are way out of his league. That place is a breeding ground for left wingers.

Econ101  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 11:47 PM

someone should point out to the left public union pensions are major investors in private equity. Ironic that public unions back job killers!CALPERS the largest fund in the US, has over $50 billion committed to private equity. Bain Capital Fund VIII, a 2004, $5.25 billion private-equity fund, finds limited-partner investors like the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System and University of Michigan endowment

Econ101  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 11:32 PM

I'm still waiting for coughlin to respond to my prior comments about private equity. Obama nominated Jerome Powell to the Federal Reserve board. Powell served as undersecretary of the Treasury under Bush 41, & then spent 8 years as a partner with The Carlyle Group. A PE FIRM SIMILAR TO BAIN. That's right: the president attacks private equity and then believes that someone with a similar background is best-equipped to help oversee the nation's monetary policy.

Econ101  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 11:01 PM

have to point out ANOTHER bogus claim from Mr. Coughlin who claimed in his post on June 15th at 12:42 that tax rates for the rich have fallen more than for any other group. Too bad the CBO clearly says u are wrong (AGAIN) The decline in the average federal individual income tax rate since 1979 was largest for those in the lowest income quintile, primarily because of increases in the earned income tax credit. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/124xx/doc12485/10-25-HouseholdIncome.pdf

Barry Soetoro  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 9:17 PM

Hi, Barry here again. I just want to thank Jim C. for "Having My Back". When I am re-elected I'm thinking of naming Jim my Minister of Propaganda. Fox News will be history.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 8:41 PM

Jim Coughlin - what's wrong with FOX news? They provide air time for Bob Beckel, Juan Williams, Julian Epstien, and a bus load of otherts

rj  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 7:58 PM

I would venture to guess that some on this thread are or were public union workers formerly known as "public servants" who have been elevated to the "privileged class" on the gravy train. The unrestrained greed and mismanagement is strictly between the politicians making promises to the unions that both knew were unsustainable. Who else but a public union worker that invests so little of their own and expects a lifetime of return off others earning far less than that "public servant". Get real

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 4:55 PM

Consider the source and don't just buy the hype,Russ. There is no dispute that the corporations posted record profits in 2011 and spent those billions on stock purchases. An irresponsible and unpatriotic business practice to focus on consumption instead of investment.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 4:43 PM

Come on, Ray. You weren't "accused" of a single thing. Drop the class warfare argument. It's been played to death on Fox News and by conservative bloggers. I already related to you that it has been a common tactic in US history for the wealthy to convince a segment of working people that they need to stand with the rich in oppostion to higher taxes. Even when it results in being against their own best interests. The wealthiest amercians are paying the lowest rates in decades and banks are sitting on trillions instead of providing investment funding. Regarding the stimulus money, you know that the money was not sufficent to address the long term financial woes facing state and local governments. We were going to lose teachers, police officers and fire fighters if the feds did not come up with some direct aid. You understand that the financial crisis was caused by unrestrained greed and mismanagment within the banking industry.

Wondering  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 4:11 PM

...So, before taxes and depreciation Exxon gets roughly 18.6% of every dollar of revenue. That has risen each of the last 3 years. Because crude oil is broken down into more components than just gasoline it's difficult to assign how much of the value is in gasoline vs other products.

Wondering  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 4:00 PM

Couple things -- first, the API chart indicates that taxes on gas in Illinoin are $.628/gallon, not 62.8%. On a gallon of gas at $3.80 that's about 16.5%. Much of the tax levied on a gallon of gas sold retail is fixed so doesn't increase with the price of the gasoline. For 2011, Exxon had a net profit margin of roughly 8.4%. Their pretax margin was closer to 15% and if you deduct depreciation you can add another 3.6% to those figures. Big oil is an oligopoly -- they have some pricing power. CONT

Russ  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 3:36 PM

Jim, you are free to pull down the 10k's (financial statements filed with the SEC) of the publicly traded Big Oil companies and see for yourself. The math is easy, even for a liberal. Divide net profits by gross revenue to get a profit margin (percentage). Facts have nothing to do with public relations. If anything, Big Oil needs PR to counteract the misleading claims of the left. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 3:33 PM

Jim - how come you accuse me of diverting the topic then you swing into the class warfare 'stick it to the rich' mantra? Not all state governments are as dumb and incompetent as ours. Indiana and Wisconsin seem to be facing the problem and working through it. I thought that the stimulus fund was supposed to address those stock problems you parroted.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 3:19 PM

Russ, the steeet runs both ways. I don't know about demonizing but you can't rely on the word of the public relations wing of the big oil companies to support beatification.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 3:13 PM

Ray, if our discussion is going to shift to how governments spend tax revenues; we'll have to agree to that Big Oil is doing just fine and should no longer receive a handout.I think you know that state and local governments are having great difficulty with budgets and many are facing looming pension costs. I guess if we weren't spending trillions on wars and weapons, reducing taxes paid by the wealthiest citizens and unfunded mandates; there would be more money available to rebuild infrastructure, construct new schools and cleanup our polluted waterways. Lots of good things that would benefit a great number of people but the decision makers have different priorities dictated to them by lobbyists and campaign donors. Which brings me back to the core issue of how do rid the influence of money that threatens the republic and corrupts the democratic process?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 2:41 PM

O.K. Jim - if the state and federal taxes were 9 to 11 times the Big Oil profit how come you are not bitching about what they are doing with the loot? Or is it that money to government is always beyond question. Big oil profits are dissected to the last penny yet monies extracted from union members in dues is never questioned. I still want to know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.

