Thoughts on Our Federal Government, Taxes and Small Business and More

These are not meant to be researched items. These are “streams of consciousness” from the conversation yesterday’s post created.

First some housekeeping. I DO NOT like paying more in taxes. HOWEVER, I think that this country has created unique opportunities for entrepreneurs and paying taxes is a small price to pay.  Taxes are not a bad thing.  What bothers me are not the taxes I pay to help others and to support the services our country needs. What bothers me is the  mis-allocation and inefficient distribution of our tax money. Particularly when it leads to taking more money from those who can not afford it, and in this economy, even those making 250k per year can not afford it.

Our Congress, BOTH parties, has progressively lost the moral hazard of doing what is right for the country rather than doing what is right for the party and politician. Why wouldn’t a politician  go for the gold in their political career ? Why wouldn’t a party profess that their way is the only way  ? What is the financial or career downside of doing so ? None.  It may not serve the country very well, but careers and fortunes will be made . Our politicians are no better than the financial whores who helped get us into this mess. They put personal gain over the people they are elected to serve.

So what can be done ? Here you go:

1. Transparency.

It had been often promised  and never delivered.  If there was transparency in our budgets and the actual spending of our dollars, down to the nickel we as citizens would have much more insight and leverage in the budget process. As the saying goes, “Sunlight is a great disinfectant”.   US citizens (with the exception of classified defense spending) should be able to see it how our money is being spent in real-time.    The value of transparency is that we would benefit from the collective brain power of the American people.  I’m usually not a fan of crowdsourcing, but when it comes to managing how our nation’s money is spent, I think it could be a very powerful enhancement to the process.The power of the people at its best.

With complete transparency we could have hundreds of volunteer deficit reduction Super Committees to look for the best places to cut costs and improve efficiency. Without it, we are at the mercy of a “Super Committee” formed purely to make politicians through compromise and political expediency. That is not how problems are solved. That is how they are passed on to future generations.

2. 10 Year Budgets

There is no better example of how politicians lie to themselves and the American people than the fact that our budgets are framed within a 10 year plan.  There is no business person on the planet who would think that a 10 year plan would have even a remote possibility of playing out as planned.  Yet that is what we use to try to convince our country that we are “taking action ” to cure our problems. Hell, even communist countries have plans that are 5 years long.  Any budget plan that is longer than the end of the current POTUS term is basically a crock of shit. You can’t plan what you can’t control.  Any effort to do so is an out and out lie . It’s probably the only truly bi-partisan program that is unanimously agreed upon., and it is a lie.

3. Taxes Vs  Job Creation

There is an ongoing refrain from some that any increase in Taxes will have a negative impact on investment and job creation. Not true in 99.99pct of cases. Never has been. Never will be.  First the .01% times where it may be true. Potentially, a person could have some amount of money less than what they need to start a company because they paid say 1k dollars more in taxes this year than they did last year.  This could happen and I’m sure it has happened. but its the exception that proves the rule.

Now the rule…

People driven to succeed are driven to succeed. People driven by money are driven by money. People driven to compete, compete.  We live in a country that puts an emphasis on achievement. Not just financial achievement. The ability to set goals and achieve them. We celebrate and reward those that accomplish their goals. It is part of the very fabric of what makes this country so amazingly unique.

Those of us who are driven by money have a number that we strive for. People like me. (If you want to learn more about people like me, read this).  We want to be a millionaire. Once we become a millionaire, some of us want more. Some of us don’t. But once you hit the first number you begin to make decisions in your life about how you might get to the next number or just use what you have to make your life (and possibly the life of others) better.

Others set goals and define success and achievement in any number of ways. In no cases do any of them examine the tax rate. In fact, I would be willing to bet that 99pct of us completely ignore the tax rate. Why ? Because we know that the rewards we all value the most came as the result of our efforts. Something that no tax rate is going to take away from us.

 The risk of starting a business . The risk of making an investment in the sweat equity of someone else’s efforts. The risk of starting a charity. The risk of taking a new job. The risk of adding a new employee, etc, etc, etc.  I have NEVER met a motivated person  who has said they would not chase their goals  because of tax rates.

Personal achievement is not the only motivating factor that over-rides taxation.  Business to business competition ALWAYS over-rides taxation. If you own or run a business you have to best your competitors.  As long as they pay under the same tax structure as your business, it’s all about who can do a better job. Not what the tax rate is.

Of course none of this is going to stop big companies from arguing that higher taxes impacts job creation. Of course they are going to argue it. The less they pay in taxes, the higher their earnings per share and the greater the value of their stock and options.  If a big company needs employees to stay competitive in their industry(s) you better believe they are going to hire that person no matter what it takes. They will find the money some how. Even if it means lowering their political contributions and lobbying costs or bringing in cash held overseas.

This is a country that competes to win. That is not going to change.

In fact, follow this logic. Its counter intuitive, but its absolutely true.  The higher the tax rate on income the more risks us money chasers have to take in order to hit our number.  If you want that number, you are going to go for it. Period, end of story. More risk, more companies started, more people hired.

3a. Let Me Be Clear

I am not advocating that we raise taxes for everyone. I think that is a huge mistake.  I do think billionaires should pay more. We have benefited the most financially from this great country, and it is the right thing to do to give more back in a time of need.  I believe those of  us who have achieved windfalls in the stockmarket should pay more as well.  My tax rate back in 2000 was far greater than today, and I had no problem with it. My tax rate when I sold my first company in 1990 was even higher. I had no problem with it.  Nor should any entrepreneur or investor who makes the big score. As I said in my last blog post, it’s a great problem to have.

Do I realize that much  of the incremental tax money I send to the Treasury is going to be wasted ? Yes. Do I realize that after all the bureaucracy and overhead associated with running our government and the programs it creates that probably less than 50pct of tax money reaches the programs that the money is intended to support ? Yes. There is no question we are throwing good money after bad. There is no question that something needs to be done and I believe transparency will help solve this problem.

HOWEVER,  if money is going to be wasted by our government, it is better that Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet’s and other mega rich people’s money be wasted than YOUR money be wasted.  Agree ?

My point here is to say that the argument that higher taxes are a disincentive is very wrong.  The argument we should be making against taxes is that the government does a very, very poor job of effectively distributing our tax dollars where they are needed. Lets stick to reality rather than trying to make dogmatic proclamations that are incorrect.

4.  Tear Down Foreclosed Houses.

There is no question that the housing market has a huge impact on the economy.  There is also no question that the housing market is one of supply and demand. There is also no question that the government owns hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes and growing. Every day those homes cost money to maintain and service. It’s expensive and they hold down housing prices. The solution ? Tear them down.

Tearing down foreclosed homes by the hundreds of thousands will be the ultimate infrastructure project. Thousands of jobs bulldozing and clearing homes. Reduction in inventories. Reduction in overhead to service the vacant homes. The quicker you take the homes off the market, the sooner the market for new and used homes will recover and prices will go up. I had been planning on blogging about this several months ago, but beat me too it .,9171,2090368,00.html .

Bottom line is that best way to build up the housing market is to tear down every foreclosed home owned by government agencies. It will not only energize the housing market, but the process of tearing down the homes will create jobs for less educated/skilled labor.

5. Spending Money on Infrastructure/Infrastructure Bank

Speaking of infrastructure. I was watching a talking head show where an “expert” commented that the Chinese proved out the value of spending on infrastructure. It got me thinking about whether or not spending on Infrastructure or funding an Infrastructure Bank is a good idea or not. I’m not sure where I come out on this. Below is what I was thinking. I’m curious what everyone else’s thoughts are on what’s below:

In the case of China, They spent . The economy grew.  Correct, but very misleading, but also very informative.  Infrastructure spending is VERY BENEFICIAL when the spending creates new commerce opportunities. So in China, when roads were built where there previously had not been a road, thats a good thing. It enables commerce. We have seen it in the US with Dams, Highways, Bridges and more.

With the possible exception of  the enhancement and building of schools, the only infrastructure investment that makes sense is where COMMERCE THAT WAS NOT PREVIOUSLY ABLE IS NOW ENABLED BY NEW INFRASTRUCTURE.

The problem in the USA is that those opportunities are few and far between.  We have been there and done that. The BIGGER PROBLEM WITH INFRASTRUCTURE is that in the name of creating jobs we actually inhibit commerce and possibly cost jobs. How ? When we rebuild or expand roads as a way of creating jobs, what happens ? We shut down or reduce the traffic on the roads to be rebuilt. The net effect is that during the construction period we CREATE PROBLEMS rather than solve them. We slow down commutes. Which costs people valuable time (and yes time is still money), wastes gas/oil/energy as we sit in traffic and forces traffic to streets not designed for the additional traffic. Not Good. The same could be said with building /bridge remodels or updates and other projects.  We all want to see the potholes in our streets filled, but now is not the time to do it, and federal funding is not the way to pay for it.

The bottom line is that we have to understand the difference between Maintenance and Infrastructure. Infrastructure creates opportunity where there was none. Maintenance gets things back to where they were.  You INVEST in infrastructure when you can see a return. You SPEND money on maintenance when you not only have the available funds to do so, but also the ability to withstand the downtime and negative productivity impact that comes with the impact of the maintenance work.  Yes there are times when you need maintenance to return to a steady business state (ie your computer is broken or safety is an issue with a bridge), but again those have an obvious return.

We have to know the difference and the right time to spend . Otherwise a well intentioned availability of capital not only won’t generate a positive return, but could have a negative  local impact.

That is what I was thinking. What do you all think ?

6. Bureaucracy and Paperwork is the Greatest Tax on Small Business 

If there is one thing obvious from this administration , its that they don’t understand entrepreneurs and small business.  President Obama happily has the CEOs of major multi-national corporations who have never started a business in their lives advising him.  I could be wrong be I don’t believe he understands how businesses are started or how small businesses are run.  A 1 year tax credit is not going to create jobs.  No company is going to hire a new full time employee because of a 1 year tax credit.  Has the President ever seen what it costs to fire someone and potentially pay them after they are gone ? Either the demand for that employee is there or it is not. No one hires because of a single year tax credit.

Do the President and Speaker of the House  know that  every little modification to the tax laws is a tax itself because it requires hiring a professional to help navigate the taxation and human resources mine field ? How much fun would it be to make the President deal with payroll and HR issues for a 25 or 50 person company for a couple months 🙂

I wish President Obama and Speaker Boehner could have come to the set of Shark Tank to watch us film the upcoming season.  Over the course of 12 long days we sat and listened to more than 70 entrepreneurs come in and pitch their businesses to us. Some were well on their way to success and were looking for some expertise. Some needed capital and expertise that they couldn’t get elsewhere. Some had their backs up against the wall for any number of reasons and faced losing their dreams.  Each entrepreneur had a reason to be on Shark Tank and  was on the carpet being peppered with questions by myself and my fellow Sharks as we decided whether or not to invest.  I can tell you that dealing with the costs of overwhelming bureaucracy was always a far greater problem than taxation. Why  ? Because taxes come AFTER PROFITS.  The price of dealing with bureaucracy, patents, professional fees and of course competition  had a far nastier impact on their ability to succeed than tax rates.  Out of those pitches, I invested in more than  a few companies, and on not one did I ask them  to guess what their after tax profits would be. Yet for some reason Congress and the President seem fixated on tax rates as the pivot point for creating jobs.  It is not.

Someone in a position of power in Washington needs to start paying more than lip service to the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses. They are where growth in jobs will come from and more importantly where “the next big thing” that will accelerate us out this economic malaise will come from as well.

Mr. President, Speaker of the House Boehner, if either of both of you would like a private screening of our pitches so you can see first hand what the real business world is all about, I’m sure I can work something out with ABC ….:)

In conclusion… these are all just streams of thought. What does everyone think ? I’m open to learning more on all of these topics.



146 thoughts on “Thoughts on Our Federal Government, Taxes and Small Business and More

  1. Pingback: WHAT YOU TALKIN’ ‘BOUT? | FookYouTwit, too

  2. I really need to get on Shark Tank as well, Any chance you are still looking for small companies?

    Comment by cgitexas -

  3. As a small business owner in Dallas I agree with everything you said but banks are not loaning money like Obama says they are. We have an amazing opportunity to manufacture the resin we use and sell our patented injection system in the United States. We just need to purchase the formula and we could go from 3 employees to 30 to 50 in one year. If we only had the chance!!

    Comment by cgitexas -

  4. Im not giving up on you. I have faith in you.


    Comment by whitewoody -

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  7. Pingback: Blog Soup 2011.11.07 Unbid Tears, Love, Hope, and Imagination « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna

  8. Alright the other person who could play the lead role in this awesome flick is Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg). He would be perfect for it. I would like to discuss it with you.
    If you are to busy to make this film we could pitch it to Warner brothers or Paramount. You have the contacts to make it happen.
    You will make big money and be part of an oscar movie.

    Last night I got my sign. Two preachers came to my house last night dressed up in suits and wanted me to go to church. So I agreed.

    Last night on the tables I was on the 2-5 texas hold em table and flopped a straight flush 78910J of diamonds. I had the 7 and 9d in my hand. Can you believe it. Flopped the freaking straight flush. Took down a big pot.

    The other big hand at the table I smooth call 5 with AK he raises 20 and another caller. So because this chinese guy his nickname is actually AK has been raising to many hands I make my move. I reraise 135. He thinks about it for awhile and then calls.Flop comes 445 So he reraises me all in. Too much money in the pot to fold. So I call the 145. Turn comes a Queen and then I am dead. He had KQ. I had him dominated preflop but he hit his 3 outter for a 590 pot.
    He also caught me with 66 vs my AA. I didnt play this hand right and he hit his set on the flop and takes another 220 from me. So I am down 400 again. Well I go to 1-2 table and after a couple hrs on this drunk table I take 100 to 500. I Had AAA66 for a big hand. 300 pot.
    So I left the night down 20 but I learned some valuable lessons and played good except for 2 hands that night. The AK vs KQ what can u do about that. Flopping the straight flush made my night.

    This movie is going to be better than Wall Street. Get in touch with me so we can make this miracle happen.


    P.S look for a sign and go with your gut.

    Comment by whitewoody -

  9. Okay it has been 7 days Im a man of my word so the actor that should play the lead role in this movie is. Charlie Sheen. He is wild enough to depict this role. This will be a big hit. I also have another guy who I thought of last night to be the main actor and will tell you when I get back from the casino tonight. Cheers.

    So last night at the casino I played Omaha holdem. I played bad at first I admit and was down $400 but I learned from my mistakes and won it almost all back. When the table broke I was only down 25. Big hands I won kkk88 jjj55.

    On texa holdem I Slow played AA and guy raises 35 two callers I go all in for 85. Guy has AK. Left up 150 for the night.

    Off to make some money


    Comment by whitewoody -

  10. First of all, how great does it feel to be an NBA Champion!? I couldn’t be happier for you guys. The Mavs and the Suns are my favorite teams and you are by far my favorite owner. Thank you for putting so much energy and passion into everything you do. I think it really sets an example for your team and your fanbase.

    On the topic of taxes, job creation, and all other methods of Wall Street debauchery, I worry that corporations might intentionally tank the next few years by refusing to hire new personnel in any noticeable quantity in the hopes of convincing America that high,liberal-led taxes are stunting job creation. Maybe my tinfoil hat is a little too snug, but it seems like it would be in their best interest to make this administration look as bad as possible while promoting a more “business friendly” candidate in 2012. Which is an easier way to increase your bottom line? Generate new revenue? Or cut costs? It takes much less effort to cut costs, especially when Uncle Sam does it for you, and it doesn’t require any tangible risk. These companies could save obscene amounts of money (well, obscene to a 23 year dock worker at least) through favorable tax cuts without investing any of their own resources.
    It would be similar to the way the Republicans have neutered the Democrats by refusing to support any Democrat authored idea, despite how it is affecting the country.

    I completely agree with everything you said. Create new tax brackets for the mega-rich. No offense, but you probably have 250k in change between your couch cushions. 250k is rich to me, but in the grand scheme of things it’s barely a drop in the bucket.

    Transparency is a must. We should have the right to observe how our tax dollars are spent.

    I have never understood the idea of a 10 yr budget in a four year office. How the fuck is that supposed to work!?

    I feel like capitalism is the most effect economic system on the planet because of the innovation, creativity, and hard work it promotes when it isn’t being manipulated by “financial hackers” who are only motivated by short term share increases. I don’t however, think it is a great model for a political system and that seems to be the direction our current leaders seem to lean. Our politicians are more concerned with partisan victories than the state of our nation, which completely defeats the purpose of partisan victories in the first place. They want to increase the value of their shares regardless of the long term effects it might have on the country.

