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June 07, 2018

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Republicans are very good at branding, Dems less so. They have been pushing the tax as theft line for years--which is a pretty blatant appeal to the selfish and irresponsible among us. But there are lots of selfish and irresponsible people among us and apparently the R leadership wants their vote. Taxes are membership dues.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/pruitt-asked-to-lay-off-eating-at-the-white-house-mess-so-much

First, bring back the Death Tax, with reasonable minimums.

Second, bring back Death to Republicans.

Perhaps hog-splitting will be required too.

Related to this branding thing -- and maybe it has been just as deliberate a campaign -- is the demonization of "the government" as if it's something completely separate from the human beings who comprise it ("it" meaning not just the people who are employed in and by the government, but "we the people," who are supposedly in charge).

I don't have time to rewrite the Bible today, but in my belief system, the world and all that's in it started out belonging to all of us (insofar as it could "belong" to humans in the first place).

Somehow, over time -- and knowing human nature it was probably not a very long time -- the resources started to be apportioned very disproportionately, and as soon as the goodies were all concentrated in a very few hands, property laws were written to perpetuate the situation, tax became theft, inheritance was written into the law along with property, and government became the enemy "other."

In some ideal sense -- and I believe in some sense that we should try to keep our eye on as on a prize -- the government is us. If 99 out of a hundred people in a community are hungry because the 100th is hogging all the food, then I think the 99 are perfectly justified in doing something about it, whether by passing tax laws (the more civilized way) or just going and taking the damned food (the brute force way).

Over-simplified, no doubt, but no more oversimplified than the constant barrage of manipulative dishonest BS about the lazy poor people who don't pay any taxes and don't want to work and blah blah blah.

Of course, since the people who incessantly demonize "the government" also incessantly demonize poor people and minorities of all sorts, countering the BS would take more than just observing that "the government" is "us." A big part of the point is that they either don't want government at all (the Kochs), or they don't want it to be "us" -- they want it to be themselves.

the demonization of "the government" as if it's something completely separate from the human beings who comprise it ("it" meaning not just the people who are employed in and by the government, but "we the people," who are supposedly in charge).

The people who work for the government have been added to the "Other". That is, they are put in a separate group from the target audience. At the very least, the people who are the managers in government are.

P.S. it is interesting that somehow a large portion of people who work for the government are totally exempt for the demonization. I speak, of course, of the military. (Used to be true of law enforcement, too. But Trump seems to be having some success in changing that.)

Brand Names I Object To:

1. "Jobs"
A job is a unit of work that needs doing. Politicians have indoctrinated the populace, the media, and each other into talking as if "jobs" are a product that Capital creates for the benefit of Labor.

2. "Jobs"
A job is a trade, not a gift. "Job creators" are glorified as if job consumers are mere recipients of their charity.

3. "Jobs"
Some of us get paid to do one job after another; some of us to do the same job over and over. Some of us take pleasure in doing the work; some of us grit our teeth and bear it. But very, very few of us would prefer work without pay over pay without work. What people need is the income, not the busy-ness. That's what hobbies are for.

--TP

Random Question for Rudy Giuliani:

Which woman exploited her sexuality for greater financial gain: Stephanie Clifford, or Melanija Knavs?

--TP

TP @4:30:

This, a million times over. Esp. #1 and #2.

I first read #2 as "a trade, not a grift." Of course, that rather conflicts with the next sentence.

And it finds you a job! And it *is* a job! (h/t Tom Waits)

I second JanieM.

To expand on point #1: Verily I say (circular reasoning aside) jobs in fact create Capital.

The people who work for the government have been added to the "Other".

My wife's aunts and uncles were public school teachers or postal employees...all of them right wing, and (god bless them) they all enjoyed a respectably comfortable retirement.

Never once did I witness an episode of cognitive dissonance regarding this.

But aren't public school teachers dangerous indoctrinators of our helpless children and postal workers lazy drones and part of a socialist scheme to deprive private delivery companies of their natural profits by keeping prices artificially low? ;-)
Both public schools/education and the post office are on the GOP kill list after all.

Not to forget that public schools steal the money of people that wisely avoid having children (and thus are also doubly at risk of having their assets stolen by the state after death for lack of natural heirs).

Btw, wasn't there a discussion a few years ago about preventing people from playing Pharao and taking it all with them into their tombs (famous pieces of art in particular)?

Although US public schools are based on the Prussian model, so far there're been no incidences of parents taking early vacation being arrested at the airports.

I first read #2 as "a trade, not a grift."

Well the job of President probably falls into the latter category these days.

Still no mention of Axel Foley in the comments. Now that's out of the way.

Re: "Death Tax"

Whatever happened to "if you want less, of something TAX it!".

I thought that was a GOP mantra.

I propose a NEGATIVE tax on billionaires. The IRS pays a bounty for offing them. To reduce fraud, you have to staple the head to your 1040. Extra postage required.

So now Trump wants Russia readmitted to the G-7. Presumably so there will be someone who he can pal around with, rather than having to listen to irritating facts and stuff.

