I was reading an article recently about aircraft leasing. In case you missed the recent news, there is a huge controversy between Airbus and Boeing for control of the commercial airliner market. And upstarts like Bombardier and Embraer are edging into their market space. A recent decision by the International Trade Commission, which I discussed in a previous posting, could impose 200% duties on imported Bombardier aircraft which could result in a trade war which will bring down our economy.
But that's not the point of this posting. They were interviewing the head of one of the largest aircraft leasing companies in the world, and talking with the CEO of the company, Mr. Steven Udvar-Hazy. If you are aircraft fanatic, the name rings a bell, as it is the name of the Smithsonian's aircraft museum at Dulles airport, the Udvar-Hazy annex. Clearly, this is a guy who loves airplanes and has a shitload of money. (Good for him!).
Income taxes in the post-war era had marginal rates over 50% - as high as 70% in some cases. And we talk about today's rates as though they were onerous. Oddly enough, it was a Democrat, John F. Kennedy, who proposed the first cuts in marginal rates, and since then, the GOP has taken up tax cuts under its banner. The problem is, of course, you can only cut taxes so much before government runs out of money, as they are finding out in Kansas. Kansas instituted a tax program that allowed people with Subchapter-S companies to basically avoid paying income taxes. Needless to day, even the paper boy in Kansas now has a Subchapter-S company (they are not hard to form - we had three at one time). When government creates incentives, people jump through hoops. But I digress...
We know many of these new plutocrats by the names of their venture capitalist firms, who take companies private and load them up with debt. Or we know them as "activist investors" who buy chunks of stock, garner a seat on the board, and then force companies to make quick profits, often by dividing them up into small chunks which are sold off to other venture capitalists.
And today, maybe we are seeing the same thing in the Republican party - a division between the old-line Republicans and the Trump supporters who voted for Trump thinking he would help out "the forgotten man" by giving tax cuts to the very wealthy. Funny how people can be fooled so easily.