    If you read this Mr. Cuban, thank you. I can’t imagine how busy you are. I’m really sorry about the lockout. You are one of the few owners that I honestly believe cares more about basketball than their bottom line and I hope you guys come to an agreement soon. Also, the username I signed in at ShowttimeNBAPodcast is the name of a site and podcast I’m starting. It won’t be ready till mid November, so if you visit the URL and it’s half finished, it’s because I’m waiting on my wife to finish the album art(That sounded really pluggy, but I just didn’t want to take the one in a million chance that you visit the site and see an unfinished product, then judge us based on that.) Thanks again.

    Comment by showtimenbapodcast -

  11. I was really impressed with you distributing Loose Change back in the day. That was a good movie and showed your courage.

    The movie that we are going to do will be a huge success. You will get a sign this week.


    Comment by whitewoody -

  12. Great post, as usual.
    Web Ticket Broker

    Comment by webticketbroker -

  13. Mark, like most people here, I think you have some very good points and some fresh ideas, but I think there may be greater issues at play. Since 1787 Congress and the Courts have upheld what many would consider to be a wide and progressive interpretation of the “general welfare” clause. For example, in U.S. v. Butler, the courts ruled that “Congress consequently has a substantive power to tax and to appropriate, limited only by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. […] It results that the power of Congress to authorize expenditure of public moneys for public purposes is not limited by the direct grants of legislative power (i.e. Article 1, Section 8) found in the Constitution.” The moral hazard of such decisions is a populist dependency on a government guised as Robin Hood. The New Deal and Great Society legislation retooled the framework of our nation by lauding a philosophical belief that governments can solve problems and more rules and regulations are the answer to our economic ailments, something Ayn Rand Institute president Yaron Brook calls “the fundamental problem” today. In my opinion, the leaders of this nation need to revisit the role of government and what it means to provide for the general welfare of our nation. We need a sustainable solution, not a Ponzi scheme.

    Looking at the federal expenditures, there are really just five sections: Social Security ~20%, Medicare/Medicaid ~20%, Department of Defense ~19%, Welfare/Unemployment ~16%, and then everything else (including interest on national debt) ~25%. Over $2.0 Trillion dollars every year is used to pay for some derivation of the Social Security Act, as affirmed by the Supreme Court under the “general welfare” clause. Is it really in our best interest to finance such an inefficient bureaucracy? As you’ve mentioned before, the problem with our government is not the tax that is levied, but the administration and allocation of the funds. In 2010, it cost $9.7 billion just to administer social security benefits (which totaled almost $700 billion). The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent another $47.5 billion. The problem with transparency (your first point) is that it’s reactive. The real challenge is to act on the information and change the paradigm. Assume that we have 100% transparency down to the nickel, and it’s obvious how to cut costs and improve efficiency, then what? I call my senator? I write a letter? Neither seems to be very effective, and that’s assuming that I take the time to seek out and interpret the data.

    The American people need a wake-up call. The American people need to realize that no one is “entitled” to anything except death. We must become a self-reliant class. Barring “real structural change” to our economic underpinnings toward self-reliance and true laissez-faire capitalism, “we can buy time, but we can’t change the outcome,” Brook says.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I propose an admittedly radical solution… That Americans must pay taxes to vote. While I would never advocate for anyone to be disenfranchised based on a demographic, I think this nation would benefit greatly by enacted a pay-to-vote policy to ensure that only those with an economic interest in the country are allowed to shape its future. Recent studies show that almost 47% of Americans don’t pay federal taxes and yet it’s those same people that are consuming a lion’s share of the “general welfare” programs. Why would I not come to the US where they will take care of my every need and grant me a vote to ensure that the hand-outs continue? If we put the future of those programs in the voting hands of the people who are financing them, I think we may finally have the opportunity to see some real change.

    “The national government is a dangerous necessity to be instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation or community; it should be watched closely and circumscribed in its powers.” Thomas Jefferson

    Comment by tigers2008 -

  14. Here’s my back of the napkin solution to our top 1% tax problem :-)…tie the top 1% tax rates to a multiple of the poverty rate. And have this money set aside to be managed and used by the top 1%. And if they are better able to manage this money to lower poverty then the tax rates will decrease accordingly. So for example, if the poverty rate in the US is 20%, with 20% of the people under the poverty line, then the top 1% should get taxed at, let say 3 times the poverty rate…making their tax rate 60%. In this way they will have a vested interest in lowering poverty in the US. And as they find creative ways to help lower poverty in the US they save on their taxes, people will spend more and everyone benefits. So if they then invest (both their money and creative genius) to lowering poverty to lets say 5% then they would only get taxed at 15% and the lower rate they pay in taxes would be made up because their would be more people out of poverty who are now paying taxes.

    Comment by explainynot -

  15. Hi Mark

    I watched you chat with uncle Barky on youtube. Great stuff.
    You are totally right it is about preserving your capital. That is why I am so disappointed that I lost money playing poker wasted. So I quit drinking and will play better in the future.
    I was down 400 two nights ago and with my last 100 I went outside the casino and prayed to God for me to player I went back in and made the 400 back and left up 100 for the night. Best hands were AJ on turn it the straight and he goes all in with two pair k 10. So win 230 pot. Then I flp a boat 77744 win another big pot.
    Last night I played Omaha for the first time at the casino. Usually I only play it online. Anyway I made 250 there in 1 hr. Hit a boat QQQ66 and a straight. I really like that game omaha but they hardly play it at this casino.
    My two talents are pattern day trading and poker. I use statistics just like you do with the Mavs. Putting the odds in my favor. When I was 23 I took 20k and took it to 70k in 6 months. Trading everyday.
    Now my goal is to play poker in Las Vegas. If I can make 6k in a month at this casino with all regulars I should be able to make 7-8k in Las Vegas also when I go up there I will be playing more hours per day.
    In regards to this movie it will be a success I have done my homework on it and it is unlike any other. The actor I want in it I will tell you about on Friday. I really want you part of this venture in some way.

    Happy Halloween


    Comment by whitewoody -

  16. Hi Mark

    This movie is going to be a classic. I want you to be a part of it. It has got street cred.

    Well I made 6000 this month in the toughest casino in Canada playing poker. However I started to get cocky and found out I can’t drink alcohol and play poker. I had 2 losing nights in a row and I will be going to play sober tonight. Liquor is my kryptonite. I will also be watching the UFC tonight and gonna try to make it to church tomorrow. You will get a sign this week to get in touch with me. I have faith.

    Keep singing


    Comment by whitewoody -

  17. Dear Mr.Cuban

    Okay here is my idea. I know that you make great movies like Redacted. I have a great movie for you to make if you are up to the challenge. I wrote the script two days ago and it is controversial and real. Not like the boring hollywood movies they are putting out today. It has an edge. I got the title and picked the perfect actor for the lead role.

    If you get accelerated or get a good feeling call me at
    902-462-2321 or email me at

    I will wait 7 days to tell you the actor to play the part unless I hear from you.

    Good Day


    Comment by whitewoody -

  18. Oh I forget to tell you my GREAT idea. Well I will tell you when I get back from the Casino. Last night I had a breakout idea. GOD gave me a sign and I need to discuss it with you. I trust you. You are a Champion.


    Comment by whitewoody -

  19. Dear Mark

    So last night I had the best hands in my life. However from lack of sleep and drinking I played some of the worst poker of my life.
    Eventhough I came out a winner I felt bad all night. I left up but should of been up 200 more.

    You have to understand I am playing with the best poker players in Canada. Most of the time you got 6 to 7 regulars on each table. So you have to play very well to win.
    Plus they are very tight and don`t have the money people have in Alberta. So they are stingy.

    The other thing is the rake is higher here then Las vegas by 1 or 2 dollars. I figured it out and that amounts to 30-50 dollars more a day in Las Vegas. Also there are no comps here. In Vegas they give you 2 dollars an hr for meals.
    Last night when I hit Quad Deuces I got nothing.In Alberta they pay you for those high hands anywhere from 100- 300$. Lastly you can not wear an IPOD or angle at the table so it really sucks to play here. Also the casino isn`t open all the time. Problem is they have no competition in this town so they can dictate the terms.

    I am just waiting on my passport I can`t wait to play at a real poker hot spot.

    I will show my talent soon. Like the MAVS showed last year.


    Comment by whitewoody -

  20. Hi Mr. Cuban

    Well tonight I played poker and got some of the best hands of my life in such a short period of time.

    Okay Im really tired so I will try to make it brief. Preflop 15 I hit a set of 555s three diamonds on flop. He bets 33 all in. So I reraise 65. 1 caller and it was a blank I all in him 40 more. I know he needs a diamond. River card a diamond so I thought he won but I have a boat 33555 he has a flush the other guy had overpair JJs.
    Im on a roll then I hit trip QQQs I have an AQ in my hand. flop JQQ. I won small 30$ pot.
    I hit a set of 666s for 100 pot. Another hand he goes all in Q7 I have JJ for 36$ all in for him. I hit JJJ and he rivers a straight.
    Had Queens took down 17 in blinds. Had Kings.
    I also hit a set of 222s and he turns straight. But I turn boat.
    22233. At this point I planned to leave up 300. But the guy was yelling at me telling me I slow rolled him. Big mistake.
    I was totally exhausted from being up all night and I had a few beer.
    So I started making loose calls and not following my rules.
    So I started losing I go all in for 27 with 22s again 5 callers and wouldnt you know it I flop Quads. 22J. He has KKS.

    So I had a straight, 2 boats, quads, trips, another set all in the span of 4 hrs. Best hands I ever had. Problem is I left only up $65. It was unbelievable but I am so disappointed with my play.
    I made way too many mistakes from being tired.

    But out of all that I found out why I am suppose to get in touch with you. I will tell you in my next message. I had an epiphany that night and God blessed me. I’ve never had cards like that in my life.


    Comment by whitewoody -

  21. I came across this, and I like what I see. The focus seems to be solution based and not problem based. It is the way everyone should live there life. Be focused on the solution, not the problem.

    Transparency, I like. Everything else, I’m pretty much on board with also. How do we get there though?

    I owned a diner in the small town of Plymouth, Indiana. There were 2 committees in the town focused on revitalization of the downtown area. They would have meetings and people would raise their hands and say things like, “Well, what we need to do is get businesses in the empty store fronts.” Our paper the ‘Pilot News’ actually put that brilliant quote in the article that covered one of these 2 committee’s meetings.

    It is so hard.

    To me it seems obvious, not easy, but obvious. With any problem, the true solution is only found by setting the goal of where you want to be and reverse engineering the problem. I didn’t attend any of these meetings, I simply typed up a ten minute brainstormed paper on how to do that to help our town, and walked it down to the mayor’s office around the corner from my diner. Side note – My diner went bust. The one outside town by Wal-mart is thriving.
    It taught me the lesson of ‘location’.

    So, brass tax, reverse engineering is a creative process when it comes to ideas. It can be done in countless ways. And it must be done from the top down (that’s the “reverse” part). So, tell us not that transparency is good. Tell us the problem that causes the need for transparency, and create a solution for that. When that’s done if transparency is still a problem then tell us how we get it. I.E. Top down – a bill must be signed into law – Legislatures need to vote for that bill – a majority of legislatures must be on board. – how do we get to that point….that is the real work. That is where the creative thinking must come in.

    – Nick Rhoads

    Comment by shaggyartist -

  22. Pingback: Cool Blogs for “government” |

  23. I just seen you Mark Cuban on a youtube clip. I was watching the trailer for “all in” and seen you at the poker table. Its destiny. God wants me to meet you for some reason.

    So now that I know your a poker man I will continue.

    So last night I go to the 1-2 table guy raises $10 I have 10s so I raise 35$. flop comes A3?. He checks so I raise 35. He calls. turn a 2. I put my remaining chips in 25. He calls and rivers a 4 to make the gutshot straight. He put all his chips in on a 4 outer. He had 85 diamonds. So Im down 100.
    I then go to the 2-5 table. I was getting great hands. Ak QQ QQ AQ and won on all of them. Then I have Q3 of clubs and go all in with the flush. There were two callers one guy had trip kkks the other guy who I was worried about had J6 of clubs. Great triple up. So I left the table up 325. Up 225 for the night.

    I cant be upset with the bad beats that’s what I want these fish to do. As long as I have my money in good. I feel great regardless of the outcome.

    I play for the money not for the thrill. I know Im as good as Negreanu and Ivey and better than Helmuth and Gavin Smith. I just don’t have the recognition as of yet.

    Almost all people are losers in poker only a handful are successful over time. Especially when your competing with the rake. I am one of those players.


    Comment by whitewoody -

  24. Dear Mr. Cuban

    Well last night didnt go so well at the casino. I played good. Then this loose player at the table goes all in with Q10D so I call with my big slick Ak. Well I left the night down 110.
    So tonight I wanted to play my best so I went to the 2-5 nl table and won 250. Then when most of the table left I went back to 1-2 no limit and made 470 in 2hrs. So made about 700 in 4 hrs.
    I had great hands I went all in with KK vs his AQ it held up.
    Then I called 20 on 33 and flop came down ak3D and she had ak. So I doubled up again. Also I went in with AQD for 75 vs two other players and spiked an ace. Best hand of the night was A6D and flop the nut diamond flush. I messed up that hand i checked the flop and both people bet I reraised a bit too much they folded.

    Diamonds were good to me last night.

    Congrats Mark for being on the 49 most influential people list.

    GOD is Great.

    Comment by whitewoody -

  25. Im WINNING at my poker passion.
    Okay so 2 days ago made 100 in 4 hrs playing 1-2 holdem. Best hand hit set QQQ

    Last night made 260 in 2.5 hrs playing 1-2. Usually I play a lot longer but made good money so left.

    I flopped a boat 66699 best hand went all in KK vs Ak. My kings won. Had QQs won. Great night.

    Just waiting to get my passport so I can fly out to Las Vegas. I know I can beat the best.

    Beating the Stock Market and Playing Poker are my talents. I know how to beat them both. I play the odds.

    I will beat the so called pokerstars in Las Vegas.


    Comment by whitewoody -

  26. I really agree that no matter what you say as long as lobbyists exist and politicians can accept donations that allow them to further the interests of the company that donated that money, that is a serious issue.
    sometimes I feel disapointed thinking, why so many brilliant people cant find solutions to this stuff. 🙁


    Comment by zuhalcevik -

  27. I agree Geek. I just don’t see how we can expect a middle class who pays 35% in taxes, plus sales tax, plus property tax, plus are paying off their student loans with post tax money to even survive, let alone buy products they don’t need. The middle class makes up the market, and if we strangle them with these taxes on top of bureaucracy that prevents them from starting a business, I don’t see how we can expect the economy to recover.

    Is increasing the taxes of billionaires 5-10% really going to solve any of our problems when all our tax money goes to overseas war efforts that are pointless? I doubt it.

    It doesn’t matter what we do as long as lobbyists exist and politicians can accept donations that allow them to further the interests of the company that donated that money. As long as this type of political system exists, good luck making any kind of lasting change that results in any increased transparency of tax dollars spent.

    Comment by cjw2020 -

  28. Mark’s theory that tax increases don’t impact jobs 99.9% of the time is incorrect. Mark made his money during the dotcom mania when value was an illusion. But in the real world people weigh risks and returns before making investment decisions. Taxes are a subtraction from return. The higher taxes are the lower the return for the same investment and the same risk. If a potential investment as a risk rating of R some investors will assume that risk if the tax rate is 15% but not if it is 35% because the return is different. This is economics 101. And just to prove how absurd Mark’s position is – if we increase taxes to 100% then according to Cuban’s theory no jobs would be lost. Yet another absurd idea from Cuban.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for Cuban to adopt his own advice to CEOs and hire additional people until his companies are teetering on viability.

    Comment by geeksingularity -

  29. It is clear that Cuban created a blog to issue his decrees
    & show off…
    Not to have a meaningful dialogue with people…

    I am out of here & I suggest to the rest to stop being Cuban’s blog lackeys…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  30. True, but you’ve missed a couple of crucial points.

    1. Government may waste 50% of tax dollars but before you all titter consider that the private sector is equally poor at deploying capital, if not worse. Take the US telecoms industry which generates $bn’s annually in profit yet arguably has the poorest and most expensive consumer service offerings in the developed world. It is truly shocking and a researched as a model of failure in any developing country.

    If you want an economic driver with transfer the core IP network infrastructure to the public sector and spend $250bn putting 25mbit/s fibre to every home in America. Eisenhower did the same with the Interstate road network, now it’s time to do the same with Internet capacity. Consider the impact this would have on the US economy for the next 20 years, looking at 0.25% growth annually as a minimum.