Russ  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 2:38 PM

Jim, it would be too difficult to try to explain how those record profits are based in dollars, not actual margins. Not too mention that one reason gas is so expensive is the devaluing of the dollar for which is the basis of how oil is bought and sold. in other words, gas really isn't more expensive... your money is just worth less. by the way, I don't believe govt should be providing subsidies to any industry. regardless, demonizing big oil is emotional, not fact based.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 2:24 PM

Let's look at the Big Oil picture, Russ. In 2011, all the companies posted billions and record profits; thanks largely to the higher prices paid by consumer. But these corporations didn't invest what they hauled in to fund new technology, upgrade facilities or hire workers. Instead, they spent the money buying back shares of their own stock.And keep in mind that your source for info about Big Oil, The American Petroleum Institute supports billions in federal subsidies steered to Big Oil. Ray Simpson stated he oppose these corporate handouts. Where do you stand, Russ?

Joe  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 2:20 PM

@Russ, you're going to scare away all the lib's with your facts!!!

Russ  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 1:41 PM

According to the American Petroleum Institute, the average local, state, and federal taxes nationwide are 49%. in IL it is 62.8%. So 62 cents of every dollar is going to taxes, not profit. http://www.api.org/Oil-and-Natural-Gas-Overview/Industry-Economics/~/media/21EBD0B62EBA42B1965EE82EFFB6585D.ashx So if you really wanted to lower gas prices, you'd have to stop gov't from taxing it so much. Govt has benefited more than anyone with higher gas prices.

Russ  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 1:35 PM

In other words,the average Big Oil company makes just over 5 cents in profit for every dollar in revenue. Simply quoting billions and billions tells you nothing about how profitable an enterprise is without context of the actual profit margin and total revenues associated with those figures.

Russ  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 1:28 PM

From CNN: As a proportion of their size, profits are actually relatively modest, in terms of margins. Total profits for the Big Five oil companies BP (BP), Chevron (CVX), Exxon (XOM), Shell (RDS.A), and ConocoPhilips (COP) were about $140 billion in 2011. But the average net profit margin was just 5.4%, based on numbers reported by Google Finance. On the high end, Chevron's margin was 10.65%. On the low end, ConocoPhillips' was 4.98%. By contrast, Apple's (AAPL) net profit margin was 23.95%.

Wondering  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 1:20 PM

rj - I was struck by your figures but can't find them online from a credible source. Can you cite a source for the numbers? I'm finding numbers that are much higher for the profit side, but, don't know how good the sources are.

Yea  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 11:43 AM

It might be Oil Companie tax credits that help finance the Interfaith project. They do good things.

Russ  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 10:44 AM

Ray, most of the left have never taken a basic business course, so pointing out something as simple as profit margin goes over their head. They hear billions and just make all kinds of assumptions without any consideration to the capital investment required, massive amount of revenues associated with earning those billions, etc. BP employees 83,000 people, most highly compensated. Apple's 30% profit margins are just though.

rj  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 9:58 AM

Ray - The left needs to find another scapegoat. The oil companies profit between 2-8 cents per gallon, while the government taxes 59 cents per gallon. Big Oil - more like Big Government - again! Who's doing the gouging?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 8:25 AM

Interesting response,Ray. Which government regulations of the oil companies need to be rescinded? The current rules don't seem to be preventing them from posting big profits. Glad to read that you support ending the subsidies.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2012 7:20 AM

JBM - The oil companies would do just fine if the government would get out of their way. The excesses of over regulation cost far more than any subsidies. I am not proposing "no regulation" just good business rules. Pickets and protesters are usually the least qualified to argue any real points. They know how they feel but it never seems that they can speak to the real facts. When the argument gets technical protesters get personal and try to destroy the people whose opinion is contrary their own.

