Bailout Bullshit, Part 2: Wooden arrow tax breaks

It’s absolutely fitting that in the midst of a huge financial crisis our “representatives” in “government” are “multi-tasking” while making the $700 Billion decision- to make sure wooden arrows get a break too.

You know, the kinds you could use, along with garlic, to kill a vampire? The problem is, the bloodsuckers are the ones in charge in this mess- and they have no intention of harming each other.

Here are the straphangers from Bloomberg:

Rose City Archery Inc., an Oregon company that makes arrows used by children, hit a bull’s-eye with Senate legislation that would rescue Wall Street banks.

Senators attached a provision repealing a 39-cent excise tax on wooden arrows designed for children to an historic $700 billion financial-markets rescue that passed tonight by a vote of 74-25. The provision, originally proposed by Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, will save manufacturers such as Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon, about $200,000 a year.

It’s one of dozens of tax breaks benefiting Hollywood producers, stock-car racetrack owners and Virgin Islands rum- makers included in the broader legislation in an effort to win support from House Republicans, whose defection contributed to a rejection of an earlier version of the legislation two days ago on a 228-205 vote.

Bloomberg.com: U.S..

The first thing the House should do is have a motion to eliminate any other legislation or tax breaks or earmarks from what could be one of three pivotal votes of the last 8 years (Patriot Act, Iraq, Bailout). Then, we need to realize, that this bill is nothing other than putting lipstick on the same pig (to use the now famous phrase).

We still don’t have any systemic change.

Listening to American Public Radio’s Marketplace report last week, I heard them interview a “Market Psychologist” after either Paulson or Bernanke spoke about how it’s not just economics but psychology. And, there is the fundamental problem with how our financial system has devolved to the same level as our “political system”- with any hint of rational decision making totally missing.

Markets are only guided by “psychology” when decisions are being made on emotion instead of rational thought. The mechanics of our markets have changed in the last 25 years with computers and online trading so that stock can now be bought and sold as fast as someone can sit down at a casino slot machine. This is NOT investing anymore.

Put reality back into financial decisions, make risk have real consequences and require serious thought and commitment to investing, and maybe, we wouldn’t be talking about “market psychology” or wooden arrows right now.

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7 Responses

  1. Greg Hunter October 2, 2008 / 8:48 am
    Funny that Wyden voted NO

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  2. Bruce Kettelle October 2, 2008 / 10:53 am
    This .39 excise tax on wooden arrows is ridiculous, it should be removed as it is unclear why it was imposed in the first place. The tax applies to more than children’s arrows and at $34 a dozen each purchase includes $4.68 in hidden taxes. That’s a 19% tax folks!

    Just as ridiculous is including the tax’s repeal in the bailout legislation. This is neither the time nor the place for this type of crap. The bailout legislation should include only the items necessary to control and fund the program.

    I am still not sure if this whole bailout is such a good thing. Would it not be better to put money into national brick and mortar infrastructure projects that will create new jobs and let the capitalist system flush itself out?

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  3. J.R. Locke October 2, 2008 / 1:49 pm
    Makes you proud to be an American don’t it. All those great representatives bringing home the bacon. ;)

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  4. Jeff October 2, 2008 / 4:01 pm
    I think this is a previously approved appropriation (with pork) and the Senate added the bailout provisions to it.

    Per the Consitution, Section 7, Clause 1

    “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

    …so this can’t be a brand new bill.

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  5. Drexel Dave October 3, 2008 / 11:41 am
    Let America crash!

    We need to start over again.

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  6. Gene October 3, 2008 / 12:16 pm
    most of these “add-ons” have been debated in congress for a while, according to many news sources, so this stuff is not new, but then again this stuff is not appropriate at this time.

    No need to start over. We are fine. Nothing will change until we are attacked by another country or OBL and friends. Relax, smoke a bowl. I thought all was lost but Mr. Hope Barry Obama is on his way to save the day. Give Barry a chance – we need it.

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  7. Zak October 5, 2008 / 4:58 am
    This reminds me of an Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill a couple of years ago to provide immediate operating funds for the Iraq War. While Pelosi had been mocked for trying to add in money for body armor for our troops (this was right after that scandal with the “hillbilly armor” on the humvees and parents/communities having to buy body armor for troopers who had none) as the body armor issue wasn’t seen as being important enough to go into an emergency budget, the Republican Congress saw fit to put in over $100 million for a sports stadium…

    Politics makes me sick, more often than not.

    BTW: “This American Life” did an excellent job this week at explaining the CDS (Credit Default Swap) mess and just how much it threatens our entire financial system. It was very easy to understand, although now that I’m more tempted than ever to start socking money into my mattress, I’m not sure I wanted to understand. Anyway, check out http://www.thislife.org/ and download this week’s podcast, or catch it on NPR station WVXU out of Cinci. It’s Part 2 that covers the CDS nightmare.

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