    2. The problem is that governments are too SHORT term, 10 years is short term. You argue for shorter term planning, I get you point but I believe this is wrong. Successful governments around the world leave the short term to the private sector and their quarterly results and focus instead on long term trends, like retraining the US workforce from the manufacturing economy to the digital one.

    Terrific article otherwise.


    Comment by nregan -

  31. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. To solve our money problems, I’m still a fan of just clawing back most of the internet bubble fraudulent wealth transfer, where there were examples of people selling virtually worthless entities for, oh, 5.7B, and then using it on socially useless endeavors, like, buying sports teams a la Russian oligarchs. How many starving children could have been fed with the money blown on giant bottles of champagne for a sports team? You’re mistaking survivor bias for genius. And the irony of you ragging on the current crop of Wall Street bubble winners once you got yours, well, let’s just say, it’s rich. The best description of you is given by

    you did do a great job on step 2, congrats.

    Comment by slackful -

  32. Pingback: MARK CUBAN: "Tax The Hell Out Of Wall Street And Give It To Main Street" | My Blog

  33. Comment on Banks and lending and Housing market

    The country could really use a few key platforms supported by popular opinion of the masses right now, so that President Obama or whoever could take a real stand on the platform as part of their election campaign (or even better, try to implement it now while he is in office). Below is one idea that would seem to enjoy huge popular support if it could be implemented:

    I believe the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates to banks near 0% for several years with the indication they will continue to do so. I graduated from college in 1994 with a B.Sc in Chemical Engineering and a Minor in Economics. I distinctly remember an economics professor described banking as the “3/6/3” rule; which is “take in money from the government at 3%, lend it out at 6%, and be on the golf course by 3pm.” In other words, a banker could make a good living like this as long as he lends wisely to credit-worthy people and businesses. Since the late 1990’s and continuing to this day, banks and the finance industry have become incessantly greedy (in fact around year 2000 using their political influence in repealing most of the laws passed after the Great Depression that were designed specifically to PREVENT banks and insurance companies from going way out of control with their greed as they did when they caused the Great Depression). The finance industry would like us all to believe that banking in the last 10 years is “financial engineering”; in reality their tactics are simply “greedy ways to get way better than 3/6/3 rule for themselves and their wealthy clients at the expense of the masses.”

    A solution: The US Government can “cut out the middle man” at least for home mortgages on each homeowner’s primary residence. If the Treasury is lending money at about 0%; then it can be the “0/3/3” rule for US Government bankers (money at around 0%, loan it out to US homeowners at 3%, and they can play golf by 3pm). Will anyone care if the mortgage bankers are on the golf course by 3pm if their house is at 3% fixed rate mortgage? (it is much better situation than today’s corruption; anyway the 3pm golf game is anecdotal to indicate that banking can result in a comfortable life with the basic “0/3/3” concept, not “financial engineering” smokescreens that result in 7 houses and 150 foot yachts and Ferrari’s for the insider bankers of today). And to fix another problem with home valuations, all homeowners can obtain a new appraisal (if they haven’t already done so with a recent refinance); their home loan will be for the existing appraised value (the banks will take as a loss the difference in value between what the homeowner owes on their FIRST mortgage only (and primary residence) and what the current appraised value is- after all, the banks were the ones who caused the real estate value bubble by circumventing real estate transaction regulations that WERE in place- I read that the US Government recently announced a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against the major investment banks for fraudulent home loan practices and I propose as a settlement those banks can take the losses as indicated above, not just a $20million dollar slap on the wrist that is typical in these situations where they make billions from corruption and pay small millions to settle.) Then the government is holding mortgages at today’s current low (but more realistic) home valuations, minimizing the government’s long term risk. With a lower interest rate and a lower mortgage principle, millions of homeowners will be ecstatic, and the extra money they have per month can help them meet ends and even probably have enough left to consume more products to pick the economy up (it is an accepted fact that 2/3 of the US economy is based on consumer spending). And since homeowners will be paying much less per month, their chances of default become much less. Of course PMI will still be in place (higher rate for 30 year, lower rate for 15 year) just as it is now for FHA loans, to further circumvent government risk.

    Comment by painfuldentistry -

  34. Mark,

    This has to be your worst post ever. Honestly, after reading this it is utterly amazing to me that you have been as successful as you are. Anyone looking for proof that you don’t have to be smart or understand economics to be successful in this country look no further than this post. I wish I would have never read this post – that’s how bad it is. Your complete lack of economic understanding is obvious in your ideas however heartfelt and sincere you might be. There is so much to comment on it’s literally overwhelming me right now.

    I get that you have done very well with your first business, and now the Mavs, and that is honestly fantastic. I know that you have a platform because of it, not just with the Internet like the rest of us – people really do listen to what you say. But you should seriously think twice before you talk about things you really don’t understand. Maybe that’s the point of the Internet, I don’t know, or maybe your readers don’t give a shit, but seriously – Tear down houses? Really? Um, broken window fallacy anyone? And why are you so stuck on sharing wealth? Who the hell are you to tell someone else what they should and shouldn’t do? Is that the government you wish to have? Forced coercion by law? I can only hope that this is just your personal social belief and at least not an idea for public policy. You also write “People driven to succeed are driven to succeed. People driven by money are driven by money. People driven to compete, compete. We live in a country that puts an emphasis on achievement.” Is success in business not defined by profits? Our fiat paper system? Perhaps at a different time it was defined by barley, or wheat, or some other value resource. Currently it is fiat paper in our country. There is no success in business without that. If a guy comes on your shark tank show and says “we lost a shitload of money last year but heck we are really making a difference in people’s lives” you wouldn’t tell him he’s succeeding would you? And furthermore, I don’t really believe we live in a country that encourages profits or financial successes. If you really believe this you don’t watch the news. People who are driven in business or work for reasons other than profits/success are called OCD. I also love this one “They will find the money some how. Even if it means lowering their political contributions and lobbying costs or bringing in cash held overseas.” HOLY SHIT do you know you are describing like .0003 percent of companies out there? Really Mark? All my friends who pay taxes and run businesses – what tax is too much? If it’s raised to 50 or 60%? Boy you really believe in competition overcoming that don’t you!!! Ha! We’ll just do a wire transfer and bring in more cash from our China reserves to stay in business and compete with the shops down the street. LOL.

    And did you never pay taxes or something when you started your company? Or were you using VC money and not your own? WTF? Do you know what behavioral economics says about risk aversion and your own funds? Do you really not believe that when taxes are lower companies hire more? Or do you think every business owner hoards cash when they hit their “number” and doesn’t want to grow, make more, and hire people? It is very expensive to hire someone in our country and it’s getting worse. You need to wake up on this issue.

    Please never, ever run for office. You found a niche in the dot com boom and made a ton of money and that’s great. Stick to the mavs and being creative with other niche businesses, but please don’t pollute your minion of readers with bad economics.

    Comment by iusedtolikeyoumarkcuban -

  35. Mr. Cuban

    First of all this is my first time to blog or leave a comment on anything like this, so please forgive me up front.
    I have an idea for you that I really believe would transform the way we all do something when it relates to entertainment. I don’t want to sound like a crazy guy trying to get anything out of you, because in fact if you love this idea; consider it yours. I just want a chance to change my family tree, give to my church and give back to my community.I would be sick if someone else does what I’m willing to give you. I am a believer, and for some reason your name keeps popping into my head along with this idea. Maybe its the one episode of Shark Tank I watched. I would love to tell you about this. I’m not sure if you will see this, I had to give it a shot. Contact me through this or
    Thanks for your time.

    Comment by ldbatx -

  36. Our economic and political issues are complicated and yet very simple. Several generations ago Americans gave politicians and bureaucrats the authority to make decisions without explaining their motives or logic. We are a by product of this passivity though our generation must accept responsibility for not voting or for voting mindlessly by party lines.

    I am impressed that you and numerous caring and patriotic American billionaires and millionaires are offering to pay more taxes to help balance our budget and to help the poor people of America.

    It concerns me that these offers to pay more taxes do not include demands for an accounting of how our government spends our taxes. If you all were considering investing in a business or contributing to a non-profit corporation you would not proceed without reviewing their financial records.

    You all are in a unique position as you can afford to pay more taxes and due to government rules and regulations you are more transparent than our government. Now you can force transparency in our government by offering to pay for a truly independent audit, staffed by experts from every field imaginable, of the entire Federal government so that we can identify the waste and fraud in all departments that is destroying our economy. I have heard estimates that say the audit could prove that every department wastes or steals 10% – 50% of our taxes.

    Obviously we must end ObamaCare as it never should have passed, all we need to improve health care is a private carrier to provide the correct coverage at a fair price with incentives to improve our health and the rest will follow.

    Our elected officials and bureaucrats will reject your offer and the candidates and our fellow citizens will run with it making this a key issue in 2012.

    Now on your most pressing NBA concerns. The labor issues must be resolved without the players taking control of the NBA. To this end, one simple offer from you and your fellow owners will end your labor issues forever as the players will immediately accept a fair offer ending labor issues forever as long as the owners continue to treat the players fairly.

    Then your fans can enjoy the Mavericks winning several more championships in a row as you keep your current healthy team together. Otherwise we will see the so called “superstar” dream teams dominate the league for a decade destroying the league for 2/3 of the NBA fans.

    Comment by myunsolicitedopinions -

  37. Hello Mr. Cuban,

    Hope all is well. Congrats again on taking home the NBA championship. My name is Joel Gomez and I am currently a student at California State University, San Bernardino. Besides school, I work independently as a Personal Financial Analyst. I am also an entrepreneur, starting my own company of an unrelated field. I am writing to you, because I have a wonderful idea for a new business. It is in the finance/ technology department. I was hoping I could give you more info to see if it would be something you might be interested in. I can send you and executive summary if you would like. You can write me here, or via e-mail: Thank you so much for you time. Take care.


    Joel Gomez

    Comment by joelgomez87 -

  38. MR CUBAN:

    Love what you have to say, really. It is refreshing, especially in these tough times to hear someone with not only wit, but sheer common sense. I am a huge fan of this blog and loved the post of your back story.

    That being said, I know it is extremely difficult to read this and believe that the first bit above is sincere, but believe it. I also ask, however, that you also believe this:

    I am currently a student at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY. There, I not only created a company with a close friend of mine, but I have also helped revitalize our Entrepreneurship Society on campus. Our premier club event is TrepCon, a week of events we host, all having a common thread of entrepreneurial spirit.

    On behalf of the society, we would absolutely love if you could even just consider coming out to be the Keynote Speaker to wrap up the great week of events. You would surely draw the masses and judging by your flavorful and refreshingly straightforward attitude, those masses will surely love you.

    If there is any possibility of you considering this offer, please reach out to me at or (908)472-9147.

    Thank you so much, Mr. Cuban. Hopefully by the end of all of this, I will be able to call you “Mark.”

    Comment by patsfriends -

  39. Pingback: This Week in Real Estate

  40. Pingback: October 10, 2011

  41. The reality is that there is only us and until we realize that we will struggle with solutions. çek mağdurları
    We can not continue to foster mistrust of each other and then expect everyone to work together to solve common problems.

    Comment by Cuneyt -

  42. Mark, I think you left one thing off your list of “What can be done”:

    Vote them out. Vote them all out. Congress. Fire them all and start over.

    We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking back Congress from special interests, in my humble opinion.

    Shark Tank rocks! Love it; it’s on my permanent DVR list in case we’re not home.

    Comment by djbgumpy -

  43. Pingback: Working Hard vs. Hardly Working - Page 2 - G35Driver

  44. “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” – Mark Twain

    Comment by worldbfree4me -

  45. Hi Mark ,I agree with the idea of tearing down foreclosure housing .I sent then president bush a letter outlining the problems with the housing market .Have the cities take the properties through condemnation.If the hood waranted it fix up and sell ,If not tear down and make park or playground.Bad hood ,Tear down block.The problem started with Fannie ,Freddie and the goverment wanting everyone to own a home.I went to several meetings with Fannie and Freddie with them pushing the alternative financing using non-Traditional credit ,Like electric bills,Car insurance, rent checks to build credit .Then the credit repair jumped in using fraud to get people a higher credit score,You had 100’s of mortgage companies advertising low rates ,all bait and switch at the closing table,They found out were getting sub-prime loan,.Most people would end up taking deal,Because they were stuck ,Already sold their house ,Or had their stuff on a truck. title companies overlooking side deals between buyer and seller.Appraisals that were no good ,Home inspectors did poor job,realtors that would tell people anything to make sale ,also involved in mortgae process.Banks coming out with bad products to compete with sub-prime .Turning apartments to condo promoting flipping,This is how the mess started,I tried to stop it then,I called the FTC About the bait and switch on the internet,Their reply was :That Internet is really somthing , Found a fraud credit repair place in WPB Fl .Went to mayors office she would not talk to me ,Police detective asked me what do I care and did nothing ,Called FBI. they said problem was not big enough for them Wrote letter To CBI credit reporting no reply.No one in government give a krapp ,Just care about keeping their job and don’t raise any flags.
    To :Mark I read your post on people trying to get hold of you and if they don’t have Corp email,You won’t even look at it .Guilty I have a website and a video on you tube however closed my company due to market crash When investors buts puckered up.So I use my personal email to contact investors now for funding or partnership .Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.You might miss out on a good deal.
    How do I get you to look my device?

    Comment by zoltan461 -

  46. Pingback: Als Obama nou een beetje meer belasting betaalt | Lenen Student Informatie

  47. Mark,

    Insightful post, I have really enjoyed the past two.

    What irks me and what I really don’t understand about the whole taxing the ultra rich argument is all of the people who AREN’T rich who argue against it…it just makes no sense to me. You have the average guy making $70k a year completely against higher tax brackets for billionaires and millionaires when it’s highly likely he won’t be effected!! I just can’t comprehend their view point when extremely rich people like yourself and Buffet come out and say, yes tax us more, we can afford it. Maybe it’s because they want to be millionaires one day, but are deterred because of the higher tax brackets? I don’t know, I say If that is case there is a strong likelihood those people were never going to make it anyway…

    Now that my mini rant is over, I want to ask what you think of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan.
    9% – Flat tax on business
    9% – Flat tax on individuals
    9% – National Sales Tax

    In the Above you mention being against a national sales tax, but I like the idea for a few reasons.

    It will drastically simplify the current tax law

    It should increase savings because people would think twice before making large purchase (something people NEED to be doing anyway, there is way too much frivolous spending by people who can’t afford it)

    Richer Americans still pay a large amount of taxes because they consume more discretionary goods

    The issue with the national sales tax of what to tax and when to tax it should be cake to workout compared to the mess that has been developed over the past few decades.

    Comment by Cole -

  48. Pingback: Als Obama nou een beetje meer belasting betaalt « Nieuwsblog

  49. I think your ideas re. foreclosed homes is a great idea. Will also improve the overall look of many cities ! Have you seen some of these homes ? !

    As far as taxes…. I agree with everything you said. I mean, I am a struggling Entrepreneur from Toronto, Canada, and if I had to sign a contract stating that someone would give me start up money to start my dream business, only if I agreed to pay 70% in taxes should I become a millionaire ! Well, I would jumo at the chance ! But I wont have that chance anytime soon ! So, I could only dream of having to pay these high taxes you are speaking of !! I won’t sit on my couch, because of the threat of having to pay more !!

    Cheers !

    Comment by rongibson17 -

  50. How about using the tax system to reward job creation?

    E.g., what if there was a new tax on business profits, 50% of all profits go to the government. BUT, the new tax could entirely avoided if the business grew its headcount by 100%. The specifics on the percentages can be debated. The premise is to specifically not penalize companies that use their profits on growing their headcount and to penalize companies that have stagnant or reduced headcounts.

    The new tax might only be in effect for companies of a certain size, such as $5 million or more in profits or 100 or more employees.

    Also, terms can be added so that buying an existing company does not in itself “add” to the purchaser’s headcount (unless the existing company did a lot of growth that year before being bought out).

    Give businesses a reason to grow their headcount, because if not, then Uncle Sam gets to use your businesses’ profits to support the people that businesses aren’t employing. It gives businesses, and the their leaders, a reason to spend profits on less profitable projects, such as research and development.

    But won’t businesses become less efficient and less profitable? Yes, that’s the point. Instead of money sitting around and executives figuring out new creative ways to spend it without creating new jobs, the executives can give half of it to the government or spend that half figuring out new creative ways to employ people. Long term research and development that is not tied directly to a product or service would be good areas to expand. But many businesses don’t spend on long term R&D because it’s not profitable in the short term.

