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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/cheeze-that-is-quite-the-point-bill-gates-19682897.aspx

Subject:  Re: Repubs vs Dems Date:  10/8/2003  10:28 AM
Author:  telegraph Number:  126676 of 882466

Cheeze: That is quite the point. Bill Gates doesn't pay $1.5 billion in taxes he earns, because he hasn't paid a dime in taxes on the Microsoft stock he holds. Those are unrealized capital gains, and they aren't subject to taxes of any kind unless he sells them. Warren Buffett has never paid a dime in taxes on his tens of billions in Berkshire Hathaway wealth, and likely never will.

And, believe it or not, MOST Americans who own a house will never pay any taxes on their 'unrealized gains'. Yet, I don't see you going after them!!!!!

THe average American buys a house, lives in it for years and years....until recently, one could 'roll over' the gains and never pay taxes....now, you have a $250,000/$500,000 gain exemption, for which I doubt Bill GAtes qualifies, but MOST homeowners do. And since only 2% of folks pay 'estate taxes', that means that 98% of folks don't.

Now, would you care to try that again, and explain why 'unrealized gains' are so terrible?

Anyone pays taxes immediately on salary, and on exercised options. Bill GAtes has sold billions in stock, paying capital gains taxes just like you and me. If he sold options, he paid regular tax rates on it, just like you and me.

Get over it.

Again, you are going after 'wealth'. Half the folks here retired because they had stock held during the 1990s, that went up by a factor of 10 or more. They have lots of unrealized gains.

ALl your 401Ks and IRAs are nothing but a lot of 'unrealized' gains after 10-20-30 years.....oh, you want that 'wealth' taxed, right????
They saved and invested, but you didn't, so now you want your 'share' of their wealth??

Both of these great business leaders have therefore been staunch advocates of liberal tax policies, most especially with regard to estate taxes -- the tax slandered by conservatives as the "death tax" -- understanding that its repeal would unfairly allow them to escape taxation altogether (the right wing's wet dream, but quite obviously an unfair way to build a responsible society).

That is a separate matter....and you are talking about 0.0001% or less of the US population.

Most folks in this category will die 'broke' with most of their money in trusts for their kids educations, for their wives or others who need care, and in FOUNDATIONS that are essentially untaxed 'unrealized gains'. You simply keep donating stocks to your charitable foundation, and most of it is untaxed anyway.

So????

EVer hear of the Ford Foundation? Carnegie Foundation? All that is unrealized capital gains...... Going back more than 100 years...


You go look at the dollar in your pocket. It doesn't say "This Belongs To Telegraph" on it. It says "Federal Reserve Note." That means it is not merely a possession of yours to be wilfully hoarded.

And I don't hold a whole lot of 'dollars' in my pocket..if you find me with more than $100 in the wallet, it is probably a special occasion....

I hold 'assets'...stocks, bonds, or have my money in the bank where it is loaned out to fund capitalism......

And I could hold Euros or Deutsch Marks just as easily....or have 90% of my assets invested overseas......so?


What it is is a social contract, a guarantee to all who use these dollars that it will represent some kind of social value, an expectation that the system of exchange it makes possible will allow commerce to take place.

NO, a dollar is a currency.....at one time backed by silver...but simply a currency...there is no 'contract', and their is no intrinsic value.....(well, old silver coins and gold coins yes, but paper and new coins, no).....it is no different from Saudi Riyals or Japanese Yen.....

There is no 'social' contract implied by a 'dollar'.

Where did you find this 'factoid'? reference please!

It only has value because of a grand social agreement, and your sense of entitlement -- yes *YOUR* sense of entitlement, telegraph -- that your mere ownership of that dollar grants you the expectation of a certain privilege, exists only as long as that system functions for the benefit of everybody.


Wrong...a dollar could care less who possesses it at any time, whether there are 50 billion deposited in Saudi and Qatari banks, or 50 billion in the treasury of the Sultan of Brunei, or in your pocket or mine. It is no different than you having 20 lbs of gold in your safe.....or 10 million in diamonds. It is simply a currency.

You attach all sorts of 'signficance' to dollars. Please explain, then, the 'social contract' part of the Mexican Peso and Chinese Yuan in the same terms. Or better yet, the German Mark during the reign of Hitler and the Ruble during the Cold WAr?

Did folks who owned them have a social contract? Did folks who smuggled in dollars into these countries have a US social contract?

When those dollars are used as instruments of exploitation, and when those dollars are used unfairly to warp the system and exempt people from their responsibility to create a just and reasonable society, you can expect your entitlements to be stripped away from you.

Sounds like communist babble to me...'exploitation of workers'....'warp the system'. Would it be any different with Yen? Please explain....is it different to be exploited by Pesos in Mexican sweatshops? or in Indonesia with their currency? Please explain!


And all your outrage and indignation and your belief in yourself as more worthy of society's gifts than the rest of us will serve you for nothing, because you placed yourself in claim of something that never belonged to you, at least not merely for the possession of these little scraps of paper.

Again, you have a 'wealth envy' that appear so big as to be totally amazing. I could, at this point, care less whether my assets are in acres of real estate, oil revenues or mineral rights, diamonds, gold, or silver.

The important thing is I worked and saved to accummulate them. You seem to deny me the fact, that as I worked, I paid hundred of thousands in taxes along the way, and paid my way and fair share. now that I have successfully accumulated enough 'assets' to retire, you are so enviously of 'my assets' that you are driven nuts about it...


Because, ultimately, you cannot buy respect, and no amount of money will entitle you to launch an immoral war, or to strip people of their dignity, to deny education to the poor, to deny health care to children or to the elderly, to tear down a neighborhood because you want to build a golf course, to block citizens for buying prescription drugs from overseas because it hurts profits, to bulldoze a national park if it drops another percent or two to the bottom line.

OK...how about a 'moral war'? And whose definition of 'moral' vs 'immoral' since these have to do with religion, and if you are a regular reader, you will know that telegraph is an atheist, so 'morals' are for the religious folks primarily....we go by 'ethics' not based upon fantasies of the god-thingies.

And your diatribe about 'health care' for the eldery, well, that is up to how much society can and is willing to afford..there is not infinite money for infinite health care. Sorry. It will have to be rationed....

Tear down neighborhoods? oh, section 8 housing....if you are an economist, you will find that property is put to the most cost effective use. If landlords decide to sell and build golf courses instead, why are you denying them the rights to do with their property what they want? If folks agree to sell their homes for a golf course, or set of condos, so what? Been happening for 500 years. What else is new.... eminent domain???? well, some is justified. I have heartburn with other uses to build shopping malls.....




Entitlement? Don't preach to me about entitlement. Take the rich off welfare and the poor won't need it.

Again, 'wealth envy'. There aren't enough 'rich' to take care of the 90% who would be 'poor' if they knew everything would be provided..they would save nothing....arriving at 65 having spent 100 or 110% of what they make, never saving a dime, since they knew Uncle Sam was going to give them housing, give them food stamps and food, give them medical care, and provide recreation for them.

Sorry, you are responsible for your financial well-being.

T.


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