Ok so there is an angle about the Davidson/Stormy Daniels thing that I haven't seen reported anywhere.

Davidson was Stormy's original lawyer. It is relatively apparent that he was colluding somehow with Cohen to not represent her best interests. It is also apparent that he did that with at least two or three other clients.

This is obviously horrible for him from a professional ethics perspective. Which everyone notes and then goes on.

But my question is a touch different. How the hell did Davidson end up representing a bunch different women that Trump had sex with? How did it happen to be Davidson? Did Trump call Cohen/Davidson up and say "I banged another one, you should find a way to get her as a client so you can represent my interests...?" How did that work?

There is always a little bit of worry when you deal with attorneys who deal with each other on a regular basis that they might not be as hard on each other as they otherwise would with a non-repeat-player adversary. But how did Davidson arrange to keep getting to represent the other side of Cohen cover-up cases?

Was Davidson actively soliciting women that he already knew Trump need 'fixing' so that he could pretend to be their lawyer while really doing Trump's bidding? Isn't there criminal fraud or something there?

Isn't there criminal fraud or something there?

Just add it to the pile.

:)

The question would be, who came up with the idea? Could have been Cohen all on his own, I suppose....

I hadn't heard about the Davidson thing, so I googled and came upon these bullet points:

*Stormy Daniels' ex-lawyer Keith Davidson in a new court filing claims President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen secretly and illegally recorded phone calls with him.

*Davidson also sued Daniels and her new attorney Michael Avenatti, accusing them of defaming him.

*Daniels earlier this week sued Davidson, claiming he colluded with Cohen to try to get her to falsely state she did not have an affair with Trump.

Neat!

But how did Davidson arrange to keep getting to represent the other side of Cohen cover-up cases?

"Hi, David," this is David (heh) Dennison calling. I notched another one. You know what to do."

"I'm on it, boss," Replied David Cohen. "Give me the rundown, and we will take care of it. How was she?"

"Terrific," TrumpDennison replied. "Almost as good as I am."

Later that day:

"Hi, Keith. David calling. We have another one. Take care of it. We'll be talking."

Later, Stormy Daniels gets a call....

"Hi Stormy," Donald opened. "Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a non-disclosure agreement is my way of saying goodby. I am working it up on this end. It's been fun. For both of us, I'm sure. I suggest you seek legal representation. Keith Davidson usually handles this for my affairs and will provide great, really great representation of you and hammer out an agreement with my legal team. He is tough, but fair. I will text to you his number.
Take care. Goodbye."

never mind turtles. it's lawyers all the way down.

I just came across this fascinating bit:

The birth certificate, issued later, is primarily used as a form of identification. It is frequently altered later in life—most commonly after adoption, when most states allow the adoptive parent or parents to be substituted for those recorded at birth.
I hadn't realized that was even possible. Let alone apparently routine.

And that would seem to say that, if it is done, a child could acquire citizenship by adoption. At least, there would be an official document to certify citizenship by (apparent) birth.

Further, since you are a "natural born citizen" (and hence eligible to be President) if one of your parents was a citizen, the official record (i.e. the birth certificate) would make you one. At least, we seem to officially use birth certificates for that, too. Hmmm....

OK, I discover (by bothering to look) that internationally adopted children can be made US citizens relatively easily (there are State Department forms), provided the parents act before the kid turns 18. Makes sense . . . but my faith in "makes sense" as a guide to what our policy will be is somewhat limited.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/china-donald-trump-branded-without-us-congress-permission-trademarks-spas-escort-services-hotels-and-a7619136.html

Nothing.

Sorry to put this here, maybe this should go in the other open thread, but I want to bring it to the attention of people

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/us/children-immigration-borders-family-separation.html

When he landed in Michigan in late May, all the weary little boy carried was a trash bag stuffed with dirty clothes from his dayslong trek across Mexico, and two small pieces of paper — one a stick-figure drawing of his family from Honduras, the other a sketch of his father, who had been arrested and led away after they arrived at the United States border in El Paso.

An American government escort handed over the 5-year-old child, identified on his travel documents as José, to the American woman whose family was entrusted with caring for him. He refused to take her hand. He did not cry. He was silent on the ride “home.”

The first few nights, he cried himself to sleep. Then it turned into “just moaning and moaning,” said Janice, his foster mother. He recently slept through the night for the first time, though he still insists on tucking the family pictures under his pillow.

José’s separation from his father is part of the Trump administration’s latest and most widely debated border enforcement policy. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the government would criminally prosecute everyone who crosses the border illegally, a directive that is already leading to the breakup of hundreds of migrant families and channeling children into shelters and foster homes across the country.

[…]

Since his arrival in Michigan, family members said, a day has not gone by when the boy has failed to ask in Spanish, “When will I see my papa?”

They tell him the truth. They do not know. No one knows.

José’s father is in detention, and parent and child until this week had not spoken since they were taken into the custody of United States authorities.

“I am watching history happen before my eyes. It’s horrendous,” said Janice, 53.

via LGM

A possible solution is to tax the beneficiaries rather than the estate (whether as income or capital gain).
Then it’s not a death tax even in the fevered imagination of those who call it that now.

