I have been a progressive activist in our community since early 2007. Many people also regard Rep. Velazquez as a “progressive,” but I think despite some of her good work she may actually be beholden to the banks and the financial services industry.
Why do I think this? It’s simple really – just in the last election alone she received $12,500 from Goldman Sachs (her single largest contributor), not to mention all her other contributions from other large banks (e.g. Bank of America) and their corporate PACs (totaling over $191,000).
If I were elected to represent New York’s 7th Congressional District, I would work aggressively to support Rep. Sander Levin’s bill that will close the carried interest loophole that hedge fund managers use to pay lower tax rates than teachers, firefighters, police and regular hard working Americans.
Why are we still subsidizing the financial services industry in such a way to help the rich get richer? This is a prime example of “good for some, bad for all.” I will work hard to fight these laws that are simply the result of special interest lobbying. Rep. Velazquez accepts money from groups that oppose the Carried Interest Fairness Act of 2012.
Why has Rep. Velazquez been so silent on this issue of fairness for the middle class? Organizations such as the National Venture Capital Organization do try and make arguments for why we need this special loophole – essentially that it will hurt economic development if we require hedge fund and venture capital managers to pay the same tax rates on all their income as other Americans do. In my opinion, this is pure conjecture from a group that is obviously biased.
How is this loophole unfair to average working Americans? Imagine the scenario of a $100,000,000 hedge fund that makes $40,000,000 for its investors. The carried interest (i.e., the percentage of profits hedge fund managers get to keep) is usually 20% so the managers of such funds would earn $8,000,000. This is of course in addition to their yearly salary that they earn even if they lose 100% of their clients’ money. Because of the way most hedge funds are structured, this $8,000,00 of “carried interest” is taxed at the lower capital gains rate (around 20% now) rather than the generally much higher ordinary income tax rate that ordinary folks like you and I have to pay. There are legitimate arguments as to why real capital gains (when you have your own money at risk) should be taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income (a debate for another time) – but this should be the case if your own money (not money from other people) is at risk. However, hedge fund managers get special treatment simply because they have bought successfully lobbied Congress not to close this unfair tax loophole.
We could raise billions of dollars if we close this loophole (See Center for American Progress) that would help us pay down our national debt; revitalize our public infrastructure; invest in our schools; etc. “Good for some, bad for all.”
What do you think? I am Jeff Kurzon and I support closing this unfair tax loophole that only benefits the rich to the detriment of the rest of us. I need your help to help make this happen, so please share this post on social media and consider a $25 donation to my campaign. You will be making a huge contribution if you just help me share this post. We are fighting against some very well financed special interests. Just follow the money.