Taxes

Everything Changes on New Year's Day

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One curvy dime

Oh hey, speaking of presidential promises, remember this one from the 2009 State of the Union?

In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans.  But let me be perfectly clear, because I know you'll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people:  If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.

Jump ahead to this week, and this headline: "Congress lets 50 tax breaks expire." From the Forbes.com story:

Among the disappearing breaks are the research tax credit and an annual alternative minimum tax "patch," which keeps 23 million additional middle-income Americans from being forced into calculating and paying the dreaded AMT.

I'm no mathematician, but I'm pretty sure that 23 million represents a bit more than 2% of Americans…. Also, as the article makes clear, the lapsed corporate R&D credit (of which I have zero opinion on) represents another broken Obama promise.

"Over the years, we've allowed this credit to lapse or we've extended it year to year, even just a few months at a time," he said. "Under my budget, this tax credit will no longer fall prey to the whims of politics and partisanship. It will be far more effective when businesses … can count on it."

Yeah, but what about the "JS"? WHAT ABOUT THE "JS"??

Let me be perfectly clear: I do not mourn the passing of the "railroad track maintenance credit; special expensing rules for U.S. film and television productions; and tax laws that help Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islands distillers." I hate targeted corporate tax breaks, and think The Code should fit on a matchbox. But when the president says "not one single dime," he is making a promise that he cannot keep, even if he was so inclined, which he's not. (For examples of why not, read Jacob Sullum, or scan this list of health care tax hikes flagged by Americans for Tax Reform.)

Also, if anyone can explain what the hell's happening to the Estate Tax on Jan. 1, and how that may or may not impact the $249,999 family, please share in the comments.

NEXT: Reason Staffers Pick The Best and Worst Things of The Decade

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  1. So it wasn’t hear that I saw this article about the estate tax, eh?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..TWhatsNews

    Starting Jan. 1, the estate tax — which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person’s estate — goes away for a year. For families facing end-of-life decisions in the immediate future, the change is making one of life’s most trying episodes only more complex.

    “I have two clients on life support, and the families are struggling with whether to continue heroic measures for a few more days,” says Joshua Rubenstein, a lawyer with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in New York. “Do they want to live for the rest of their lives having made serious medical decisions based on estate-tax law?”

    1. here that I heard?

    2. Extending life support is the easy decision.

      Its ending it that’s hard. And what do you want to bet a lot of people get their plug pulled on December 31, 2010?

      1. Yank it like you’re startin’ a lawn mower.

      2. Ummm Dad, would mind climbing up on this ladder to help me take down the Christmas lights?

      3. The article actually gives their decision makers the right to make that decision based on taxes.

        1. correction: the articles describes giving giving their decision makers the right to make that decision based on taxes. It also describes a rich person asking his tax advisor if he can save his heirs money by going to a euthanasia legal country and killing himself. Priceless.

  2. But when the president says “not one single dime,” he is making a promise that he cannot keep, even if he was so inclined, which he’s not.

    No! You mean . . . you mean . . . He . . . he . . . lied?

    1. He didn’t lie. For example, if someone’s cigarette taxes went up $1 per pack, that is not a single dime, but 10 dimes.

      By playing with semantics, I wish he would have lied.

      1. Actually, he hired a Moonie priest to do a mass marriage, so people will only be losing married dimes.

    2. There’s also the small fact that he doesn’t control Congress directly, so if they decide to let tax breaks expire – well, at least he can claim the blood ain’t on his hands…

  3. Let me be perfectly clear: I do not mourn the passing [of various tax breaks]…

    You do realize we’ve all been trained to think of whatever follows “let me be perfectly clear” as a sentiment spoken on Opposite Day?

  4. Look, I can’t help it if I’m a lying sack of shit. It’s just my nature. Get used to it, you fucking disgusting plebes. Don’t you know I loathe you anyhow and really don’t care what you think? You’ll believe whatever bullshit nonsense I tell you.

    1. YOU TELL THE TRUTH!

  5. The 2009 State of the Union?

    What 2009 State of the Union?

    1. Hawaii, I think.

  6. As a middle income earner who would be subject to the AMT without a patch.. fuck you, Obama.

    (I’m reasonably sure there will be something of a patch added for TY2010. But it shouldn’t have to come to that kind of BS)

    1. I wouldn’t be so sure

  7. So if we go back to the old sky-high tax rates, why that’s just repealing a tax cut for the rich, right? Paying lower taxes was a privilege, not a right, and it’s a privilege that America–and America’s children–can no longer afford.

    I think I may have a chance to work for the administration.

    1. Jesus christ Episiarch, that is some deliciously slimey rhetoric.

      1. Whoops I mean Pro L! You two are basically interchangeable though

        1. You never see them in the same bordello.

          1. I like to think that I’m more civil and less disgusting in my personal habits than Episiarch. Also, I have much, much better taste.

            Okay, that was just a shot across the bow. He’s sensitive on the taste issue.

