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The Best Way to Lose $5 Billion Dollars:
https://ofdollarsanddata.com/the-best-way-to-lose-5-billion-...

A good way to make and retain a fortune is to see what people did to *lose* a fortune and do the opposite.
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However, William H.’s death in late 1885 would cultivate the seeds of folly that would lead to the fall of House Vanderbilt. Within 20 years no Vanderbilt would be among the richest people in America, and:

When 120 of the Commodore’s descendants gathered at Vanderbilt University in 1973 for the first family reunion, there was not a millionaire among them.


And yet people want to keep/increase the estate tax because they are afraid of dynasties.

JLC
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And yet people want to keep/increase the estate tax because they are afraid of dynasties.

Get rid of the estate tax and treat inherited assets the same way as other assets. Of course, you won't like that solution.

PSU
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And yet people want to keep/increase the estate tax because they are afraid of dynasties.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Who is better qualified to squander the fortune, the family/heirs or the government?
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Get rid of the estate tax and treat inherited assets the same way as other assets. Of course, you won't like that solution.

I was thinking about this very subject this morning.

Anyone know the history of why we have stepped-up cost basis at death? I don't see the rationale.

This rule actually discourages economic activity as people with a lot of unrealized gains often hold onto those assets to pass to their heirs to avoid taxation. If it was going to be taxed the same when sold, then there would be no reason to delay spending.

The heirs get a windfall either way and it isn't as if they can't afford the taxes when they sell. It would also, as you elude to, address or eliminate the need for an estate tax.

We also transfer the cost basis when assets are gifted so why excluding such at death doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.
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PSUEngineer writes,

<<JLC: And yet people want to keep/increase the estate tax because they are afraid of dynasties.>>

Get rid of the estate tax and treat inherited assets the same way as other assets. Of course, you won't like that solution.

</snip>


I would love to see the Estate Tax replaced by "Capital Gains Tax at Death". That would prevent people from complaining about the much smaller Estate Tax.

intercst
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Anyone know the history of why we have stepped-up cost basis at death? I don't see the rationale.

It's to avoid a double taxation. If you pay estate taxes on the inherited property and didn't have a step up in basis, you'd get taxed again on the same money.

Take a 100k stock at death with a 10k basis. And let's go back to some older tax rates - 70% income tax (with 1/2 of long term gains excluded - so effectively a 35% rate on LTCG) and 50% estate tax.

Your 100k inheritance would have 50k of estate tax. To pay that tax, you'd have to sell the stock. So you have a 90k gain taxed at 35%, or 31.5k of income tax. That's 81.5k of the 100k going away to taxes.

That's why there's a step up in basis.

Tax rates have changed, but the rationale for the step up hasn't.

--Peter
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It's to avoid a double taxation. If you pay estate taxes on the inherited property and didn't have a step up in basis, you'd get taxed again on the same money.

Take a 100k stock at death with a 10k basis. And let's go back to some older tax rates - 70% income tax (with 1/2 of long term gains excluded - so effectively a 35% rate on LTCG) and 50% estate tax.

Your 100k inheritance would have 50k of estate tax. To pay that tax, you'd have to sell the stock. So you have a 90k gain taxed at 35%, or 31.5k of income tax. That's 81.5k of the 100k going away to taxes.

That's why there's a step up in basis.

Tax rates have changed, but the rationale for the step up hasn't.


There isn't double taxation if you get rid of the estate tax and just apply capital gain tax rates.

PSU
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Anyone know the history of why we have stepped-up cost basis at death? I don't see the rationale.

The stepped-up basis at death is good if you happen to inherit Aunt Mae's AT&T stock that she acquired on several dates sometime in the 1960s. You don't know because you don't have the records.

PSU
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It's to avoid a double taxation. If you pay estate taxes on the inherited property and didn't have a step up in basis, you'd get taxed again on the same money.

The vast majority of people don't pay estate tax. Additionally, one likely came before the other I would assume. I doubt they both became law at the same time. I wonder if for simplicity sake, a removal of stepped up basis and an elimination of any estate tax would work. I think Canada already has something like such.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estate_tax_in_the_United_State...

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–$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.[43][44]

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/ninetyestate.pdf

The Revenue Act of 1916 (39 Stat. 756) created
a tax on the transfer of wealth from an estate to its
beneficiaries, and thus was levied on the estate, as
opposed to an inheritance tax that is levied directly
on beneficiaries. It applied to net estates, defined
as the total property owned by a decedent, the gross
estate, less deductions. An exemption of $50,000
was allowed for residents; however nonresidents who
owned property in the United States received no exemption.
Tax rates were graduated from 1 percent on
the first $50,000 to 10 percent on the portion exceeding
$5 million.


A New Estate Tax: Eliminating the Step-Up in Basis at Death
http://www.taxanalysts.org/content/new-estate-tax-eliminatin...

A. The Long-Criticized Provision

In 1973 Michael J. Graetz noted that "commentators have long criticized as inequitable the present practice of leaving untaxed those estates composed of unrealized appreciation while taxing appreciation when assets are sold prior to death."9 Around the same time, Stanley Surrey and Jerome Kurtz identified the failure to fully tax assets transferred at death as "the most serious defect in our federal tax structure today."10 Four decades later, we still face the same basic problem: The basis step-up at death allows large concentrations of wealth -- potentially an enormous percentage of a wealthy individual's net worth -- to escape capital gains taxation. In this light, the basis step-up stands out even among the modern code's myriad large tax exemptions.

The Obama administration's proposal to replace section 1014 with a provision that would treat a death or non-charitable gift as a taxable event appears to be a plausible and effective way to ensure that large accumulations of wealth do not avoid taxation. It would undoubtedly increase federal tax revenue substantially. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the capital gains exclusion in section 1014 is a $50 billion tax expenditure.11

Much of this $50 billion tax expenditure benefits households in the highest income bracket: 65 percent of the tax benefit goes to the top quintile of households, while an extraordinary 21 percent goes to the top 1 percent of households.12 For those who favor at least a mildly progressive tax system, the central policy problems presented by section 1014 are obvious: It is an incredibly expensive and highly regressive tax expenditure.

...

Section 1014 has been described as an "extraordinary rule" that leads individuals to sell their loss property before death to take advantage of a loss deduction and to retain their gain property so their heirs can take advantage of the basis step-up.14 The result is a lock-in effect, because the code provides a strong economic disincentive to sell gain assets before death, even when that sale would otherwise be in the asset holder's best interest. These purely tax-driven incentives create substantial deadweight loss by discouraging the free exchange of property.

----------

More at the link.
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You don't know because you don't have the records.

Yes, such a rule change could only go back to about 2011 or 2012 as cost basis tracking was not well regulated before those years.