Barry Soetoro  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 11:58 PM

Hi, Barry Soetoro here. I'm off to Mexico to get a few rounds of golf in with my old Choom Gang pals. Oh wait, sorry. How the heck did that get on my teleprompter ?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 11:47 PM

Maybe Ray, but somehow I cannot imagine you picketing the White House to end the Oil Company subsidies!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 2:49 PM

JBM - I deplore paying anyone for not doing something. If land bank is good let the farmers do it on their own. Overproducing makes prices go down - thats the free market - let it work. We can out produce any country in the world and if government would stop tinkering - thing would improve. Ethanol is a farm subsidy that is proving to be a hoax. We were told it was cleaner, now we find out that that is just not so. Once again government forcing us to do the right thing - - even if it's wrong. We are a country of good people who will do the right thing, our government is dedicated to agendas that aren't always good for anyone but the special interests.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 1:42 PM

Ray - Were you referring to farmers when you replied to Jim C's comment by writing "Jim, I believe that the government should take care of the truly indigent, however, when they promote three and four generations of total dependancy we are doing something wrong!" Your view certainly must include all corporate subsidies if we believe in fair play.

rj  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 1:20 PM

Some in congress 20-40yrs would have to be on drugs. It's unconscionable the havoc they've wreaked on us. How else can they live w/themselves-price you pay for selling your soul. November's exorcism. They're directly responsible for some in our society,who bare the brunt of these law/entitlements,& succumb to drugs/dealing. Such problems are laid directly at the feet of the Dem party hijacked by the far left. Four more years & we'll be on drugs.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 10:32 AM

Only drug testing someone to determine if they are using illegal drugs ignores the fact that abuse of prescription drugs is a much bigger problem. How about treating substance abuse issues, including alcohol, as a medical condition and not criminal behavior?

non-drug user  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 10:07 AM

Everyone who represents us in congress, as a federal employee and employed by the people with public tax dollars should be drug tested. Everyone on who trades on wall street and user government money to bail them out should be drug tested.

Drug Use  

Posted: June 17th, 2012 5:58 AM

Those on Public Aid - provided by the Taxpayers, should be required to undergo Drug tests - rnadomly. If they fail, they loose xxx amount of Aid. The drug issue should be used as a carrot and stick. It is time some REAL incentive be hung out there.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 11:19 PM

OPRF - no one seems to remember that the last 2 years of Bush 43 the congress was controlled by Democrats. Obama was a member of that group. If he didn't know about the "mess" he wasn't minding his own store. Bush should have stood firm but he wanted to play nice. I believe that Romney will not get trapped like that. I anticipate that at the end of a Romney administration we will all hate the man but love the job he did.

OPRF Achievement  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 9:26 PM

@Tom - I see you need to be provided some truth or fact serum. IF you want to blame Bush - for giving Obama problems - ok fine. Than, one could say Carter gave Reagan problems. I will go there with you. So, Reagan rates were outgrowth of Carter - just like today - Right?? Difference is what Reagan that did. Obama - he is lost in the weeds, and so stuck to his socialist upbringing - he cannot do what the country needs -- less Government intervention.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 9:02 PM

Jim, I believe that the government should take care of the truly indigent, however, when they promote three and four generations of total dependancy we are doing something wrong! There should be NO corporate welfare. Let them succeed or fail on their own. Good, well run companies will prosper and those who should fail will. The government has a terrible record picking who survives. Protecting jobs is a noteworthy aim but tax money should never be expended on delaying the inevitable. I do believe that tax breaks for research and development is a good thing as is providing technical support for companies who need a kick start. We will be paying the Russians 60 million per astronaut ride and I guess at least 2 American companies are working to fill that need - for a whole lot less money. NASA could provide a wealth of technical experience to get over the rough spots in the road. Is that what you would call corporate welfare? I sure don't.

Mares  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 8:20 PM

@ JC. I did not call you that. After reading what I wrote, I will apologize for making it a personal attack on you, not cool. After the stunt Obama pulled the other day he is nothing short of a Dictator. Lets see, he makes the annoucement and DICK durbin ia already set up for a press conference with a Middle East illegal alien, not a Mexican one. A politically brilliant move bought to you by Axelrod in an attempt to win over the simple minded voters. Nothing more than

Mares  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 8:20 PM

a desperate attempt to curry votes at the expense of the American people. Two of my good friends wives came to this country through LEGAL immigration. One is from Central America and the other from Eastern Europe. That waited their turn in line, came to this country, went through the LEGAL process, PAID all the cost and fees associated with that process and became naturalized citizens over the course of 7 to 8 years. The USA has a set number of people that it lets in each year so as to not

Mares  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 8:20 PM

overwhelm the system. Our governments first responsibility is to its citizens. My oldest brother has voted Democratic his entire life, starting with Carter in 1976. He told me yesterday that for the first time in his life, he will be voting Republican in the Presidential race. My Liberal Arts Major brother has had enough of this Dictator. The Mexican government exports their poverty problem to the USA and laughs at us. The same govermnent that throws illegals out of their country, pronto.

Mares  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 8:20 PM

If you want to sneak in the backdoor in the middle of the night, you are not welcome. Once again, I want to apoligize for attacking you personally. You did not deserve that. Have a wonderful Fathers Day.