Nigel,
so your 100 year old relative just died, and you inherit the share of Western Union that they bought in 1937. You have to pay capital gains on the difference in value between 1937 (good luck finding the original paperwork) and 2018.

Even better for the family farm. That's why there's an Estate Tax, to make it EASIER for heirs.

But no, our Lords And Masters want to be completely unhindered in establishing their Hereditary Aristocracy.

Party like it's 1793.

Another example of Sweden moving in the oppsite direction to the US.

"Families like the Wallenbergs changed their core business into a foundation to secure its future. Others simply left the country, taking their fortunes and businesses with them. Tetra Pak founder Ruben Rausing, IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and industrialist Fredrik Lundberg all chose to emigrate, mainly due to Swedish tax policy."
How high-tax Sweden abolished its disastrous inheritance tax: In 2004 the Swedish inheritance tax and gift tax was abolished by a unanimous vote in the Riksdag.

The simple way to do it is to treat all gifts and inheritance as taxable income - the tax is on the recipient not the donor.

To keep it simple, you'd exempt anything consumed at the time of delivery - daily accommodation, meals, and so on, so that you can look after dependants without their being taxed. And allow up to say $10k of gifts per year tax-free.

That's it. You can tie up your estate however you like. You can set up a trust to make sure your heirs don't go hungry. But you can't make your child a millionaire without their paying tax, just as if they'd earned the money.

Opposing an inheritance/estate tax is just another way for people to hate on other people. Everybody seems to hate it if someone else gets something for nothing.

Inheritance taxes would be insignificant to the US budget, a few small peaks in quarterly collections here and there.

It's just the idea of those damn people having all that money they didn't earn.

Wow

It's really early I guess, not opposing, advocating for.

It's not hate, more like tough love. Marty's lot wants to make poor people work harder by immiserating them; I want to help trust fund beneficiaries do something useful with their lives by making them less idly rich.

Murc's Law, written December 2016:

"NOT OUR FAULT.
We're the real victims here."

Liberals and Dems have an "in the meantime" problem.

1920: Well damn, we lost on the League. Let's put our noses to the grindstone and get some world peace.

dot dot dot the meantime

1947: We did it! United Nations! Who says liberalism fails. Damn, that slow boring of hard boards really works, and those loser radicals can go stuff.

What, the in-between stuff? Like, you think only liberals have agency?

Not our fault. We're great.

It's just the idea of those damn people having all that money they didn't earn

the idea that extraordinary accumulations of private wealth are corrosive to democratic and/or republican governance (note the small d and r) goes back to the beginning of the US. probably before.

the general approach of taxing luxuries and other artifacts of conspicuous wealth, likewise.

the idea of taxing higher levels of income at higher rates goes back to The Wealth Of Nations, probably before.

so, taxing a big pile of inherited wealth at a relatively high rate is not such a weird idea, certainly not one out of the mainstream of american thought or tradition.

pro bono at 7:31 makes sense to me.

treat it as income. which it is.

In the meantime, the kid is crying, the UN says stop immediately which sounds like criminality under int'l law. But we are still protecting the forms and processes, the rule of law in a lawless state? Why?

It is like looking out your Bavarian window in 1942 and saying "But I think the camp is legal, isn't it? What can we do?"

Anyway, let's chant Murc's law, good like other laws: NOT OUR FAULT. (not Hillary's fault, not Obama's fault, they're busy providing for their starving grandchildren.)Tortured kids by state decree not enough to stop counting their money.

We have to wait for President Princess Chelsea in 2024.

Bob's law: Burn the fuckers now and let the ashes sort out the agency.

just went and looked up the current rate.

first $5.49M no tax.

40% after that.

the top income tax rate is 39.6%, which kicks in at $418,400.

seriously, if you inherit enough money to even have to think about this stuff, you have no worries. nobody's picking on you. be happy you aren't being taxed under the same regime as folks who actually work for a living.

were it me, i'd shut up and quietly go about enjoying myself.

also, i'm hearing what bob is saying. our claim to being champion of human rights has always been tenuous, mostly a matter of who we compare ourselves to. nowadays we appear to be in a hurry to piss all over whatever legacy we ever could lay claim to.

Two things, shut up and pay and be thankful is crap. Someone originally worked for that money and paid taxes on the income, saved it, invested and created a nest egg. The inheritance tax is just an f you stealing of money, more than any other tax.

Second, it's a change in how we look at the world in the US. Prior to sometime around the depression rich people just gave their kids the money, business, farm etc before they died, non taxable. The gift tax was put in to prevent that.

Inheritance taxes would be insignificant to the US budget, a few small peaks in quarterly collections here and there.

The estate tax used to bring in about $25 billion, down now to about $20B. That's less than 1% of the budget, but

While the estate tax will generate less than 1 percent of federal revenue over the next decade, it is significantly more than the federal government will spend on the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency combined.

See here.

Twenty billion or so is not exactly chopped liver. It's also worth noting, as the article points out, that over half of the value of estates is unrealized capital gains.