    Comment by king07828 -

  51. Hey Mark, saw you on Colbert (and Entourage, that was weird) while I was catching up on the last few weeks’ worth of episodes online and you said yourself you were a nice guy – so here’s my pitch. Billionaires are supposed to be the job creators, right? My husband needs a job. He graduated with two degrees and a minor this summer, and has started his own construction business which is just barely keeping our heads above water, financially speaking. In this day and age it’s frowned upon for a young, intelligent woman as myself to list “wifedom and motherhood” as her primary future goals, but there you are. Fifty years ago my grandfather supported my grandmother and their seven children with the salary he made as a contractor, now my husband and I both have to work whatever jobs we can find just to pay rent, and my dreams of a family keep getting pushed further down the road. Not to sound like a totally uniformed spoiled brat with an improper sense of entitlement, but it’s just not fucking fair. It’s not fair that the only things my husband can do are hustle (like he’s doing with his construction business), or go back to school to get a teaching credential or a law degree. Where are all of the normal, middle class, buy a house and have two kids and a yellow lab jobs? I know you are not the powers that be, you’re not god, and you obviously hustled with the best of them and killed at it to get where you are and don’t owe anyone anything for it. But is there any chance you have a job opening for a hard-working, insanely intelligent, ridiculously selfless young man? It’s so hard watching him struggle every day, and he’s struggling for us, and for me. There’s no reason for you to read this, or give it a second thought – it’s just my wild shot out into the abyss, and I understand it’s about as helpful as wishing on an eyelash – but I feel better have typed this.

    Comment by americangirlwife -

  52. The Pittsburgh Foundation will hold the Day of Giving 2011 on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 from 12:00 a.m. ET until 11:59:59 p.m. ET • Both Pittsburgh Gives and Westmoreland Gives days of giving will run simultaneously.

    Please post this link to help spread the word. Donations will be accepted for 24 hours. All donations are tax deductible. Help kids with cancer by choosing Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund or help your favorite non-profit. Thank you!

    Comment by genreskids -

  53. Chabby,

    not only u don’t comment on our comments
    but u allow the same post to …rot…

    We,the commentators,feel mistreated…

    U should renew posts every 3 days…

    And drop 1 line of your comment on every comment posted…

    That’s good blogging…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  54. I think we miss the boat when we argue “taxes good” vs “taxes bad.” You said that one of our problems is transparency, and I would add that accountability is right up there with it. Taxes in and of themselves cannot be good or bad. After all, taxes are how we pay for the local elementary school and the way 99% of you support the troops.* What frustrates me, however, is that all of the taxes get lumped up into one big pile and we lose sight of where they came from and where they’re going.

    The nation is on this anti-DC kick lately, and the Feds by and large deserve it. But the trend over the last half century has been that, where the federal government steps in, the state and local governments wash their hands of the matter and only do the bare minimum. If the Feds are going to pass around highway bucks, then why not save my state money for something else and hope that we get our fair share? (What’s the saying about hoping in one hand and shitting in the other, and seeing which one fills up first? )

    But it makes no sense for me to send $1 up to DC for the Dept of Education, then sit there and wait for them to (hopefully) send most or part of it back to fund my school.

    That’s the accountability piece. When did We The People ever sit down and say, “I’d like this service performed, and the best way to do it as this level.”?

    I’m trying to think of a business model that mirrors our state and federal government set-up. Where do you have a CEO with lots of corporate offices doing X, Y, and Z, but then you have regional offices run by people with no direct reporting responsibility to the main dude up at corporate?

    If you read enough business management books, you’ll find that most of the time, there’s no right or wrong way to run a business. Centralized vs decentralized control, authoritarian taskmaster vs nurturing and mentoring leadership, etc. But the right way is most definitely the way where everyone is on the same sheet of music. And that’s what we’re missing right now.

    Comment by feisusale -

  55. Pingback: Mark_Cuban’s_View_on_Government « Inthenameoflibertyblog

  56. Pingback: Thoughts on Our Federal Government, Taxes and Small Business and More | Freedom Developers

  57. I think that the idea of tearing down the houses is a little extreme. There are homeless people. There are people who can’t afford to own a home. I agree that we have a glut – and one that’s not going away anytime soon. Especially as the baby boomers age, retire and die. But there is an alternative. I proposed it back in 2009.

    But I agree that tax cuts are not a valid solution. I am also in agreement that the there is a need to shorten the budget time frame.

    You have a lot of good things to say. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Comment by ksparta -

  58. Pingback: It’s your duty to get stinking rich: Mark Cuban | Economy | Financial Post

  59. Mark,

    Your article is flawed in more ways than one. To keep this short, you’re telling us the reader that YOU, Mark Cuban (as opposed to the generic ‘millionaire’) are OK with paying more in taxes knowing that this money is, as you term it, going to be wasted. As a CEO for numerous companies in your lifetime, tell me how many times you have given your employees an open check writing policy, with YOUR MONEY, knowing that that employee was going to ‘waste’ YOUR MONEY. This is an insult to your reader’s intelligence. That fact is, the President’s ‘Buffet Plan’ has not been specified, and everything the president has presented thus far, the ‘mega rich’ as you term it, are those earning $200k (single)/$250k(married). Therefore, it’s the upper middle class who will need to pay more so the government can ‘waste’ their money.

    Put your money where your mouth is. Next time your write a check to the ‘Dept. of the Treasury’ bump it up by 30% (I’m using a conservative government ‘waste’ estimate) to cover the waste in government, that way your true tax liability is being positively spent, and the 30% is covering waste, that you are perfectly fine paying for. (Also, let Buffet know what you did so he can do the same).

    Comment by christiancpa -

  60. First of all, I applaud that you are trying to discuss this instead of merely shouting, as nearly everyone else is doing these days. And maybe the most valuable part of the post is the very end where you say, “Disagree or have something else to say? Let’s talk.” We need a lot more of that in our political discourse.

    I think we miss the boat when we argue “taxes good” vs “taxes bad.” You said that one of our problems is transparency, and I would add that accountability is right up there with it. Taxes in and of themselves cannot be good or bad. After all, taxes are how we pay for the local elementary school and the way 99% of you support the troops.* What frustrates me, however, is that all of the taxes get lumped up into one big pile and we lose sight of where they came from and where they’re going.

    The nation is on this anti-DC kick lately, and the Feds by and large deserve it. But the trend over the last half century has been that, where the federal government steps in, the state and local governments wash their hands of the matter and only do the bare minimum. If the Feds are going to pass around highway bucks, then why not save my state money for something else and hope that we get our fair share? (What’s the saying about hoping in one hand and shitting in the other, and seeing which one fills up first? )

    But it makes no sense for me to send $1 up to DC for the Dept of Education, then sit there and wait for them to (hopefully) send most or part of it back to fund my school.

    That’s the accountability piece. When did We The People ever sit down and say, “I’d like this service performed, and the best way to do it as this level.”?

    I’m trying to think of a business model that mirrors our state and federal government set-up. Where do you have a CEO with lots of corporate offices doing X, Y, and Z, but then you have regional offices run by people with no direct reporting responsibility to the main dude up at corporate?

    If you read enough business management books, you’ll find that most of the time, there’s no right or wrong way to run a business. Centralized vs decentralized control, authoritarian taskmaster vs nurturing and mentoring leadership, etc. But the right way is most definitely the way where everyone is on the same sheet of music. And that’s what we’re missing right now.

    Comment by High Plains Drifters -

  61. Mark, this is a great dialogue and appreciate you getting some of this out there.

    One thing that I see as problematic, and I have no earthly idea how offer ideas around it, is the “short term” time-horizon most large multi-national companies (quarterly earnings, stock prices,) as well as our politicians ( election cycles, lack of term limits etc), Few, if any, have incentive(s) for LONG TERM growth and health of the economy, besides regular people working for college funds for their kids, their hopeful happy retirement and so forth.

    For example, I work for a stable, financially sounds, 20-25% annual growth ($rev) F500 company. But they manage quarter to quarter and to Wall Street. I doubt anyone on the board or its major shareholders give two-sh*its about how the company does in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years etc. Their horizons are very different than the average working person. Hence, hiring/firing is managed quarter to quarter, capital investments put on hold if earmings misfire by a penny or two. There is no long term incentive(s) to invest in the company over a 5-10-30+ horizon ( Except for maybe some heavy-capital driven companies like the oil/minerals, airlines, heavy industry, etc, who have to plan for large capital outlays way out in the future)

    CIO’s turnover is 18 months on average. C-level execs generally operate out of the very short term ( see HP recently) and highly incented near-term “gains” ( stock prices, grants, options, earnings etc)

    This was not the case in post WW-II emerging America. Multinationals barely existed. Large corporations were often run by families, not hedge funds and Chinese pension funds or Australian insurance private placements.

    The horizon has changed. There is very little ,to zero, structurally or politically, incentives to invest in the mid-term, let alone the long term, and for Americans or anyone else for that matter.

    I have no idea, but how do you change that?


    Comment by CFwordpress -

  62. Pingback: Simoleon Sense » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup 146: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web

  63. Chabby,
    blogging is…7/365…

    U should reply to us,even as u go to the toilet,
    ( “reply – as -u- go”…)
    through your smartphone…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  64. Mark, taxes SUCK. I am an attorney and I believe that this country needs some serious restructuring. The government would run a lot better if it operated like and competed with private businesses. Rather than government just taxing the people, it should vie for the people’s business and earn the money of the people rather than have the unfettered power to take our money and spend our hard-earned money without being liable to us.

    Think of it this way, the President, Congress and the Senate act as our officer and our board of directors. The people are the shareholders of the country. If the government were not protected by its many immunities, there would have already been so many shareholders’ derivative suits against it for misuse of the country’s assets and creating all the debts that this country has.

    The government has too much power and the people are voiceless and helpless. The people have given too much away and the power of taxation has basically castrated us.

    Another issue I have is the dichotomy created by a system wherein the people must answer to both federal and state laws and taxes. States should be subsets of the Federal government and there should not be State and Federal income taxes.

    Government as we know it needs to go away. We need a new system entirely. The new system would not tax people but would raise money like other businesses do and would provide services and goods that the people would get billed for. The system should not force “social security” onto people.

    I could go on and on but I am too tired right now. I have thought about this ever since I was in law school and realizing that the country has strayed from the purpose for which it was formed.

    This country is made up of the governed and the government and that is not any different than the King and the Colonies.

    Comment by thelegaldiva -

  65. Mark,

    I agree, unless taxes are raised to an oppressive level then I don’t think it’s going to stop innovators, entrepreneurs, and job creators from doing their thing. But….

    I started a small business right in the middle of this crappy economy. That! Company ( http;// ) was just recently recognized as #183 on the Inc 500 fastest growing companies in the United States. Neither taxes, the crappy economy, or a lousy president is going to stop me from driving it forward. While I have to say that stroking a $100K check to the IRS was no fun at the beginning of this year, if it was $110, or $120 wouldn’t have held us back from continuing to grow this year and if my taxes do go up next year it wont stop us then either!

    We’ve put 30 people to work in our short life span and at our current rate we’ll double our workforce again. That said, if the taxes aren’t raised I can’t say that we couldn’t put the $$ to work or hire another employee earlier. So I somewhat disagree with you. While increased taxes won’t stop us (you right if we need an employee come hell or high water we’ll hire one), but having that little extra could be put to use to acquire another client, used in marketing to help us grow a little faster (albeit not much). Needless to say, if we were 10x bigger, and that increase meant $100K more in increased taxes the growth potential / reinvestment potential would obviously be exponential.

    We’re self financed (started the whole thing with $130K) and we don’t have outside investors. So our growth is organic, and every dollar counts. Not every small business slams it out of the park right out of the gate and small business IS the answer to our nations employment problems. Further not every small business has access to capital to maintain an aggressive growth pace either. If ten thousand small businesses like ours(who don’t have access to expansion capital) could reinvest that small amount, grow just that much faster, and make a few more hires just a little sooner… Well you can do the math.

    All that said, I don’t see a 10% increase in my taxes as something that will prohibit our growth, curb it slightly perhaps.

    In regards to another point you made; Bulldozing the foreclosed inventory. I couldn’t agree more! Before starting this business I came from the now embattled new home construction industry. The problem in the housing market is 100% related to inventory. It’s the ultra-simple definition of supply and demand. Between 2004 – and 2006 we were building 1000 homes a year. We were raising prices simply to slow the demand and honestly because the market could bear it. Our hard costs weren’t going up relationally to our sale prices and we ALL knew that we were artificially inflating new home pricing and building a huge bubble that would one day burst. It did. Now there are way too many empty homes sitting out there keeping pricing down.

    Your mention of costs related to upkeep is a bit overstated. If you drive through any number of communities you can easily identify the foreclosed homes due to the overgrown grass, peeling paint, and overall disrepair. But your point is nevertheless strong. The act of tearing them down will create jobs, the effect on pricing and demand are obvious. It will put a large number of buildable lots on the market which will have an effect of driving down land cost, which will most likely result in small in-fill builders making speculative land investments. Further it will take these blighted and ill-kept homes out of communities which will have a positive impact on adjacent property values as well.

    It’s too bad it won’t happen. The lack of a cooperative environment in Congress combined with the lack of strong leadership in the White house means that the idea is just that… an idea.

    Keep the stream of consciousness going the dialog is good.


    Oh and P.S. A number of the companies you’ve invested in, need services that we provide.. We’re damn good at what we do, and have people you know which used to work for you at the Mavs that can vouch for that 😉

    Comment by kenknorr -

  66. Chabby,
    u…” missed ” my comment on jewish identity & role…

    Do u agree with me that the Jews in America should change
    their identity from…” Americans of jewish faith ”
    to Israeli outlanders (” expatriates “,” Jews abroad”) ..?

    To show loyalty to motherland & solidarity with global Judaism…

    Acquire dual citizenship,vote both in Israeli & USA elections etc

    What is your position ..?

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  67. I don’t think anyone needs to come to Mark’s defense but it is obvious Mark isn’t advocating just giving the government money. Acknowledging that government wastes money is just stating an obvious truth and saying that he would rather government wastes rich people’s money rather than ours just makes sense.

    The US government must fundamentally change. People must be accountable for the ways they spend our tax dollars. As an example, the US military spends something like $100 per gallon to get fuel to the troops in Afghanistan. I’m not an expert on the matter but I imagine that we are paying US contractors to supply this fuel. I bet there are Afghans business people that could deliver fuel for less and the US government would be creating an environment where the locals would have a vested interest in ensuring that the shipments came through safely so they could be paid. This is the difference between spending money with little return on investment and using our spending to enable entrepreneurial spirit so locals feel responsible to protect and build their infrastructure and society.

    Mark giving money blindly to our government has as little chance of creating change as wasting money paying US contractors to try to deliver fuel in a hostile country.

    Comment by cbortner -

  68. How come these “billionaires” can’t google a simple address? Get you checkbook out big guy and send in as much as you want…

    Gifts to the United States
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782

    Comment by caper29 -

  69. Mark,

    I’ve always loved your zest for life. The way you went out and made something happen albeit in the business world or the Mavericks.

    Now if you really feel that you should give more of your money to the federal, state, local goverments … there is abosultely nothing stopping you.

    I doubt you will until you are forced to … and all other billionares also.

    Comment by jack230 -

  70. Hi Mark,

    I’m a small business owner in the Dallas area and your comments on business employment taxes’ affect on hiring is quite correct. You hire because of a business need and if the need is strong enough you find a way to make it happen. On the other hand you never hire unless you have strong need. If the employee is going to help make more money than they are paying for the additional taxes that you will be charged.

    I also agree that red tape and complexity kill small businesses. It is amazing to me how many tax bills arrive in the mail that I had no idea I owed and the amount of money I have to pay accountants to keep my filings current. Simplifying the tax code and regulations would keep many small businesses focused on their businesses and keep money in their pockets to re-invest in and grow their businesses.

    This all leads me to strongly believe in a simple (flat or graduated) tax code. Standard W-2 wages can’t be hidden and are always taxed yet so called wealthy persons have so many ways to make money, other than direct W-2 wages, which can be hidden or offset using a complicated tax code (so called loop holes). This is where the tax code is not fair. Politicians also use the taxes code to try to change behavior, which I believe is short sighted.

    I think we should all be open to the idea of paying more taxes to help get us out of this mess and I’m glad that many individuals worth over $1M agree with paying more. I would like to see a mandate with this that each government agencies budget is cut, by say 10%, and yet not be able to reduce services. There has to be a movement to reduce government waste if we are going to increase taxes to reduce the deficit.