I am personally familiar with people that have six and seven figures of taxable assets for which they lack cost basis records. Some assets would have to be grandfathered if we made such a change.
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The vast majority of people don't pay estate tax.

That the reason I said people may not like the solution. Many of those estates that are not taxed under the estate tax now become taxable with the elimination of the bump up in value.

PSU
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There isn't double taxation if you get rid of the estate tax and just apply capital gain tax rates.

OK. But that's not the question that was asked.

The question was about history - why there was a step up in basis at death.

--Peter
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Yes, such a rule change could only go back to about 2011 or 2012 as cost basis tracking was not well regulated before those years.

Don't forget that the really big assets aren't stocks sitting in brokerage accounts. They're real estate, privately owned businesses and similar assets. None of those have any cost basis tracking by third parties.

--Peter
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Get rid of the estate tax and treat inherited assets the same way as other assets. Of course, you won't like that solution.

I don't like any solution that taxes my monies multiple times.

Sure I'm rich, more than 1%er rich, and started from zero other than an education. And like all those people you read about in "The Millionaire Next Door", I earned the money, saved the money, and invested the money. And its been taxed multiple times along the way (earned, saved, invested via income, interest, dividend, cap gains, and corporate taxes).

I totally get the need for taxes because I seriously doubt that I would have the fortune I have from any other country. What I don't get is that after all these taxes, why yet another tax on my estate? It has been taxed all along the accumulation phase. But don't worry, like Warren Buffet, I have people and things are arranged in such a way as to pay zero estate taxes. It is just another hurdle the government puts in the way.

JLC
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JLC analyzes,

It has been taxed all along the accumulation phase.

Hardly. You haven't been taxed until you've paid a capital gains tax on the unrealized gains in the accumulation.

Surprising that a physician has such trouble understanding 5th grade arithmetic.

intercst
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I don't like any solution that taxes my monies multiple times.

So you don't have any untaxed capital gains?

PSU
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There isn't double taxation if you get rid of the estate tax and just apply capital gain tax rates.

Why do people only look at things from one perspective and not from any other?

What if the estate is mostly illiquid assets? A farm, a private company, a zillion shares of a $300,000 per share stock, a few large luxury hotel/buildings, etc.

The bigger question is why does the government think it should get a chunk of somebody's estate when they die[*]. It's like the scene at the end of Zorba The Greek, where all the locals were just waiting for the widow to die and then they took everything they could carry. Ghouls.

============================
[*] Yes, I know. The answer to that is "Because they have the guns."
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It is only mid-upper-class (in financial terms) people who pay estate taxes.

The poor (obviously) don't.

The very rich don't. They pay lawyers to set up things--foundations & trusts & such--so that their estate doesn't get taxed.

The Kennedy's, the Rockefeller's -- they don't pay estate taxes. Those dynasties just keep rolling along, generation after generation. So the whole business of "estate tax to prevent dynasties" is a big fail.
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The bigger question is why does the government think it should get a chunk of somebody's estate when they die[*].

Why do you think dead people assets should be treated differently than live people assets?

Here's a very simplified example. Joe has only one asset - BRK stock with a cost basis of $100,000 and a value of $1.1 million. He has just one living relative in his will - his daughter Mary. Joe plans to sell all his BRK stock for a once in a lifetime first class trip around the world.

Scenario A: Joe sells all his stock. Joe enjoys his trip around the world. He owes $200,000 in capital gains tax.

Scenario B: Joe falls down the stairs and dies while on his way to his computer to sell his stock. He owes no tax. Mary inherits $1.1 million and owes no tax.

Why is it that you think Joe, the person who did all the work to earn the $1.1 million, should pay tax while Mary, who did nothing but be fortunate to have Joe as her father, pay nothing if her father dies?

Now if you get rid of the estate tax and eliminate the stepped up basis, Mary would be treated identically to Joe and owe the same amount of tax as Joe would have paid. I don't understand the concept of treating people who inherit money better than the people who earned it.

PSU
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Rayvt analyzes,

It is only mid-upper-class (in financial terms) people who pay estate taxes.

The poor (obviously) don't.

The very rich don't. They pay lawyers to set up things--foundations & trusts & such--so that their estate doesn't get taxed.

The Kennedy's, the Rockefeller's -- they don't pay estate taxes. Those dynasties just keep rolling along, generation after generation. So the whole business of "estate tax to prevent dynasties" is a big fail.

</snip>


I don't know if it's "estate taxes", but I don't seem to find any Rockerfellers or Kennedys on the Forbes 400. (The Waltons of WalMart and the Koch Brothers are still there.)

Also if any mid-upper class folks are paying any estate taxes, it's likely due to ignorance, inattention, and the lack of a few thousand dollars of legal help. We had an illuminating thread on METAR a while back where an estate attorney set one hapless one-percenter straight.

http://boards.fool.com/i39m-going-to-be-kinda-harsh-here-for...

intercst
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The bigger question is why does the government think it should get a chunk of somebody's estate when they die

Same reason the "goverment" thinks it take take money you earn from the sweat of your brow. They need money.

I think the estate tax is the greatest tax ever invented, because you don't pay it until you're dead. Imagine how cool it would be if FICA was like that.
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I don't understand the concept of treating people who inherit money better than the people who earned it.

From a tax standpoint the dumbest possible way to earn money is to work for it.
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From a tax standpoint the dumbest possible way to earn money is to work for it.

In the example, he DIDN'T work for it. It was all price appreciation.

Removal of stepped up basis simply states that someone will eventually be taxed on gains. That isn't double taxation as some would suggest as those gains have never been taxed.

I'd take it even one step further, taxation only at realization. So if you inherit $1,000,000 in BRK, the cost basis transfers to you and you don't pay the tax until you sell - not when you inherit.
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> The bigger question is why does the government think it should get a chunk of somebody's estate when they die[*].

The assets are not taxed upon death.

They are taxed upon distribution. When the second party gains the asset, then it is taxed. (but even then not all that often)
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Same reason the "goverment" thinks it take take money you earn from the sweat of your brow. They need money.

There's that and the fact that if the government were to own revenue producing enterprises, he'd be soiling his shorts because, you know, SOCIALISM.

Churchy
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> Also if any mid-upper class folks are paying any estate taxes, it's likely due to ignorance, inattention, and the lack of a few thousand dollars of legal help. We had an illuminating thread on METAR a while back where an estate attorney set one hapless one-percenter straight.

Who in the world, thinks a one-percenter, no matter how hapless is part of the mid-upper class?!

Just because the GOP destroyed the middle class, people keep raising the bar for middle class income so they can feel better about the rewards of being middle class.

Pretty soon the lowest end of the one-percenters will be the bottom of the middle class.

https://dqydj.com/united-states-household-income-brackets-pe...

