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  • Conrad Black Summarizes Obama’s Plans to Kill You with Taxes

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on September 8th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Obama is proposing one of the greatest tax increases in world history, entirely on the wealthiest 40% of the U.S. population — who already contribute more than 100% (yes, you read that correctly) of the U.S. government’s personal income tax revenue. He is disguising it behind a welter of largely fictitious refundable tax credits. The increased tax on people of substantial income will be paid out to people who pay small amounts of tax or none at all.
     
    No part of this familiar process is a “tax-cut,” which is how it has been presented.
     
    The top tax-rate and the tax on capital gains and dividends would all rise by a full third, estate taxes would be raised to 45% and social-security payroll taxes would be raised for families earning over $250,000 a year. The Obama claims that all this would keep taxes at 18.2% of GDP, and would cover his vast spending plans, are nonsense.

    From this. RTWT. Good to see Mr. Black is able to write from prison. He is a good writer and a smart guy.

    (Incidentally, I have a friend who worked on the trial and was there every day, on behalf of another party in the case. His conclusion: Black was guilty and the jury got it right. Black, like everyone who I have ever met or worked with who was convicted of a crime says he was not guilty.)

     

    8 Responses to “Conrad Black Summarizes Obama’s Plans to Kill You with Taxes”

    1. Patti Nicholls Says:

      Conrad Black is a very good writer but your friend got it wrong. Intent was never proven. In any event six years is a cruel sentence.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      Patti, you may be right. But my experience has been that there is no substitute for sitting in the courtroom and actually hearing all the evidence yourself, and unanimous juries are usually right.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      Common sense goes only so far. No one with a sophisticated knowledge of business or accounting, or of the type of business that Black was in, or with experience as the owner of a business, would be selected for the jury in such a case.

      Also, the punishment wasn’t merely six years’ imprisonment, harsh as that is in itself. Black also saw the value of his company destroyed by the court-appointed receivers. Moreover, even if he endures his imprisonment in good health, his conviction probably marks the end of his career. The burden of all of these punishments is enormous, much more than most violent criminals have to bear.

      White-collar defendants are generally overpunished in our system, because the sentencing rules ignore the value of their time and reputations. John Lott has made this argument eloquently.

    4. Lexington Green Says:

      Black got a lot of support because he has conservative supporters.

      He was either guilty of several crimes, or he was a man of monumentally poor judgment and irresponsibility. Based on what I was hearing, in objective and even sympathetic detail, from the trial itself, it was the former.

      White collar defendants, like all criminal defendants, don’t like having their lives and livelihoods destroyed. That is the problem with being indicted, tried and convicted. Black had a better chance than 99% of criminal defendants to defeat the Department of Justice. He had money and good, experienced lawyers. He lost anyway.

      Newspaper coverage of trials is pretty much always wrong in both general and in detail. The coverage of Black’s trial was no exception. The reporting was a mirror image of what the reporters wanted to see.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      I might share your confidence in the system if I hadn’t seen so many people abused by it.

      From what I read of his trial, Black threw some parties and took some vacations on the company dime, which were not unreasonable given the nature of his business. He removed some of his own documents without criminal intent. He and his partner structured a deal to give themselves a noncompete payment. I don’t see the harm in any of this, particularly since the court-appointed receiver destroyed the remaining value of the company, a loss to shareholders that dwarfed anything Black was accused of doing. Show me the harm that Black did to anyone.

      That Black had good lawyers is irrelevant. He was at a severe disadvantage because the judge and jurors were ignorant and the rules were stacked against him. Michael Milken had good lawyers too, but chose to accept a brutal plea agreement rather than risk a jury trial. That wasn’t because he was guilty of any big crimes.

    6. zenpundit Says:

      Isn’t it properly “Lord Black” rather than “Mister” ?

    7. Lexington Green Says:

      I don’t have confidence in the system. Most people who don’t have good lawyers, which is most people who get indicted, have a real problem on their hands.

      I know the DOJ’s case against Black was strong because I have a reliable, experienced and unbiased eye witness to the entire pre-trial and trial.

      You are wrong that Black having good lawyers is irrelevant. It is everything. Without it, you always lose. Again, Black had good counsel, and he lost anyway because the DOJ proved its case against him.

      I have no knowledge of Millken’s case.

    8. Lexington Green Says:

      I guess he is Lord Black. But I’ll leave it. Speaking as an American, i think there is no title higher than “Mr.”