Unfortunately  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 8:11 PM

@JC - which "dictator" should she have referenced? The President is to EXECUTE the law from the legislature - not the other way around - as in "dictate" what the law is. In the meantime, do you think that this action by Obama will increase or decrease black, white, and hispanic employment of those with a high school education? Will it encourage or discourage more illegal immigration to US? November can't come soon enough. All Obama cares about is dividing the country - not on his original plank

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 5:47 PM

Tagging someone as a nazi is how you debate, Mares? Very weak. I'll leave you to your thoughts.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 5:45 PM

Gotcha, Ray. The problem is that the Ryan plan does increase military spending while decreasing government funding for programs and services that benefit vets. Romney supports Ryan's plan and you support Romney; so I figured you might share his position. Your suggestion that private charities take take control of welfare is not a concept that I am familiar as having been applied on a national scale. What do you consider to be welfare? Just public assistance programs and/or corporate subsidies?

fan of rj from River Forest  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 12:53 PM

Carnac is on the right track. Me thinks Tom from RF is a govt lawyer or a PI lawyer, since they're the only ones who would possible support the Dems, and the only Dems who could afford River Forest.

rj  

Posted: June 16th, 2012 10:24 AM

Tom - those "rednecks" are at it again - now they want to unionize the unemployed. What will they think of next - children, pets, inanimate objects - an endless list of potential profitability. Be proud of your country cousins.

rj  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 9:07 PM

So Tom - Just in case you can't read between the lines - the next time you say "redneck" be nice and think of all they have done for the Democratic Party and all those union thugs you guys surround yourselves with.

Mares  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 8:52 PM

@ JC. I see your POTUS is acting more like a Dictator every day. When you mentioned you marched back in the day I did'nt realize until now that is was the goose step. November can not come quick enough.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 8:47 PM

Jim, I said no such thing. I believe we can afford both if we eliminate wasteful and foolish spending that is authorized through earmarks. When our government spends my money as if it was their own - we might see real improvement. Lets let private charities take over most of the welfare and get 95 cents on the dollar bang as opposed to 20-30 cents by the politico's. Lets eliminate government functions that are duplicated 7-8 times over. And on and on and on!!!

Carnac The Magnificent  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 8:46 PM

A: An ambulance chasing attorney or a college professor. //////////////////Q: Who is Tom from River Forest

rj  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 8:31 PM

Thanks Tom for bringing up "redneck". Term comes from West Virginia Coal Miners March/Battle of Blair Mountain in 1920's. Miners wore red bandanas around their necks to identify themselves as seeking to unionize. The Battle was largest organized armed uprising in Amer labor history & directly led to current labor laws/unions. They have a 300 yr history of achievement & success (unions)? contributing to our national identity despite liberal negative connotations aimed at todays conservatives.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 6:17 PM

Just so I understand your position, Ray. Are you advocating that the United States should actually increase defense spending while at the same time reducing funds to assist veterans? I expected that would be a part of the Ryan budget plan where you and Mitt Romney parted ways. We've got a lot of injured and scarred heroes who really need us now to stand with them.

rj  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 5:22 PM

Tom - the only problem is liberals will call anyone a "redneck" who doesn't tow the democratic party BS- proving liberals just as narrow-minded, prejudiced, biased, reactionary, as those you point to as "redneck".

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 4:46 PM

Actually rj, its sounds like the typical redneck.

rj  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 4:41 PM

Redneck - narrow-minded, prejudiced, biased, reactionary, intolerant - kind of sounds like the typical liberal.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 4:07 PM

And Juan, I am all for Hispanics. Its the rednecks that I can't stand.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 4:05 PM

Dooper, it must be fun to live in your fact-free fantasy world. Federal spending from 1994 thru 2000 grew from $1.45 trillion to $1.86 trillion. Federal revenue went from $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion. At this point, its like arguing with my five year old, except that he uses complete sentences.

Juan Valdez from El Paso  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 3:34 PM

Tom from RF...you don't like Hispanic-Americans obviously. Oh, except when we vote for Democrats I guess. Then some of us are useful to you other than when we are taking care of your great big River Forest lawn.

