Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time to Water the Garden with Champagne?

Remember this scene from Casablanca? Rick Blaine, Ilsa Lund and Sam the piano man are at La Belle Aurore, drinking champagne on the eve of the Nazi occupation of Paris. "Henri wants us to finish this bottle and then three more," says Rick, recharging their glasses. "Says he'll water his garden with champagne before he'll let the Germans drink it!"

Naturally, this was the first thing that sprang to mind when I read that Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga wants to time his sale to Stephen Ross of the majority share of the team in such a way as to avoid the capital gains tax increase that will certainly follow an Obama victory on Election Day. "He wants to double the capital gains tax, or almost double it," says Huizenga. "I'd rather give it to charity than to him."

The Obama campaign disagrees with Huizenga's allegation, countering that Obama only wants to increase the maximum capital gains rate 33%, not 50%. Rather like telling the traffic cop you were only doing 85, not 100. The salient point is: you were speeding.

And the salient point with Obama: any way you look at it, he's going to raise taxes. His campaign people say so. Shouldn't we believe them?

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