    I agree with an earlier post that infrastructure improvements need to update to the 21st Century. The highways in the 30-40’s help fuel the growth in the 40-50-60’s etc. Now we need investment in information technology highways and access. Those smarter than I will also identify other 21st infrastructure items to invest in that will produce jobs, and most importantly, help us keep a competitive edge in the world. Apple has shown how a great idea, a commitment to quality, and outsourcing MFG is able to create wealth and high paying jobs is the USA. We live in a global world and trying to ignore that or turn the clock back is folly. This is why education and creativity are so important for success for young people in our country.
    These seem so obvious to me and simple to fix that the only answer, I can come up with, why the elected officials have not addressed them is incompetence, lobbying, and short sightedness.
    I’m curious about your thoughts on how we can get politicians to change or listen?

    Comment by cbortner -

  71. Pingback: Марк Кьюбан о налогах и мотивации | Артем Пащук, бизнес-журналист

  72. @Mark; someone posted this on my facebook wall and I responded to all the points. Wasn’t intending for you to read this or I wouldn’t have been so harsh/direct (choose not to edit it as I figured anyone who’s made it to where you are can take a tiny bit of criticism):

    To briefly sum up:

    Intro) Career politicians who are mostly LAWYERS who do whatever they can to maintain a political career just want power for themselves and to keep their job.

    1) He’s right;

    2) He’s right; If you compared most companies 5-year business plans to what they actually did in 5 years you’d laugh.

    3) He uses “numbers” like facts but he just makes the numbers up with no proof, I disagree. He also doesn’t talk about opportunity cost and high taxes as a demotivator for starting a business or succeeding further.

    ‎3cont) To make up numbers like him; some billionaires “wealth” is tied up directly in their business; say we raise the tax no the extremely wealthy 5%. They were going to pay $10mil in taxes; now they are paying $500,000 more. Whatever they were going to do with that money: CAPEX, Hiring, dividends, stock buy-back, is going to instead go to be wasted at 50% on the dollar by the government. How is that good?

    ‎3a) If he’d like to pay more taxes, there is a line on the income tax form that allows you to contribute extra. If he and Warren Buffett are not doing that before they write these articles then I find that could be mild hypocrisy. Although that extra tax donation would be far better given to a charity.

    ‎4) Terrible idea; It’s the broken window fallacy. Its a make-work program that has a negative effect on the economy. It literally REMOVES wealth from our economy. It’s the same as the cash for clunkers program. That KILLED the cheap used car market (which is important for poor folk); That program saw to the destruction of 700,000 cars. Cars which had a value of between $500 and $5000. That’s $1.4BILLION in value torched for the sake of selling new cars. It’s like the government lit $1.4billion on fire. Destroying houses is no different.

    ‎5) Agreed; infrastructure for infrastrucures sake is pointless. Infrastructure to increase commerce (like in China) is awesome!

    ‎6) THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT HE MAKES! Ask Brian about this? When did you want to open your business Brian? [referring to a friend in the middle of starting a business] You can’t have anything more damaging to economic growth and wealth creation than miles of government beauracracy and red tape.

    Comment by iamfreetochoose -

  73. I wrote a for-semitic comment in which I suggested that
    the Jews worldwide must abandon the strategy of appeasement
    & assimilation & become…big time Israelis,
    a nation with its country & its millions of outlanders ( “expatriates”,” Jews abroad “…)

    It got 25 negatives.

    I am curious to find out what these 25 geniuses regarded as… “negative ” in my comment…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  74. I’ll be the first to say it.

    Mark Cuban for President.

    Comment by gtstigall -

  75. Pingback: Why I love Mark Cuban | Along the Way...

  76. Hi Mark,
    Good post… not sure if I agree with the taxes vs hiring though. Might be true for larger businesses, but what about smaller, even “micro” businesses, boot-strapping their way along. The business owners pay themselves only what they absolutely need and keep the rest in the business to fund future growth ie advertising budget increases, website improvements, product updates etc. Money not spent on those expenses by the end of the year (but maybe earmarked for next year) is counted as taxable income and is reduced. More cash in the bank allows the business to expand and maybe hire someone that would otherwise been beyond the reach of the budget… Thanks for the thought-provoking post 🙂

    Comment by smgardner -

  77. Pingback: On Blogging and Writing « Decompress This!

  78. Interesting as a CFO my boss says to me, “Goal: grow bottom line by 5%.” If I don’t know where taxes are going (not to mention inflation) how am I going to start budgeting…of course I’m going to be conservative (us darned accountants) and assume taxes are going up. The 5% has to come from somewhere, increased prices, reduce expenses most likely payroll, because I’d be hesitant to cut supply costs with the threat of inflation from all the money printing. So, when the CEO comes to me and says what do you have to get to our goal, my answer will be increased efficiency through reduced payroll, let’s automate, let’s bootstrap a little here, etc. Of course this is always going on but us accountants creating those budgets to help navigate the ship of industry to achieve the goals of our visionary leaders have to make assumptions about taxes. If not if I budget for a tax rate of X and the tax rate turns out to be X+ and the numbers come in low then I’ll be up the creek… It’s a minefield for us on the numbers side we’re having to try and estimate for inflation or deflation, taxes, treasury, interest rates, regulations and so much more. I’m with you on the want to succeed side, but good grief for those of us that haven’t gotten there yet it seems like they keep stacking the deck in the other way. It is very disheartening…I think that is what is hurting us right now. Those of us young generation late 20s early 30s that haven’t broken through yet and are trying so hard. We’re feeling like that path is getting steeper. As an accountant you have to budget for those steeper paths and it impacts what is left over for the hiring…

    Comment by christopherclay -

  79. I definitely agree with your point on infrastructure Mark. It’s all about introducing opportunity and it’s hard to reproduce that success when we’ve already realized the benefits.

    Infrastructure however is not limited to our traditional way of thinking. Roads, bridges, etc. are all examples, but we have to modernize that notion. These needs do exist in a more abstract and virtual sense. For example, government subsidized Internet access and computers. Lower the bar and give everyone an opportunity to leverage 21st century technology. We can and should do this before another country does.

    Comment by 2string -

  80. Good points, for the most part, but…tear down housing? You might as well throw cash into a fire, because that will up the demand for money and decrease inflation.

    This reminds me of The Grapes of Wrath where they burn excess crops in front of starving workers.
    Wouldn’t it be better to just auction off these houses at no reserve? The market will definitely sell houses that start bidding at $0, and we will find their real worth via supply and demand. People would get houses, the government would slightly decrease its debt, and it would stimulate the economy with (probably) a higher demand for furniture and housing services.

    Comment by Gavan Woolery -

  81. In response to your comment regarding tearing down foreclosures:

    “Actually its being done in Detroit, Pittsburgh (Braddock) , parts of Cleveland and other cities with incredible success.”

    You might be able to claim victory in a small number of densely urban areas but it’s not a solution to the housing problem long term. We need to stop propping up this market, and that’s exactly what this will do by decreasing supply and artificially inflating home prices. We’ve been there, done that and most of us got the t-shirt even though we didn’t want it. Encourage strategic defaults, put the onus on lenders to solve this problem and step away.

    P.S. – WordPress is a horrible way to have a discussion. I think I’ll build something better. Interested in giving me some seed capital?

    Comment by Todd -

  82. (MC)
    From MC> so if you needed an employee to stay competitive, you wouldnt hire them because your taxes were 10pct higher than they were last year ?
    Then where do you draw the line? Let’s say they are raised 10pct now, and in a year, we are talking about the same thing, and you reply with “Is that extra 10pct going to really stop you from being competitive?”.

    Tell me how you think taxes affect job creation ?
    Payroll taxes, for one, are what I would call a drag. Let me cut my payroll taxes, and I will show you exactly how taxes affect job creation, however in this example, in a positive way.

    Tell me why we had no problem creating jobs 10 years ago when taxes were higher and we were in a small recession ?
    There were enough jobs and consumer confidence around then that absorbed that recession, and didn’t pummel us psychologically. We don’t have anywhere near that much meat on the bone anymore. With capital pulled back right now, every dime counts that gets plucked by the Feds. Therefore, in a tighter and more constricted and fearful environment, taxes exponentially affect a business, far more-so than 10 years ago.

    Comment by dwcbrq -

  83. Mark, great post, as usual. One thing that confuses me as a lowly worker bee with a few investments here and there is why it’s not “fair” to just pay taxes on income. Why is it that I work my butt off for my salary and pay 30+ percent on the high end of it and when I just sit around twiddling my thumbs, I pay 15%. Why do we have to tax “rich” people, instead of just taxing everyone on the same (albeit progressive) scale? My understanding is that somewhere just shy of 20% of the income reported to the IRS is long term capital gains. If those gains were taxed on the same schedule as ordinary income, couldn’t we all pay lower taxes on our ordinary income? Wouldn’t that be more fair than sticking it to the rich guys? I’m sure I’m just confused, but it bothers me every time I hear someone saying that it’s perfectly reasonable that I get taxed 30% on the money that I work for and 15% on the money that I earn from someone else’s sweat.

    Comment by bwaibel -

  84. Why doesn’t the intoxicating power of the US Presidency allure better candidates? I work a few blocks from the UN. Yesterday I saw the presidential motorcade drive by after the cops, secret service and who knows who else shut down the east side of the city. It was bad ass. It made me think that yes being president of the US is not easy, not always fun and it is pressure packed but there are a lot of exceptional people in our country who I would think would crave that situation. The perks are like no other job and you can become one of if not the most powerful man in the world.

    So then I started thinking about other fields and how exceptional individuals start planning their career from the time they start college. For example great athletes dream of playing in the NBA, MLB etc from an early age and they dedicate their lives to reaching those goals. They practice, join the right AAU teams and pick colleges that they think will help them get to the pros. Doctors pick medical schools and seek residencies in places that will help them further their career so that they can become a great doctor.

    So why wouldn’t there be a lot of exceptional people who at an early age map out a blueprint to becoming president of the U.S.?

    What do you think about this plan? (of course the person could not be by nature outlandish and crazy over the top – like you and me )
    Go to a good college – does not have to be Ivy League – with a concentration in liberal arts – lit/language/history/theater i.e. acting. The next part of the plan would be military service. Now it would be great if they went to school at one of the military academies and then do the service time from there. Then they need to get a masters/law degree and do 2 years of some sort of foreign service. ( doing some sort of work or service in China would be perfect ) Two more steps – The blueprint would call for the candidate to start their own business or get business experience learning how to meet a payroll. Lastly they would need to enter politics with the goal of becoming the governor of their state.

    Sounds like a lot but it seems that for some really talented people it would be attainable.

    Comment by frankschwall -

  85. Absolutely brilliant post – right on target. If our leaders had folks like yourself advising them (and they actually listened) we wouldn’t be in the mess.

    Comment by smatics -

  86. Pingback: What Social Contract?

  87. There’s another hole in the arguments for lower taxes. As a business, if your tax rate was under 5% then every dollar you spend or invest comes directly out of your profits. If your tax rate was 50% then half of your spending and investment would be “paid for by the government”. Who’s going to spend more, the person who pays for all of it or the person who pays for half of it? Net after-tax cost is a calculation that is frequently used with investments. Lower tax rates mean higher after-tax profits so you have more to lose if you reduce profits.

    I’m not saying this is the best way to go, but if you really wanted to increase spending you could do worse than saying “spend it or we’ll spend it for you”. The inefficiency of the government spending would be a great motivator to do it better.

    Comment by valueindexer -

  88. “Chabby “( from Chabenisky,my expression,do u like it..? ),
    I wish u elaborated on high politics,
    not on petty technicalities…
    Bureacracy,efficiency,productivity…Same o’,same o’…

    For your own good,I suggest u withdraw that unbelievable bs about…10-yr budgets..
    Who lives & who dies in 10 years..?
    It’s a laughing matter & your enemies can pound it to u…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  89. Pingback: pinboard September 22, 2011 —

  90. Mark, I love a lot of what you wrote here, and believe it or not, a buddy of mine and I were just talking about what a possibly great president you could make with your sensible business knowledge (this country needs to be run more like a business).

    But the MAIN REASON I felt the need to make an account just to comment is related to your post about demolishing houses. On the surface it seems like a great idea, because we just look at the money cost of things – how much monetary return it can bring. But what about the true cost? You are creating mountains of waste, and construction waste is a very big problem in the waste industry, as it is very hard to separate and reuse, yet it’s full of tons of hazardous products and potential reusable materials. So the real cost of tearing down homes and rebuilding comes at a much greater cost to a planet that already has huge issues. Large quantities of waste to landfills, heavier burden on resources to rebuild perfectly good homes that were already there.

    I know that most business people like to ignore the environment when it might seem to get in the way of a “good” business decision, but I can tell you that this wouldn’t be a small decision. The portland cement industry alone is a massive polluter in this country and you would be upping their production in the name of jobs to replace homes that are not condemned or uninhabitable.

    Just something to think about.

    PS – I’m not some liberal conservationist, so I’m not coming at this from purely one side – I work in Environmental, Health & Safety so it’s my job everyday to try and balance environmental needs with the bottom line of my company.

    Comment by ehspov -

  91. I own and operate a group of three companies with about 85 total employees. We have only been around since 2009 and we are still very much a “small business” with all the “small business” headaches. The Obama administration has done nothing but march a parade of academics into advisory roles and promote big corporate execs as the “leaders” driving the economy. When I listen to these speeches I can’t help but think that these guys have no clue what it means to hire someone. What it means to scratch together payroll. What it means to do 20 applications for lines of credit. What it means to hire 3 accountants to interpret different tax codes effecting the business. And finally, what it means to grow a small business in an uncertain environment where the very uncertainty is driven by their own partisan politics.

    I applaud MC for speaking openly on these issues. As an entrepreneur and business owner it feels good that some one who “made it” understands and empathizes with the challenges of running/growing a business.

    Comment by mjhess22 -

  92. Love your thoughts Mark, especially your thoughts on foreclosures and government waste and transparency. I also find the infrastructure bank a confusing topic. I agree that there are limited opportunities to build infrastructure that will prove to be profitable. What about our energy infrastructure however? I’ve read plenty of proposals on how we can use our natural resources to completely rid us of foreign energy dependence. The big hiccup to this plan, as I understand it, is that in order to make this happen, we would have to completely update our energy grid, which would cost somewhere between 300-600 billion, and no one wants to pay for it. I have sought out countless explanations on this subject, but haven’t received one clear answer on this. Why don’t we take this infrastructure bank idea and apply it to energy? Wouldn’t we be better served to use these funds on a project that will provide immediate jobs that will lead to medium and long term sustainable positions? That alone will provide a jolt to our economy. On the back end, this would finally take us down a path where we would no longer have to spend 300-500 billion a year on foreign oil. I also just read that the Forbes 400 has a collective net worth of 1.25 trillion (that we know about). I find it hard to believe that the government can’t find a way to bring together the private and public sectors and make this project not only feasible, but also extremely profitable as well. I would think that the private sector, given the opportunity, would jump on this and try and be the first in line to make this a reality. The energy savings alone would solve the majority of funding issues we have with entitlement programs and budget deficits. Could you imagine the world wide ramifications if the United States no longer relied on foreign energy? If we solve this problem, I firmly believe the majority of our other problems would become an afterthought. However, I am just a small town kid from Omaha, NE (not a Warren Buffet fan however). Maybe I’m just to naive to understand national and global economics. I hope to hear your thoughts.

    Comment by jpboarder83 -

  93. I like your thoughts, Mark.

    As you recognized on the topic of infrastructure, having a functional infrastructure is absolutely critical to an economy. Most of the bridges, ports, interstate highways, and waterway navigation channels were created in the 60s. The design life on most of these structures is about 50-60 years,and the American Society of Civil Engineers ranks the current infrastructure of the U.S. at a D-. Engineering design has come a long way since the 60’s and we’re able to create much more efficient structures that need fewer repairs and use less material. For the sake of time, I am not going into the calculations, but I can assure you it is MUCH cheaper to build brand new modern structures than to continuously patch up our existing ones (as our politicians love to do). Depending on the structure it can cost 300%+ more over the design life of the strucutre to continually ‘patch’ our current infrastructure than to build brand new infrastructure. This far out wieghs the lost time/productivity from construction work. But I agree, we still must be sensible about where investment is made.

    Comment by jocollin -

  94. First off Mark I do agree with much of what you say however I must take you to task on your statement “this country has created unique opportunities for entrepreneurs”. We are not preordained or otherwise magically awarded this status. The environment you refer to was the result of a country whose people were fiercely determined to be free and who fought for this with their lives. We have become spoiled and I suspect based upon some of your statements and that of other very fortunate wealthy people that somehow you are all suffering from a bit of guilt. We have to as a nation live and fight every single day to remain a prosperous and free nation. The world depends on it believe it or not. Free not just from the tyranny of other nations but tyranny from within.

