# Bush's outside interests

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i read in the paper today that bush is worth something like 10 million dollars. and this is made up mostly of stocks and other investments. how can we trust him to do what's right for the country, and not what helps out his investments?

Originally posted by jb
i read in the paper today that bush is worth something like 10 million dollars. and this is made up mostly of stocks and other investments. how can we trust him to do what's right for the country, and not what helps out his investments?

Well, how can you trust ANY politician?!? All of them are wealthy, many of them likely MUCH better off than Bush. Remember, before he was in politics, he was a failed oil man.

that was more of a rhetorical question.

what companies is he invested in?

i think in addition to the campaign finance reform stuff, politicians should be required to dump their commercial assets. but that would affect congress, and congress is needed to put it into effect.

Originally posted by jb
that was more of a rhetorical question.

what companies is he invested in?

i think in addition to the campaign finance reform stuff, politicians should be required to dump their commercial assets. but that would affect congress, and congress is needed to put it into effect.

Well, it would certainly affect the type of person running for office, wouldn't it?

BWAHAHAHAHA

10 mil?

OMG. That is peanuts!

By god, what an underdog. I didn't know he was worth so little. Compared to the rest of the pack, that is nothing.It can't be true. I would guesstimate 20 to 30 mil at the least.

Originally posted by Ganshauk
BWAHAHAHAHA

10 mil?

OMG. That is peanuts!

By god, what an underdog. I didn't know he was worth so little. Compared to the rest of the pack, that is nothing.It can't be true. I would guesstimate 20 to 30 mil at the least.

Depends on who does his accounting, right? He may have that much that he pays taxes on, and another 10-20 mil that he has sheltered from taxes, for instance.

Well, you show me how to actually shelter 10-20 mil and I will give you 5 of it.

Originally posted by Ganshauk
Well, you show me how to actually shelter 10-20 mil and I will give you 5 of it.

Oh, it's easy...you call it 'dividends', and then remove the tax on dividends. Haven't you been paying attention?!? Or, you incorporate overseas, you give a pile to your wife, you set up a few dozen Enron-style dummy corporations, etc.

10 million does seem way too low... but I don't think this is a problem. He has plenty of cash, and most people don't go into politics if their goal is just to make a lot of cash. Political prestige and respect is likely more important than any marginal gain in his wealth. And the President can't easily just give himself tons of money...

A more likely problem is the interests of his friends/advisors/administration. They have incentive not to mess with things (like say energy reform) that would be good for the country but bad for the people they know... and are much more likely to hear and be convinced by fallacious arguments from their colleagues.

i think that might just be how much he made so far this year.

at the end of last year, the amount was quite a bit more.

kat
Just a li'l FYI, GWB's financial disclosures can be found here:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/candlook.asp?cid=N00008072 [Broken]

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Mentor
Originally posted by jb
i read in the paper today that bush is worth something like 10 million dollars. and this is made up mostly of stocks and other investments. how can we trust him to do what's right for the country, and not what helps out his investments?
$10 million isn't that much for a politician - in fact any upper middle class/middle aged family should have a few mills in a retirement fund. And I think what's best for his portfolio is a good economy. So yeah, I think we can trust him to do what he thinks is best for the economy. The question then really is - does he know what he's doing? i think in addition to the campaign finance reform stuff, politicians should be required to dump their commercial asset No, thats just plain absurd. Do you have any idea how many people own stocks? I'm 27, I have a negative net worth, and even I own stocks. To run for office, I have to sell them? Get real. It would be a PUNISHMENT for becoming a politician. If you want to be a politician you have to destroy your financial situation? No. OMG. That is peanuts! Yeah, thats far lower than I would have expected too. With this particular guy Bush it is a cultural as well as spiritual obligation to others of his ilk. Guys that have exploited the revolution of deregulation during the '80's and trade pacts in the '90's. It's american as apple pie for these guys to do that, but what is wrong, is the letting them strip the government of all its regulatory (and social!) powers. Originally posted by russ_watters And I think what's best for his portfolio is a good economy. So yeah, I think we can trust him to do what he thinks is best for the economy. You think wrong...the folks with the biggest portfolios made plenty of money during this downswing. When people are willing to lie, cheat and steal, like Bush's friend Kenneth Lay, they can make money no matter what the conditions of the stock market. Mentor Originally posted by Zero You think wrong...the folks with the biggest portfolios made plenty of money during this downswing. When people are willing to lie, cheat and steal, like Bush's friend Kenneth Lay, they can make money no matter what the conditions of the stock market. So are you saying that Bush has comitted fraud or insider trading? We aren't talking about Kenneth Lay's portfolio, the question was about BUSH's portfolio. Try harder. [insert obvious personal comment about Zero here] Last edited: He has done some questionable stuff, it is fact. Originally posted by russ_watters So are you saying that Bush has comitted fraud or insider trading? We aren't talking about Kenneth Lay's portfolio, the question was about BUSH's portfolio. Try harder. [insert obvious personal comment about Zero here] Name a SUCESSFUL Bush business...because El Busto and Harken went under while Bush made millions. Nothing shady about that is there? Mentor Originally posted by schwarzchildradius He has done some questionable stuff, it is fact. Certainly. All it takes for something to be questionable is for someone to question it. And you just did. And that of course means - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But hey, at least your arguement isn't logically flawed. You get a cookie. Name a SUCESSFUL Bush business...because El Busto and Harken went under while Bush made millions. Nothing shady about that is there? Sure. Since there aren't any facts to back up the opinion you want, we of course can only ASSUME it. Jeez. I need a new word to describe the dearth of logic here. Absurd and preposterous aren't cutting it anymore. How about ASININE. But let me see if I can sum up the line of reasoning: Fact: Bush's financial report says he's worth$10 mil. (always good to at least start with a fact).
Fact: Bush "looks" rich. (ehh, I guess...)

