“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
- Sir Isaac Newton
A general good rule of thumb is to expect that someone will be soaked whenever Congress starts talking about making the tax code fairer. Another good rule is if you want less of something, tax it. Such is the case with a proposed adjustment to an established tax rule with far reaching implications for the American economy.
Always hungry for more money to spend on pet projects, spendthrift members of Congress have found new taxable cash cows to fillet — private equity funds, partnerships, venture capitalists, and hedge funds. Foolishly, they have opted to fillet these cows for a month’s worth of steak instead of milking them for economic nutrition for years.
Specifically, the members of Congress have placed a 130% tax increase bullseye squarely on the backs of fund managers. These are hyper-aggressive and competitive financial managers who work hard, take risks, drive innovation, and earn tens of millions of dollars on a single completed deal.
In Washington, the issue seems like a politician’s win-win. The argument goes: Why not fillet and cook these jet-setters to feed the insatiable appetite of big government for higher taxes?
Popular opinion certainly isn’t on the side of these managers, despite their contributions to domestic economic growth. Most people still picture these guys as the “greed is good” shouting Gordon Gekkos from the 1980s era film of financial cautionary tale “Wall Street.”
These guys are getting uber-rich while most people continue to work 50-hour weeks just to pay the mortgage and put the kids through college. It sounds really simple. Open and shut. Until you dig a little deeper.
The funds these individuals have made so profitable have an enormously positive impact on the U.S. economy and Main Street America. Ham-handedly tinkering with such an important capital driver will have a negative impact on the nation’s economic vitality.
In the past two decades, these funds have yielded returns in the hundreds of billions — benefiting a wide array of individuals and projects. From constructing shopping malls, office buildings, and hotels to funding pensions for teachers, firefighters, and police officers, the funds’ capital investments have substantially contributed to job creation and improvement in the quality of life many Americans enjoy.