Dooper 58 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 3:30 PM

Tom, trust me. I don't believe most that I see on the internet. Especially things like WJ comments (some), NYTimes site (all), huffpost,nation...I could go on. Oh, those '93 rate increases (effective in '94) didn't have the effect you think. It was the Newt Congress (yes!) actually cutting spending growth & submitting balanced budgets for the first time in decades. Clinton gets much credit from me for signing those. Dislike him personally as I do, his having no core beliefs helped in that case.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 3:26 PM

My goodness would this be a great county if Texas did secede.

rj  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 3:05 PM

Ray, to your earlier post - Yes, mad and drunk with power, ala Soros. As one lawmaker said, "Hell hath no fury like a vested interest" (votes) "masquerading as a moral principle". More executive fiats to come as November approaches. Yes, Texas, sanctuary state for conservatives - can we secede?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 2:39 PM

It sure looks like we are all looking at the world through our own prism of hatred. You hate GWB, others hate Reagan, I dislike Clinton. Almost everyone feels sorry for Carter. All of these guys outperformed us by miles. You don't get elected president by being a dolt (Except Carter). Many, here wish Ken Trainer would run for president - me too! I wouldn't vote for him but his campaign would be something to behold. Our military could replace saluting with group hand wringing. Every citizen would send in all of their money and Fed Chairman Danny Davis might send some back. We, conservatives would be exported to central Texas. Just kidding, Ken.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 1:28 PM

Why does it not surprise me that Dooper believes everything that he reads on the internet. As for your argument about marginal rates, explain to me how you can be right when the marginal rate increases in 1993 led to the longest post-war economic expansion in US history? Or does Ronny get credit for that too?

Dooper 58 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 11:16 AM

Gee, Tom. I guess 300K google hits for "jimmy carter malaise" skewed my judgement. You too can cherry pick facts. OK, he never actually used the word in the Crisis of Confidence speech, but it's obviously linked to Carter forever more. I also confused the mortgage rate with the prime rate, which hit 20.5% just before the '80 election & impacts job creation. The point still stands, that raising tax rates on the "rich" (which really affect everyone) to that level is & always will be a bad idea.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 11:06 AM

rj - Looks like some of the members of congress are finally standing up and reminding the WH about "CO-EQUAL" branches of government. Obama has now insulted the Supreme Court and the House and Senate. Is this man MAD?

rj  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 9:37 AM

Here we go again - another executive order - ignoring Congress & the Constitution - re immigration - issued by our Marxist dictator-in-chief. By any means necessary. Looks like Jim won't have to move to France, yet, but hopefully soon.

Tom from River Forest   

Posted: June 15th, 2012 9:30 AM

Dooper It is laughable that you chasten someone for not learning about history give the lack of any historical accuracy in your post. First, Carter never said "malaise." Second, interest rates on 30 year mortgages did not exceed 13% in 1979. It wasn't until 1982 when st. ronny was pres that they neared 20%. Finally, unemployment in Dec. 79 was 6%. It peaked at 10.8% in Dec. 1982, again under ronny's hand. Finally, Reagan introduced the largest tax increase ever in 1981. Now learn from that.

Dooper 58 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 8:42 AM

Jim, you want to roll back the top tax rate to 1979. Well, as a 1980 college grad, let's recall those "good old days" of '79. Mortgage rates-20%; unemployment - 11%; inflation-12%...Pres Carter called it "malaise". Soaking the "rich" resulted in less investment, therefore less jobs & other bad things. Reagan reduced those tax rates, & helped unleash the capital from everyone leading to a 20 year recovery. Bad, bad idea, Jim. If we don't learn from our history we're doomed to repeat it.

steve  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 8:34 AM

Jim C. you are everything thats wrong with America. Please move to France.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 6:53 AM

Lets see if I have this right - Boeing sells airplanes to the military - thats bad. The government gives money to Solyndra - thats good because the rat hole is painted green. With Boeing - jobs, jobs, jobs and a tangible product. Since the military is a constitutional function that spending, without the waste, is more palatable than supporting pipe dreams and giving big money to administration supporters.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 12:59 AM

Thanks for your service, Ray. The country failed our soldiers when they returned home form Vietnam. I am troubled that's today's vets, who are finally coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, are also suffering. The alarming suicide rates, high employment and homelessness is a national disgrace. As you know, the Ryan plan that Mitt Romney endorses does not provide any additional funding to address these issues and sadly reduces overall spending for our vets. Expect big increases in defense contracts under a Romney adminstration. Remember, Ike warned the nation about the military-industrial complex. No one listened.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 12:46 AM

Your debate skills are lacking, Econ. Stooping to calling liberals "ignorant" does not strengthen your position.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 15th, 2012 12:42 AM

I do owe you one, Russ. Let's return to the tax rate of 40.9% that the wealthiest americans paid in 1979. Consider that tax rates for the wealthy have fallen more than any other income group and even more for the very wealthy. Incomes for the top 1% have increased the most. Compared with the 60's, the wealthiest and lowest wage earners now pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes while the middle class is paying more. I can't go for that. No can do. Regarding skirting, I believe you've yet to provide a definition of the "extremely hard work" that you want to credit to the wealthy. We should both be able to cite occupations that really do require a special kind of effort, energy and dedication. Few of those folks will ever realize the amount of wealth of the top 1%.

