(The following originally appeared on the author’s blog, Reformed Broker.)
Dear Evil Speculators,
As part of our ongoing program designed to render the US stock market completely dysfunctional, we have added an additional tax to be applied toward your investment income as part of the wildly popular Health Care Bill that we recently finagled through into law:
* Individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, or couples earning $250,000 or more, would be hit with a 3.8% surcharge on investment income to help pay for the bill.
You see, we are fully aware that in just the past decade, you have been slammed twice – 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 – with two of the most brutal bear markets in history – but we just don’t care. We are also well apprised of the latest retirement surveys – the ones that project that the average retirement account needs to generate 20% gains each year for the next 10 years just to catch up.
These concerns do not afflict us for two reasons:
Number one, as soon-to-be-former legislators, 6 and 7 figure jobs at law firms and corporations will be forthcoming for all of us, pretty much no matter what.
Number two, rather than have Americans foot the bill for their own retirement, we figure in about 6 years or so we’ll just ram a new Bill down your throats expanding Social Security and mandating employer-paid pensions for all retirees. Since all business owners large and small are by definition ‘Fat Cats’, what could possibly be the harm in that?
Do not think that we are unappreciative of the fact that without individual investors’ participation in markets, liquidity would slow to a trickle and the risk-taking, enterprising apparatus that built this nation would cease to be. On the contrary, we are so appreciative of investors’ market activities that we seek to grab an even larger piece of the action in the form of this and other levies to be decided in a series of closed-door meetings at our whim and leisure.
So please, as you grumble about the latest 3.8% tax-on-success that we’ll be applying to your portfolio each year, consider that it’s all for a good cause: Rahm will now be nicer to us.
The House of Representatives
Fantasyland USA 20002