I myself like pro bono's suggestion of an inheritance tax. I would make it somewhere around 40%, with an exemption of $100,000, which is recaptured if the recipient gets over $1 million, say.

I might even do something weird, like grant some extra exemption for every small bequest. The idea being to encourage people to spread the wealth a bit in their wills. I bet your run-of-the-mill billionaire knows some people who could really use an extra $100K.

All else aside, I think it is a good idea to take some steps to prevent the development of a hereditary aristocracy. Tax plans put forth by Paul Ryan and conservatives in general often seem aimed at creating just such an aristocracy, and a tax-exempt one at that.

So there we have it: the 1920s were the Golden Age that the "(Republican)" Martys of the world long for.

--TP

Giant pools of money locked away in rich people's vaults (for generations even) is the very definition of illth:

“Wealth, therefore, is ‘The possession of the valuable by the valiant’; and in considering it as a power existing in a nation, the two elements, the value of the thing, and the valour of its possessor, must be estimated together. Whence it appears that many of the persons commonly considered wealthy, are in reality no more wealthy than the locks of their own strong boxes are, they being inherently and eternally incapable of wealth; and operating for the nation, in an economical point of view, either as pools of dead water, and eddies in a stream (which, so long as the stream flows, are useless, or serve only to drown people, but may become of importance in a state of stagnation should the stream dry); or else, as dams in a river, of which the ultimate service depends not on the dam, but the miller; or else, as mere accidental stays and impediments, acting not as wealth, but (for we ought to have a correspondent term) as ‘illth,’ causing various devastation and trouble around them in all directions; or lastly, act not at all, but are merely animated conditions of delay, (no use being possible of anything they have until they are dead,) in which last condition they are nevertheless often useful as delays, and ‘impedimenta,’ …”
(John Ruskin)

Two things, shut up and pay and be thankful is crap.

Whatever. If somebody left me enough money that I had to pay inheritance tax on it, I'd say "thank you", pay the tax, shut up, and enjoy my life.

YMMV.

Someone originally worked for that money and paid taxes on the income, saved it, invested and created a nest egg. The inheritance tax is just an f you stealing of money, more than any other tax.

As has been noted lots of times here and elsewhere, in the US we tax flows. The "same dollar" gets taxed pretty much every time it changes hands.

Inheritance tax, no different. And compared to plain old income tax, it's a bargain.

Prior to sometime around the depression rich people just gave their kids the money, business, farm etc before they died, non taxable.

Not so.

The oracle at Wiki speaks, see the History section:

Taxes which apply to estates or to inheritance in the United States trace back to the 18th century. According to the IRS, a temporary stamp tax in 1797 applied a tax of varying size depending on the size of the bequest, ranging from 25 cents for a bequest between $50 and $100, to 1 dollar for each $500. The tax was repealed in 1802. In the 19th century, the Revenue Act of 1862 and the War Revenue Act of 1898 also imposed rates, but were each repealed shortly thereafter. The modern estate tax was enacted in 1916.[44][45]

The modern estate tax was temporarily phased out and repealed by tax legislation in 2001. This legislation gradually dropped the rates until they were eliminated in 2010. However, the law did not make these changes permanent and the estate tax returned in 2011.

So, come and go. And, in any case, "sometime around the Depression" there were changes in "how we look at the world" concerning a great big shitload of things.

Because, the f'ing Depression.

Wanna go back to the glorious 19th C, when we had catastrophic financial panics about every 10-15 years? You go first, and tell us all how it works out.

We've never "seen the world" in any one particular way here in the US. We're an experiment, like everybody else.

Pro Bono: . And allow up to say $10k of gifts per year tax-free.

FYI the current gift tax exemption is $14,000 per year.

Recently quoted in the Grenfell fire enquiry, but of relevance here too:

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay

FYI the current gift tax exemption is $14,000 per year.

And gifts greater than that can be applied to a lifetime gift exemption precisely equal to the inheritance tax exemption.

I'm still trying to get my head around five and a half million bucks tax free somehow being an insufficient "nest egg". Sock that sum away somewhere that you can get 5% on it and you have a gross annual income of $275K. Indefinitely, without touching the capital, ever, you can pass that along to the next generation.

Inheritance tax is no more "f you robbery" than any other tax. We have bills to pay, we need to raise funds. If dad or mom leaves you $10M, you owe Uncle about a million eight. That means you keep $8.2M. Because dad or mom were rich.

I don't get the outrage.

Two things, shut up and pay and be thankful is crap.

Except, of course, when it's applied to poor people, or minorities, or asylum seekers, or anyone anywhere who asks for anything that Marty doesn't approve of. Then it's the opposite of crap. Marty put the words "I got mine FU" into the mouths of gay people seeking the right to marry, not into the mouths of the people who already had the right to marry and were trying to prevent that change in the law. It's the living embodiment of what the Irish call begrudgery, but applied in the wrong direction. AKA, projection.