The middle class in 2017 made between 29k and 105k.
Middle Class: the half of American households that were in the middle of income distribution

Stated differently if you are in a household that made over 105k then you are in the richest 25% of American households.

You may not like how limited the rich are in the US, but this is what we have created by destroying unions and public education and then privatizing health insurance.

The middle class is not doing well in America.

Upper middle class maxes out at 105k per year.

They are not leaving estates big enough to get close the the inheritance tax exception limit.

Mark.
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From a tax standpoint the dumbest possible way to earn money is to work for it.

That's because the tax system was designed by people who didn't work for a living for the benefit of people who don't work for a living. From a tax standpoint, it's cheaper to be retired than it was to be employed. No FICA, for one thing. That saves close to $8k/year by itself. Being in what used to be the 15% tax bracket also means qualified dividends from my brokerage account are taxed at 0%. Back when I was employed, all dividends were taxed at a non-zero rate regardless of employment status. Not paying tax on "qualified" dividends will save about $2400 for tax year 2017.

And that's just 2 examples.

Churchy
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hrse asks,

Who in the world, thinks a one-percenter, no matter how hapless is part of the mid-upper class?!

</snip>


What's upper, middle or lower is a matter of opinion. That's why I prefer the statistical definition of the Top 1% in income or wealth. For 2017, you enter the Top 1% with a $430,000/yr income or a $10.4 million net worth.

There's no question that if you're in the Top 1% you are richer than the other 99%. Though I agree that most one-percenters think they're middle class.

intercst
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Stated differently if you are in a household that made over 105k then you are in the richest 25% of American households.

That's if you measure it by income. However, "rich" usually refers to having lots of assets more than it does to income. If you have a net worth of $2.5 million, regardless of realized income, you have more in assets than 96% of all Americans.

If you're retired, even if you're faced with RMD's from a conventional IRA, you still have more control over your realized income than you would if you held down a job.

Churchy
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Also if any mid-upper class folks are paying any estate taxes, it's likely due to ignorance, inattention, and the lack of a few thousand dollars of legal help.



Right, so just who gets hit by estate tax, then? Sounds like just people who: a) die with several million dollars of assets and b) are ignorant and/or lazy.

So why all the hoo-rah about the estate tax then?

Poor people don't pay it, middle class people don't pay it, very rich people only pay it if they don't use a lawyer, and upper-middle class people only pay it if they don't use a lawyer.
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I'd take it even one step further, taxation only at realization. So if you inherit $1,000,000 in BRK, the cost basis transfers to you and you don't pay the tax until you sell - not when you inherit.

This is probably the fairest and most reasonable way.

The only flaw is that it depends on human nature being something other than what it is.

It fails only in the circumstance that the heirs don't want to pay tax. That's the problem with all these tax things. People respond to incentives, and people have a large incentive to NOT pay taxes.

I'm not a lawyer, but I can come up with a handful of ways to get the benefits of the money without selling. I'm sure plenty of $1000/hr lawyers could come up with even more.

The first easiest way is to just borrow money using the stock as collateral.
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.Right, so just who gets hit by estate tax, then? Sounds like just people who: a) die with several million dollars of assets and b) are ignorant and/or lazy.

So why all the hoo-rah about the estate tax then?

Poor people don't pay it, middle class people don't pay it, very rich people only pay it if they don't use a lawyer, and upper-middle class people only pay it if they don't use a lawyer.


snippet:

Why is the estate tax important?

Very wealthy Americans have many ways to avoid paying their fair share in taxes. Some billionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than an average worker. Large portions of the incomes of the very rich are never taxed at all.

American society is rapidly becoming divided between the extremely rich — the top 1% — and everyone else. Huge family fortunes are passed down from generation to generation, creating a new American aristocracy. The estate tax is a small step toward leveling the playing field. And revenues generated by the estate tax — $14 billion in 2013 from 2,667 deaths — help fund essential services enjoyed by all.

Correcting misinformation about the estate tax

Conservatives misleadingly imply that every American will have to pay the estate tax when he or she dies. But this is pure propaganda — only 1 out of every 700 deaths results in paying estate taxes.

Conservatives claim that many small, family-owned farms and businesses must be sold to pay estate taxes. But in the entire country just 20 small, family-owned farms and businesses owe any estate tax a year. Virtually none of them get sold to pay the estate tax.
Conservatives claim that the estate tax constitutes “double taxation” because it applies to assets that already have been taxed once as income. But large estates consist mostly of “unrealized” capital gains that have never been taxed, like income from Wall Street investments and from real estate.


Churchy
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Whoops.

The article from whence the snippet arose.

https://americansfortaxfairness.org/tax-fairness-briefing-bo...

Churchy
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Rayvt asks,

So why all the hoo-rah about the estate tax then?

</snip>


Because it's like any other tax. If you reduce the Estate Tax, you have the raise another tax, or cut someone's benefit to make up for the loss in revenue. Or failing that, increase the deficit and national debt.

Unless you believe in the "trickle-down" fairy tale that tax-cuts increase revenue.

intercst
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Rayvt writes,


The first easiest way is to just borrow money using the stock as collateral.

</snip>


Sure. But then you're being "taxed" by the interest rate on the margin loan secured by stuff you already own.

intercst
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Sure. But then you're being "taxed" by the interest rate on the margin loan secured by stuff you already own.

intercst



But, but, but, there are people who would rather pay dollars in interest to save cents in taxes.

I think it's kind of stupid, and apparently you do as well. But who are we to say them nay?

Apparently, if the money is going anywhere but to a government, it's a "good" tax, whereas if it goes to a government, it's as if one were flushing money down the toilet.

Churchy
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Cutting the estate tax doesn't have to lead to raising other taxes. Spending could be curtailed as an alternative...
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I'd take it even one step further, taxation only at realization. So if you inherit $1,000,000 in BRK, the cost basis transfers to you and you don't pay the tax until you sell - not when you inherit.

Clearly you don't live in Omaha, NE. If Uncle Warren dies and leaves me some BRK shares in his will, I will be paying taxes on the market value of the BRK shares on the day that he died. Nebraska is one of the few states that has an inheritance tax. And, as I am not directly related to him, I believe that the tax rate is 18%.
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Poor people don't pay it, middle class people don't pay it, very rich people only pay it if they don't use a lawyer, and upper-middle class people only pay it if they don't use a lawyer.
=======================================
Actually, the very rich people will generally will pay some estate tax at the death of the second spouse, but good planning by a good lawyer will probably keep it to a minimum, certainly less than the 40% top rate.

