2011-06-17 / Columnists

Commentary On Things Present

New York’s Seven Samurai
By Peter Stubben

The Seven Samurai of Akira Kurosawa fame protect the village from the marauding bandits, but the Seven Samurai of New York ... that is, the New York delegation to the United States House of Representatives ... do just the opposite, they are the bandits, the unapologetic raiders of the American treasury. This is New York’s gift to the Halls of Congress.

NYC’s Seven Samurai are led by the belligerent and bellicose Congressman from Rockaway, Anthony Weiner; and include Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Gary Ackerman, Charlie Rangel and Joseph Crowley and Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney. They lead the left wing of the Democrat party and in the past 770 days they have spent more than $7,100,000,000,000 and increased the national debt by more than $3.2 trillion to an astounding $14,294,000,000,000! Today, of course, we watch on MS-NBC that $14.294 trillion is not quite enough, so they are demanding more. They want the cap on their government credit cards boosted another $2,400,000,000,000, according to a June 11 report by the Reuters News Service. They have never met a resolution, a bill, a project, an amendment not worthy of full funding (except for the nation’s defense, of course). And with their upsidedown health care legislation which will give a panel of 15 bureaucrats full authority over American health care, these staggering sums will only multiply into complete American bankruptcy. Am I exaggerating? ... ask The Standard & Poor’s Corporation.

On foreign policy it’s all political for them ... that is, they howl at President Bush’s surge in Iraq, but purr like kittens at President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan; they rant over President Bush’s ‘unconstitutional’ enhanced electronic surveillance on the terrorists, but gleam and beam with joy at President Obama’s capture and kill of Osama Bin Laden through enhanced electronic surveillance. But on national policy they are unbendingly and unendingly consistent ... for, whoever is President, it’s spend, spend, spend and redistribute, redistribute, redistribute, year-in and yearout, in the name of poverty eradication. When President Kennedy introduced his New Frontier 13 percent of all Americans earned below the poverty line. Today, 50 years later, 13 percent of the American population still live below the poverty level. On the other hand, President Kennedy lowered taxes from 70 percent levels. Today, these seven deadly Samurai want to raise the progressive tax back to 70 percent.

I think the case of Jeff Wilpon vs. Irving Picard is illustrative. Wilpon, like many astute investors, was duped by Bernie Madoff. Yet Picard is suing Wilpon for up to a billion dollars. Why? Picard claims Wilpon should have known better ... that he knew or should have known that Madoff was engaged in a nasty Ponzi scheme. But shouldn’t all these other astute investor-victims have known, too? I mean, Wilpon is no genius (just look at his management of the Mets!!!). And, shouldn’t the regu- lators who are charged with protecting Americans from Ponzi schemes, that is, the SEC, shouldn’t they have known too? On five separate occasions over a 10-year period an options trader (Harry Markopolos) brought Madoff’s head on a silver platter to the SEC, and yet the SEC did nothing. But Wilpon should have known? Of course, Picard is suing Jeff – not because of right or wrong – but simply because that’s where the money and the assets are. And that’s what our Samurai Seven say too ... go where the money is.

And so I now bow to NYC’s brilliant progressives and offer my own new tax to cover their banditry. What we need is a 20 percent Entertainer to Educator Excise Tax. For all on the pitch, at the theatre, on the stage, and on the silver screen, let them pay a special entertainer-to-educator 20 percent excise tax on their incomes above $250,000. I mean, after all, these people – although rich – are generally not America’s most productive citizens ... they generally do not create new products or new services, and then hire a bunch of people around the US to sell their newfangled stuff ... no, these entertainers are generally lone wolves who maybe hire one or two hangers-on to insulate themselves, and that’s about it. Also, these people are not especially creative or innovative ... they are empty vessels that fill the theatre, stage or silver screen every night with the words, thoughts, sentiments and aspirations of the dramatist or the playwright. Or, they are the itinerant ballplayers who fulfill the strategy, hopefully, of their coach/manager. And, they are rich ... so let’s take 20 percent of their income above $250,000. Why not? ... they can certainly afford it. The Euros have their VAT tax and so America can have her EET (pronounced EAT) Tax. For example, let’s take the NY Yankees. The average Yankee earns $5,000,000; so, with my plan, we (oh, I mean NY) can earn from them almost $1 million per ballplayer, times 25 players, equals almost 25 million dollars. WOW ... that revenue will pay the entire annual salaries of 500 NYC teachers ... and that’s just from one team!!! I’m sure sensations like Justin Beiber and Kevin Kline and Alex Rodriguez would be delighted to support America’s teachers ... it’s a Win - Win.

I am just doing my part to redistribute from the filthy rich to the needy. I hope it helps!

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