Note that that $14k annual exclusion (actually $15k for 2018) doesn't mean gifts beyond $15k are taxed. It means annual gifts in excess of $15k must be reported by the giver and will count against the lifetime gift/inheritance exclusion (which is $11.18M for 2018 thanks to the Trump tax cuts, up from $5.49M in 2017; it matters to your heirs when you die!).

Here's a good summary (http://www.wealthmanagement.com/estate-planning/2018-estate-gift-and-gst-tax-exemption-officially-published).

Erg, sorry about the extra characters in that url. Just delete the ")." when you hit the 404 page.

I don't get the outrage.

Anything you can grab is yours to do with as you like until the heat death of the universe, and any other way of looking at it is outrage-ous.

This is ever more true the more the grabbing is made invisible as such by the fact that it's embedded in a social system that fosters it, praises it as the only way of attaining worth as a human being, and lets you buy more of it with what you and/or your ancestors grabbed before. (I.e. by buying legislators who will pass laws to enable it.)

Janie,you remind me of another brand name I object to:

"Net Worth"

I know a woman who cleans offices for a living who is "worth" about a dozen Betsy DeVoses in every way except financially.

--TP

Eccept, russell, prior to 1930 or so you could give it all to your kids while you were alive, no gift tax. Gift tax was implemented to get the money if you didn't keep your farm or business or savings til you died.

"not into the mouths of the people who already had the right to marry and were trying to prevent that change in the law. "

You can't find a single place I ever said they, or I. were trying to prevent that change in the law. I did advocate for no one having to be married to get the benefits in the law attributable to "married" people. Big difference

I did advocate for no one having to be married to get the benefits in the law attributable to "married" people.

Perhaps you said, and I just don't recall. But how would you decide who qualifies for those benefits?

And would you (unlike the "domestic partnership", under whatever name) also require them to take on the same responsibilities towards each other that married couples do? Avoidance of those responsibilities being why the majority of domestic partnerships were heterosexual couple who had no legal barrier to marriage.

If they get both the benefits and assume the responsibilities, then aren't we just talking about changing the label, nothing more?

Not having that discussion again. Just saying. Gets tiresome after a decade or so.

MeToo MeToo MeToo MeToo

Well, I know the kid is crying and isn't it terrible...insert required phony empathy here...but did you see what Rudy said about Stormy? (400 comments and biggest picture compared to 130 comments about death of ACA. Thanks for the bandaid on the cancer, Barry.)

Where was I? Oh, I like totally cried for an hour about Rudy's vicious evil statement that all women aren't equally beautiful. It destroyed me, really really hurt. Oh damn, I'm crying again.

And scared me a lot. I am so scared.

So, the black men bleeding out in the street and the kids crying for their moms are...insert PC empathy here..but

I'm a victim too!! Of Rudy. Of Trump. I'm a victim of the white man too, just as much, maybe more! Don't you even care?

Look at me. Look at me. Look at MeToo.

You can't find a single place I ever said they, or I. were trying to prevent that change in the law.

Can you even read? That's not what I wrote. You've invented something, pretended I said it, and responded to that.

I quoted the words you put into the mouths of those of us who were trying to change the law, and observed the irony of saying that *we* were the ones who were saying "I got mine," when the whole damned point was that in fact we didn't got ours. I was observing the irony of the fact that you *didn't* put those words into the mouths of the people who were actually, in effect saying them, i.e. the people who did already have theirs and were saying "FU" to us.

I did advocate for no one having to be married to get the benefits in the law attributable to "married" people. Big difference

It took a very long time for you to make that point in any way that anyone else could have sifted out of the usual begrudgery aimed at anyone at the bottom of the heap who dares to ask for anything better.

Not having that discussion again. Just saying. Gets tiresome after a decade or so.

Tiresome indeed. The gay marriage framing is just the one I can quote most accurately, but the sentiment pervades what you write every time anyone asks for something for the people at the bottom. To wit, in this very thread: Opposing Advocating for an inheritance/estate tax is just another way for people to hate on other people. Everybody seems to hate it if someone else gets something for nothing.

russell at 9:01 and 9:41, pro bono elsewhere -- this is not hate. Your "shut up and be thankful is crap" is only ever applied to the put-upon top dogs, never to the poor and the minorities, to whom your party says "shut up and be thankful" on an hourly basis.

"Your "shut up and be thankful is crap" is only ever applied to the put-upon top dogs, never to the poor and the minorities, to whom your party says "shut up and be thankful" on an hourly basis."

Again, can you find anyplace to attribute that to me. I don't think top dogs are put upon, I think chasing inheritance taxes are just a class symbol. The having or not having them hurts or helps literally no one else except them.

If the inherited don't do anything with the money then it only lasts a few generations.

It is literally the same stupid emotional response as those who complain about lazy people getting food stamps.

Repuicans, real ones, don't want to stop helping poor people, we want to enable them to not be poor anymore. Hand up reduces the need for hand outs.

Hand outs are necessary but they don't create less poor people.

Sock that sum away somewhere that you can get 5% on it...

The Federal Reserve did away with safe steady 5% returns for little guys -- and $5M is a little guy these days -- in 2001, and shows no sign of giving them back.