I was amused at a seminar I went to a few years ago, by an estate lawyer from a trust company, who discussed the political aspects to changing the estate tax. Basically, there was a conflict in lobbying positions between the "rich" and the "super-rich." What the "rich" wanted was a bigger exemption amount, which would solve most of their estate tax problems. The "super-rich" knew that they'd have to eventually pay some estate tax, so they didn't care as much about the exemption as the top rate; i.e., if the top rate came down from 45% to 35%, that would save $20 million on a $200 million estate. Far more than a bigger exemption amount would be. So we ended up with a bigger exemption and a rate of 40%. A good compromise that satisfied the Republicans' two biggest constituencies - the rich and the super-rich.

Bill
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It has been taxed all along the accumulation phase.

Hardly.


Then WTF is all those withholdings on my W2. Surprised you can't grasp the concept that ALL my monies/wealth first began with a PAYCHECK. All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income.

JLC
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Then WTF is all those withholdings on my W2. Surprised you can't grasp the concept that ALL my monies/wealth first began with a PAYCHECK. All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income.


How so? Your income via paycheck is taxed. I will grant you that. But the unrealized capital gains were not part of that paycheck, and so were not taxed. They are actually not taxed until they become realized gains, and then it is only the gains that are taxed, and not the basis, which would be money that came out of that paycheck. So no, you are not paying taxes on the money twice.
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If you reduce the Estate Tax, you have the raise another tax, or cut someone's benefit to make up for the loss in revenue. Or failing that, increase the deficit and national debt.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Perhaps we could try something no politician ever thought of: REDUCE SPENDING.
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Apparently, if the money is going anywhere but to a government, it's a "good" tax, whereas if it goes to a government, it's as if one were flushing money down the toilet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As opposed to paying a tax attorney to effect tax avoidance. Eliminate all the special exclusions, deductions, exemptions, etc., and you will cause many tax attorneys to go out of business, and you will more evenly distribute the tax burdens for everyone.
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All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

That certainly is a novel approach to arithmetic.
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jlc: "All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income."

That is why I am trying to wean myself from political threads on this board.

How can one reasonably claim that unrealized gains are 'taxed as income'?

You make a $100. You pay a $20 tax on that $100. You pay bills with $70. You invest the remaining $10. The $10 grows to be $100. Yes, you paid taxes on the original earnings, but the $90 in growth is an unrealized gain. It has not been taxed until it has been traded and realized and even then the original $10 is not being taxed again. The original $10 is the cost basis of the new investment. It only got taxed when you earned it.

What am I missing here?
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Sorry. Had I read ahead, I would have seen that 2gifts already articulated a clear and concise reply.
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Then WTF is all those withholdings on my W2. Surprised you can't grasp the concept that ALL my monies/wealth first began with a PAYCHECK. All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income.

Your accountant is stealing from you.
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JLC:

{{{It has been taxed all along the accumulation phase.}}}

<<<Hardly.>>>

"Then WTF is all those withholdings on my W2."

Taxes on your income.

"Surprised you can't grasp the concept that ALL my monies/wealth first began with a PAYCHECK."

I suspect that most (if not all of us) have a grasp on that, but of course we do not know if you have any inherited wealth, but you conclusion does not follow.

All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income."

All those unrealized capital gains were not taxed, only your basis was previously taxed as income.

In addition, the federal estate tax is a transfer tax. And no one need pay federal estate if one's estate is left to charity.

Regards, JAFO
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Middle Class: the half of American households that were in the middle of income distribution.

I've lived nearly all my life in the United States but still don't understand why there is this belief that because one has an income in the second, third, and fourth income quintiles that they are Middle Class. These are the income ranges where the working and middle classes overlap.

In my mind it is one's occupation and the degree of control over one's work environment that determines whether one is in the Middle Class. Business owners, senior management of corporations, doctors, lawyers, engineers, and college professors are Middle Class occupations. In the latter part of their careers their incomes will be in the fifth income quintile with annual incomes above $120K.

The middle class in 2017 made between 29k and 105k.

I would consider those in the first half of this income range as Working Class. But, then, I don't see anything wrong with being identified as Working Class. If you look at immigration records, you will find that your ancestors were classified as "laborers" when they arrived in the United States.
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We had alternative facts, now we have alternative Math! :-) HA!

jlc: "All those unrealized cap gains were first taxed as income."

That is why I am trying to wean myself from political threads on this board.

How can one reasonably claim that unrealized gains are 'taxed as income'?

You make a $100. You pay a $20 tax on that $100. You pay bills with $70. You invest the remaining $10. The $10 grows to be $100. Yes, you paid taxes on the original earnings, but the $90 in growth is an unrealized gain. It has not been taxed until it has been traded and realized and even then the original $10 is not being taxed again. The original $10 is the cost basis of the new investment. It only got taxed when you earned it.

What am I missing here?
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UCONNGuy: Perhaps we could try something no politician ever thought of: REDUCE SPENDING.

Fine. We can start with your Social Security, ok? Paul Ryan is already on that path.

CNC
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Fine. We can start with your Social Security, ok? Paul Ryan is already on that path.

CNC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How clever--------- NOT. SS seriously needs to be reformed. I could survive a haircut in benefits, in fact, I expect it will come in the near future. If mine is cut, yours will be, too. So, be careful what you wish for.

The Fed needs to stop doing things they're not supposed to be doing; like health insurance, Education, and other things not enumerated in the Constitution.

The first thing cut after my SS might be your SNAP.
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Ufan: "The Fed needs to stop doing things they're not supposed to be doing; like health insurance, Education, and other things not enumerated in the Constitution.
The first thing cut after my SS might be your SNAP."

Have you looked at the numbers? Do you think that a 'haircut' on SS befits, and cuts in health insurance and education will come close to offsetting the upcoming deficits?

https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-w...
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Have you looked at the numbers? Do you think that a 'haircut' on SS befits, and cuts in health insurance and education will come close to offsetting the upcoming deficits?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Every journey of 20,000,000,000 miles begins with a single step. You'll get nowhere if you move the finish line out another 1,000,000,000 miles without taking the first step.
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Ufan: "Every journey of 20,000,000,000 miles begins with a single step. You'll get nowhere if you move the finish line out another 1,000,000,000 miles without taking the first step."

I think that is a failure to address an important question.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and military comprise over 60% of the budget. If we want to cut taxes by a significant amount we should be able to pay for those cuts over the long run.

Politicians who promise to buy votes with huge tax cuts for the rich, and then promise to close growing trillion dollar deficits with comparatively miniscule spending cuts are pulling the wool over our eyes.

I wish all of us would ask all of the politicians in all of the parties to "Show me the numbers" when they propose tax cuts or spending increases. We cannot continue to allow them to say that they will balance the budget by cutting spending on general nouns like "pork" and "waste" and claim "it's a start" without addressing real deficits with real numbers.
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jgc123 writes,

I wish all of us would ask all of the politicians in all of the parties to "Show me the numbers" when they propose tax cuts or spending increases. We cannot continue to allow them to say that they will balance the budget by cutting spending on general nouns like "pork" and "waste" and claim "it's a start" without addressing real deficits with real numbers.