    Why weren’t you fighting or volunteering to give half or whatever amount you thinking fair or your money away before you made your first million dollars? What amount of your winnings do you think is “fair”? 1/2? 3/4? 7/8?

    This redistributionist guilt you suffer from is not a problem for the masses. I would suggest two possible approaches.

    1) give all of your assets away up to the limit that you are comfortable with (feel free Ti quantify this).
    2) Use your fortune to put middle America back to work and not just a few highly paid spoiled sports celeb’s.

    Make a real difference Mark while you are still able to. There are by anyone’s measure nearly 16 million Americans out of work with approximately 50 million living below the poverty line. Put your money where your mouth is and help the rest of us less fortunate entrepreneurs put America back to work while innovating at the same time.

    Comment by rpasquale -

  95. Mark,

    The 2012 election is going to be very important. Out of all the candidates, I only trust Ron Paul. I think he has the experience, knowledge, and compassion to lead our country in the right direction. What do you think about him?

    Comment by geoffgem -

  96. “From MC> We are talking federal taxes, I purposely avoided state, county , local taxes because they are local issues. Yes companies do shop new deals for the best local/state/county deals. Look at amazon trying to negotiate jobs vs sales tax for California. Perfect example, except that the discussion is about federal tax rates. When I start going through ever possible business location in the country, then we can start debating the impact of non fed taxes and the incredible bureaucracy and complexity they enable and the hugely negative impact on businesses of all sizes. We would probably be on the same side there”

    I am speaking of taxes in general. State and Fed taxes although very different are still taxes and a cost of doing business. Federal taxes cannot be avoided by simply crossing over to anther state. However this is my point when saying businesses do consider tax rates and incentives when making decisions. Large companies trying to expand are going to hire anyone they need regardless of any 1 year exemption, that is true. They dont care. However people that are operating on low budgets and are not well funded or very equitable, will benefit a lot more by programs like that. Maybe such programs should only be offered to small businesses and not the power players that dont have any real need for the program but take it cause its there.

    The big guys dont need the help. Its the small business owners that need those programs. Even if they dont “need” it, they can help. Maybe with some smaller programs a business can hire an extra person where they may have been on the edge of making that investment but with the credit can make more sense now. LArger companies wont care, but a small local operation can benefit by saving just enough to open the room for an expansion of their product line, research, investment, and maybe even a job or two. 1 little credit wont help too much, but less redundant regulation, lower taxes, and a comprehensive tax code gives us guys the ability to plan and invest. And us small business men and women are constantly looking for a bit of savings here or there to have the ability to push their company a bit further or invest just a bit more in marketing to drive more sales etc etc.

    I am launching a social networking aggregare application for the iphone in about 3 weeks. I have scraped everything I can together to make this happen over the past year and a half. I pay 3 people a salary to work solely for my small software startup. Thankfully I live in Texas so the tax rates here are not too bad. No state income tax for one is nice. However the application we have put together revolutionary for how people view social media and interact with it from a mobile perspective. Every statistic for social, points to mobile, and no one can come close to what we have created. However since we are moving into a potentially very profitable product release, I have considered taxes. More specifically where could be a better place to operate from because I cant help federal taxes. Texas turns out to make more sense than most places, but I cant say I didn’t seriously consider moving. Realistically I could move to Pakistan and make a fortune, but who really wants to live in Pakistan? Plus I will die before I leave my country, but thats a different story 😛 .

    You are obviously a brilliant man and none of us here can attest to achieving more, so I will not say your wrong and I’m right because I think at the end of the day we see the same problems. We are all overly dedicated to achieve success and not just in dollar signs but actual achievements and quality products or services. We all see the world and economy from a unique perspective I think. However I think we can all agree the government needs some business minds. Some minds that have actually done something and understand the process, or heck at least tried their hand at it. Though we all know, entrepreneurs either make it, or die trying, so not many move into politics sadly. Though we may disagree on some things, I would take a Cuban or a Zuckerberg in our economic team any day of the week than any recognizable Republican or Democrat you see today. At least then we would have some people that know what a vast company (government) needs to grow and promote a stable economy.

    Comment by nution101 -

  97. I would love to see more transparency in how tax dollars are spent. It would be awesome to have a website that let me allocate where I want my tax dollars go. Or maybe let me choose where half of my tax dollars can go. After all isn’t money the ultimate vote in this country.

    I heard a story of a government agency buying a gigantic flat screen TV simply because it had spend all of it’s budget so it got the maximum amount of money for next years budget. Meanwhile, my small start up is finding any way possible to cut costs so we can pay our employees. I don’t blame the agency for wanting to get a maximum budget, I would do the same thing. But, it shows the system is broken and inefficient and I hate putting my money into a broken system.

    I agree that transparency would expose a lot of the waste and give citizens valuable data of what’s going on and where our money is being spent. Something like a for the US Government that we all had access to would be pretty sweet. Or make all that data available to developers who could do some great things with it.

    Comment by themark -

  98. It is not just America.

    I am a local politician from Ireland and the main problem I have with politics in general is that the moral issues seem to be secondary to the image of the party.

    I am 27 years old and could have a good career ahead of me. This wont happen. I have been voted in by the people to represent all the people. To me this means making the best decisions for the town that I live in and for the people that live in the town. This may result in me working for people from different parties to implement change.

    We are currently working to try get a new theatre in the town because the old one was closed for safety reasons. Now, I don’t care if the new theatre is named after the opposition parties as long as we can get one. This though is the main reason why I will never make a career at it, this is why I will be seen as a “loose cannon” this is why politics is failing the people and this is why most good ideas fail because the politicians cover their own asses first. This is a global problem.

    Of course this can be seen as naive (which it probably is). This can also be applied to all types of government. I wish that the price of working together, to better the lives of people, did not come at the expense of a career. But hey, thems the breaks.

    The truth is the power lies with the people, but the people don’t know how to use this power. Change for the better is not only possible, it is not even that hard to do. I have seen it first hand that working with people of all types, without any political agenda can really get things done and can really help people out a lot faster than doing it on your own. But there I go again. This is why I will never make it up the ladder.

    I would rather die naive and fix my town than be too cynical and just fix my life.

    Transparency is key. You are right. But transparency without the will of the people to affect change is wasted.

    Comment by donallob -

  99. I see that MC replies with inserts…wherever he feels capable to..
    I omit temporarily questions on ethnic etc matters & I stick with economic issues…
    A gov is not neutral.
    Govs created & maintain their own sector of economy,the gov sector,misleadingly calling it the “public sector”.
    It doesnt belong to the people,it belongs to the politicians,
    the gov employees & any kind of parasite who is fed by that sector.
    So,taxes are not for the “general good” ( Washington ) ,
    for the “country”,for the “nation”.

    40% of the taxes go indeed to gov agencies useful & accepted by all.
    Military,police,judicial system,infrastructure

    But the majority of taxes ,60% go to gov programs,
    so called “entitlements “… SS & Medicare mainly.
    This system is called socialism.

    If gov owned only the military/ police/justice,
    & all other economic activities,
    education,health care,insurance,retirement programs
    were owned by the private sector,
    we would have capitalism.

    So,the whole thinking of MC is an appeasement of socialism
    & a call for collaborating with that system.
    He advocates high level taxation,for socialist programs,SS.Medicare etc ,
    not low level taxation just “for the general good”.

    He doesn’t advocate privatisation of the gov sector…

    I hope MC comments & verifies his belief in socialism…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  100. As always, I agree with 90%+ of these blog posts, but I have to disagree here with point 4 in particular. I do not see how requiring the government to demolish good houses is beneficial. Quite the opposite, I think it helps maintain artificially inflated housing prices and limits the money young people can save and ultimately invest to become entrepreneurs or otherwise. I’ve Tumblr-ed a whole post in response. Please check it out:

    Comment by LCMilstein -

  101. It’s very simple! Everyone pays 10% tax on what they actually tax deductions for anything! Then pay Luxury Tax on anything not the basics to survive! Case closed!

    Comment by usaexclusive -

  102. Mark,

    I thought you were just a rich guy that loved sports. I agree with everything you said in this post on others on the economy. I agree with your stance on taxes, creating jobs, government spending, trasparency, politicians, and maybe even tearing down foreclosed on homes. Although, I wish there was a way we could come up with a plan that would let people stay in their homes. The comment I want to leave to you is that somebody should do something about our economy. We know we can’t leave it up to politicians. I am anti-partisan, because I think it is just a huge distration to the American people. They make us watch them fight back in forth so mouch that we don’t even think about the fact that they are all wrong and they just want to do just enough to get re-elected. I would like a group of wealthy Americans to pay for a committee to examine our economy, our taxes and spending, budget deficit, national debt, social security, and come up with a plan to fix our economy. This committee should be filled with economists, business owners, and sociologists. We should come up with a plan and present it to the American people on national television and force the politicians to enact the policies. It may take a year or two and several million dollars but it is our only chance of fixing our economy for the long term.
    Our country is falling apart and behind. Our only hope is to invest in the only asset we have left, which is our people and the American spirit. Let me know if you would like to help me organize such a committee.

    Comment by rockynolan -

  103. We, above all, are running the wrong economic/revenue/spending model. Here is the model perhaps we should be running. I think this economic model is one that fits your ideas. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    June 6, 2011
    There is a model that is working just fine. Call it the Chinese model or the German, or the Swiss, or the South Korean, or the Singaporean model.

    Of course, these countries all differ in various ways in their economic policies. But what they share is a focus on saving, investment, and production rather than consumption.

    They also don’t believe in laissez faire. Rather they embrace economic strategy. WE SHOULD TOO!!

    Indeed, they see economic strategy as akin to national security strategy because they accept the words of former Japanese Finance Minister Korekiyo Takahashi that “an economic defeat is much more difficult to reverse than a military defeat.”

    They care about the structure of their economies and what they make and engage in careful analysis of industries to determine what set of regulatory, tax, investment, and R&D policies and practices will encourage the optimal production and services base.

    ****These countries believe in open trade but not in free trade in the unilateral sense in which Americans define it.****

    They pursue aggressive export led economic growth strategies that often involve aggressive investment subsidies and currency undervaluation policies on behalf of export industries.

    As a matter of policy, ****they strive to achieve continuing trade surpluses.**** In short, this paradigm is the opposite of the American model…………………………

    MOST if not all American politicos (especially the GOP) are following a misguided/dying economic fad from the Nixon years and should read a new book……………

    “I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws, or crafts its advanced treatises, if I can write its economics textbooks.” Nobel winner Paul Samuelson.

    “The largest cultural menace in America is the conformity of the intellectual cliques which, in education as well as the arts, are out to impose upon the nation their modish fads and fallacies”
    National Review 19 November 1955
 William F. Buckley Jr…………..

    Maybe you can create a 527 corporation and spread the American School word. What could be more patriotic than to re-educate the public on The American way.

    Remember the KeepAmerica Beautiful campaign?

    It worked….

    Comment by jgbennet -

  104. On the subject,

    Cuban’s …crazy position on…10-year budgets
    verify the sad truth about rich people…

    The persons who are succesful economy-wise
    would make lousy politicians…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  105. I could not agree more with your points about transparency and the 10 year budgets.

    But I believe that taxes do play a part in job creation. Aren’t taxes a big part of the reason that companies create jobs outside the US? They pay the employees less in other countries, but they also pay less in taxes which in turn lets them sell their products cheaper.
    Do you disagree Mark?

    From MC> Completely disagree. Companies create jobs overseas because they need to serve customers overseas or because its cheaper to produce their product/service. Not to avoid taxes. There may be some mega corporations that arbitrage international tax law, but it would be hard to say that they are leaving behind jobs in the US to do so.

    Comment by mjwallace09 -

  106. @greenejeff47 – that is a VERY specific situation your proposing. One that only effects large corporations or very profitable businesses. To say that corporations even do not pay attention to the tax rates is exceedingly crazy. However it is not at the forefront of all their decision making because its not as big of a problem for them. In most cases they can simply collect subsidies, go through or make their own loopholes with lobbyists, and just write off everything humanly possible.

    The majority of the problem is not because of or solved by the corporations. It is small business that most jobs come from, and where tax incentives or lower rates spur growth. And the assertion by either yourself or Mark that says these people ignore tax rates or dont make decisions based on them is wildly inaccurate. Why do certain states attract more business with less intrusive tax policy? Coincidence? No, because they have less restrictive rates and requirements or better incentives. Tax rates are not a fleeting thought by business owners and ESPECIALLY the small business owners. The real job creators. The ones that actually run a company economically. Unlike the government or large corporations that have so much money they just throw it around for whatever purpose. The actual job creators are by an overwhelming majority small businesses. These people consider tax rates as much as they consider suppliers, employees, facilities, and investment. All are closely tied to a budget. Not an overinflated bank account they can simply splash around in but an actual budget that takes serious effort and constant adjustment to maintain and be able to pay your employees and satisfy the light bill.

    Stop thinking government supported industries and subsequent jobs are where the jobs are. Stop thinking corporations hire and pay all the people. Combining the two doesn’t even match the small businesses in America that represent 99.7 percent of all employers being small businesses. And have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years. So even at best, we have 36% of all jobs coming from companies (or the government) that pay no mind to tax rates or incentives. Which I can guarantee is not anywhere near correct. Even to the broken logic that everyone ignores costs when making investments, thats still 64% of jobs coming from companies that dont have that luxury and actually have budgets.

    references: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census and International Trade Admin.

    From MC> We are talking federal taxes, I purposely avoided state, county , local taxes because they are local issues. Yes companies do shop new deals for the best local/state/county deals. Look at amazon trying to negotiate jobs vs sales tax for California. Perfect example, except that the discussion is about federal tax rates. When I start going through ever possible business location in the country, then we can start debating the impact of non fed taxes and the incredible bureaucracy and complexity they enable and the hugely negative impact on businesses of all sizes. We would probably be on the same side there

    Comment by nution101 -

  107. Mark,

    I am pleased to are another business mind weighing in on the reality of the problems facing America. I have one short idea on infrastructure spending:

    Disclaimer: i am neither in telecommunications nor am I familiar with the regulations and ownership stakes lie with the assets.

    Why not spend government funds improving our national cellular networks? Good work is underway for standardized communications in the field Consumers are strangled by costs. Competition is stifled due to barriers to entry. Most importunely, cellular infrastructure is one of few legitimate frontiers left in infrastructure. The inefficiencies of the market leave us with bad service, high prices, and business barriers both in the industry and for business users seeking reliable communications.

    I converted to Google Voice for the majority of my telecommunications needs simply because I have no service in my home. The operations improvements available with similarly nationalized assets like te electrical grid and the telecommunications grid are enormous.

    Comment by jschipani -

  108. Low tax rates can drive investment into certain countries for multi-nationals. However, I don’t think that is the point of this discussion.

    Comment by glenn70 -

  109. Mark has it right…there is no investment that had the capability of generating a job ..that was driven by a tax rate. Tax rates are not the motivator of business decisions. In my 20+ years as an officer at a BIG bank…I never heard a corporate decision maker driven to make capital decision because the tax rate was low. The drive was to compete, to lower production cost, to build a better product, to cut down distribution costs, etc…Then after all of those issues were considered ..then and only then did the financial engineers/tax code junkies arrive and offer their input to tax mitigation…the tax tail does not wag the decision

    Comment by greenejeff47 -

  110. Mark has it right…there is no investment that had the capability of generating a job ..that was driven by a tax rate. Tax rates are not the motivator of business decisions. In my 20+ years as an officer at a BIG bank…I never heard a corporate decision maker driven to make capital decision because the tax rate was low. The drive was to compete, to lower production cost, to build a better product, to cut down distribution costs, etc…Then after all of those issues were considered ..then and only then did the financial engineers/tax code junkies arrive and offer their input to tax mitigation…the tax tail does not wag the decision maker.The shame of it all is that Republicans know this …but protecting taxes is the best way they can think of (for the moment) to get re-elected and the only job of a politician is to get re-elected.

    Comment by greenejeff47 -

  111. Pingback: Millionaires Tax - Great Response - Mike Sprouse

  112. Pingback: Mark Cuban on Transparency in Government « Edmonds Forum

  113. Pingback: Retailers look to become lobbying force with $10M campaign « Bitter Harvest

  114. I read a few comments which verify that low intelligence people are natural socialists…
    They want a…centrally planned economy…
    Planned by politicians…
    Gov “employees ” & welfare parasites will benefit from the politicians..
    All other will lose money…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  115. Pingback: Cuban explains several things things about tax policy, some of them quite well. « A Man With A Ph.D.

