Oh Man - Are You Rich?

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Are you rich?

I can't resist asking the question, and I'm hoping you write in with your response. My address is: editorial@smallcapinvestor.com . Let me prime the pump...

Yesterday I said I wouldn't go 'all political' with my discussion on the economy. But today I won't exercise such restraint - especially when debate regarding what to do with the Bush tax cuts is heating up. This debate is leading some in Congress to stick their necks out and define what they consider to be 'rich'.

But some Senate leaders have decreed that they won't vote on the future of the tax cuts, which expire on January 1 unless Congress takes action, because some incumbents in tight re-election races might become vulnerable to campaign attacks if they take a position on the tax cuts.

Now if that's not political brilliance at work, I don't know what is. Instead of taking a stance on an issue and letting voters decide, some fat cat politicians would rather get re-elected, and then let the voters know where they stand on the Bush tax cuts.

That's akin to an employer hiring somebody for a job, and then letting them know what they'll get paid. Brilliant - CEOs across the country should employ this strategy. I guarantee the unemployment rate would plummet overnight.

Of course I'm laying the sarcasm on pretty thick, but I think that's the appropriate response. Even though drawing a line in the sand between the 'rich' and the not so rich could be political suicide, didn't these folks get elected precisely because they need to make hard decisions when they count?

President Obama has suggested allowing the tax cuts to expire for the top 2.5 percent of taxpayers - those individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families that earn more than $250,000.

So clearly Mr. Obama believes that if you earn more than $200,000 than you are wealthy. So I repeat the question: Are you wealthy? My inbox is ready for your response at editorial@smallcapinvestor.com

If federal statistics are right, for every 100 responses I get to that question I should get 2.5 that respond 'yes'.

I can't wait to read your response. For extra credit, let me know if you think those earning $382,551 a year should be taxed at the same rate as those earning $5 million. Under President Obama's plan, they would.

I have to say, I appreciate that the President is putting numbers out there. More Senators and Congressmen should do the same - regardless if re-elections will be decided on the issue.

Given that these are the folks that decide how to spend our tax money, we should at the very least know if they think we can afford it before we elect them into office.

Send in your position on this question and let me know where YOU define the line. I'll post responses next week.

A couple of responses from yesterday's issue, " It's The Economy, Stupid" ...

Mike thinks stocks are overpriced right now. He wrote:

Yes, stocks are stabilizing as you have pointed out, but valuations are INSANE! John Hussman and Jeremy Grantham have fair value about 20-25% lower on the S&P and likely 40% on the Russell 2000, which still does not even have a trailing p/e according to the Wall Street Journal. Valuations are FROTHY!!!!

Byron has another great idea for a sign:

Good article. Another sign that could be hung on the door of Voters is, "It's All About Electing Conservatives, Stupid". I think that our country is at a cross roads and if conservatives don't act now we may be lost for a very, very, long time which could be forever.

So, let's get out the vote and really support our conservative candidates. You will notice I did not say Republican candidates but CONSERVATIVES.

I have to say, even though I did get a little political today, I think I exercised pretty good restraint. Hopefully you won't follow my example and will send in your authentic response to this issue to editorial@smallcapinvestor.com .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

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