</snip>


If we have $3 Trillion to fund the expensive and embarrassing misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, we got enough to fund anything and everything.

intercst
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We also transfer the cost basis when assets are gifted so why excluding such at death doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

When the estate tax laws were written, which was before computers were common, it wasn't easy to determine the purchase price of an asset after the owner died, especially if the owner was the un-involved spouse of the actual purchaser. Bundling the assets together and taxing them as a whole was easier, reasonable, and predictable.
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> If you look at immigration records, you will find that your ancestors were classified as "laborers" when they arrived in the United States.

I only have to go back to my father to find a "laborers". Although being a union electrician who invested in real estate on the side, allowed for my father to have a softer life than most laborers.

Mark
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> Though I agree that most one-percenters think they're middle class.


I agree that they may think it.

It could be that thinking they are middle class might relieve them of the responsibility of being wealthy, and following through on all the things they grew up thinking they would do with their wealth, if they ever made it rich. But I don't know. You would have to ask someone who makes more than 105k a year and does not accept the fact that they are rich.
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" You haven't been taxed until you've paid a capital gains tax on the unrealized gains in the accumulation."


And a good portion of the rise in value is not due to 'economic activity' but simply due to inflation.

Without a step up in value, a good chunk of your 'estate tax' is taxing inflation.

If you don't want 'step up in value' you should be able to have 'un-inflated value'.


t
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> That's if you measure it by income. However, "rich" usually refers to having lots of assets more than it does to income. If you have a net worth of $2.5 million, regardless of realized income, you have more in assets than 96% of all Americans.


Taxable income and income are different things. But yes, there are exceptions to the rule.

Here are net worth in America by various brackets:

https://dqydj.com/net-worth-brackets-wealth-brackets-one-per...

Middle Net wealth seems to be between 10k and 370k.

Although those who recently started making income and those recently done making income could be in vastly different brackets, I would guess that most people are within the same neighborhood in both income and wealth.
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It could be that thinking they are middle class might relieve them of the responsibility of being wealthy, and following through on all the things they grew up thinking they would do with their wealth, if they ever made it rich. But I don't know. You would have to ask someone who makes more than 105k a year and does not accept the fact that they are rich.

This topic has come up on the LBYM board before.

I'm not a 1%'er, but fortunate enough to be in a dual professional income household. The primary reason I can think of is that a high income doesn't make you instantly rich/wealthy. One significant factor is age, and how long you've had a high income. It takes years - decades really - for compounding to do its magic. Unless you are making and saving stupid amounts of money (think hundreds of thousands a year), it is very difficult to become "rich" quickly.
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telegraph: "And a good portion of the rise in value is not due to 'economic activity' but simply due to inflation."

Hard to know in advance, and no different than capital gains, which are calculated and taxed in the same manner.

"If you don't want 'step up in value' you should be able to have 'un-inflated value'."

Except that you are giving the uninflated value.

Regards, JAFO
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> I'm not a 1%'er, but fortunate enough to be in a dual professional income household. The primary reason I can think of is that a high income doesn't make you instantly rich/wealthy. One significant factor is age, and how long you've had a high income. It takes years - decades really - for compounding to do its magic. Unless you are making and saving stupid amounts of money (think hundreds of thousands a year), it is very difficult to become "rich" quickly.

I am not talking about financially independently wealthy. Where the wealth makes enough money to generate income to live comfortably from.

I am talking about 'high income earners' vs 'middle class'.

If you only classify as rich, those who can stop earning with their labor (even intellectual labor) and just let the money make more money, and everyone under that level of wealth is middle class or lower, then we disagree on semantics.
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I'm not a 1%'er, but fortunate enough to be in a dual professional income household. The primary reason I can think of is that a high income doesn't make you instantly rich/wealthy. One significant factor is age, and how long you've had a high income. It takes years - decades really - for compounding to do its magic. Unless you are making and saving stupid amounts of money (think hundreds of thousands a year), it is very difficult to become "rich" quickly.

Actually it depends on how long you consider "quickly" to be---amd ---
Not making stupid investments---and---
The "need to make it, to survive attitude" that you have---and---
The willingness to work at accomplishing your goals ---and---
Courage

That's what is needed.

b&w
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I am not talking about financially independently wealthy. Where the wealth makes enough money to generate income to live comfortably from.

I am talking about 'high income earners' vs 'middle class'.


Eventually, there can be a crossover if high income earners take advantage of things like matching 401K money if available or even maximizing whatever retirement options are available. Have a couple of kids and save to pay for their college(because as a high earner, there will only be merit aid but encourage them to do well enough in school to get some). Once they are done college, that saving and expense falls away. Frugality can be a great habit - frugality, not cheapness.

One day, a person like this can look at the bottom line of a net worth statement and they are "rich." They may have considered themselves middle class, maybe even "comfortable" so "rich" is unfamiliar.
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I think that is a failure to address an important question.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Unlike others on these Foolish boards, I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I do know that without spending discipline, our debt will continue to mount. It is already beyond the level that it could be taxed away. The devil is in the details, and condescending statements like, "start with your social security benefits" add nothing intelligent to the discussion.
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The devil is in the details but I am not sure how any of us can add anything intelligent to a budget debate about a budget without some willingness to look at the numbers to see how the reality matches up with our platitudes (on either side). Oh well. Time to renew my effort to stop putting politics on this board.
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I'm fascinated by this fascination some have with getting a hold of dead people's money.

Is it like a gold rush/gold fever thing? Or is it a latent Marxist "it's just not fair" mob thing?
Yelling "The bourgeois pig has died -- storm his gates, break into his estate, grab your rightful share of the pounds of flesh he extracted from you!"

What ever happened to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (private property being an essential element in the Founders use of that last term).
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I'm fascinated by this fascination some have with getting a hold of dead people's money.

I'm for all assets being treated equally - dead people and live people assets.

What ever happened to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"

The person is dead. No life and they're done pursuing happiness.

PSU
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.... dead people’s money.


What ever happened to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (private property being an essential element in the Founders use of that last term).


So if you have no life (ie, dead) , why do you need private property?
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Is it like a gold rush/gold fever thing? Or is it a latent Marxist "it's just not fair" mob thing?
Yelling "The bourgeois pig has died -- storm his gates, break into his estate, grab your rightful share of the pounds of flesh he extracted from you!"

What ever happened to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (private property being an essential element in the Founders use of that last term).


No, more like a "being a responsible and pragmatic citizen" thing. The Founders weren't stupid. They understood that taxes are required to maintain a free society and specifically gave Congress the power to tax. Since the Founders didn't have a problem with notion of taxes, why should you?