  116. I agree with many of your points MC, especially transparency in government spending, but on the topic of bulldozing homes i couldn’t disagree more. Why should the government take more of a hit than they already have and pour in money for destroying a perfectly good resource. Waste is such a horrible thing and i agree with mcqwest that these bankers that got us into this mess should not reap the rewards of giving out loans for over-valued homes again….

    Why can’t the government recoup some of our money by selling these homes to recent college graduates at a low price. I myself will graduate shortly and would like to own something that will go up in value rather than renting. Plus cheaper housing for our generation will lead to more disposable income in the future that can be used for investment, strengthening the community, and purchasing basketball tickets *wink*. House prices will go up when people start buying again and demand will increase when immigration does(I feel like in the next 10 years immigration will increase greatly…legal immigration from asia and europe i hope.)

    Also I feel there is a great deal for improvement in the public transportation infrastructure system. I live in Miami aside from buses and a confined metrorail system we have nothing. Btw i live in Miami so i hate you..kind of. I do look up to you as an entrepreneur though and appreciate what you’ve done for your mavericks. All the best.

    Comment by kgung -

  117. I’m that guy you speak of starting a charity, and I would agree that this is how I measure success. We’re becoming the Canadian DonorsChoose. Check us out and help us out if you can:

    Comment by Pick My Class -

  118. Mark, you make a lot of great points and I’ve never believed there was a link between taxes and job creation. However, you’re idea of tearing down foreclosed homes is I-N-S-A-N-E! How would you like to live in a neighborhood with 3, 4 or even 5 homes that have been bulldozed, leaving behind empty lots? You would destroy neighborhoods. Here’s a better idea: stop encouraging people to stay in homes that are underwater. Encourage strategic defaults and watch how fast lenders start renegotiating loan terms. There’s a great article in the New York Times that talks about just that

    The “financial whores” as you called them (and rightfully so) need to start taking more responsibility for the mess were in. They created the bubble, collected billions in the process, and have walked away without harm. They were the catalyst for this recession and need to be held accountable.

    From MC> Actually its being done in Detroit, Pittsburgh (Braddock) , parts of Cleveland and other cities with incredible success

    Comment by mcgwest -

  119. Mark,

    Congrats on the 2011 title. As a Lakers fan, if was a painful loss, but if anything, it allows the GM to identify areas where improvements need to to be made. Plus, it was awesome to watch you guys go all Garry Kasparov on the Heat like that.

    I realize that this discussion primarily concerns Federal tax issues, but I feel that State and Local tax questions are relevant here.

    One of the biggest differences in government revenue between the boom of that late 1990s and today is the reduction in sales tax receipts resulting from an increasing percentage of our commerce drifting towards tax-free online purchases. In your opinion, how can governments best replace these lost revenues (and the eventual loss of other revenues that emanate from street-level retail outlets)? Would a return to Clinton-era tax rates across the board permit the Federal government to increase aid to states at levels sufficient enough to make up for these revenue losses?

    That leads to an even bigger question: is the empty storefront going to become a more common sight in an internet commerce world, regardless of whether the economy is booming or not?

    Comment by T. Stump -

  120. Your thoughts are sound, however I would take it a step further. Not only looking at the ability of the rich to pay more, but ask why we are paying and what it is going towards. Simply being content with rich peoples money being wasted and the lower income not having to worry about a great deal of their part being wasted isn’t really a great outlook on taxation.

    We also need to remember that the government is technically our own business. We invest into the system through taxes. Those who reap more financial reward through the system should pay more in taxes, however this is already accomplished by income tax and sales tax at the basic level. If you make 1 billion a year, you are obviously going to pay much more in taxes than someone making 100k a year. This whole “fair share” argument is ridiculous. You do pay your fair share, in the form of a much larger check being sent to the federal government each year in comparison to the check a normal middle class individual may cut to the IRS. Also, in return, you create wealth and jobs for others, where lower income brackets consume jobs and wealth. That is capitalism at work, and that is great! That is how it should be. However, here is the problem…

    Behind the scenes, we have a tax code that is riddled with loopholes, and rules as far as the eye can see. Thousands of pages are added to the tax code annually, and the rules you played by last year are now different than the year before. This is the argument for a flat tax and the lack there of creating uncertainty. Bringing certainty to the masses of what it will cost to expand and grow and what an entrepreneur can expect year to year without having to hire an outside firm or in house team to decode the tax code each year to find out what they owe. All the while taking on the added cost of hiring these tax professionals to do the mountains of paper work. And the majority of small companies DO pay attention to taxes. Its considered a cost. Any business that doesn’t consider cost when operating is either rich enough to not have to worry about it, or on their way to failure.

    Obamacare is also an epic failure of a plan. If you want to enact a controversial piece of legislation that will have a massive impact on not only the private but also the public sector, you do not do so while in a recession for one. You also don’t say “well it will kick in when I’m reelected”. That means, if your not reelected, it will not kick in. So at this point, no one knows if it will actually be enacted, and what that will mean for us, especially businesses who already struggle with the uncertainty of the market, now they get to deal with the uncertainty of impending government regulations that could drastically alter the face of our medical industry in which hundreds of thousands of businesses operate within. Its the same as you owning a factory where you produce widgets, and the government comes in and says “in two years, we might start manufacturing and giving out widgets”. What does that mean for you? Who knows really? If hes reelected, then your out of business, if not, then you will be simply muddling along until the election is over to see what you should do with your capital. Your not going to expand and hire, your going to sit on your money, possibly consider moving your factory to a “widget friendly” country. The metaphors and examples for varying situations are enormous here. Not only does it hinder growth for insurance companies and raise their costs in the interim which then is put on the backs of businesses and individual policy holders, it also makes regular business owners wonder exactly what that means for them, and for the time being, with the mountain of a bill that was passed, no one really knows for sure what it means. We all know entitlements are a way for politicians to gain dedicated party voters. In this case, they dangle an entitlement in front of us. One they know that will have a drastic impact to our economy and deficit, so to get it to “stick” and create dependencies on the entitlement, they cant have the option it will be repealed. Hence, it doesn’t go into law until after we reelect the current administration so we cant see the impact it has before the election, only the empty promise of “free”. Then giving them 4 more years to entrench the program into the fabric of our system, there by making it impossible to repeal from a political standpoint. Give everyone a free car today, in one month they are not going to willingly give it back “for the betterment of the system”.

    So the real question is, in short, why do we pay so much taxes into the system. The problem isn’t that we do not tax people enough, the problem is the government has grown too large. And you admittedly recognize the government couldn’t run a lemonade stand efficiently, then why do we pump so much money into a wasteful system. My argument is for a flat tax. Then, everyone pays their “fair share” as a percentage of the money they take in. You make more, you pay more, simple as that. Bring government programs to the private sector. Like the postal service. Regulate it to ensure security, then you shrink the governments hand in it, allowing real business minds to come in and actually create a profit instead of wasting the peoples money to keep it afloat. There are companies that would love to do this ie. FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc etc. However due to laws and regulations, they cannot.

    So basically, if the government is so wasteful, why do we give them so much? Why do we worry we don’t give them enough, or how we can give them more money “fairly” when all they do is flush it down the toilet? Why do we allow them to be as large as they are and take over what once was or should be delegated to the private sector? If a private company can do it, they will do it cheaper, better, faster, and more economical than the fed government. They will also have a vested interest in keeping it profitable and providing higher quality services or products. Government is the only “company” that decides running drastically into the red is acceptable. Because they have an endless stream of money from us and outside loans, they have no reason to care. Ask me to build a website for you, I would charge about 10,000 for a large project. If the government wants a website, they will fork out 20 million for the same outcome and not even blink or think twice. Free up the wasted capital to provide better national security and social services. Think how good social security would be now if we didn’t dump so much money into wasteful spending and overpaying open-ended contracts all day long. We wouldn’t even need to worry about the “solvency” of SS. We wouldn’t need to worry about who is paying what. IF the money we sent to the government was spent economically and realistically in line with the private sector, then we don’t have these problems. We don’t have to worry about what the rich pay or the poor pay. The class warfare we see is a direct symptom of the governments inability to manage any money we send them. Its like we are addicted to a bad investment, and we cant see past the “idea” and look at the numbers to know what we are doing is a complete abject failure and the more we prop it up, the heavier it will become, and the harder it will be to actually fix.

    Comment by nution101 -

  121. Mark,

    I think you covered enough topics on this one to create a book. I like reading your blog though and usually agree with a lot of what you say. The problem with these things is that a lot of comments tend to be in reference to a specific set of circumstances and easy to take out of context. I was making myself some notes as I read through this note today.

    One of the big problems we have in today’s society is that everyone from politicians, media, religious leaders, etc. create this mantra of us versus them. The reality is that there is only us and until we realize that we will struggle with solutions. We can not continue to foster mistrust of each other and then expect everyone to work together to solve common problems. In that environment it is not until problems reach imminent status that they are addressed.

    There are so many problems with our Federal Government now that it is almost impossible to find a place to start. My general rule for situations like though is that you just have to start some where. We need to find a way to balance the budget with the revenue coming into the treasury today. We do not need any new taxes on anyone as long as we continue to spend like drunken sailors. Once the budget is balanced come back and talk to me about my tax rate. I am happy to contribute a marginally higher portion of my income to retire our national debt.

    I thought you made a good point about the 10 year planning process. The longest any President can hope to be in office in 8 years. I think it would be wonderful to see Presidential candidates present 4 and 8 year plans. I think it should be required as part of the candidacy application process. Then the campaign becomes a debate about which plan is best and presents the best outcomes for the country. Having this requirement might actually help stem the tide of lobbyist dollars spent in DC, but I doubt it. This would be nice but then I would like to defecate diamonds too! I have no doubt that if Rick Perry is the Republican candidate that we are going to see one of the dirtiest Presidential campaigns in history.

    Your notions about taxes are interesting and I realize that they are made in a very specific context. People with large sums of capital at their disposal enjoy a benefit that others do not; large sums of capital creates it’s own wealth. While a marginal increase in taxes on people with large amounts of capital at their disposal will not have a significant negative impact I am opposed to raising taxes at any level until spending is under control in our capital. The same can be said for the marginal tax cuts that some are proposing as well. They have a marginal benefit to a certain point. I believe that our benefit from reductions in rates has been exhausted.

    It was interesting that you mentioned ‘financial whores’ in your opening paragraph. I think this demonstrates a very important point. There is a difference between people driven to succeed and those obsessed with simply making more money. If that is your only motivating factor then you will never have enough. It doesn’t matter how much you make but rather what you do with what you have. A lot of people want to be a millionaire or a billionaire but what are you going to do once you reach that mountain peak.

    I work in the financial services industry and what drives me is finding that next company, that next great idea that might transform society. I will make money but that is not my motivation. I see some similarities in your ‘Shark Tank’ television show. I have to say that I really like what you are doing there and I would rather see more people possessing significant capital taking these types of initiatives than paying higher taxes. Just think of the new businesses those people could create and all the people they could hire and the taxes they ALL would pay. Why not send a challenge to everyone in the billionaire club to find a way to identify and assist worthy entrepreneurs? As someone that has a good amount of resources I fundamentally believe that those that have the ability to make a difference have a responsibility to do so.

    The problem with government led initiatives as you pointed out is their sheer inefficiency. You made the comment that, ‘if money is going to be wasted, it is better that Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet and other mega rich people’s money be wasted than YOUR money be wasted.’ I understand where you are going with that statement but the problem is that there is no way of distinguishing one contributors capital from another once it is in the Federal coffers. That notion also placates the idea that nothing can be done about federal waste and so we should accept that someone has to pay for it. The assumption is that if you pay more taxes there is no opportunity cost associated with that capital. Would we be better off that Warren pay higher taxes or are we better off that he invested billions into Bank of America? That is also assuming though that had he paid higher taxes he would not have had the capital to invest. Who gets to make those determination?

    I would rather see you and other billionaires identifying and making investments in our economy that you believe will make you more money. I believe this somewhat follows suit with you blog from yesterday. I would like to see you expand you shark tank idea, take it to different cities, and start businesses all over the country. Challenge other to do the same.

    On the housing situation I disagree with you. I am personally buying homes right now. I am hiring people to fix them up and I will rent them out to people who can no longer qualify to buy a home because they have bad credit. If you start bulldozing those homes you are going to reduce supply and drive prices. Like it or not this a problem that must run it’s course and there is no easy fix. However, if people with capital would repeat what I am doing then we can work our way out of this quicker.

    The last thing you talked about was Bureaucracy and Paperwork. If you pay more in taxes to the government today do you honestly believe that they will not use that capital to create additional bureaucracy? You have a lot of good ideas and keep it up. We all need each other and we need to have honest (transparent) 😉 discussions if we are to arrive at the best solutions.

    Comment by cmccurdy68 -

  122. Right on Mark! Thank you sooooo much for speaking out!
    Question for the Republican Candidates:
    “Why did America do so great from 1940-1980 with the high taxes on the rich?”
    Given that, from 1940-80 the wealthiest Americans paid between 70% and 90% in income taxes and during that period we fought and paid for WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, we built most of our US Interstate Expressway system, Roads, Electrical Grid, Telephone, our main Bridges and Tunnels; we made almost every Car we drove and we wore mostly just the clothes we sewed and WE WENT TO THE MOON SIX TIMES-AND WE PAID FOR IT ALL!
    Given that, “Why did America do so great from 1940-1980 with the high taxes on the rich?

    Comment by chipshirley -

  123. Well said… Perfect.

    Comment by bbuus -

  124. Pingback: Small Business, government, taxes, etc.

  125. Excellent Post, Mark.


    Comment by onfirenow -

  126. Chabenisky (…”Cuban”),

    as a friend of the Jewish nation,I have studied its behaviour
    for the last…2000 years.

    The Jews,always persecuted,isolated,boycotted,embargoed,enlaved,
    had to learn the art of appeasement of any authority,
    benign (rarely) or malicious & tyrannical (almost always).

    However,the last 60 years,for the 1st time in recent history.
    the Jews have a country. A land. They have sovereignity. Power,force,through the military & Mossad.

    Jews in America seem to be…unaware of that & continue to behave like a persecuted minority,always appeasing,always going with the winner.
    Since the establishment in America is half -socialistic,
    since the Dems governed for 40 years,
    since the Repubs rarely get a full majority
    & when they get it (2002-2006) they…expand socialism
    ( Medicare drug benefit) ,
    u & other rich Jews decide to appease the Dems,
    by losing half of your wealth in total taxation…

    U should change that policy & act as Israeli outlanders
    ( “expatriates”)

    Acquiring dual citizenship & making an agreement to be taxed according to Israeli laws,which can become more favourable.

    U have the power,u have a nation,no need to play the role of “American of Jewish faith”.

    Change the role & be…”an Israeli outlander” with dual citizenship.

    The for-semitic Americans will understand.
    The counter-semitic mob will always find an excuse to smear the Jews as…”unpatriotic “.
    They cannot hurt u & the Judaism in America.

    So,I suggest…no more appeasement of socialism…

    Samson did not appease the Philistines…He buried them…

    Share your thoughts with me,publicly,if u wish…

    Comment by harrysmatical -

  127. I couldn’t agree more about dealing with the Government, not just as a budding entrepreneur, but as the husband of a small business owner.

    My wife has a contract to provide dance teachers to the fitness program for the Defense Supply and Logistics center here.

    At first she was just a contractor, but the accounting department doesn’t like it when they have to make checks out to individual people more than once in a year. They start poking around wondering why. So they asked her to take over being the general contract holder for all the teachers. they pay her, she pays them.

    They asked her to jump through several different hoops (Dunn & Bradstreet number, etc) so they could pay her electronically. So what happens? the first check every year is on paper.. some regulation or the way their accounting system works requires the first check to be on paper. On any given month she may get paid electronically, or they may send her a paper check. she never really knows. Sometimes her invoice gets lost in the system and she doesn’t get paid for 60 days instead of the normal Net 30. If the invoice goes in even a day early she has to resubmit it. If the December invoice goes in after the 15th, she has to wait until Feb 1 to get paid.

    Then there is the process to start a winery/meadery/brewery. The process to get everything approved takes 18-24 months between licensing and various approvals. It takes multiple agencies to approve a wine label. One approves the design of the label, another approves the ingredient listing and that the proper government mandated wording is present. You have separate licenses for federal and state which can vary wildly in how much paperwork is involved. Trying to find all the information on your own can be a hassle, and they recommend you have a lawyer to get you through the process smoothly. You’re likely to spend more money on legal fees than on actual equipment, supplies, product and property.

    Comment by mercenarychef -

  128. Well said. I agree on the infrastructure entirely. Especially living in Los Angeles where our infrastructure is so old. When I travel to other cities and see what they are doing or have done it disappoints me to know that I live in one of the biggest cities with one of the largest economies and LA is at where it is.