Logical conclusion: Bush is richer than he says he is. Hell, I'll even give you that one. But here's where it gets messy:

Immutable law of the liberal universe: All rich people become rich through various financial crimes and crimes against humanity.

So it follows logically that since all rich people are criminals, Bush is a criminal. Hmm.

It still boggles my mind how there can be such a complete and utter lack of logic on a scientific forum. On this forum, baseless insinuations are facts and opinions are immutable laws of the universe. I can't believe you guys don't even see it. I don't understand how in a forum supposed to be logical people are so blinded by their own biases.

One thing I do know, however - a thread on logic in politics would be utterly pointless in here.

Nice try, russ. But, unfortunately for you, simply attacking when coprnered isn't going to help you. There are things called facts. There are entire BOOKS that outline Bush's first carreer as a drunken oil failure. How did he make al his money, when his businesses all went under?!?

Certainly. All it takes for something to be questionable is for someone to question it. And you just did. And that of course means - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But hey, at least your arguement isn't logically flawed. You get a cookie.
ok if ABSOLUTELY NOTHING = laundering money for Osama Bin Laden

ok if ABSOLUTELY NOTHING = laundering money for Osama Bin Laden

Nah...not Shrub!!!

Mentor
ok if ABSOLUTELY NOTHING = laundering money for Osama Bin Laden
Yes. That is also absolutely nothing: 0 + 0 = 0.
How did he make al his money, when his businesses all went under?!?
Zero, that question is an insinuation. You aren't even speculating, much less providing facts to support the speculation.

If you have evidence that Bush has comitted fraud, insider trading, or other crimes, please share with the rest of the class.

*edit...and you know EXACTLY WHY!*

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Dissident Dan
The proposition about politicians giving up securities was not because of the idea that rich people are bad, but that owning stock/mutual fund shares provides a conflict of interest.

Russ, you said something to the effect that what's good for bush's portfolio is good for the economy. That is simply not true, because he could have massive stock in a particular company or group of companies and do things that would benefit those particular companies while being a detriment to the nation as a whole--both financially and otherwise.

If you want a specific instance of bush's sneaky financial dealings, he made a killing using taxpayer dollars to build a Texas Rangers baseball stadium, as well as fill his own pockets (and then sell it for even bigger profit, I think). He and his partners got wayy more money than it costed to buid it. There are other nasty details, too.

http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/2675

Mentor
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Russ, you said something to the effect that what's good for bush's portfolio is good for the economy. That is simply not true, because he could have massive stock in a particular company or group of companies and do things that would benefit those particular companies while being a detriment to the nation as a whole--both financially and otherwise.
Now THERE is a good arguement. I was about to lose hope for the other posters in the thread. I am also seriously considering the possibility that this whole thread was meant as a joke.

Dan, you are certainly right that if Bush has investments with a particular company and starts sending government contracts their way, that would be a conflict of interest. However, thats a hypothetical. I have never heard it suggested (much less supported with evidence) that he has actually done anything like that.

If you want a specific instance of bush's sneaky financial dealings, he made a killing using taxpayer dollars to build a Texas Rangers baseball stadium, as well as fill his own pockets (and then sell it for even bigger profit, I think). He and his partners got wayy more money than it costed to buid it. There are other nasty details, too.
I've never been a big fan of public funding for stadiums. They are always a ripoff. Unfortunately however, there is nothing illegal about it. And politicians aren't held accountable by the votors for making such decisions. In any case, Bush was on the RECIEVING end of that. It was basically a political gift.

Between the Rangers deal and his failed oil businesses/tax write-offs(Harken, Arbusto), Bush has shown an incredible ability to show huge profits above and beyond anything that his actual failures merit. Especially in his dry-well scams, he made out like a bandit, while normal investors lost their shirts.

Yes. That is also absolutely nothing: 0 + 0 = 0.
nothing in the sense that is untrue or nothing in the sense that You dont care about it? And why would you doubt that it is true?
I've never been a big fan of public funding for stadiums. They are always a ripoff. Unfortunately however, there is nothing illegal about it.
Perhaps not, however, in the past carpet baggers of this sort have been tarred and feathered. not illegal, but WORSE - unethical.

Dissident Dan