And since we have to have taxes, then it makes sense for them to be as fair and as smart as we can make them. Congress recently changed the tax code, such that tuition wavers are now considered taxable income, effectively making college more expensive for many students, especially graduate students. As Ronald Reagan said "if you want less of something, tax it." Is that smart way to raise revenues? Are we really so short on money that we have to tax college students? Do we really want to use the tax code to discourage education?

Yet, money you did nothing to earn--didn't risk it in investments, didn't get it in exchange for your labor, nothing--isn't taxed. Why are tuition wavers evil, but doing nothing is sacred?

Is this good governance?
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> Though I agree that most one-percenters think they're middle class.


I agree that they may think it.

... But I don't know. You would have to ask someone who makes more than 105k a year and does not accept the fact that they are rich.


Where does this idea that one is rich because they have a household income over $105K? In some states, you would definitely be considered rich if you had an annual income of $105K. In others, you would still be in the middle class until your income exceeded $150K.

http://www.businessinsider.com/middle-class-income-us-state-...

It does seem a little strange now that I'm retired and required to make RMD withdrawals, I'm no longer in the middle class but am now considered rich by others.
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The Founders weren't stupid. They understood that taxes are required to maintain a free society and specifically gave Congress the power to tax. Since the Founders didn't have a problem with notion of taxes, why should you?

Except that in the beginnings of our country the federal government could only tax via tariffs and excise taxes. It wasn't until 1913 that the 16th Amendment was added.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

The US Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional, the 10th amendment forbidding any powers not expressed in the US Constitution, and there being no power to impose any other than a direct tax by apportionment.

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system.


I expect the founding fathers would be appalled by the current size and scope of the US government as they did everything in their power to keep the federal government small and to maximize individual freedom. The states were to be far more various with their taxes and power compared to the federal government.

Can we really be said to own our home and land when we have to pay considerable yearly taxes to retain them?

Currently we are taxed on every type of transaction imaginable and we are supposed to be thankful when a tax code provides us with some form of "exemption".

A true simplification of the tax code is very past due.
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I expect the founding fathers would be appalled by the current size and scope of the US government as they did everything in their power to keep the federal government small and to maximize individual freedom.

Except the worst affront to individual freedom imaginable, slavery, was perfectly legal. So, there's that.

And women couldn't vote. And regular people couldn't vote in lots of states. And it was illegal to be gay, and you couldn't drink beer on Sunday. So...no. Maximizing individual freedom wasn't really on the agenda.

Can we really be said to own our home and land when we have to pay considerable yearly taxes to retain them?

Yes, you really can. But if property taxes offend you, here's what you do: Take the Constitution out for a test drive. Use your right of free speech to rally your friends and neighbors. Use your right to petition the government and let them know exactly what you think. Use your powers of persuasion to convince your elected officials to eliminate property taxes.

And then don't be surprised when some of your friends and neighbors say they want good schools and roads and police and fire protection and everything else that property taxes pay for.

Then you can correctly conclude that your tax bill is the result of the democratic process just as the Founders intended, and not a plot by the evil gummit to steal your freedom.
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TMFBreakerOrion:

{{{The Founders weren't stupid. They understood that taxes are required to maintain a free society and specifically gave Congress the power to tax. Since the Founders didn't have a problem with notion of taxes, why should you?}}}

"Except that in the beginnings of our country the federal government could only tax via tariffs and excise taxes. It wasn't until 1913 that the 16th Amendment was added.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

The US Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional, the 10th amendment forbidding any powers not expressed in the US Constitution, and there being no power to impose any other than a direct tax by apportionment.

In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution made the income tax a permanent fixture in the U.S. tax system."


Except there were estate taxes at various times during the 18th and 19th centuries, without being ruled unconstitutional.

"I expect the founding fathers would be appalled by the current size and scope of the US government as they did everything in their power to keep the federal government small and to maximize individual freedom. The states were to be far more various with their taxes and power compared to the federal government."

Maybe, maybe not. They were practical men.

The federal government under the US Constitution had far more power than it did under the Articles of Confederation. Given that changes in transportation, communication, and weaponry, I am not so certain that they would be appalled. Of course, I am not sure that the standards of those who sanctioned legalized slavery are the best standards to use.

"Can we really be said to own our home and land when we have to pay considerable yearly taxes to retain them?"

Why bring real property taxes into a discussion about estate taxes? Real property taxes have been around in the US since Colonial times, and in general, real property taxes go back much further in time.

"A true simplification of the tax code is very past due."

And the devil is in the details. How would your propose to simplify it?

Regards, JAFO
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The person is dead. No life and they're done pursuing happiness.


And if their pursuit of happiness was for coming generations of offspring?

Don't bother. I understand your position. I just disagree that it's that big a deal (families lose it by the 3rd generation anyway), and I do believe there's something dark in the eagerness to lay hold of anyone's property by taxation.

Truly am a less is more guy. Let the dead lie (and their heirs make fools of themselves). The government will get their hands on all our money and property sooner or later anyway.
I just rent my house from the taxman and have to ask permission to park a 2nd RV or travel coach on me 1+ acre lot in the county, on a non-county maintained private road "owned" by me, outside of city limits. == regardless of my mortgage principle.
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<<Except that in the beginnings of our country the federal government could only tax via tariffs and excise taxes. It wasn't until 1913 that the 16th Amendment was added.>>


Preach it brother.

The power to tax? The power to destroy.
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I expect the founding fathers would be appalled by the current size and scope of the US government as they did everything in their power to keep the federal government small and to maximize individual freedom.

No, actually that would be the experiment known as “The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union”, which lasted less than a decade because it was a total failure. It had a tiny Federal component with nearly all the power in the states and municipalities. And it was completely unworkable. Then the Constitution that you know was ratified, which vastly increased the size and scope of the Federal Government.

That “individual freedom” is a lovely fable promulgated by people who aren’t terribly discerning about history. Native Americans didn’t have it. Women didn’t have it. Africans didn’t have it. People who didn’t own land didn’t have it. Government in Massachusetts and Connecticut were theocracies, you were required to follow a specific religion (*Puritan derivative) and were fined or imprisoned if you did not. (Rhode Island grew as a safe haven from the practice.) The same was true in some Southern states, although Baptist was the preferred choice.

In most colonies your right to a specific occupation was limited to what the town council decided. If the village already had a blacksmith, you could not be a blacksmith. Guilds formed and required a period of indentured servitude to pursue particular lines of work. Non-property owners got a very different kind of “Justice” from the justice system. Women, it is well documented, could not own property in some states. What to do with a widow who inherits? Strip her of it, or require that she re-marry within a year. There’s some freedom for you.

I will admit the founding fathers might be appalled by the current size and scope of the US government, but I wonder if I could ask them how much they spent on digital piracy or universal education or building our transportation system if they would have any idea what I was talking about. “NASA? What’s that?” I can hear Thomas Jefferson ask. “Why would you need an internet?” Would be a good question coming from people who outlined a federal service to carry written words on paper along “post roads.”