Mares  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 11:44 PM

@ J.C. Barack Obama: One America, The Great Unifier, etc... Funny, I have'nt heard this commercial on WXRT. I wonder why?? ---- http://thyblackman.com/2012/06/13/weve-got-your-back-radio-ad-thanks-alot-president-obama/

145 Days Until The National Nightmare Is Over  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 9:33 PM

Abraham Lincoln: Republican - Freed The Slaves / Lyndon Baines Johnson: Democrat - Re-Enslaved Former Slaves ---------------------- Tick Tock Tick Tock

James  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 7:46 PM

Really Coughlin, Bush was at fault for 9/11? How about your boy Clinton who failed miserably to take him out when he had several chances and degraded our military and intelligence capabilities to such an extent we bombed the Chinese embassy during the Kosovo campaign because they were using 10 year old maps. But ok, blame that one on Bush too eh?

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 7:27 PM

Jim, I was in the 25th Div in 1960 and we spent New Years eve at Hickam AFB packed to go to Laos.The division was issued live ammo and as a medic I had been issued MORPHINE - they don't do that for exercises. I don't fault anyone for avoiding what we were thinking about that night. It is hard to hold adults responsible for their youthful ideology or indiscretions. As for 43 and 9/11, did any of us think that could ever happen? Pearl Harbor re-played. The WMD issue - the world believed they existed and I am not sure that the Russians didn't help hide them.I spent my youth believing "Duck and Cover" so we were skeptics of the highest order as a result of the cold war. I believe that Romney has the hard nose experience it will require to get the spending under control. I am sure that being a nice guy was very low on the Bain Capitol list of qualifications and what will be required to set Washington on a more reasonable path. The medicine will be bitter and hard to swallow - how much better if it had been done 10 years ago.

Econ101  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 5:43 PM

It's funny to see ignorant liberals try and criticize private equity firms when Obama just nominated Jerome Powell to the Federal Reserve board. Powell served as undersecretary of the Treasury under Bush 41, then spent 8 years as a partner with The Carlyle Group. A PE FIRM SIMILAR TO BAIN That's right: The president who uses private equity to bash Romney, has voluntarily affirmed that someone with a similar background is best equipped to help oversee the nation's monetary syste

rj  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 4:53 PM

Russ - Maybe Jim just realized there are 237 millionaires in Congress. Top 23 - 10 Are R's and 13 D's. He might need some time to rethink that "fair share" thing. That's why we moved on to Romney/Iran.

Russ  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 4:30 PM

Jim, thanks for skirting my question. Again, please tell us what fair share the 1% should be paying in taxes. No need to bring up Koch brothers or anything else.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 3:27 PM

I take no offense from what you say about politicians, Ray. They're are their own. Regarding my "contempt" for W., I would say the fact that he was asleep at the switch on 9/11 and lied us into a war with Iraq, speaks for itself. The more we learn about Mitt Romney; the more I question his character and judgement. How do you feel about the fact that while in college Mitt marched in favor of the war in southeast Asia while at the same time using 5 deferments to avoid serving in the military? I'm sure we both remember fellas who never came home and it is an insult to their great service that Romney now speaks of waging war with Iran.

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 1:41 PM

Jim, In Eccon 101 back in 1957 we talked about redistribution of wealth. The bottom line was that if everyone got exactly their 'fair share' within one year those who were wealthy before would be even more wealthy and the poor would be poorer. It has to do with wisdom and the ability to manage wealth. Jim, I would never think about speaking for you or putting words in your mouth. You cannot deny your contempt for Bush and Romney, so why are you so offended when I bring up the dimmer lights in your string?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 1:22 PM

Russ, I'm not sure who the "you guys" are that you reference in your post. Let's take a look at the wealthiest americans and examine how many of them actually made their fortunes "through extremely hard work". That's certainly not the case regarding the Koch brothers. And it's difficult since you don't offer a definition of "extremely hard work" to use as a standard for comparison. I do know that in our country's history, the wealthy have been able to convince people who are not of similiar means to nevertheless argue on their behalf. Some will actually do so in opposition to their own best interests.

Joe  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 12:09 PM

My apologies Ray, I guess I got caught up in a lot of the comments. Your piece doesn't lean either way. The facts just anger one side more than the other!

Joe  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 11:46 AM

Ray, very nice piece. It's definitely right-leaning piece, but I think your points are definitely fair. To piggy-back off your list of "D's" to be upset with, how about MF GLobal an its disgraced former chairman, John Corzine? For an administration so hostile toward Wall street, it is amazing to me that the DOJ and the administration is not coming down harder on them. It happened under their watch, after their signature reform bill was enacted. I guess that only applies to non-(D) donors...

