Congratulations to Barack Obama on becoming our 44th President. It’s truly an historic moment when an African American man can ascend to the highest office in the land and it shows how far this nation has come in the last 40 years when it comes to racism. Whether you voted for him or not, you have to admit that it is once again going to be an interesting time in America.
Mr. Obama comes into the office with an economy clearly on the decline and financial markets still largely in turmoil and he admitted that it will be an uphill climb for his administration to fix these issues. How that will be done remains to be seen, but we can glean some insight into his economic philosophy from his comments at the debates to the numerous press interviews he’s granted over the course of the campaign. Here are some of the trends you can anticipate during the Obama Presidency.
Capital Gains Taxes
Throughout the campaign, Mr. Obama has said that he would like to increase the tax rate on long-term capital gains. Currently the rate sits at 15% and Mr. Obama has said he might raise them as high as 28%, which was the rate when Bill Clinton took office.
What should you do? If you’re convinced he will raise the capital gains rate next year, you should realize as many gains in this year as possible so you can benefit from the low current rate.
Mr. Obama has said that he intends to reduce income taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year and raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year.
If you’re currently make less than $250,000 per year and you anticipate you will make less than that in 2009, then pushing income into next year should save on your taxes. If you make more than $250,000 then you should push as much income into this year in anticipation that your taxes will go up under the Obama plan.
We all know that our roads and bridges are, in many places, in dire need of repair or replacement. During the campaign, Mr. Obama indicated that one of the tools he might use to prop up the economy is to use Federal money to do those repairs, thus pumping billions of dollars to construction companies, heavy equipment manufacturers and construction-related jobs.
If Mr. Obama is successful, you should position a portion of your portfolio to take advantage of those industries that would benefit, like construction and equipment makers.
Barack Obama has certainly sparked the imagination of many Americans and it’s good to see a sense of enthusiasm out there again. The few items we’ve listed is far from an exhaustive list and I’m sure that, as we transition from the Bush Presidency to the Obama Presidency, many other trends will begin to develop. All we can do is to try to stay on top of those trends so that we can all benefit to the greatest degree possible as this country recovers from our current economic malaise.