Except in the beginnings of the country the Federal Government could only tax via tariffs and excise taxes

A good system, except when it lead to armed rebellion, of course, as President Washington learned. And when it was used as protectionism to build domestic industries and keep those dastardly and cheaper foreign goods at bay. And when it disadvantaged some areas of the country (the South) and advantaged others (the North) causing grave regional resentments which eventually led to Civil War. But other than that, yeah, great.

The Norman Rockwell vision you have of colonial America is not just simplistic, it’s pernicious, and it’s deeply ignorant of actual history. Nobody is claiming everything we’re doing is right or that changes might not be appropriate. But to claim oneship with the Founding Fathers and pretend they maximized personal liberty is to ignore the 80% of the country which had nothning like the freedom that most Americans have today. Including, of course, people of Chinese, Jewish, African, Spanish, French, and other heritages which have so informed this happy melting pot we call America.

Crack a book.
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"What ever happened to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" (private property being an essential element in the Founders use of that last term). "

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

They stopped teaching folks about that - said it offended thieves and
other government bureaucrats.

Howie52
Basically you have to believe in government for and by the people.
Governments rarely believe in that approach since they feel they know
better than the people they govern.
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> Where does this idea that one is rich because they have a household income over $105K?

Sorry, I thought I explained that. I used the middle 50% income bracket (25 to 75 percentile) for the US in 2017.

> In some states, you would definitely be considered rich if you had an annual income of $105K.

Yes, My example was simplified. There are edge cases on both sides.

> In others, you would still be in the middle class until your income exceeded $150K.

MD, MA and AK.

Maryland has some of the richest suburbs in the world, and with exception of Baltimore (30th largest city in US) no major cities, I don't know that there are too many impoverished neighborhoods, so it is not supersizing that the median income is so high.

Alaska has a really high median household income because the state has a program where all individuals receive guaranteed income. So, yea, their median is going to be much higher than normal.

And the citizens of Massachusetts truly are better than everyone else. If you want to find out, just ask them, they will tell you.

I would wonder what the quality of life difference is for someone living in MD, or MA making 150k vs someone in one of the lower states? NM, MS and WV seem to be some of the lowest barriers to leaving middle class, but earning 150k in those states, although you would be 66% above the high end of middle class in those states, does not buy you good hospitals or world class theater. You can likely afford to send your kids to a local private school, but I don't see any schools from those states in the list of 100 best private schools.

https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-private-high-schools/?...


Personally I would rather make 150k in MA, than WV. I know that says a lot about me, but it is what it is.


In the end, I am not all that upset at people who make 150 or even 160k per year and consider themselves middle class. Many of them are 3 months of unemployment away from not being able to pay their bills. Some are probably only one paycheck away from that.

************
My main point, that was certainly lost in all this, is that with the loss of collective bargaining and defined benefits (pensions) the median income is much lower than it was 40 years ago.

You can define middle class as two different ways.

1, median income plus and minus some value
2, ability to live a certain lifestyle

The first is well defined and changes based on measurable indicators. The second is subjective over time, distance and by comparing yourself to others. As long as you know others that are richer than you, you will likely think of yourself as middle class using subjective measures. That is how we end up with 97% of the country thinking of themselves as middle class.
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Maryland has some of the richest suburbs in the world, and with exception of Baltimore (30th largest city in US) no major cities, I don't know that there are too many impoverished neighborhoods, so it is not supersizing that the median income is so high.

You may want to take a gander at Somerset and Caroline Counties for the rest of the story on MD.
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The Norman Rockwell vision you have of colonial America is not just simplistic, it’s pernicious, and it’s deeply ignorant of actual history.

Unfortunately, widespread ignorance of American history, but with self-righteous assumption of familiarity with it, is one of the major problems with our society today and one of the hallmarks of the "alternative fact" sect. Recently, we even had a senatorial candidate from Alabama with these same ideas about American history and how much better life would have been in ante-bellum America. Happily, he lost. When these views are pervasive, however, we all lose a sense of the progress our society has made in the last 150 years.

Pete
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LOL

I find it amazing how by professing a need/desire for a simplified tax code I am apparently ignorant of history, simplistic, self righteous, and presumably want to regress our society to a time of slavery and to put women back in their place.


Please, read my post again. Even better, take a few minutes and read the Bill of Rights and tell me how it is not obvious that the intention was to support individual rights over those of the federal government.

I provided a link that showed, contrary to another's post, that the federal government did not originally have a free hand to tax as it pleased.

So yes, I think we are taxed in far too complex a manner and that we would be well served to simplify the tax code and remove most, if not all, the various tax breaks and exemptions which are a way of the government picking and choosing winners and losers and to try to encourage us towards certain behaviors instead of trusting people to act in their own best interests.

Relax a bit...this is my own opinion formed over a long period of time and after having read up on quite a bit of history and so forth. My opinion is not going to change the direction of this country or cause you to change your minds. It is simply "my" opinion.

I trust that I am allowed that?

I love the Fool for being such a welcoming place that supports diverse opinions...well...normally I feel that way.

Best of luck to all of you...enjoy your weekend!
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And the citizens of Massachusetts truly are better than everyone else. If you want to find out, just ask them, they will tell you.


When I lived in Boston, I thought there should be a large sign at the border

Welcome to Massachusets. - - - The Me First State

CNC
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"I'm fascinated by this fascination some have with getting a hold of dead people's money."

I am fascinated by how people have to twist and spin in order to distort the simple reality that there are costs to running a government.

"Is it like a gold rush/gold fever thing? Or is it a latent Marxist "it's just not fair" mob thing?
Yelling "The bourgeois pig has died -- storm his gates, break into his estate, grab your rightful share of the pounds of flesh he extracted from you!"


Childish nutter talk.

An rational adult recognizes that there are costs to running a society and the government needs to collect money to pay those costs.
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Childish nutter talk.

An rational adult recognizes that there are costs to running a society and the government needs to collect money to pay those costs.


This is the stuff of Libertarianism. Many (including this writer) are charmed by the Libertarian spiel when they are young. Most of us grow up and recognize, as you say, that there are costs to running a society.

CNC
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I'm fascinated by this fascination some have with getting a hold of dead people's money.

Are you talking about the sons and daughters of the wealthy elite? Why would someone who grew up with every financial and social advantage their whole lives think that they deserve money they never earned without paying taxes?
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Please, read my post again. Even better, take a few minutes and read the Bill of Rights and tell me how it is not obvious that the intention was to support individual rights over those of the federal government.

It was just explained to you in great detail. Let give you another example.

The excise tax you are so fond of was used this way by the freedom loving Founding Fathers.