Russ  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 11:45 AM

Jim, the vast majority of the "wealthy" get there through extremely hard work and a little bit of luck. The problem with the "fair share" or "income inequality" rhetoric is that you guys never define what you mean. Please tell us what % of gross income should the top 1% pay in federal income taxes? How much should the bottom 50% pay? Be specific. Just pick a number. Keep it simple. Define income inequality.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 11:32 AM

You are trying to speak for me, Ray. That's not how we learned to debate. Offering a listing your rogues gallery of democratic politicians does not advance the conversation and could prompt me to offer to you a similiar grouping of GOPers. I'm not interested in taking the bait. There is a discussion to had about your belief that "the rich got that way by being smarter than the rest of us".

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 6:10 AM

My original comments referenced Bain Capitol and made no mention of Mitt Romney. Jim Coughlin and his "hit squad" of Bush haters (evolved into Romney haters) have made it a personal issue. At the end of the Obama administration I will be glad to see him go, but, will not carry any personal hatred toward him. It is sad when the only worthwhile people, in the Coughlin opinion, have a 'D' behind their name. How are Danny Davis' Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Nancy Pelosie and Ger. Nadler doing - Jim? You should try a little "fair share" hatred!

Ray Simpson from Oak Park  

Posted: June 14th, 2012 5:41 AM

Jim, As usual you throw all kinds of accusations out, as facts, without a shred of evidence. The rich got that way by being smarter than the rest of us. They will continue to be smarter and our dim witted politicians cannot rig the system to change that fact. The tax codes have evolved over decades to favor one side or the other and the people who can see the holes in the system win. They will always win!! If you could change that we could also gin the system so that the Cubs would have won a dozen or so World series.

Econ101  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 10:38 PM

Coughlin- from politifact Bain bought KB Toys in 2000, after Romney retired. He wouldn't have been involved in financial decisions. But toy industry analysts agree that far more than debt drove KB into bankruptcy court. It was a troubled company before Bain bought it, and Bain wasn't able to fix it. Did more debt hurt? Probably. But to blame Romney and Bain for the downfall is to ignore critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate this claim Mostly Fals

Econ101  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 9:30 PM

@coughlin- If private equity is so bad for jobs, I wonder why the largest investor in the wolrd in pe funds is the California public employees pension fund. Either VERY ironic or evidence that pe kills jobs is a lie. Also, the RICH do not pay 15% tax rate, EVERYONE pays 15% on capital gains. The AVERAGE effective rate for ALL tax payers is only 11% so Romnet STILL paid more than the avg person. even obama, who earned more than $700k last year paid less than 20%.

Econ101  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 9:23 PM

Its funny how the left screams about the Bush tax cuts and yet ignore the fact that obama is keeping them for 98% of taxpayers and which account for 80% of the estimated $3.7 trillion 10 yr. cost for extending ALL the cuts. Letting ALL the Bush tax cuts expire = $3 trillion tax hike on the middle class.

et al.  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 8:43 PM

@eric, everyone pays taxes, remember wage taxes are not the only taxes. There are taxes, in Illinois, on almost every consumer good you purchase. And if you do have a job, even a low paying one, you pay taxes. The taxes are refunded at a later date, and that is only state and federal taxes being refunded. Flat taxes only help the rich, proven time and time again by reasonable economists.

Eric  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 6:46 PM

Jim, who do you think passed most of the tax laws in America? Republicans? Democrats have had control of Congress far longer than Republicans. Why not send a message to Democrats in Congress to clean up the tax code? Most conservatives have been asking for a flat tax. Finally, why's is it fair for 47% of Americans to pay zero in taxes. Shouldn't they pay something?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 4:27 PM

The figures on income disparity in this country paint an entirely different picture. The wealthy and multi-national corporations game the system. I recall reading that GE employs over 500 tax lawyers and accountants just make sure it doesn't pay a dime in fed taxes. You and I and the average american have no influence in the process and get stuck with crumbling infrastructure and little reinvestment in our communities. Our economy cannot sustain rising health care costs. If the Health Care Reform Act does not provide relief; we are in big trouble. The notion of class warfare is getting ginned up by those who seek to shelter the top 1% from accepting responsibility. Too much our national treasure has been diverted towards consumption rather than investment. The Bush tax cuts have not created jobs and the costs of two wars has denied many an opportunity to succeed. Romney offers more the same.

Russ  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 3:57 PM

Jim, as long as he isn't doing anything illegal, I could careless how he does his taxes. I'm not envious of successful people and I also understand how screwed up our tax code is. Instead of wasting his political capital on Obamacare, given our economy, Obama should have blew up the IRS and tax code to make it flatter and more simple. Instead we get this class warfare BS claiming households that make $250k/yr are millionaires and billionaires.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 3:37 PM

But we don't know that's the case with Mitt Romney, Russ. Let's wait until more is revealed about his finances. I'm sure you would disappointed too if we learn that Romney was able to dodge paying very little or any federal taxes. The questions are not going to go away and will hound Romney until he comes clean.