Someone originally worked for that money and paid taxes on the income, saved it, invested and created a nest egg.

First, a little over half has never been taxed. See my link above.

Second, the estate tax does not tax the person who "worked for that money and paid taxes on the income, saved it, invested and created a nest egg. It taxes their heirs, who did none of that and who, by the way, have also in most cases already benefitted hugely from the wealth even before their inheritance.

Third, by the time the wealth reaches the grandchildren, even the previous owner did nothing to earn it. See, for example, Lukas Walton, a grandson of Sam. He may be a fine fellow for all I know, but to claim that he or his parents built a huge fortune by hard toil and intelligence is nonsense.

There are similarly positioned individuals in the Walton family, and I don't mean to pick on that group in particular. There are lots of rich Rockefellers and others running around too.

Repuicans, real ones, don't want to stop helping poor people, we want to enable them to not be poor anymore.

Riiiiiiight.

Look at the glee on that man's face. Someone, somewhere, who can't afford it, is getting fucked over.

Repuicans, real ones, don't want to stop helping poor people, we want to enable them to not be poor anymore.

Unless, of course, they're the wrong color, or the wrong religion, or on the wrong side of the border, or too ill and disabled to work.

Anyhow, I'd like to see all those people whom Republican policies have raised out of poverty. It's kind of like being "pro-life," but only as long as the "life" is in someone else's womb.

Aaaaannd, from the day he was nominated I have denounced Sessions as unsuitable and the worst of bad picks by Trump.

Oh, I think by now Sessions is no real contender for that top spot anymore.
Even that large scale petty thief Pruitt has left him in his wake long ago.

Eccept, russell, prior to 1930 or so you could give it all to your kids while you were alive, no gift tax.

Lotta things have changed since 1930.

this is clearly an issue you have strong feelings about. you are entitled to them.

if you and enough like-minded people get together, maybe you can change the law back to no inheritance tax.

in the meantime, if you inherit a lot of money, you may have to pay taxes on some of it. just any other income you might have, of whatever kind.

it is true, people are generally not that sympathetic to problems that only affect wealthy people. the graceful response is to accept it as one of the very very few downsides of extraordinary wealth.

if this kind of thing is what constitutes "difficulty" in your world, you're very very fortunate, and if you're sane and not a total dick you'll recognize that.

Repuicans, real ones

This formulation is a preemtive prevarication. Always have an exit plan.

Practical question here. Anyone know anything about the progressive turnout project? I am on a zillion email lists and they are asking for money to increase turnout with supposedly data driven methods. That sounds nice and I am tempted to give. But anybody could say this.

I will look later to see if I can find out anything, but the weather is nice outside.

In 2001, the exempt amount for an estate was $675K and the tax rate was 55% Life somehow went on, and I don’t recall stories of ruination.

Now the exempt amount is $11.18M and the tax rate is 40%.

I don’t have any particular animosity toward people simply for having accumulated a large estate, but I’m also not open to the idea that they or their heirs are being unduly burdened or harmed or damaged or being put into anything remotely resembling a state of hardship. It’s the height of oligarchic horseshit.

russell, im never going to have enough money that it males a dofference to me. I hsve four kids, if I had 11M it would be disappointing if I could only leave each of them just over a million(2001 amount) rather than almost 3. The difference in those two numbers is a completely different sense of security. Broken down into 8 grandkids well, it's a nice house. Not bad but not security. I just don't understand why that is some oligarchs evil desire. That's all.

Repuicans, real ones, don't want to stop helping poor people, we want to enable them to not be poor anymore.

two things

1. lots of republicans quite obviously consider the poor to be takers, a net drain on the health of the nation. i know this because they say so. you seem to want to tell me that they aren't "real republicans". it seems to me that someone who says they're a republican, runs and wins public office as a republican, is a republican

2. i see nothing in the public policies espoused and advanced by (R)'s over the last 40 years that does bugger-all to improve the lives of the poor.

so, I'm sure you want to believe that (R) policies are really the path forward to help people who are poor, but I have a pair of freaking eyes in my head and I pay attention, and I see nothing whatsoever to persuade me that your wishes and preferences have any relation to, or influence over, the (R) agenda of the last generation or two.

what "help the poor" appears to mean to them is to continually and consistently limit the public assistance they receive, as a spur to make them work. unfortunately, many of them *already fucking work*, so that strategy is not likely to be helpful.

They already work. Many of them work a lot, multiple jobs. They don't get paid enough to live on. Want to give a "hand up"? Tell your (R) pals to address that.

They already work. Many of them work a lot, multiple jobs. They don't get paid enough to live on. Want to give a "hand up"? Tell your (R) pals to address that.

Yes. I think low pay for hard work is a bigger problem - vastly bigger - than welfare freeloaders that Republicans are so worried about. I'm not sure what the solution is. In some cases a minimum wage hike can help, in others not so much. I'd sort of prefer a basic stipend to supplement earned income, or a more generous EITC, that would be phased out as income rises. That looks like it provides those incentives people are always going on about.

Some more things.

