The fiscal cliff continues to loom ever nearer while the powers-that-be battle over the best way to save us. Scratch that. They’re not interested in finding the best way to save us. They’re only interested in finding a solution that will keep them in power.

Be that as it may, Obama’s current “solution” is to raise tax rates on the top 2%… i.e. the millionaires among us with incomes of $250,000-plus. And most polls show the great majority of people approve of such tax hikes on the rich.

Those that don’t approve – a.k.a. the Republicans in power – argue that such a tax hike would hit the small businesses that create the most jobs.

Well… maybe. As an entrepreneur myself, a minor shift in capital gains tax and marginal tax rates will leave a mark on my bottom line, but not enough to send me screaming for the hills.

That’s not the real problem here…

The real problem is this: a minor tax rate increase on the top 1%, 2% or even top 10% would impact spending and economic growth beyond business investment and job creation.

That’s because the top 1% controls nearly 50% of the wealth out there and at least 20% of the income. The top 2% controls more than 70% of all the wealth and 30% of income (although they tend to save and invest more so they account for more like 25% of the spending).

If there is a 5%-of-income increase in taxes on this group, and that is probably conservative here, they’ll spend less. If they spend less at a rate of only 60% of those higher taxes, that translates down the line to about 50% of GDP.


That is significant in an economy that has only averaged 2% growth since the great recession… growth only achieved through the Fed putting it on life support with endless stimulus(and don’t even get me started on that B.S… another day, another article).

It becomes even more important in light of our demographic analysis that shows the most affluent households peak five years after the average household does.

The average household hit its peak spending at age 46, back in 2007. The top 10% will hit that peak in the months ahead. So raising taxes on the most affluent will only compound the slowing spending by a sector that has held up our economy since the great recession.

To make matters worse, if a slowdown from rising taxes and spending cuts shifts the economy down and stocks start to fall, then the most affluent households (who control almost all of the financial assets outside of personal homes) will feel even less affluent and cut back even more.

That’s how a struggling economy moves back into a double-dip recession!

Our research shows that taxes must rise after major debt and asset bubbles. It was necessary back in the 1930s. It’s necessary now. And it will take both tax increases and budget cuts to balance our unprecedented debt and deficits. It will also take a major restructuring of private debt, which is three times the magnitude of government debt, before we can get more efficient and move into the next boom.

All of this is inevitable.

As an investor or business owner, you need to get ready for the next economic slowdown. Protect yourself, especially between early 2013 and early 2015 by moving into safe and counter-trend investments and making your business leaner and meaner.


P.S. If you’re wondering how bad the next economic slowdown will be, think Dow 6,000 within a year or two… think Dow 3,300 within the decade. This isn’t just going to be a slowdown. The gold price is going to collapse. Real estate is in for another severe downturn. And what you need to survive and prosper through it all is this.



Ahead of the Curve with Adam O’Dell

Don’t Pay More Taxes in 2013

As wealthy Americans brace to pay more taxes in 2013, I fully expect Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) to grab the attention of wise investors. The reason is two-fold…



New Update on the Markets!

Harry Dent shares details on his latest prediction for the markets and the new dangers that lie just ahead for Americans:   “This is no longer a question of ‘if,’ but simply a… Read More>>
Harry Dent
Harry S. Dent Jr. studied economics in college in the ’70s, but found it vague and inconclusive. He became so disillusioned by the state of his chosen profession that he turned his back on it. Instead, he threw himself into the burgeoning new science of finance where identifying and studying demographic, technological, consumer and many, many other trends empowered him to forecast economic changes. Since then, he’s spoken to executives, financial advisors and investors around the world. He’s appeared on “Good Morning America,” PBS, CNBC and CNN/Fox News. He’s been featured in Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Fortune, Success, U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, American Demographics and Omni. He is a regular guest on Fox Business’s “America’s Nightly Scorecard.” In his latest book, Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage, Harry Dent reveals why the greatest social, economic, and political upheaval since the American Revolution is on our doorstep. Discover how its combined effects could cause stocks to crash as much as 80% beginning just weeks from now…crippling your wealth now and for the rest of your life. Harry arms you with the tools you need to financially prepare and survive as the world we know is turned upside down! Today, he uses the research he developed from years of hands-on business experience to offer readers a positive, easy-to-understand view of the economic future by heading up Dent Research, in his flagship newsletter, Boom & Bust.