Russ  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 3:13 PM

Jim, the money IS invested hence the capital gains tax rate you hate so much. The whole reason it is low is so investors have incentive to do sometihng else with their money besides sit on it. What do you think Private Equity is? Rich people (including union pension funds) investing in companies - creating jobs and companies. As I mentioned, retirees/elderly also benefit from these same tax rates.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 2:45 PM

Russ, How about you and Mitt Romney invest those millions in American enterprises rather than hiding them in foreign banks and tax sheltered accounts? There's really little interest or any point in branding a rich guy as a "rich guy". Romney makes no secret of his fabulous wealth but we deserve to know if he and all of our elected officals are even paying their fair share. Obviously, our tax laws are structured to provide the greatest advantages to the wealthiest citizens. Interesting to note, our country has a long and strange history of the richest americans being able to convince average citizens of the need for us to speak up and protect their wealth. In effective, the rich are able to pit us against each other while they guffaw and stuff the treasure chest. It beings up the question why someone would vote against their own best interests? The rich never do!

Russ  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 2:14 PM

Jim, if I had the means and wealth, I'd have off shore accounts too. Given how uneducated most voters are and media spin, how can he possibly release his returns without being branded as some evil rich guy? Remember the dishonest claims about the 15% cap gains rate rich folks pay while ignoring that the elderly/retirees also benefit?

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 2:00 PM

Russ, keep in mind that in 2008 the McCain campaign was considering Mitt Romney for the VP slot. They examined his tax returns for the past 20 years and decided to take a pass. Until he releases those records, it's impossible to know the actual source of his income and exactly how many millions are sheltered in offshore accounts. I trust you are looking forward to your candidate debating President Obama. Romney did not exactly distinguish himself when he faced off against the lightweights who were also seeking the GOP nomination. Should be interesting.

rj  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 1:41 PM

Haptic - Out of the Bush era Obama was spawned. The Right can admit the country was headed in the wrong direction - $4T/8 yrs. What is so disgusting is Obama added another $5T & counting in 3 yrs & all you have are far left-wing BS talking point lies -deny, divert, distract and destroy truth. Put down the Communist Manifesto and start reading some Adam Smith.

Russ  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 12:37 PM

Also, keep in mind that the actual investors are often PENSION FUNDS (you know the ones that those on the left love to use a retirement plans) and other asset managers. So the same folks on the left attacking Bain are often beneficiaries of their work.

Russ  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 12:34 PM

Bain is very good at private equity investments otherwise they would not still be in business. If all of their investments failed, they would not be able to raise capital to invest in already failing companies. Many of these companies are already failing and the PE firms come in and make the tough decisions necessary to save the company. Sometimes it requires layoffs, outsourcing, divestiture of product lines, etc...

Haptic from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 12:00 PM

And by the way my conservative friends, Gingrich and Perry called it for what it was and you know it. Funny how Republicans will actually speak the truth when fighting one of their own. And if Mitt was so successful as governor, he would have sought a second term. He didn't, because he knew what would happen.

Haptic from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 11:52 AM

rj, vampire government? Surely you slept throughout the previous administration and woke up on O's inauguration day and somehow thought everything is his fault. Hey NOPE, not a fact in your comment. Fox has you snowed, you are demonstrably uninformed, since it's been proven Fox viewers are less informed than those who don't watch any news at all. Not so MSNBC, which I don't watch since I don't have cable. Mitt Romney's campaign is a tweet with characters to spare.

rj  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 10:59 AM

Ray - Some still don't want to understand capitalism - as opposed to the beast of vampire government - sucking the lifeblood out of everything it touches as it demands more from its host, capitalism. Their denial, inability to face reality, the insistence against the obvious are sure signs of immaturity.

NOPE 2012 from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 10:50 AM

Haptic, clearly too much MSNBC/NPR in your diet, & for all your intelligence, there is no wisdom. Campaign rhetoric is different than actual facts. Bain created &/or prolonged jobs, unlike the Food Stamp Pres/Failed Community Organizer. Any perceived issues Romney had as Mass Gov was due to a veto-proof Dem majority in both state houses. His performance there was remarkable in the face of that obstacle, as was the success of the Olympics.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 10:20 AM

Ray Simpson should have shared "just the facts" about Bain Capital and KB Toys. Mitt Romney's group purchased the company in 2000 for $305,000,000 but only had to use $18,000,000 of it's own money to close the deal. The rest was borrowed against the company's assets. Bain Capital then paid itself $85,000,000 in dividends. That's a 372% return on the initial investment. Faced with an enormous debt, KB Toys filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and closed 365 stores. That's the Bain record.

Haptic from Oak Park  

Posted: June 13th, 2012 9:46 AM

Wow, noted Fox News viewers and Limbaugh apologist Ray Simpson talking about facts. Now that is rich. Even Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry called Romney and Bain for what they are, vultures. Bain didn't create jobs, it exported them. If you like what Mitt did to Bain's acquisitions and to Massachusetts as governor, by all means, vote for him.

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