1. The poor are not to be given anything of value, even a living wage that will support a person on one job, because you’re supposed to earn what you need by hard, hard, hard work. Except if you’re the child or grandchild of someone with millions, of course. Then you’re not required to earn a damned thing by hard work, and you have a grievance if all you’re left with is the price of a nice house.

2. I just don't understand why that is some oligarchs evil desire. Nobody used the word “evil” in this discussion. That’s you again, inventing bad motivations for people you disagree with. You’re the one who introduced “hate” into the thread, as in Opposing an inheritance/estate tax is just another way for people to hate on other people. Nobody said that but you.

3. It’s useful to consider context and vantage point. A few years ago the average after-tax income of the bottom quintile of American households (125 million or so) was about $15,000, and it had been stuck in that neighborhood for almost thirty years, while the average after-tax income of the top earners had skyrocketed. Like I said at the top of the thread: if 99 people are hungry while one is hogging all the food, the motivation for trying to get hold of some of the food is not “hate.” It’s hunger. From the vantage point of a hungry person, the concern of a multi-millionaire at not being able to leave his or her grandchildren anything more than a house, is … laughable?

Bernie: I'd sort of prefer a basic stipend to supplement earned income, or a more generous EITC, that would be phased out as income rises.

I'd like to see something like this too. If we had an actually functioning universal safety net, the worry about leaving something for our descendants wouldn't be so compelling. (Not that multi-millionaires want their offspring to live at that standard, of course.)

I watched the income disparity happen in real time. For some years I was responsible for writing and maintaining some payroll-related software into which I had to incorporate annual salary grades for a huge multi-national company. Every year for the ten or so years I did it, the higher-paid people not only got bigger raises than the lower-paid people (that's not so surprising, though right off the bat it tells you what kind of a culture we live in), they got bigger percentage raises than the lower-paid people.

Uh, this seems to pass for what I referred to

"It’s the height of oligarchic horseshit."

But let's nitpick the wording a little more.

I'm not sure what the solution is.

The solution is for people who decide what folks should get paid, to decide to pay them more.

I understand that there are a million incentives to do otherwise. Nonetheless, it's a choice.

Make a different choice.

Some companies do, and their people do OK. Other companies don't, and their people don't do OK. We end up picking up the tab for it, and then conservatives / Republicans / libertarians end up bitching about that.

Pay people more. Problem solved.

My comments haven't been appearing, so I'll try this slightly altered name.

Why are we talking over and over about tax policy?

We, the US people, are acting like Nazis with people on the border. This needs to be our focus right now. I know a lot of people are with me on this, maybe including Marty. Let's make it stop.

Please - we're not going to do an equitable tax bill, or agree on what that is, for awhile, but we can, maybe, stop this inhumane treatment of families. Please, folks, let's join a movement. I got an email from Daily Kos about a phone call tomorrow night. Here's a link: https://act.moveon.org/survey/resistandwin19/

Will it work? I don't know. Is this the right organization? I don;t know. We have to come together to fight this atrocity. Anything we can do.

But let's nitpick the wording a little more.

Have at it. Do you think the inheritance tax, with an exemption of $11M, is a hardship for the people subject to it? Are they suffering because of it? Do you think a janitor who works lots of overtime should have to pay income tax on $40K?

Janie at 6:44
Ditto.

It always seems . . . odd that it is entirely sloth, and a desire to sponge off someone else's hard work, that motivates an interest in an economic safety net and a living wage for people who are working as hard as they can. But only fairness that motivates opposition to an estate tax which would take money from those who worked so hard to pick out wealthy parents (or grandparents).

I'm not sure what the solution is.

Adopt public policies that alter the power relationships in our society. Those without money have no power. If they had more power, they would (all else being equal) have more money.

Just a suggestion.

Love y'all.

We have a couple of years to talk about tax bullsh#t.

People are being irreparably harmed at the borders. Action?

We talked about drones, foreign policy, CIA, etc.

The bottom line right now is us. Stop it with the tax bullshit discussion. We need to do something now about these actual people, the concentration camps, the Nazi bullshit that's actually happening.

GftNC won't call it Nazis but the suicides and the crying children might.

Who the f' cares about tax policy with all of this? Get real, people.

The difference, I suggest, is that we need to thrash around a bit on what kind of tax policy is needed. At least about the specifics. So that's worth talking about.

In contrast, is there anybody here who seriously thinks that we don't need a massive change in how deal with those apprehended entering the country illegally? Let alone how we treat those who scrupulously follow the law and apply for asylum. I beg leave to doubt it.

We may have disagreements over immigration, over what ought to be done concerning those brought here illegally as children, etc. But whether we should continue abusing those in custody? No. Not really anything to discuss.

Marty,
Uh, this seems to pass for what I referred to

"It’s the height of oligarchic horseshit."

But let's nitpick the wording a little more.

Well,, that is from hairshirt, not janiem, and it was after you started your comments. So if you are claiming you are reacting to something that was said, that's actually mistaken.

