AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

Subscribe to the blog

Discussion: (6 comments)

  1. MacDaddyWatch

    Did Costco enter the laundry business?

    In today’s WSJ we learn that COSTCO actually borrowed $3.5 billion to pay a $7 “special dividend” to its shareholders. It paid 1.7% “and less.” Naturally, the insider founders own a ton of stock, Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal owns almost 1 million shares.

    The timing was targeted to avoid any “fiscal cliff” and all its associated tax hikes that could begin on January 1. So far, so good–I got it. But I have some observations and questions:

    1-Since when does a highly profitable and cash rich company like Costco ever borrow money from a bank in order to pay a “special” or “extra” dividend?

    2-How much of this 2013 tax-hike exempted money is going to find its way back into the Obama and the Democrat “stash?”

    3-How many of the lending institutions received taxpayer “bailout” money just a few years ago? How much?

    4- Is this for what the taxpayer bailout money was intended? Excuse me for asking, but that’s my money. And I still hear a lot of small businesses screaming that they can’t get bank loans. Not to mention at a rate of 1.7% or less.

    5-I’m only trying to connect the dots….could this, and many of the other fiscal cliff/tax-hike exempted “special” dividends, be one of the biggest money laundering schemes ever?

    6-As of Wednesday, 173 companies participated in a “special” dividend strategy–101 more than in 2011. How many other companies paying “specials” and their lenders (if that’s how they got the money) conspired in a comparable manner? More importantly, how many of the companies were big Obama/Democrat money bundlers, fund raisers and financial supporters?

    Why am I concerned, you ask? How does this grab you?

    Vice President Joe Biden is attending the opening of Washington, D.C.’s first Costco this morning. This from the media pool report:

    Motorcade arrived at dc’s first Costco at 9:24 am
    Today is the store’s grand opening
    From a WH official:
    The Vice President will be greeted at Costco by CEO Craig Jelinek and
    Co-founder Jim Sinegal, who were both at Costco’s grand opening
    ceremony this morning.

    Uneventful ride w commuters stopping for the motorcade passing down
    Connecticut Ave, along Rhode Island

    Sinegal was a big fundraiser for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, and even hosted a campaign event for the president at his West Coast home.

    1. SeattleSam

      Actually he hosted two big fundraisers at his home. Jim is a smart guy. He helped elect someone dedicated to raising taxes. He’s just not going to pay them himself. And, yes, some of that saving will be routed to the DNC.

  2. SeattleSam

    I think the public looks at it this way. Last week you opened your Mastercard statement and saw you owed $200,000. Now someone tells you that when you factor in all the future auto charges you’ve authorized it’s really more like $400,000. Since you have no intention of paying back either amount, why would you do anything different today?

  3. there’s a big problem with AEI “logic” on Social Security.

    There are no unfunded liabilities because by LAW, SS cannot pay out more than FICA brings in.

    the only way this could change is if Congress does something. Unfunded liabilities mean you have to pay out benefits and the law says it can’t.

    so that’s an oft-repeated lie … emanating from the likes of AEI and like-minded “think tanks” – an oxymoron.

    Second – if you want to talk unfunded liabilities why do you ignore the military pensions and health care ?

    if you are really concerned about entitlements why do you ignore the military entitlements?

    1. roc scssrs

      Okay, so SS cannot by law pay out more than it takes in. So it has a limited pool of funds. It is also required–by law–to pay benefits to everyone who qualifies. So what do you do when you don’t have enough funds coming in to pay benefits to everyone who qualifies? Stiff some citizens? Cut everyone’s benefits? Print more bogus money?

      1. re: ” So what do you do when you don’t have enough funds coming in to pay benefits to everyone who qualifies? Stiff some citizens? Cut everyone’s benefits? Print more bogus money?”

        by law – you must reduce benefits. right now they are saying that benefits will be about 75% of scheduled if no reforms are implemented.

        but the more germane point is AEI’s propaganda that Social Security has unfunded liabilities which is false.

        Medicare DOES have unfunded liabilities – HUGE, in fact.

        but then so does Military pension and health care which AEI never talks about.

        There are about 30 reform options for social security and a simple one is to reduce the cost-of-living escalator which is too rich.

        In terms of CURRENT deficits and debt, SS is a gnat on a dogs butt.

        it does have about 3 trillion of intergovernmental debt but, for instance, “cutting” SS would have no effect on the deficit … there are much bigger fish to fry to balance the budget than SS.

Comments are closed.

Sort By:

Refine Content:

Scholar

Additional Keywords:

Refine Results

or to save searches.

Open
Refine Content