Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How come I never get ahead???

Some one asked me that question and I answered, "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer."
Just from a small business person's point of view, let me explain.
Let us begin with the touted equalizer: government bidding. Sure, you can cut your profit to the bone and win a contract but can you afford to wait at least 30 days to be paid after you deliver. How do you pay your rent, electricity, phone, suppliers and employees while you are waiting for that check to come it? If you are making over a million bucks, those things are petty cash. When you are a small business, they are your bottom line.
Now, let's talk about taxes.
Sales tax: you don't charge it, you just collect it. For me, it is no big amount of money. BUT, if my gross sales are a million dollars a month and I collect 6% on that, I have $60,000.00 to put in a bank and earn 1.5% or more interest on that month equalling a profit of $900.00 a month for doing nothing and the state will give me a $300.00 credit for filing early making me 1,200.00 for doing nothing. And if I pay quarterly, I make even more money. Wouldn't you like to make that much extra money every month?
It's the same thing with income tax. You see that hit every paycheck. But the executive or self employed, pays quarterly, so all that tax money coming out of your pay check every week is theirs to play with for three months and when your pay check is in the millions, that a lot of money to play with. Not only that, but depending on the deal they have with the government, that money coming out of your pay check may not go to the IRS instantly. They may be using your tax dollars and only paying them in quarterly.
Going back to the executive, there is one more boondoggle you are not going to have. By scheduling the majority of their yearly pay to arrive in December as a bonus, they cut their tax liability to bone for the rest of the year and then take the hit on April 15th for the maximum amount providing they haven't found some lovely deductions by then. They wouldn't have that kind of money if they didn't have those deductions.
Your kids are going to pay a hefty estate tax and (I just got this amount from a lawyer last week) $2,400.00 to probate your will. There is no way out of that in Florida. However, Mr. Gotrocks, has his money in a foundation that is paying his kids a salary each year so they avoid all that nasty estate tax and if they get hit with it, well, they only have to pay 35% now. George was explaining how Jackie O got around the estate tax by making a deal with the IRS....Oh yes, if you have money, you can actually make a deal with them rather than spending 20 years in jail. The inheritance for her kids was placed into a charitable trust that paid out X amount of money to charities each year with the children as the executors of the estate. They made more money in interest off the foundation's money waiting to be distributed than the estate was worth to something like the tune of 10 times the original value. So instead of paying those nasty estate taxes to us, they made money off the money in the estate. Do you have any more questions as to how the rich get richer?
My parents, probably like your parents, bought into the lie that this was the land of opportunity. Work hard, you get ahead and your children will do even better than you. You will do better than your children. Both my parents died bankrupted by medical bills from cancer due to smoking because they fell for the "How sexy it was" advertising campaign by the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry executives are not hurting for money. The advertising executives are not hurting for money. The hospital just expanded and the doctors that treated them are doing just fine. They lost everything. Yup, that's the way capitalism works...enjoy it.
That is just the tip of the iceberg.

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