And a millstone.
Here's the deal:
Dow 11,000. Big deal.
Taxes going up. Bigger deal.
I can't see the Dow continuing to move up.
If taxes keep going up.
And if a disturbing study out of the tax policy center reported in today's wall street journal is right...Taxes are going up.
That's because congress just can't control spending a lot.
So if you want to bring deficits in line, taxes invariably would have to get way out of line.
Now the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution say there are a number of ways to do this.
You could go after the rich folks again...Bring the top two rates to around 72 to 78 percent, respectively.
Or you could raise the top three rates, to maybe 52 percent, all the way to about 68 percent.
Or you could raise all rates...From a range of 15 percent to just under 50 percent.
I don't see that last one happening.
I do see higher rates for more than just the rich starting.
And maybe sooner than you think.
Which brings me back to this Dow milestone.
I frankly think the Dow can keep climbing as long as traders are convinced the day of reckoning ain't coming anytime soon.
But take away the "given" they do see -- like top marginal rates going up next year -- suddenly they start fretting about the huge not-so-given rate they do not want to see.
I think average traders, much like average Americans, have a Scarlett O’Hara, "I’ll think about it tomorrow" complex.
As long as the pain isn't immediate, what's the immediate worry?
Until tomorrow arrives.
And a milestone and millstone meet.
It ain't a pretty picture.