      2. How DARE you equate me to ProL. He is the mild-mannered Clark Kent to my Bizarro Superman, you jerk.

        1. That’s about the way I’d put it.

  8. What’s happening is that nothing’s changed on the existing estate tax law. Because they got 50 (under reconciliation) but not 60 (to waive the Byrd Rule and have it take effect outside a ten year window), the estate tax repeal, which was phased in, entirely goes away and the old rates come back in 2011, just like any other Bush tax cuts that haven’t been made permanent.

    The estate tax before has worked in two ways:
    1) Die? You pay tax.
    2) Having paid tax on the inheritance, heirs only pay capital gains later on the value at the time that they inherited it, not the original price you paid for it.

    The repeal gets rid of the inheritance tax, but also capital gains step-up (with a fairly large exemption). That means that when heirs sell things, they pay capital gains based on what their ancestor paid for it.

    People who carefully structured inheritances to avoid death tax might be avoiding something that doesn’t exist, but end up paying extra capital gains tax that they didn’t structure themselves against.

    In some cases, the changes result in extra tax paid. Heirs who want to suddenly sell the family business that the old guy ran all those years might lose. Heirs who want to continue running the family business win, since they won’t owe any tax until they sell it. That’s part of reducing death to a non-event, instead of its own special section in the tax code.

    The New York Times editorial is hilarious and confused, because they can’t make up their mind what they support. It insists that “More than 99 percent of all estates are exempt, so there is no reason to reduce or repeal the tax.” On the other hand, it’s apparently completely awful if any extra tax is paid by those in the rest of the top 2 or 3 percent. And yet, it’s “an unconscionable giveaway to the wealthy” if the law is changed so that those top 2 or 3 percent don’t pay more.

    1. Helping the CFP cottage industry almost as much as the CPA cottage industry. Thanks government.

  9. The estate tax is one of the most defensible taxes I can imagine. It only kicks in at some enormous number most posters here will never have and it only takes from people who have done nothing to deserve the money other than come out of the right vagina at birth.

    Screw working to get that tax lower. I can think of a hundred taxes I’d rather see lower first.

    1. Re: MNG,

      The estate tax is one of the most defensible taxes I can imagine.

      Ok, go ahead . . .

      1. Dude, did you even get to the SECOND sentence of that post???

        1. MNG, that second paragraph you purported to use as a “defense” is not a defense, that’s an excuse. A defense comes from argumentation, not from ad hoc excuses.

      2. I’ll make a defense of the idea of it:
        The “death” tax would be better if it meant that during my life I could spend more of my money the way I want (including giving it away), and then my taxes would be paid lump sum when I died. However, every tax is a reason for more spending, rather than cutting other taxes (like the income tax), so it’s not really defensible.

    2. There aren’t ANY taxes that defensible – other than user fees.

      And no one’s estate value is a “service” provided to them by the federal government.

    3. The estate tax is one of the most defensible taxes I can imagine. It only kicks in at some enormous number most posters here will never have

      MNG, providing us with pure, distilled class envy.

      I would point out that whether anyone is likely to be hit with a tax has nothing to do with how defensible it is.

      You wouldn’t defend a tax that confiscated 100% of the assets of one out of every 10,000 Americans, selected based on a lottery, would you?

      1. “I would point out that whether anyone is likely to be hit with a tax has nothing to do with how defensible it is.”

        Sure it does. Yes I think a tax that hits less people is better than one that hits more people. Also, taxes that hit people who can better afford it are better than ones that hit people who cannot.

        This is all elementary though. Am I to take it you prefer seeing lots of people taxed to seeing a smaller number taxed?

        1. “Yes I think a tax that hits less people is better than one that hits more people.”

          That’s completely ass-backwards thinking. One of the conditions for a just tax is that it is broad based, and therefore everyone in the society to changes in the tax similarly. A tax that only affects a small minority is similar to a bill of attainder on that minority. A tax which hits many people lightly is defensible, one that hits a few people hard is utterly indefensible.

          1. Stop making sense … his head might explode.

            Well, at least I now have a complete picture (with MNG’s) comments on how we have arrived at the place where soon more than a majority of persons will not actually be paying income taxes (yes, I know, they pay FICA, sales tax, etc).

    4. The estate tax is one of the most defensible taxes I can imagine. It only kicks in at some enormous number most posters here will never have and it only takes from people who have done nothing to deserve the money other than come out of the right vagina at birth.

      Defend using the estate tax instead of capital gains with no step-up.

      I don’t see it as particularly defensible, just as I don’t see as particularly defensible

      “only takes from people who have done nothing to deserve the money other than come out of the right vagina at birth… I can think of a hundred taxes I’d rather see lower first.”

      Ah, you prefer taxes based on moral desert and your idea of morality. So any sort of argument based on efficiency would be lost on you. So we’ll try others.

      Consider two families, with relatively similar circumstances. In Family A, the parents die in a car crash; the kids inherit money and have to spend it to live. In Family B, the parents live and spend that money on their kids while still alive. Why should Family A be taxed more– at a time when they have just been deprived of income, than family B? Why not just eliminate capital gains step up (as this bill did), and tax things when they are sold?

      Consider Family A, where the parents save and save for retirement and for their kids, and Family B, which spends all its money and doesn’t save, but expects to live off the government when older. Should Family A be taxed extra for saving too much, if they miscalculate and have money left at the end of their life?

      If you want to tax wealth, tax wealth. Why tax in this extra special way? Why say that old people who want to spend money on themselves should be encouraged compared to those that want to save?

    5. Your friends the small farmers would disagree. Small business owners would also probably argue with you.

    6. It only kicks in at some enormous number most posters here will never have and it only takes from people who have done nothing to deserve the money other than come out of the right vagina at birth.
      Once again pure idiocy. I work and make decisions so my children and future grand children can have a better life. Now just because you choose to be a self centered prick and not provide for your progeny shouldn’t mean that I shouldn’t be able to provide for mine.

      1. Dude, you’re never going to get to the point where the estate tax will touch you, so by all means save away. Just saying.

        1. Ok, let’s accept your logic. How about this: Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can’t possibly need more than $1M per year to live on (even if they “earned” what they have). Why don’t we just confiscate all they’re wealth leaving them enough for $1M a year (we’ll call it a “finder’s fee”).

          Man, I likee, can come up with a lot of great ideas to make society more equal.

    7. “…it only takes from people who have done nothing to deserve the money other than come out of the right vagina at birth.”

      The estate tax does not tax “money” it taxes wealth, i.e. the business and real estate holdings of the deceased. An estate can be extremely asset rich and cash poor. Why should anyone care if someone who has built up a large esate should want to pass it on intact to heirs? Why should such busybodies who do care be allowed to use the power of the state to enforce their envy?

      The desire for an estate tax shows the cognitive dissonance of the left. The estate tax is destructive of family owned businesses and therefore encourages the formation of large corporate structures as an estate based on publicly traded stock is more liquid than one based on outright ownership of assets and therefore in a better position to pay estate taxes.

      The estate tax should be done away with permanantly because it is fundamentally unjust, economically destructive, and is not a net source of revenue for government costs.

    8. Still seems wrong to steal from little kids that just became orphaned. But you probably hate kids and want them to suffer, don’t you?

    9. Whoopee. I plan to go on a spending spree right before I die anyway. Fuck the future generations!!!

  10. Let’s start with “sin” taxes, then paycheck taxes, then the marriage penalty, then etc., etc., etc.,.

    1. Let’s start with “sin” taxes,

      When you say “let’s start,” do you mean “let’s increase them?” Because you seem to favor the estate tax for exactly the same reason that people favor “sin taxes.” You just want to encourage people spending their money before they die instead of saving it, unlike other people who also favor taxes based on moral reasons.

      Please, don’t pretend that you’re any different from people who like to raise “sin taxes,” except that you define “sin” differently.

      You’re not stopping people from amassing wealth, you’re just demanding that they spend it on themselves instead of heirs.

      1. I oppose sin taxes because they are regressive. Estate taxes are kind of the opposite smarty.

        1. I oppose sin taxes because they are regressive. Estate taxes are kind of the opposite smarty.

          Nope, estate taxes are regressive.

          Consider two families, with relatively similar circumstances. In Family A, the parents die in a car crash; the kids inherit money and have to spend it to live. In Family B, the parents live and spend that money on their kids while still alive. Why should Family A be taxed more– at a time when they have just been deprived of income, than family B? Why not just eliminate capital gains step up (as this bill did), and tax things when they are sold?

          Family B pays more tax. Family B, because the parents died, lost income and is poorer than Family A.

          The estate tax is regressive, compared to eliminating capital gains tax or other methods of taxation that would hit families A and B equally.

          1. Eliminating capital gains step-up, as I said above. My apologies.

          2. Boy, you reeeeallly like your example, don’t you?

            It’s progressive because it only taxes really big estates. Smaller estates get taxed at a lower level (o). This is not hard.

            1. Boy, you reeeeallly like your example, don’t you?

              So you’re conceding the argument, then? You reeeeallly like avoiding the example. Your response is a sign of an inability to respond.

              The marriage penalty only taxes the rich; the poor don’t have net income taxes. And yes, married households (and married people considered as individuals) do have more wealth and more income. So the penalty affects a group that is, on average, wealthier than those it does not affect.

              As far as I can see, what you care about isn’t the poor; it’s the upper middle class.

              Furthermore, the marriage penalty is endemic to progressive tax rates. You either have a penalty for dual income families with similar incomes, or you have a “single penalty” where two people with an income of $80k and $20k could save taxes if they got married sheerly for tax purposes.

              If you truly want to eliminate the marriage penalty, then I suppose you must be a flat tax supporter, perhaps with large personal exemption to make the effects progressive.

              1. Dude, if you can’t see the difference between a tax that falls on a group that “on average” makes or has more than another group and a tax that falls only on people who ACTUALLY make or have more than a certain amount then I can’t help you…

            2. It’s progressive because it only taxes really big estates. Smaller estates get taxed at a lower level (o). This is not hard.

              It’s regressive, because heirs have less wealthy than people leaving estates. But people with large estates who spend it all on their own (rich) self aren’t taxed, but those who leave it to (poorer) heirs are. It’s regressive, because it taxes children whose parents have just died, but doesn’t tax those whose parents are still living, who are thus, all things being equal, wealthier.

              In incidence it is progressive, but in the same sense that the marriage penalty is progressive.

              But if you compare any sort of otherwise equivalent sets of people, the estate tax taxes the worse off more.

              1. when we talk about decisions made.

                The estate tax doesn’t tax you for making money. You can make all the money you want, and if you spend it on yourself before you die, no tax. It taxes you for saving, for giving money to others instead of spending it on yourself, and for dying unexpectedly. Why are those things to be taxed?

        2. I oppose sin taxes because they are regressive.

          So you would be in favor of sin taxes on only expensive alcohol and cigars?

            1. So will you support any tax, so long as the effects are progressive?

              Then why not the marriage penalty? The effects are progressive. Married households and people are wealthier than singles.

              If you concede that some progressive taxes are better than others, why not fairly engage arguments that there are better progressive taxes than the estate tax?

              Someone who dies with a lot of money had lots of opportunities to be taxed on that money throughout her life. Why tax specially at death? Why tax the saver over the spender?

          1. So you would be in favor of sin taxes on only expensive alcohol and cigars

            And that’s how we’ll end up with Victory Gin.

        3. Estate taxes are not “kind of the opposite.” Estate taxes are a regressive tax with a large exemption that makes them sort of progressive in effect. But anywhere there are two families that both would be subject to the tax, they are regressive in effect.

          The estate tax is “progressive” in the same sense as the marriage penalty is “progressive.” The marriage penalty hits married people, married people are wealthier on average, hence it’s progressive.

          And yet you favor repealing the marriage penalty.

          1. Did you say the marriage tax is progressive because married people are on average more wealthy?

            Hahahahahahahaha!

            1. Did you say the marriage tax is progressive because married people are on average more wealthy?

              Marriage people are, on average, more wealthy. The marriage penalty on average hurts people who are wealthier than people it does not hurt, who are poorer.

              That two identical groups of people, one married and one not, are treated differently is exactly the same as in my estate tax example.

              I’ll take this as you conceding the argument, then.

            2. Also, the marriage penalty is progressive because the poor don’t have net income tax anyway, so they have a marriage penalty of zero.

              Please explain how the cases are different.

              It is not a defense to compare family A, married, to family B, unmarried, unless you concede the validity of my estate tax example.

              Married households are more wealthy. Therefore, a tax that hits the married is progressive, by your arguments.

              Also, by your arguments, Obamacare or any single-payer care is regressive. The current system waits until people are bankrupt, then provides care. People with no estate get much less out of this deal than people with large estates, who now don’t have to worry about spending all their savings before getting indigent emergency care and their debts forgiven.

        4. “I oppose sin taxes because they are regressive. Estate taxes are kind of the opposite smarty.”

          Indeed. Saving up and trying to provide for your immediate family in the event of your death is wise, ethical, and responsible, exactly the opposite of sin. I suppose you want to -encourage- sin through the tax code?

  11. Also, while I’m very opposed to tax increases like the cig tax mentioned, in the above quote Obama seems to be talking about the income tax (otherwise the line about “tax breaks” doesn’t seem to make sense). I mean, he certainly wasn’t talking about repealing some recent tax break on smokes…

  12. MNG-

    You got some citations for the contents of your rant?

    What do you consider “some enormous number” to be? It was only this year that the threshold hit 3.5 million per person and 7 million per couple. As recently as 2001, it was, what, 875,000.00?

    So, as the law now stands, it will go back to what the threshold was in 2001. There are lots of us posters who have net worths in that neighborhood.

    Sure, there are a many ways to shield one’s death tax exposure. That’s why life insurance companies are against estate tax repeal-those stinkin rent seekin whores.

    1. LM I don’t think many, if any, posters here have, or will have, estates of over 1.3 million (plus the 3 million more for spouses).

      1. I don’t think many, if any, posters here have, or will have, estates of over 1.3 million (plus the 3 million more for spouses).

        The 3 million more for spouses is a red herring. Unless you think that everybody does serial marriages after one partner dies, eventually the spouse will die as well. The 1.3 million is the real number.

        Many posters won’t have estates of that size, because the tax code enforces your sort of moral code, the one that says that we should spend all our money when we’re alive instead of saving it.

        If I die right at the start of retirement, though, I may have an estate that big. To the added annoyance of having me dead, my family would be taxed because they would be spending the money directly instead of me spending it on myself.

        There are so many ways that the tax code and the government discourage personal saving, and encourage people to spend it all now and depend on government largesse if something goes wrong. Why have even more? I should’ve known that people didn’t actually mean anything about encouraging saving.

      2. MNG – in a few years $1.3m will have the purchasing power of a baloney sandwich.

        1. Sheesh, of course I meant controlled for inflation and such.

          1. I think his point was that we’ll all be dying with roughly the worth of a baloney sandwich left to our kids.

          2. Oh, and after the estate taxes at that point, all the kids will get is 1 slice of bread. And not the slice that had the mayo/mustard on it.

  13. I’m reasonably sure there will be something of a patch added for TY2010. But it shouldn’t have to come to that kind of BS

    I am cautiously optimistic for this as well. With the patch in place, so few people were subject to AMT that if it were to suddenly show up on their 2010 return, it would not be pleasant. It’s a retarded and arbitrary calculation that is very confusing to those lucky enough not to be tax professionals.

  14. it only takes from people who have done nothing to deserve the money other than come out of the right vagina at birth.

    As opposed to the totally deserving bureaucrats and leeches to whom you wish to give it.

    Fuck off, slaver.

    1. Bureaucrats don’t eat the money P Brooks. The government spends it on things, many of which certainly deserve the funds equally or more than the heir…

      Don’t be such a tool dude.

      1. What did all these people the government wants to spend on do to deserve it? Needing something does not equal deserving it.

        1. Well, wtf did the heir do? As I said above they just popped out of the right vagina.

          And for the record I think need is a pretty good indicator of what someone deserves, but I have a philosophy that, it seems unlike yourself, values human beings and their welfare.

          1. The heir suffered a tragic, heartbreaking loss of a spouse or one or more parents. That’s why they deserve it. If you were capable of empathy, you would understand.

          2. Well, wtf did the heir do?

            Presumably, anyone with an estate large enough for this tax to matter would have a will. This will would state, more or less, what of the deceased’s estate goes to whom. This raises two points in answer to your question:

            1. The heir did something the deceased considers worthy of inheritance. Perhaps the heir was a good son/daughter, or a trusted and valuable associate, etc.

            2. It’s none of your goddamn business what the heir did to deserve it. Even if the heir did nothing to deserve it, it’s his or her parent’s/grandparent’s/Aunt Tilly’s money, and that gives the heir slightly more claim to it than some politician.

      2. Why are the heirs less deserving, and why do you assume that they’ll spend it on things less worthy than some politically motivated purpose?

        Frankly, a lot of my blood, sweat, and tears is aimed at having something left for my kids when I die.

      3. The government spends it on things, many of which certainly deserve the funds equally or more than the heir..

        But just so we’re clear, rich dude spending it on himself, perfectly fine, rich dude giving it to his heirs, deserves special taxes.

        Eliminate the estate tax and raise personal income taxes, wealth taxes, whatever.

        1. Both are fine by me.

          It’s proper to tax those with more more because the tax hurts them less, and proper to tax money left to someone more than money earned by someone because in the former case there is no argument that the person “deserves” it in any meaningful sense.

      4. Yeah, sure, because you know all about how everyone’s money is best spent.

        Asswipe cocksucker.

  15. I love my profession, but accountants should really stay out of politics. In this Feb 2009 article on webcpa.com, it’s recommended that the AMT patch be ditched in order to pass the stimulus more quickly. The author figured it could be fixed later in the year. Ya know, whenever Congress got around to it.

    I hope he’s not this cavalier when it comes to advising his clients.

  16. Bureaucrats don’t eat the money

    And the inheritors don’t stuff their mattresses with it, or bury it in the back yard in coffee cans.

    They invest it; or they support “deserving” bartenders, custom clothiers, airplane pilots, ships’ captains, tilesetters, et c.

    And tax attorneys.

    1. Trickle, trickle! I can almost imagine you bent over at the rich-guy spigot hoping for your drop!

      Dude, you really are a tool!

      1. People tend to invest in businesses, buy stuff, etc. How is that not a good thing for the economy?

        1. Who cares man. Didn’t you hear? You’re a tool. So obviously your idea of how economics work is totally flawed.

          I think MNG actually left this board a while ago and Chonyrris just uses his name.

      2. I can almost imagine you bent over at the rich-guy spigot hoping for your drop!

        There in lies the fundamental difference between your thought process and his. You wold wait for the drop, he (and others that think like he does)would go make a drop of their own.

        1. Yes hmmm, the man defending inherited wealth is the lover of wealth production, the guy criticizing inherited wealth (you know, where someone just gives you something) is the guy who wants to wait to be given something.

          Think before you type man.

          1. So inherited wealth is just giving? Don’t know many family business or farmers do you? That little oversight aside, lets explore the governments intrusion on my decision to dispose of that which I have earned in a manner that I see fit. More than one legal document can be created to carry out my wishes postmortem. Why should the government have any more ability to violate my wishes then than when I am living?

            Maybe you can think a little farther before typing and clear out the glaring assumptions, like all inheritance is just given.

            1. Yes inheritances are given. Are you suggested they are forced?

              1. No, that they are often earned. Again your thought process fails you. Many small business and farms not only utilize their children, but often the children don’t enjoy the same amount of time with their parents due to the number of worked by both.

                It’s kind of amazing how you immediately revert to the possible negative aspect of every argument made in this threat.

                Your argument basically hinges on death and the right to use your possessions the way you want. Neither have any arguable position if you believe in inherent rights.

          2. This is moronic. One can defend another man’s right to keep his wealth for his children and still be a wealth producer. While you defend taking that man’s right and giving it to those who DON’T have a hand in wealth production. Fucking moron.

            1. Zoltan, marxoid ideologues like MNG will go to lengths to excuse wholesale theft. It matters little to him that he’s deciding on someone else’s property as if it were really his.

  17. I don’t think many, if any, posters here have, or will have, estates of over 1.3 million

    I’m old and decrepit, and consequently in no danger of being sent to Afghanistan. That doesn’t mean I’m not qualified to judge whether sending people to fight in Afghanistan is a stupid idea.

    1. My point isn’t that you are a tool for thinking the estate tax wrong, but you’re one for not opposing taxes which you pay more than you oppose a tax you don’t and won’t pay. You’re bitching about a tax you don’t and won’t pay, my point is taxes most of us pay should be of far more concern.

      1. You’re an idiot to think people shouldn’t defend actions that don’t affect them.

  18. and tax laws that help Puerto Rican and U.S. Virgin Islands distillers

    I’m normally against special tax breaks, but I make exceptions for distillers.

    1. Well, i suppose as long as i’m being taxed for the liqour, they shouldn’t NEED to tax the distiller too.

      But c’mon, let’s be realistic.

  19. Let me be perfectly clear, Obama is full of shit.

  20. Re: MNG,

    Bureaucrats don’t eat the money[,] P Brooks.

    I imagine payroll, pensions and bonuses notwithstanding…

    The government spends it on things,

    Thieves must spend their loot on things as well…

    […] [M]any of which certainly deserve the funds equally or more than the heir…

    And that very subjective statement is justified . . . how?

    1. OM
      Here’s how stupid you are. See, if everyone’s idea of what people deserve is just subjectivity then you can’t make a case as to why the heir deserves the money more than the recipient of government programs, and if the idea of what people deserve is not subjective then my point stands.

      You’ve deconstructed yourself without knowing it!

      1. Re: MNG,

        Here’s how stupid you are. [Sure, MNG] See, if everyone’s idea of what people deserve is just subjectivity then you can’t make a case as to why the heir deserves the money more than the recipient of government programs

        Of course I can make the case – that’s how the person that possessed the property wanted it. It was his or her property, not the government’s.

        If a person came, guns a-blazing, taking the whole estate from the heirs and claimed he deserved it more than them, how could you make a case against this, using your logic?

        1. Theft is okay. As long as somebody enlists the gov’t to do it for them.

        2. Theft is okay. As long as somebody enlists the gov’t to do it for them.

        3. Er, easy, since I’m the one claiming one person can deserve something more than another…Jeez you are dim.

      2. The heir deserves the money more because the deceased intended for the money to go to the heir. If the deceased wanted the money to go to the gov’t he/she could have named the gov’t in his/her will.

        The fact that some people are jealous of other’s wealth does not justify theft of their assets when they die.

  21. Yet another Reason story about Obama lying during his campaign. This is so fucking boring I didn’t get past the first two paragraphs.

  22. I’m no mathematician,

    Well, yea and no webtician either from what you said in another thread.

    1. Sorry, that was supposed to have one of these at the end 😉

  23. I’m finding some rare gems fro MNG today. Here’s the best. Enjoy.

    Re: MNG,

    It’s proper to tax those with more because the tax hurts them less [No, this is not a typo – he really said this]

    This is question-begging at its best. Only the person that holds the property can know how much will hurt him more or less, not you and certainly not the government.

    […]and proper to tax money left to someone more than money earned by someone because in the former case there is no argument that the person “deserves” it in any meaningful sense.

    This is MNG’s version of fuzzy logic. He makes a totally arbitrary distinction between “deserved” and “undeserved” income based on earnings vs gifts (or inheritance), when in fact they are the same – they are results of entirely voluntary transactions. This distinction is entirely specious.

    Yes, a case CAN be argued that inherited income is just as deserving as earned income, for BOTH are earned, either because of exchange of goods or services or by the wishes of the possessor of the estate.

    If inheritance was to be taxed more by virtue of MNG’s arbitrary distinction, then any gift should be equally taxed, including Christmas gifts and even charity. MNG is relying on an Argument from Envy to posit an undue negative trait to the act of receiving an inheritance because normally inheritances are seen as of greater pecuniary value than gifts or charity, but they are the very same act – giving away property (either goods, services or money) with no expectation of pecuniary return.

    1. OM, please, you’re just terrible at logic, terrible. Look at the trap you put yourself in upthread; even after having it pointed out you continued to punch away at the bag you put yourself in.

      Here you demonstrate you don’t know what question begging is for the five hundredth time. Then your “argument” that inheritance is deserved like income is pretty bad (for income one does something, usually an exchange of labor; not true with inheritance). And have you never heard of, or even paid, a gift tax? They exist you know.

      You have a remarkable tendency to confuse putting a criteria forth as a major premise and then applying the criteria in the particular question to the issue at hand as “question begging.” You really don’t understand this, question begging involves assuming something that which is at issue in arguing for that thing; here I’m positing as a major premise: things earned through work are deserved, minor premise: inherited gifts are not earned through work; conclusion; therefore inheritance is not deserved. Notice no question begging there Sherlock. Where in the world did you get your idea that you have some grasp of even basic logic?

      1. Re: MNG,

        things earned through work are deserved, minor premise: inherited gifts are not earned through work; conclusion; therefore inheritance is not deserved.

        MNG, if you have no clue at all of where you are begging the question, let me give you a hint, since your marxoid-driven arrogance does not seem to let you:

        You are assuming the validity of the term “Deserved.”

        1. You gave MNG way too much credit there. He made one of the most fundamental errors in logic. His claim boils down to:
          All A are B. C is not A. Therefore, C is not B.

          EPIC FAIL, MNG. The next time you wish to call someone terrible at logic, beat your head against a stone or brick wall until the urge passes.

  24. Here’s another gem from MNG. This one is for dessert. Enjoy.

    Re: MNG,

    Yes I think a tax that hits less people is better than one that hits more people.

    This is utilitarian logic at its worst. The term “less people” and “more people” are entirely undetermined and meaningless – I suspect by design, since MNG is not really interested in argumentation, but in obfuscation.

    To put things in perspective: “It is preferable for less people to be killed than more people to be killed” sounds equally preposterous – what’s less people? What’s more people? Why would one even consider the idea that people being killed is good or preferable just because number of people killed A is lower than B?

    Also, taxes that hit people who can better afford it are better than ones that hit people who cannot.

    This is again more evidence that MNG thinks he has the power of mind reading, and know which people believe can afford a tax and which cannot. Instead of thinking that such decisions can only exist in the mind of the individual holding his or her property, MNG purports to know better than them.

    In logic, the above statements are examples of Begging the Question – MNG wants to assume what he sets to prove: that the taxed can afford the taxes so they deserve to be taxed.

    1. OM,

      Your comments were something nice to wake up to 🙂

    2. What do you expect from MNG?

      He’s a socialist twit.

      As I said upthread, the only defensible taxes are user fees.

      Fairness in paying for government provided goods and services is no different than it is in paying for private sector provided goods and services – on a user fee basis.

      1. Capitation taxes are defensible. I don’t know if we actually disagree here, because you may conceive of them as a user fee for using America.

    3. “what’s less people? What’s more people?”

      Numerically, you fool. Do you not understand the concepts of less and more? Really?

      “Why would one even consider the idea that people being killed is good or preferable just because number of people killed A is lower than B?”

      Er, because in one scenario less actual human beings suffer and are harmed? WTF are you retarded?

      1. Re: MNG,

        Numerically, you fool. Do you not understand the concepts of less and more? Really?

        Logic, 101:

        Let’s say a person enters a party you threw for your whole family: siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents. A gunman enters the house and tells you: What’s better for you, that I kill less of your family, or that I kill more of your family. What would be your first question to the gunman?

        Er, because in one scenario less actual human beings suffer and are harmed? WTF are you retarded?

        I am pretty sure the gunman in the example above would also agree with you . . . I don’t know if you family would agree with either of you, but the gunman would.

  25. I know it would be doing the right thing and would reduce the amount of money that Congress has to dole out to their buddies – why can’t these fucktards ever make the AMT indexed to inflation or eliminate it altogether?

    The good news if the AMT patch is not renewed is that it will be another nail in the coffin of the Democrat-controlled Congress. The bad news is that means Congress will be Republican who did nothing to fix or eliminate the AMT when they were in power. Fucktards!

  26. My point isn’t that you are a tool for thinking the estate tax wrong, but you’re one for not opposing taxes which you pay more than you oppose a tax you don’t and won’t pay.

    In other words, I’m a tool because I don’t wish to enslave others in order to force them to pay more, so I can pay less.

    SIUYA, MaunderingNannyGoat

    1. You’re a tool because you actually have been led to care more for interests that don’t affect you than ones that do. That’s what a tool is dude.

      1. You know, I am not gay, but I still think that laws which discriminate against gay people are fucked.

        Anyway, estate taxes do effect everyone in some fashion or another; so your claim with regards to that is bogus.

      2. Men who support feminism = tools
        White civil rights activists = tools
        Straights who support gay rights = tools
        Wealthy people who give to the poor = tools
        Healthy people that walk to raise money for cancer = tools
        Parents who sacrifice for their kids = tools
        Anyone driven by any ideal other than pure self-interest = tool

  27. You’re a tool because you actually have been led to care more for interests that don’t affect you than ones that do. That’s what a tool is dude.

    It all affects me.

    Robbing Enslaving Peter to pay Paul is always evil.

    1. It certainly doesn’t effect you as much as robbing you to pay Paul. Thinking so makes you Peter’s tool.

  28. You have a depraved understanding of “fairness”.

  29. Do people here think affirmative action college admits and legacy admits are as deserved as admissions based on grades and test scores? I mean, all are freely granted through voluntary exchanges…

    The same logic applies to inherited wealth dudes.

    1. Affirmative action admissions – unlike legacy admissions – are not voluntary exchanges if the AA admissions are a matter of government policy; the former is a matter of coerced government policy as after all.

    2. I don’t agitate for laws to prevent colleges from affirmative action or legacy admissions.

      Even if I did, it would be under the rationale that because government money given to the college was subsidizing discrimination disallowed by the Constitution, the government was effectively outsourcing unconstitutional behavior and must cut off funding unless the college changed its policy (this would technically be a restriction on the government, not the college).

      Inheritances are not subsidized by the government in any comparable way, nor is your definition of merit related to any sort of constitutional protection, so it’s an utterly worthless analogy.

      Here’s some “same logic” for you:
      Why should rich people’s offspring be entitled to a life of privilege just because they have wealthy (living) parents? For sake of fairness and equality, all children should be taken from their parents at birth, and randomly assigned to some family. Maybe the rich people’s kid will get a nice upbringing. Maybe he’ll be raised by an abusive alcoholic in a trailer park, or a ghetto crack whore. Who can say?

      Does that sound fair to you? If so, please, I encourage you to make this system a plank in the DNC platform next campaign season.

  30. a tax that falls only on people who ACTUALLY make or have more than a certain amount then I can’t help you…

    The estate tax is famously not levied on very large estates, which can afford the kind of planning/structuring that avoids it. (See, e.g., the Kennedys, DuPonts, etc.) It generally falls on middling large estates.

    How “progressive” is that?

  31. Do people here think affirmative action college admits and legacy admits are as deserved as admissions based on grades and test scores? I mean, all are freely granted through voluntary exchanges…

    What does “deserving” have to do with levying taxes, MNG?

    More redistributionist crypto-Marxist levelling.

  32. R.C. Dean,

    Well, it is a bit like campaign finance law as it applies to corporations; campaign finance law doesn’t do much to limit what very large firms do, they have the resources to deal with all the requirements, etc., it is middle sized corporations that get screwed.

  33. Do people here think affirmative action college admits and legacy admits are as deserved as admissions based on grades and test scores?

    Considering the fact that affirmative action involves coercion by a third party to alter the decisionmaking process, no.

    I mean, all are freely granted through voluntary exchanges…

    Wrong.

    Try harder STFU

  34. The news report Breaking News: New decade brings new book: Democracy it Don’t Come Easy can be found at http://www.allvoices.com/contr…..-come-easy

  35. Children provide the closest thing we have to immortality. That’s a valuable service. Guardianship and inheritance are both forms of payment for this service. That’s why kids deserve it.

    As for why spouses deserve it, for the same reason that they deserve alimony. Spouses do many valuable things without any sort of explicit payment due to a set of obligations that, while informal, are generally recognized and validated by society at large. If they are deprived of an estate that they shared in building through provision of emotional and financial support, free labor, and so on, that is unfair. The same arguments for laying claim to part of the spoils in a divorce apply to laying claim to the estate after a death.

    1. Re: anonymous,

      You do not have to fall for MNG’s logic trap. There is no need to justify inheritances from the standpoint of how deserving the receivers are or should be. The justification for inheritances and the validity of the transaction is that the estate is the private property of the person that inherits, and this his or her wishes as to how his or her estate is doled out is a voluntary contractual agreement between him o her and the inheritors. It does not matter if the inheritors came from someone’s vagina or were conjured up by necromancers – those are distinctions made by the clueless, marxoid ideologues, arguing from jealousy.

      It is invalid, immoral and unethical to tax inheritances because taxing them constitutes theft, pure and simple (the taking of someone’s property by force is defined as theft.)

      People like MNG want to spin inheritances as “undeserving” income because they unduly compare this with income that comes from toil and moil, or labor. They have this romanticized idea about labor, making any other source of honest income “undeserving” and thus allowed to be taxed. This is question-begging: The person making such argument assumes as valid what is deserving and what is not to argue for taxing the undeserved income. MNG fails to understand this.

      1. Perhaps. That said, you can support property rights (et al) while still believing that they only apply to the living.

        If the dead don’t have the right to own property, then they don’t have the right to transfer it (to their heirs or anyone else) either — the absence of a tax on certain estates or parts of estates could then simply be construed as a privilege granted by government, and that privilege could be dependent on some sort of merit or common good.

        It introduces practical problems, course, but it could be an ethically consistent view — in an increasingly materialistic society, it would make sense; reverence for the wishes of the dead has always had roots in spirituality and superstition, to some extent (the remaining extent would be reciprocity, if we’d like to have our final wishes respected as well).

        1. At the time someone is making a will or trust, he’s very much alive. He could create a bunch of individual documentary transfers of future interests and record them all, or he could create one will or trust to do the same thing.
          The theory you put forth would just push people to do a more inefficient method of transferring property – the separate future interests transfers wouldn’t be “dead man’s wishes”.

  36. Happy New Year my buddies!

    Auld Lang Syne

    “There’s no need to fear… and Happy New Year!”

  37. You know what’s pretty awesome? Underzog. There, I said it.

    Also, the Holocaust.

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