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Forget your banking career – join the IRS

October 29, 2008
bonus | IRS | jobs

In yet another sign of tough times on Wall Street, dejected financial professionals were among those lined up yesterday for a shot to work for none other than the IRS, the New York Times reports. It’s a curious career move until you look at the circumstances: the battered banking sector has been cutthroat in its downsizing, leaving virtually no job safe. But can anyone remember the last time the IRS downsized?

“You could get a lucrative job in the financial market right now, but how long can you keep it?” says ex-Lehman Brothers staffer Jean Delice. “Everywhere I look, I see layoffs. If I take a $10,000 or $20,000 pay cut, in the long run, I’m ahead. The government is not in the trading business. It will be around.”

Now may be as good a time as any to cut and run, especially given NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s recent warning that it may be illegal for banks to pay bonuses with government money. In yet another blow to anyone dreaming of a fat bonus, a new study shows that nearly two-thirds of big U.S. companies have banned their chief executives from keeping hefty bonuses when there are questions over executive conduct.

Are you thinking of leaving Wall Street behind? If so, what career suits someone with a financial background? Share your thoughts below.


I guess that the IRS will have its hands full chasing down wealthy tax avoiders (and cheaters). So, it needs to staff up, as they say.

Unpatriotic millionaires and billionaires are already moving their money out of the country…but that won’t work anymore I don’t think. Unpatriotic corporations whose overseas profits haven’t been taxed will see the IRS coming after them soon. Mr. Obama has promised middle class and working class voters that only the wealthy will see tax increases (and that the budget will be balanced and the national debt paid down)…and unless the democrat congress wants to see a republican “revolution” in 2010, Obama’s promise had better be quickly and forcefully carried out by the house tax legislation writers.

Oh, the woes of the wealthy in America, Mr. & Mrs. Reader! All they can think about (with the imminent Obama win on Tuesday) is how they can scare middle class and working class voters into believing that any increase in federal taxes is going to apply to working folks…as well as to wealthy fear mongers themselves. It’s the same old republican refrain that Mr. Bush used to scare up the votes of working Americans in 2000 and 2004. Mr. Bush’s father used the same refrain in 1988. Mr. Reagan was singing the same song in 1980. This scare tactic has consistently worked for some strange reason. However, I’m banking that it won’t work in 2008.

I think that Mr. Obama has been consistently clear on how he is going to cut taxes for the middle class and working class…while being consistently fuzzy on how he’s going to raise taxes for privileged class millionaires and super privileged class billionaires. That’s why the wealthy are running scared…really scared!

The reason that Obama is being fuzzy on the wealthy’s tax increase is that after the initial rise of the top rate to 39.6%, I think that the top rate for the wealthy will rise as far as it needs to be raised in order to ELIMINATE the annual budget deficit and PAY DOWN the national debt (and CEASE borrowing from the middle class and working class Social Security Trust Fund, in order to mask the real size of annual spending). In other words, the SSA trust fund is loaded with IOU’s from the government’s operating fund. At the end of the Clinton administration, SSA borrowing had in fact ceased. Likewise, the budget was in the black, and the national debt was being paid down. With the help of a republican-controlled congress, Mr. Bush threw all of this away.

I just watched a conversation about taxes between Mr. Cavuto (Fox salaried staffer) and Mr. Rove (Fox fee consultant and Bush/McCain advisor). They were discussing the overall federal tax burden and the threshold at which the top marginal rate should be applicable. The top rate is presently 35%, and Mr. Obama wants to immediately up that rate to 39.6% (i.e., where it was at the end of the Clinton administration).

By comparison: 1) at the end of the Reagan administration in 1988, the top rate was 28% and 2) at the end of the Carter administration in 1980, the top rate was 70% (and had been at 70% since 1964). At the end of the Carter administration, the rate for most people in the middle class and working class was 11%. That rate was raised by the Reagan administration (and congress) to 15%.

Rove related a story about a restaurant owner with 27 employees in Florida whose accountant says he can’t purchase another restaurant because he (the owner) will then be making over $250,000 (net taxable income after exemptions and deductions)…and thus will be subject to the proposed Obama increase in the top marginal rate to 39.6%.

Cavuto stated that the current bills of the country (including new spending) can’t be paid unless the threshold for the top marginal rate is $130,000 (net taxable income) instead of Obama’s figure of $250,000.

I wasn’t taking notes. However, it was either Cavuto or Rove who then stated that a survey indicates that members of the middle class and working class think that no more than 20% of a taxpayer’s taxable income should be taken out for taxes (including federal income tax, federal FICA payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare and state taxes, if any).

It was either Rove or Cavuto who responded that some 81% of Americans (in a survey) say that total taxes should be no more than 30% for anybody. “Anybody”, of course, would include not only working class and middle class salary/wage earners…but also privileged class millionaires and super privileged class billionaires.

I’m willing to bet that both Cavuto and Rove are millionaire “anybody’s”.

The bottom line is that America can’t pay its bills and eliminate its debt and SSA borrowing unless the wealthy pay higher taxes…just as they were intended to do when the federal progressive income tax was created in 1913.

OK Jack


Ex-analyst, laid off, hated the job, love the severance, will take huge pay cut to join Marine Corps. No joke.

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