And while I disagree with most of what you put forward, the problem I have is that the way you participate in the list leads to pile-ons. Some of those are inevitable, you are a minority here, and everyone has a topic or topics that get them passionate/angry about. I'm sorry about that, but there's nothing I can do to change that. But I do feel the pile ons could be reduced with a change in behavior on your part.

However, with me telling you this, you will assume that I'm suggesting that I'm better than you (this is the fundamental issue with mansplaining, so what I think you may be experiencing the same thing that a lot of women do when they complain about it, which I hope is something you will also consider) but it's not that, I did (and unfortunately still sometimes do) the same things that I see you doing, which (imho) is to provoke a reaction and then, when someone on the list overreaches, you say 'see, that is what I was talking about.'

The 'Uh' and the faux suggestion at the end 'Let's nitpick the wording' looks to me like you trying to provoke a reaction rather than discuss. I hope by pointing it out, you might see how it doesn't help things here very much.

If you could consider what I'm pointing out, I'd appreciate it. I don't particularly like to see a pile on, regardless who is on the bottom.

We may have disagreements over immigration, over what ought to be done concerning those brought here illegally as children, etc. But whether we should continue abusing those in custody? No. Not really anything to discuss.

I think we all agree on the humanitarian treatment of children. Let's get on board with an action plan. I've posted something above. Not sure if it's the best answer. But if people show up on that train, maybe it will send a message that we're not having the Nazi agenda.

Thanks lj, I do, by the nature of my opinions expect a reaction. But I spend a lot of time here not reacting.

It is most difficult when the subject being discussed, in this case the inheritance tax, suddenly turn into an assumption that I have one view or another on, something completely different, in this case people who depend on the safety net.

I can be against the inheritance tax and not believe that most people on welfare are lazy. I don't have to believe one or the other.

Hey Marty,

You claim to be on the compassion toward immigrant bus.

Will you do the phone call tomorrow?

I plan to watch the live stream if I don't have to sign up for anything. I don't want most of those organizations to have my info.

I understand that. But this is an emergency. The harm here is irreparable. If you're not on this bus, you need to have your own bus or we're Nazis. We need to show up for these kids.

... Someone originally worked for that money and paid taxes on the income, saved it, invested and created a nest egg. The inheritance tax is just an f you stealing of money, more than any other tax...

Doesn’t the apply equally to any sales tax, on a daily basis rather than once in a lifetime ?
And which, of course, disproportionally effects those on low incomes.

Nigel,

Not really, granting the regressive nature of some sales taxes. People buy things,they work hard and save what they can but everyone buys stuff do that tax is, to me, a part of the calculus of what living costs. The nature of estate taxes is they take from what you have managed to save after all the taxes, (property, income, sales, capital gains, employment) have been paid. The accumulated savings after paying the costs of that life.

Sure the estate might last through a few not so productive kids or grandkids etc but usually only if they don't have access to the principal in the first place.

But, if that's what someone does with what they have accrued then taxing it one more time seems wrong.

Just as taking away the safety net for poor people is wrong, and a more important issue.

The nature of estate taxes is they take from what you have managed to save after all the taxes, (property, income, sales, capital gains, employment) have been paid.

Not true. Most of the wealth held by the rich consists of assets that have never been taxed.

With great wealth comes great power. To this, I resolutely object. People should not have political power dropped in their lap just for winning the birth lottery.

The Aristocracy of Wealth is a social crime.

Reading yet another thread (I read all comments, it's ethnography) at the evil place

1) Sanders/Warren 2020? Lol. RotFLOL. There is no way the Party will allow that ticket.

2) Looks like the Evil Crew has decided on Gillibrand, cause Sanders is a man, Harris is the wrong color, and Warren is whatever.

3) Mostly of course cause Gillibrand is NYC and Wall Street. She will be as much bullshit as Clinton and Obama. All of her leftism will disappear on inauguration day and she will be making grand bargains like crazy.

These will look good like Obamacare of course, or use hostage taking (give billions to Wall Street of this patient will die!)or leave it deliberately vulnerable to reversal by the first Republican administration.

I could vote for Warren. I am not voting for my enemy, one who will wreck my life and make me homeless, even if the alternative is worse.

Oh I forgot

Gillibrand will be very very good for a certain class of women, including women of color, who will get rich during her administration.

The Democratic Party is just as much a looting operation as Republicans, just different pirates.

You measure people by their bank accounts. Wealth is evil.

Copy editor fix:

A few years ago the average after-tax income of the bottom quintile of American households (125 million or so) was about $15,000

should say "25 million or so"

I am not voting for my enemy, one who will wreck my life and make me homeless, even if the alternative is worse.

Maybe you could explain how Gillibrand, or any other possible Democratic nominee, would wreck your life and make you homeless.

Did Obama do that?

At ideological "extremes", the amount of energy expended to attack erstwhile ideological allies is inversely proportional to the political distance separating them.

...thus the useless food fight we observe characterized by "kicking down" (I'm looking at you, Mr. J. Chiat), and "purity leftism" (Jill, 'they're all the same!', Stein).

Popular Front politics defeated fascism. We are fighting fascism today. Think about this.

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