Barack Obama's second term hasn't even started, but in a single stroke, thousands of Americans have fallen from the ranks of the wealthy. It's just like the dispossession of the Russian nobility under the Bolsheviks, except instead of being exiled to Siberia these former rich people are being reclassified as middle-class and getting an extension of the Bush-era tax rates.
For years, Obama and his fellow Democrats have insisted that couples making more than $250,000 a year should pay taxes at Clinton-era rates. But under the terms of the fiscal cliff deal adopted last night, households will have to earn $450,000 before a single dollar is taxed at the 39.6% rate. Knowing whether or not you're rich can be difficult under Obama's brand of Sharia socialism! Let this handy questionnaire be your guide.
Tags: Fiscal Cliff, House of Representatives, Money, Senate, Taxes
If you thought Sarah Palin peaked in 2008, you haven't been paying attention to her in 2012 (not that we blame you). So we're pleased to present an exclusive analysis we're calling The Worst Sarah Palin Moments of 2012 (So Far).
8. Palin calls Time magazine irrelevant for naming President Obama its Person of the Year, when really it's irrelevant for still trying to be in the print media.
7. In response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Palin sums up this horrific tragedy with a Cee Lo song and a crappy joke about the president.
6. Palin's son Trog (or something) gets a divorce after 18 months of marriage, and his family-values-having mom has no comment, because… family values.
Tags: Barack Obama, Chick-fil-A, Conservatives, Mitt Romney, Money, Sarah Palin
There was some good employment news this morning.
There was even better employment news on Wednesday night, if you're lucky enough to be employed by Random House.
At the company's Christmas party, employees were told that they'd each be getting $5,000 bonuses–that's all employees, from executives to lowly copyeditors to even-lowlier warehouse workers–because the publishing giant had such an incredibly profitable year.
"Hang on," you say. "Aren't books just the things you use to prop up your iPad?"
Yes, but not when those books are penned by E. L. James, whose schlocky Twilight rip-off Fifty Shades of Grey was acquired by Random House and became the fastest-selling book of all time. I wonder what percentage of world economic activity is attributable to this book, its forthcoming sequels and the sale of fake-silk neckties to suburban moms? Sixteen percent, maybe? More?
Lesson learned: Instead of arguing about how to create jobs and finance higher education, lawmakers should just send every American under the age of 25 to a fanfic workshop and call it a day.
Tags: Books, Money, Unemployment
The proceeds from the "121212" concert, featuring Eddie Vedder, the Who, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Bruce Springsteen, are intended to benefit the victims of Superstorm Sandy. So it's especially heartening to see a ticket sold for $60,000.
Except the ticket was sold on the secondary market by scalpers and almost none of the money will reach its rightful beneficiaries because everything is terrible.
Motivated by outrage–and, perhaps, his sixth sense for media attention–Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling for online sellers like StubHub to prohibit sales of charity tickets. In the meantime, the Sandy concert scalpers have joined a long, undistinguished list of assholes who have tried to ruin charity events in the past:
Tags: Chuck Schumer, Hurricane Sandy, Money, Music
Ron Paul ran one of the more transparent and fiscally responsible presidential campaigns, carefully reporting expenditures and focusing his spending on insane TV ads instead of wasting it on consultants. The same can't be said for some of his Super PAC "supporters." The first warning sign should have been when not a single solicitation asked for the donations to be made in gold…
Revolution PAC raised $1.2 million by pitching itself as a booster for Texas Representative Ron Paul's run for president. Under the direction of Gary Franchi, the group spent $1 million, 83 percent of its cash, on administrative expenses, including about $153,000 for himself and his companies. A $1,766 monthly fee for "office rent" went to a Franchi company whose address is a mailbox at a Northbrook, Illinois, UPS Store. Franchi said in an interview there is a physical location for the companies, declining to give its address "for privacy reasons."
This is part of a broader phenomenon: the behavior of the Super PAC reflects the personality of its founders. The "We are the 99% Movement" Super PAC? Their last FEC report showed them $10,000 in debt, appropriate in so many ways. Sheldon Adelson-funded PACs? Ignored the odds, bet everything on red and wasted millions.
Trust a PAC run by an especially conspiratorial libertarian who also happens to be a 9/11 Truther? Don't be surprised if Randian ethical egoism inspires him to steal all your money.
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Money, Ron Paul, Super PACs