    The management of funds or lack there of is the direct reason why politicians should be fired. Why wait till elections, if your congressman or woman is not doing their job, they should be fired.

    The allocation of funds is completely jacked, to use a saying from my late friend. I’m surprised we as Americans have let this go on for this long.

    I support taxes, but I don’t support the people who are creating them. What ever is beneficial for them or their special interests happens to be convenient and a money maker or saver in the case of taxes. Paying for wars to “stabilize” other countries costs us trillions! Not billions, but trillions…a number we can’t fathom! We have issues here that require our utmost attention and efforts.

    The money is there if we allow business to do business. Make it equal across the board for taxes. Why should any one get special treatment? If you are an American and the reap the benefits from living in the best country in the world, you should pay taxes.

    Comment by stratagemllc -

  129. Why do corporations pay taxes?

    I work for a Fortune 10 High Tech company and while taxes are a pain in the butt for us and we spend a lot of money trying to reduce our tax burden, in the end, taxes are just a budgetary line item like copy paper or salaries. We pass these tax costs on to our consumer. Although we cut the check, we do not pay our taxes, our customers pay our taxes.

    In our system, all taxes are paid at the consumer whether they are hidden in the cost of the item or added by the cash register.

    These US taxes are also added to products that are sold overseas, possibly making our products compete unfairly in different taxing systems across the globe.

    1. So, why do we continue to support this system of hidden taxes? Why don’t we have true transparency and place all taxes at the consumer…. sure, initially the consumers will see a difference in the amount of tax printed on their receipt, but the cost of products all across America will drop as well.

    Corporations would have to be required to reduce prices at first to take in account the taxes they are taking out of their product prices. They should also take out the costs associated with their tax departments…. but there would be no way to verify this.

    2. Then, having a national sales tax to fund the government would replace income tax. This way, we all see the true cost to fund our government. We can see the value and protest or support the path our leaders have set forth. Millionaires, as individuals, spend vastly more consumer money than those at the lower end of the income range.

    So, they would pay a higher portion of the tax bill than those lower on the scale. It would be a true progressive tax based on spending. People that are on public assistance could be exempted as it make no sense to tax money that comes from the government as it was taxed as it entered the system.

    Just my two cents….


    From MC> Fair points. No question that taxes are just a line item. The problem is that if you tax all consumables/services you place a disproportionate burden on those who can least afford it. Most people spend everything they have and save nothing. So you basically are putting a tax on their entire lives. Which means we start making exceptions. Do you put a national consumption tax on bread , rent , milk ? And if you start excluding items, how soon before your company says that you cant compete because consumers are taxed in the US when consuming your product and your corporate customers are now purchasing overseas and importing the product because its cheaper. Remember, another line item in the big company budget is lobbying and contributions.

    If you want to see your company act differently, make the top 5 paid execs buy all their stock options on the open market rather than getting them as grants. Stop giving them lottery tickets and you will see huge changes in corporate behavior. Private companies act much differently than public companies. Founders of public companies act far differently than hired CEOs.. Until the incentives for corporate leadership changes (and im differentiating between founders who run their own companies and hired CEOs), you will continue to see companies act in the interest of top management and not what is necessarily best for the company.

    Comment by mlpjlk -

  130. Mr. Cuban, I have always thought of you as a pretty wise businessman, but you earned a ton of respect from me today. As a (very) small business owner, but someone who would definitely be affected by a tax hike on the $250k+ crowd, I completely agree that a tax hike on the “rich” like myself (ha!) isn’t going to help get us out of our mess. People in my shoes (at least most of them I think) can’t afford accountants who can find every single loophole in the tax code, and as such we pay pretty much what our tax bracket dictates.

    Millionaires, and billionaires, on the other hand have teams of people who know every line of the tax code and make sure they get every deduction, credit, and incentive available. There is nothing wrong with that, mind you, that’s the benefit of having resources. But as such, you guys can often pay less (in %) in taxes than someone in my shoes. Is that fair? Right/wrong? I don’t know, it just is what it is. I do wish we’d simplify the tax code but that’s another topic altogether. But raising taxes on people making $250k is going to hurt, especially in this economy. That’s not a lot of money for a family living in an area with a high cost of living, like San Francisco.

    And you stuck the nail on the head when you brought up the INEFFICIENCIES in government spending.
    Throwing more money at our problem will NOT solve the problem. The government will spend that money inefficiently just like they spent the other trillions of dollars they collect in taxes. We need to fix, or do away with, the costly government programs that are putting our country in bankruptcy. And we need to adopt a reasonable policy on debt, because it’s foolish to believe we can just pay it back later — when we can’t even seem to balance a budget without needing to borrow more.

    I do applaud the fact that you and other more fortunate people are graciously willing to give more money to the government, and I very much appreciate the sentiment. That may be a necessity to just “keep the lights on” in this tough time, but we REALLY need to address the deeper concerns and soon, because even raising taxes will only get us so far.

    Comment by brandoneley -

  131. Striike:

    I am clueless as to how you could argue that debating a point made by an individual indicates a problem with reading comprehension? So because Mark says taxes have nothing to do with job creation, that’s that? That was a statement of opinion, not fact and clearly many people disagree with that opinion. Several small business owners within this blog have already rebutted that opinion. It’s logical fallacy to assume statement of opinion are cemented without explanation.

    Comment by t2lr -

  132. guys, is your reading comprehension that bad??? of course taxes are important and of course with lower taxes it is possible that you may have more money. Mark, however, is arguing that this has very little to do with job creation. He is crystal clear. If a company needs to hire someone, they will hire someone. Incremental tax movements in either direction will never change that need…

    Comment by striike -

  133. I am a small manufacturing company owner in Texas. Taxes are high, revenue is down. I hear what you say on this blog, and usually appreciate the insight.

    Knowing this is your thoughtful insight and contribution would make a big difference to me.

    My questions is are you really doing this yourself (Mr. Cuban) or have you delegated the responsibility for the blog entries?

    Seems like a fair question, would you mind responding?

    From MC> i write my own blogs. I read and write my own emails. I dont have a PR person. Just me

    Comment by lawman1947 -

  134. The only thing that drives job creation is an increase in demand for a given product.

    If I have a business and have 100,000 net income and 4 employees that produce enough product to meet demand and operate my business efficiently I will not go out and hire another employee just because the IRS put another 100,000 in my pocket. Why do you think AAPL is sitting on multiple billions of cash? If you give them a tax break are they going to go out and hire 1,000 engineers or are they going to add to their growing cash hoard?

    From MC> exactly right. Whether its demand or for competitive reasons, hiring is driven by business , not by tax code

    Comment by glenn70 -

  135. @madelinepuckette – Agreed about voting. Many said it can be manipulated and cheated but they’re already doing that off-line. Obviously we are not trying hard enough to make a newer, more efficient system work. Most of the time when I do vote, besides for the 2 or 3 top positions that I know about, the rest (e.g. judges, district officials) are just pure guesses. Online voting could allow education besides the names.

    @seasidegame – If China’s government and invest in infrastructure, we certainly can as well. Nothing is hard to put in practice if you try.

    @Phil – Jobs aren’t created cause of lower taxes. Jobs are created when the company needs to grow; and that doesn’t happen unless there are more customers and more demand to what you’re selling. In an unsure market, you can bet most of us bank whatever is saved.

    As for Mark, great thoughts on infrastructure. Your thoughts definitely pin points the problem with the issue that most politicians haven’t yet figured out. Like someone else has mentioned, the new infrastructure in the U.S. may not be physical roads, but pipelines and fiber optics. Many of us would prefer to work from home anyway. All this technology and better paved roads really haven’t saved us more time for our families.

    I would also propose that changing the U.S. to the metric system be a major infrastructure program. Could you imagine all the jobs that would be created by having to replace all the road signs, rewriting text books, cook books, product boxes, etc.? I sure hope we see this change in our lifetime cause we definitely need it.

    Comment by kappaknight -

  136. I agree… regardless of whatever level I get to financially I will compete to accomplish my goals. Obstacles be damned. The government (and a long list of others) has an opportunity to either help or hinder, but regardless I will compete and succeed.

    Comment by earljjj -

  137. So just to clarify Mark, if you paid less money in taxes, you would put it in the bank rather then create new jobs by hiring, investing, creating, etc…? I’m not at your scale, but the typical argument is that it’s more efficient for business people to do the job creating with the money, and the people they hire will in the end pay taxes (and you’ll pay taxes on their behalf as well). I think we all agree some level of taxes are needed to be paid to keep a clean, nice, western society, and the rich should pay their fair share, but there is definitely a slippery slope when we say rich people can afford to pay more so they should. At some point it becomes detrimental to the economy as a whole.

    Comment by Phil -

  138. Every government has it’s special way.And I think your ideas are very significant,but may be it’s too hard to put in practice.there are lots of different that can’t imagine. By the way,don’t believe the China media.they never tell the truth.

    Comment by seasidegame -

  139. I think you have a lot of great ideas here. The distinction between maintenance and infrastructure is an important one that I haven’t heard articulated before.

    My wife and I have small businesses and I totally agree about the the one year tax credit being worthless. When you’re committing $10’s of thousands of dollars annually to hire someone, you think $4,000 (or whatever it is) means shit to me?

    Most the people in government, especially at the Federal level, have never had their finances depend on having to find clients, deliver something of value that people are willing to pay for and deal with the red tape of running a business. Like you, I’d love to see them run even a 7-11 for a year. Instead of “Undercover Boss” there should be a show “Undercover Congress Person” where they really get to see what life is like for small businesses.

    Obama’s recent call for legislation to ban discrimination against the unemployed just shows how clueless people in Washington are about the challenges businesses already face from frivolous lawsuits.

    From MC> well said. Good luck with your biz !

    Comment by mvd1959 -

  140. On infrastructure: speaking before Congress, years ago, George Lucas of all people asked something to the effect of, for all the talk about infrastructure, why aren’t we expanding our Internet capabilities? We have roads, we don’t need new roads, we need a new Internet. It isn’t the road of tomorrow, it’s the road of today. That time is now, and it’s passing us by.

    Meanwhile, my government-granted cable monopoly has no apparent interest in delivering good service, much less expanding it.

    Imagine government laid pipes, space in which is auctioned off to top tier providers, who would then have to lease it to ISPs, much like the bandwidth auction was intended to be done, before the FCC allowed it to be gamed. It could pay for itself, and spur new services online.

    Comment by jeffool -

  141. Pingback: Thoughts on Our Federal Government, Taxes and Small Business and More | The Peter Principle

  142. Mark:

    I think to some extent your arguments are sound, but I believe others are flawed. The premise of this actual discussion is actually, according to President Obama, whether the top 1% should be taxed more and whether they pay “their fair share.” As you know, this simply means increasing the rate for long and short term capital gains.

    Therefore there are a few problems with your discussion. 1)Since we know this idea is simply a plan to raise the Capital Gains Tax which is applied by the transaction and not by the individual, how can this proposed increase not actually affect the general public or small business owners that invest in such things as the stock market or investment property? Do you just tax everybody once during the transaction and then try to recover the rest based on taxable earnings at the end of the year? How could this possibly work.

    2) You presuppose that the tax is a good idea because the Mega-Rich need to pay more. The question then becomes, who is the Mega-Rich? Is it someone or a small business who earns $500,000, 1 million, 50 million or 1 billion dollars. Until you determine a roundabout or finite threshold, your argument becomes too generic. Surely, you would agree that your wealth along with Mr. Buffets would make you an exception to most rules and that most people within that 1% don’t have the luxury of just giving away money here and there. Surely, you recognize that business owners trying to remain solvent and successful will simply just cut overhead in response to any tax increase. You are greatly aware of how difficult it is for these business to succeed and how few of them actually do succeed over the long run. The plan that the President proposes has a negative affect on all business owners along with mid-level investors who need that profit. This clearly and almost inevitable leads to a trickle down affect. As you see, I think you will agree that your argument on this specific issue needs to be tailored more specifically.

    3) I think your part about what “drives a person” is partially accurate but presupposes that everyone has just one primary aspiration. This is logically flawed. A Person may be driven to succeed first, but being able to keep the “Fruit of their hard work” is very important to most Americans. I believe in this instance, your fallacy is based on the fact the your incredible wealth makes you somewhat immune to the argument that most people are severely bothered by being forced to give their money to others against their will. They further believe that this philosophy perpetuates social notions of entitlement. This group of people does not believe that we should presuppose that having wealth is lucky or inherited and that not having wealth is just plain unlucky. Many believe that redistributing this wealth is a Charitable issue and the State should not be dictating what is the “greater good of society.” These people are greatly bothered by the notion that some 47% don’t pay federal income taxes and the argument they get more out of the system than they provide is bothersome on both a philosophical and moral level, because as stated, it perpetuates the Entitlement State.

    Finally, a lesser point on China. While I’m certain (without stats) that China’s infrastructure plan was a success, that does not necessarily mean pumping money into our infrastructure would produce a similar result. First, China did not start it’s infrastructure spending under a massive pile of debt therefore, the cost/benefit risk was much lower. However (I haven’t researched this) this is actually irrelevant to my point since even had they started the project while in debt, it still may have worked. It’s fairly well understood that the infrastructure plan is a “jumpstart to the economy” which stimulates the economy in the short term. Once the boost is given, that spending now has to accomodated by a stabilized job market. This can be easily accomplished in China. They essentially have few environmental and work regulations (Overtime laws), meager wages and minimal tort interference that permit employers to continue hiring without much concern for overhead and overall risk.

    Anyhow, thanks for letting me ramble on your page. Best of luck Cubes.

    From MC> I was clear that billionaires should pay more. That making 250k is not rich . As far as drive, i was clear that not everyone is motivated by money. And yes, all of us would like to keep more.Yes, all of us feel we are entitled to keep more. However, the point was even if you feel you should keep more, that wont stop you from busting ass to make up the difference. In fact, you may work even harder to get where you want to be. Taxes used to be a lot higher and that didnt stop people from doing their thing. As far as the redistribution of wealth, i agree 100 pct with you, if we were in normal times. If this were 2005 I would write exactly what you have written. But facts , situations and context changes. We are in a mess right now and we need to fix washington but also recognize that if too many people fall through the cracks, the weight of it all drags us all down. THen we become Greece or Italy or worse. I would rather pay more and look to create change rather than stick to the company line and fail to recognize the significant issues we have in front of us and address them rationally.

    Comment by t2lr -

  143. Cubester, trust me, it is cute how you are de-Buffeting yourself, and you are right on with most stuff, but yes, taxes do affect business and job creation. I’m just a lowly ‘ol 3rd-multi million-dollar-company guy, but yes; taxes are a big deal. God forbid we do something wrong and upset you-know-who.

    Must be nice to look at taxes different than the rest of us lil’ ‘ol barely-retired folks… 😉

    From MC> so if you needed an employee to stay competitive, you wouldnt hire them because your taxes were 10pct higher than they were last year ? Tell me how you think taxes affect job creation ? Tell me why we had no problem creating jobs 10 years ago when taxes were higher and we were in a small recession ?

    Comment by dwcbrq -

  144. Okay, I really like this rant but I think we could append one more item that really needs to be addressed: voting.

    We can do everything online these days, even massive bank transactions… now let me vote online!

    There is nothing more antiquated then our polling system.

    Comment by madelinepuckette -

  145. I see you are a proponent of the American School of economics. I wonder why we dumped it??

    The American School, also known as “National System”, represents three different yet related constructs in politics, policy and philosophy. It was the American policy for the 1860s to the 1940s, waxing and waning in actual degrees and details of implementation. Historian Michael Lind describes it as a coherent applied economic philosophy with logical and conceptual relationships with other economic ideas.

    It is the macroeconomic philosophy that dominated United States national policies from the time of the American Civil War until the mid-twentieth century[ (closely related to mercantilism and prior to Keynesian economics, it can be seen as contrary to classical economics). It consisted of these three core policies:

    protecting industry through selective high tariffs (especially 1861–1932) and some include through subsidies (especially 1932–70)

    government investments in infrastructure creating targeted internal improvements (especially in transportation)

    a national bank with policies that promote the growth of productive enterprises rather than speculation.

    It is a capitalist economic school based on the Hamiltonian economic program. The American School of capitalism was intended to allow the United States to become economically independent and nationally self-sufficient.

    The American School’s key elements were promoted by John Q. Adams and his National Republican Party, Henry Clay and the Whig Party, and Abraham Lincoln through the early Republican Party which embraced, implemented, and maintained this economic system.

    During its American System period the United States grew into the largest economy in the world with the highest standard of living, surpassing the British Empire by the 1880s.

    Comment by jgbennet -

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