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Some of These People Like Private Equity And Some of Them Don't

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We’re almost as sick of the private equity tax debate as we are with Deal or No Deal: Dow Jones/News Corp. Edition (and, come to think of it, the same horrible game show featuring ABN Amro and Barclays, which has only kept our interest this long due to the Holocaust angle, because, as intuited by one of our more favored commenters earlier, I hate Germans). So we’re just going to point you in the direction of some people who are arguing in favor of the increase and some who are arguing against it and send you on your way.
- Pro-35 percent: Ben Stein comes up with a perfect storm that only a man who guest starred as Stanley Willard on “Charles in Charge” could pull off. First, he goes where no one else will: “Hedge funds have created a terribly wealthy new class. Although the data is overwhelming that the mass of hedge funds have not been outperforming the market after fees, money still pours into them. This has often made their proprietors terribly rich.” Then he tugs at the heart strings, noting that doctors, lawyers and actors are paying almost two times more than private equity guys on long-term capital gains on their compensation. He finishes up with a “support our troops” plea, says “let’s keep it real,” and suggests that we’re living in a climate not unlike that of the French Revolution.
- Anti-35 percent: It’s quite stunning to hear that a politician from New York would want to keep his constituents happy (by keeping them rich), but sometimes life just shocks you like that. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is really giving Corzine a run for his money for our affection after JSC’s recent airstrike on e-mail, will resist all efforts by his party to more than double the taxes on his people.
- A little bit of both?: Noted private equity hater Andrew Ross Sorkin goes to bat for Crab Hands.