Associated Press, 22 December 2011
Bogle says he’s paying close attention to tax policies he considers unfair, including one that’s favorable to the fund industry and investors with taxable accounts. The top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains is historically low at 15 percent, as a result of the extension of Bush era tax cuts that Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to a year ago. In contrast, top earners pay 35 percent on regular income. He doesn’t like that disparity.
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As for capital gains, there ought to be some distinction between capital made by people who start businesses, and contribute value to society, and capital made by gamblers on Wall Street, some of whom win. Earned capital income should carry the regular dividend rate, but capital income gains by trading, and particularly short-term trading, should pay a higher tax, even than the present ordinary income rate.
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Q: What’s your take on the Occupy movement?
A: I’m happy to say that my current income puts me in the 99 percent group. So maybe I’m not so happy, I don’t know.
This movement has brought to the surface some very serious problems in our country about disparities in opportunity and income. So many young people are having a terrible time getting a job.
Young people have great idealism, and the Occupy movement has been a bit unrealistic at times. So what? I can’t imagine a worse America if our younger generation didn’t have great idealism. I salute them for their enthusiasm, and their mission.
The negative side is that they just pushed too hard for too long. It’s very difficult for any movement without any seeming leadership — other than a good idea — to have any sense of taste or judgment. Who’s to say, ‘This is going too far’? In some places, it’s just gone on too long, and it’s been too disruptive. So I think it’s good that we’ve been cleaning up the plazas where the Occupy movement set up.
See Also (Steele Reviews in Each Case):
John Bogle, The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
William Greider, The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy