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Author: LooseChange One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 74759  
Subject: Re: Soc. Sec. - Taxing Wealth vs. Taxing Income Date: 10/23/1998 6:52 PM
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An excerpt from my earlier post (#6214).
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The proposal mentioned in this series of articles is very scary to me for another reason. In the end
of the book, "The Millionaire Next Door," (which was on the Fool's recommended reading list at
one time I believe, it may still be) the author(s) make mention of the coming of a Federal tax on
wealth - not income (yes, a tax on money just sitting in the bank). The author(s) contend that this
will be necessary because of the fact that fewer and fewer people seem to be controlling more and
more of the wealth in this country. The author(s) also point out that some states are doing this (or
have done this) in the past. Georgia WAS one of those states I believe, and it was called the
"Inventory Tax." This is a very similar situation at the Federal level under this proposal; by not
distributing benefits back to the wealthy, the Fed. is essentially imposing an indirect tax on wealth.
This type of governmental policy could unlock some doors that I had much rather see remain
locked.
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I am not making a personal attack on Sonny120 here, because a lot of people share this liberal idea. After all, it appeared in print several years ago in the above mentioned book. This scares the heck out of me. To think that the gov't might have the chance to not only tax my income, but also tax my accumulated wealth.
According to the proposed solution in the series of articles and combining it with this wealth-tax idea (a direct tax on wealth, that is), not only would I not receive any SS benefits, but I may also lose part of my wealth base through which I generate my retirement income. All of this because I went ahead and put myself through graduate school right after undergrad. in order to get ahead. I lived in a subsidized complex (I was not subisidized) because my new job did not allow me to pay a DC metro area rent in fancy apartments and generate any savings. I sucked it up for 3-4 years in order to avoid going into huge debt. Finally found the right job in the Atlanta area so that I could start putting my financial future together. And now my wealth may be taxed (directly or indirectly - see article excerpt) so that Joe MarshMellowBehind that made 200k/yr but didn't save a dime in his life can survive through his golden years.

By and large, we are a result of decisions made throughout our lives. MOST people DO have a choice as to what type of life they will lead. Perhaps not a choice to be a billionaire, but most do have a choice to hold a steady job, save regularly for retirement, and not purchase items that they can't afford. It really concerns me that I may be penalized for the (hopefully good) choices that I have made in order to get ahead in life. People have to be accountable for the decisions they make without expecting someone to pick up the slack for them. There are people in this world that need (and receive) my charity and compassion a lot more than those that would benefit from this SS proposal. These are typically the people that don't have the above mentioned choices and REALLY need help just to survive.

If my attitude concerning the wage-base and means testing is "selfish and narrow-minded" as TMFRfk indicates in post #6236 then so be it. However, I just don't see that it is. I had much rather directly help the people that need it through charities that I trust and religious organizations than have the government figure it out for me. Let's face it, I just don't think they'll make the right decision - after all, I can operate my household in the black without writing IOU's, they don't seem to be able to.

Now if TMFRfk is referring to those wealth horders that sit on their money and refuse to help anyone through any charities - that IS selfish, and I'm in total agreement with him. But leave the government liberals out of the equation.

LooseChange
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