Tuesday, August 16, 2011
BENEDICT ARNOLD, TAX CODES, JOB CREATORS, LIARS, SCOUNDRELS, AND REPUBLICANS
Benedict Arnold, an American traitor, made the similar bogus arguments, about taxing job creators as do contemporary Republicans. I was perusing an online inventory of rare books at www.abebooks.com when I came across the following item: ARCHIVE OF PAPERS RELATING TO THE EARLY BUSINESS ENDEAVORS (AND DISREPUTABLE CONDUCT THEREIN) OF BENEDICT ARNOLD, INCLUDING TWO A.Ls.S.].
Any of the recent Republican rivals vying in Iowa could have written the logic of America's first notable traitor. The following account comes courtesy of the book's online description.
Seems Benedict Arnold was, inter alia, a New Haven, Connecticut Druggist and Bookseller. The shingle he hung remains preserved by the New Haven Historical Society.
Actually the store was, according to his biographer, more of a department store. Not your corner pharmacy, fancier than a general store, you could describe it as the pre-revolutionary version of Target, not Wal-Mart.
Arnold opened up shop in 1761 and was doing a thriving trade. So successful was he that he crossed the pond to purchase inventory in London, on credit, then returned to set up shop on Chapel Street.
Remember we are talking New Haven, which means we're talking about Benjamin Arnold catering to Yale students. Arnold's creditors included many of the leading London publisher- booksellers of the day, including Thomas Longman, the map and printmaker Henry Overton, the Bible publishers Wright & Gill, and William Parker, proprietor of the radical GENERAL ADVERTISER.
Then Arnold began to expand his portfolio. He acquired a sloop and undertook trading voyages to the Caribbean and Canada. Most of these voyages, however, were devoted to smuggling rather than upstanding trade: "Benedict Arnold's business was secret by definition. To keep accurate records would have been self-destructive, yet not to engage to some degree of smuggling was all but impossible if such a business was to survive increasingly stringent British trade policies"
Arnold was a scoundrel who did not abide in the concept of "Sanctity of Contract" and was more a "Beneficial Breach of Contract" businessman.
Benedict Arnold blamed the tax codes too!
The evidence of this archive would suggest that Arnold used these acts as an excuse for not settling debts he had no intention or ability to pay off. He first became active with the Sons of Liberty in mid-1766, and in January 1767 was involved in a notorious case of beating up a colonial tax collector. American liberty and Arnold's personal freedom from debt were to him, one and the same.
Arnold's contemporaries, the Republicans, say that the top 2% of America's richest folk cannot and will not create jobs until the tax rate becomes predictable. These persons have had the "Bush Era" tax rates, also known as the Fat Cat Tax Boondoggle, all during the time the economy tanked under Bush and the recovery has struggled under Obama.
Under the Clinton tax rates the economy prospered, the debt was significantly paid down, there was a budgetary surplus, and Social Security was paid for. Rather than return to the Clinton era tax cuts the Republicans are using these acts as an excuse.
Republicans are paying the piper. Ending the "Bush Era" rates will cost the Koch Brothers $2 billion, the Wal-Mart Walton family $7 billion, the Campbell Soup Dorrance Family more than a half a billion dollars, and the family at the center of the Mars Candy Co. fortune will not be able to realize a $2.5 billion savings on their estate taxes.
The simple truth is that the big banking, accounting, and investment firms are taking the lion's share of these tax breaks and are not creating jobs. So what's a citizen to do?
My suggestion is simple. The Democrats want to add $30 in taxes for every $1,000 in income above $250,000 net adjusted, below the line, after you get each and every other allowable deduction and credit. So, if after your tax professional figures up your taxable income, you pay no more for the first quarter of a million dollars. You'd pay $30 more for every thousand bucks you earn after that. If you make another quarter of a million then you'd pay $7,500 more!
But I am a reasonable person. For every new job created by the job creator, that pays at least 150% of minimum wage (or $10.88 in Kansas), and is not an exempt management position then I'd vote for a $30 tax credit for every $1,000 paid in wages. That would mean they'd get a tax credit of $900 for every $30,000 in qualified wages being paid. Of course, those employees are productive and earning them money. It is a win-win deal. You can find your state's minimum wage from the Labor Department at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm.
It is high time Republicans quit using Benedict Arnold's template and show a little Quaker honesty.
Thomas Corbyn, from whose papers this archive derives, was Arnold's principal creditor and represented Arnold's creditors from the London end. These papers begin in July, 1766, after Arnold's failure. Unlike Arnold, Corbyn's business was rooted in Quaker honesty, as the entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography makes clear: "Corbyn's probity both at home and abroad was an important factor in the success of the firm. He frequently lent money to young men starting in business - and not infrequently lost it. . The life and career of Thomas Corbyn shows that the expanding drug trade of the eighteenth century was based on greater trust and probity than is often thought." To New York merchant Bernard Lintot, author of most of the letters to Corbyn, fell the unenviable task of dealing directly with Ar. Bookseller Inventory.