The 50 Richest People in America and Their Political Contributions

I went through the 50 richest people in the Forbes 400 Richest People in America list and tracked their political donations just to see how they stack up. Here is what I found out:

NOTE: Some political contributions spanned several years. I used the total amounts given and ignored the years in which they were given.

• Of the 50 people I tracked, 26 of them made contributions to both Democrats and Republicans.

• 7 of them only made contributions to Democrats.

• 9 of them only made contributions to Republicans.

• 17 of them gave more to Democrats than Republicans.

• 24 of them gave more to Republicans than Democrats.

• 8 of them showed no contributions at all (Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos, Forrest Mars, Mark Zuckerberg, Blair Parry-Okeden, Steve Jobs, and Donald Newhouse).

• Total contributions to Republicans totaled $1,874,574.

• Total contributions to Democrats totaled $1,400,936.

• $473,638 more was given to Republicans than to Democrats.

• The largest Republican contributor was Jim Walton at $181,300 (he also gave $4,700 to Democrats).

• The largest Democrat contributor was George Soros at $236,250 (he gave nothing to Republicans).

• The average contribution to Republicans was $37,491.48.

• The average contribution to Democrats was $28,018.72

There was no mention of other political contributions to Libertarians or the Green Party.

Political “Math”

Last week I was part of a rather heated discussion on facebook about Texas’ budget woes and proposed cuts to its education budget. One of the people involved in the discussion was a school adminstrator. I asked him how he would solve the supposed education cuts. He wrote this:

“A .01% increase in taxes would prevent all this. That’s $150 a year on a $150,000 house.”

.01% increase in taxes…

Seems really low, doesn’t it? It’s not. Here is how it translates into taxes:

My house is worth roughly $150,000 on the tax rolls. We paid $3,500 in property taxes last year. If they were to increase another $150, it would represent a 4.3% increase as I show in my math:

150 ÷ 3,500 = .0428 or 4.3%

The reason for the difference is that the .01% increase is PER $100 of value.

Politicians framed this issue in such a way to make it seem like the tax increase isn’t that much when in fact it’s MUCH more than they make it seem.

The guy got rather testy with me when I told him that I would not be willing to fork over another $150 per year. My reasoning is that although it’s “only” $150, it’s a tax increase. Once taxes go up (especially property taxes), they seldom if ever come back down again. Once this particular budget shortfall is cured by a tax increase, they’ll find another place to use the tax increase. Not only that, the $150 is based on property value, which will most likely increase in the future.

Tell Me What You Think of This Idea…

Check this out: House GOP: Bills will have to cite Constitution

House Republican leaders have unveiled a new rule to require that each bill filed in the House “cite its specific constitutional authority.”

Personally, I like this idea. Show me exactly where the constitution gives the authority for the spending. They should even go further than that and look at EVERYTHING and figure out whether or not it’s constitutional. Just because we want something doesn’t mean it’s constitutional. I would also like to see the end of lobbying and buying influence. In my opinion, lobbying borders on bribery.

Political Gridlock is Good for Investing

As a conservative, I was hoping for a GOP takeover of the Senate along with House. It didn’t happen. Oh well. Regardless, if history means anything, having a house of one party and a president of different party is good news for the stock market. Take a look at the following graphic I put together using the information from this piece:

What will the future hold? We shall see…