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Senator Charles E. Schumer says tax proposals by his fellow Democrats would unfairly burden the private equity and hedge fund industry.
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ and STEPHEN LABATON
Published: July 30, 2007
WASHINGTON, July 29
From January through June, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised nearly $2 million from executives and employees of private equity and hedge fund firms like the Carlyle Group and the Blackstone Group, according to analyses of campaign finance disclosure reports conducted by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that researches the influence of money in politics, and by The New York Times. The $2 million figure, which includes contributions from relatives of employees and executives, is a low-end estimate because many donors do not list their employers on financial disclosure reports.
Industry executives say they value the role Mr. Schumer plays. John G. Gaine, the president of the Managed Funds Association, the main hedge fund trade group, described the senator as a “critical figure in the debate” and a “guardian of America’s capital market and, more parochially, New York’s economic interest.”
If adopted, the House proposal would more than double the tax rate for most of the compensation received by the partners at private equity and hedge funds and would raise billions of dollars annually in tax revenue.
Mr. Schumer discounted any suggestion that the campaign contributions from the industry had influenced his thinking, and said he had heard from industry executives who supported some of the proposals to raise their taxes. But interviews with people in and outside the industry indicate that there is overwhelming opposition to the measures and that any support from within the industry ranks is token.
** Note **
Today and yesterday, Charles Schumer has been insisting on tv news soundbites, that Congress pass the TARP funds use – right now, now, now and Harry Reid has been shown on the news stating that this must be passed before this Friday, prior to the inauguration.
Isn’t this the same “gotta get it done, now, now, now o- before the week is out,” that forced the first bailouts to be done without oversight, without good sense, without consideration of the consequences, without the backing of the American people and without the intended results?
Who and why has it been decided that the TARP funds must be legislated for distribution by this Friday? Who is running the US Government – the Kremlin? – or does the hedge fund industry own America?
Do these people in Washington, in banking and on Wall Street not realize what will happen to their incomes when none of us are buying anything with our money to support the companies in their funds and banks? Even if the US Labor Dept numbers are conservative, 11 million people out of work are the 11 million units (cars) that could have been sold to them by General Motors and others. That is where the sales for automobiles, houses, products and services (including banking) are walking out the door. Don’t they know that?
I am looking for the relationships that underlie this thrust to protect those who have at the expense of those who do not. Somewhere, Senator Schumer has a vested interest in having these TARP funds dispersed without accountability and without oversight. He and others in Congress, and among the Party leadership of Democrats and Republicans – definitely have no interest in serving the needs of the United States or her people. They also most certainly have deep, abiding and self-enriching interests in serving their friends including bankers, stock brokers, Wall Street, hedge funds and others of a similar ilk. Apparently, they have no use for the rest of us and as the US falls – they will mine it for all its worth just like another Mugabe at the helm of a country in disarray.