Everyone learned how Alexander Hamilton assumed the state's debts from the Revolution. He did this because all his wealthy buddies held the debt. But his wealthy buddies were the only ones who had the money to pay the debt and that was a big problem.

At the time, frontier farmers could raise plenty of corn, as thy had stolen the good land from the Native Americans. But all the markets were on the seaboard an they had no way to get it there before it spoiled. But if you distilled it into alcohol, you could transport at your convenience. So Hamilton taxed the production of whiskey, at least the small farmer's production. The big distilleries, like Washington's rye distillery were exempt. It was a regressive tax.
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"Is it like a gold rush/gold fever thing? Or is it a latent Marxist "it's just not fair" mob thing?
Yelling "The bourgeois pig has died -- storm his gates, break into his estate, grab your rightful share of the pounds of flesh he extracted from you!"


<<Childish nutter talk.>>


Yeah... yeah... That's it! Deplorable talk.


Or hippie libertarian talk: "Live and let live -- and let die"

Sadly your surpassingly witty ad hominem ignores the practical argument that followed:
The estate tax is moot by the 3rd generation.

This one will take care of itself as the heirs spin all that money out into the economy. Might be they do more for the collective good frittering away Grandad's legacy than the government will grabbing it and wasting most of it in frictional losses on "highly efficient" government spending mode.
Why just look at the wall around Joe Kennedy's mansion. Good wages paid out into the local economy for that I'm sure. Not to mention permit fees, upward property appraisals, income taxes for workers, and sales taxes for raw materials, consumables and tools that went into building it.


Just catch a breath Bra'!
Don't fret yourself about these hoarder families.
Worry about something of real significance like Polars getting a suntan in Greenland. Burn your calories stopping glewball warming or some other "real" issue.
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This is the stuff of Libertarianism. Many (including this writer) are charmed by the Libertarian spiel when they are young.

That's because Libertarianism is the wet dream of (mostly) adolescent boys who see themselves as overwhelmingly heroic individuals in their fantasies, but actually turn out to be quite humdrum in actuality. Some are not able to outgrow the illusion, which is the illusion that they and they alone are responsible for what they grow up to become rather than acknowledging that that, without the active assistance of other human beings, they would have died within hours of exiting the birth canal and never would have made it to adolescence, let alone adulthood without a network of social relationships and influences. Everybody relies on others to a greater and lesser degree during their lives. Even a hermit in the wilderness only survives because he/she was taught by someone else.

Churchy
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The nice thing about retirement is that you do not have to worry too much about
all the political tripe and bombast. What is important is what do you want to fix
for breakfast? - should you have tea this AM or coffee? Should you turn left or right
at the crossroads - or keep going straight? Precisely which toy might your
grand-kids prefer? or what might be a really neat thing to do with your spouse?

Howie52
You might have to worry about taxes or RMDs or medical bills - or other things that
are particularly individual situations - but you do not need to worry about the political
causes of the day.
Not to say you can't have fun standing on the occasional soap box - but you tend to be
more cautious about staying balanced and avoiding head-knockers.
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Noz: Sadly your surpassingly witty ad hominem ignores the practical argument that followed:
The estate tax is moot by the 3rd generation.


You mean like the duPonts? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_Pont_family Still own most of Delaware, right? Just who do you think owns most of those mansions on 5th Avenue in New York?

Usually by this stage of the discussion someone brings up losing the family farm which grandpa and grandma toiled so long to acquire. Are you being negligent?

There are actually boards right here on TMF who would share and agree with your drivel. Why don't you seek them out? Much easier on your digestion, not to mention you won't have to wipe the drool off your chin.

CNC
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70% of families lose their wealth by the 2nd generation.

The old saying you may be familiar with is "Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in 3 generations."

But yeah, the Duponts... /eyeroll/
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LMAO here at the frothing at the mouth over my comments.

Love seeing elitists and collectivists unmasked and unhinged.

#ubintrolled
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You know (of course you do, bless your heart) there's a special board here on MF for the reality challenged. Why don't you scamper on over there and hang out with your special friends?

-IGU-
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"You mean like the duPonts? "

"There are actually boards right here on TMF who would share and agree with your drivel. Why don't you seek them out? Much easier on your digestion, not to mention you won't have to wipe the drool off your chin.

CNC"
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The Kennedy's?
The Roosevelt's?

People always seem to want to attack using familiar names and defend their
own views. But it does take two - or more - to argue over an extended thread.
Inviting folks with differing thoughts to go away does not hone your arguments
or convince others. Quite the opposite.

Howie52
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"Noz: Sadly your surpassingly witty ad hominem ignores the practical argument that followed:
The estate tax is moot by the 3rd generation.

You mean like the duPonts? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_Pont_family Still own most of Delaware, right? Just who do you think owns most of those mansions on 5th Avenue in New York? "


----

The Kennedy Clan solves all its estate tax problems by having all the real estate held in an offshore trust......so it never shows up in an 'estate' when someone dies.

In addition, there are layers and layers of trust funds that are set up to escape the tax man.

If you bother to read your Millionaire Next Door, you'll find out that millionaires worth 10 million or more who die seldom , if ever, pay estate taxes. 'estate tax planning' is a giant business and hundreds of millions, if not billions, get passed down generation after generation.

Then you have the types like Buffet and Gates, who set up their own charitable foundations , insure their offspring will have nice executive jobs at same, and likely will pay near zero percent estate tax on their 50 billion or more in current assets. It will all be transferred to trusts or their foundations before they kick the bucket.

You think Bill or Chillary will pay a dime in estate taxes - ha!...or Hairy Reed?......or Chucky Smucky Schumer? Or Bernie Sanders? Or Barack Obama? ha!......


t.
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Why would someone who grew up with every financial and social advantage their whole lives think that they deserve money they never earned without paying taxes?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Why do you think you deserve to take it away from them?
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Why do you think you deserve to take it away from them?

Take what away? It wasn't theirs to begin with.

My wife's and my money doesn't belong to our kids. It may be our choice to leave it to them (net of any inheritance tax), but that's not the same and we are under no obligation to do so.

Churchy
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Why do you think you deserve to take it away from them?

They don't have that money to take away until the government (you know. . . the government we pay for with taxes) gives it to them.

In fact, I think there are good arguments that none of the money should flow to people simply based on who their parents were. I don't see how society is helped by allowing nepotism to be more important than merit. Of course it does make sense for society to make sure that descendants are not left destitute or without options. Thus an amount is established that can be passed on without any taxes at all.

But, honestly, if a person wealthy enough to leave millions to their heirs wants to take care of them, nothing stops them from sharing that money according to tax laws while they are alive. It seems hypocritical to me to claim that some billionaire ought to have the right to give his worthless offspring all his money after he dies without taxing it, yet he didn't care enough about them to give them a bigger share when he was alive - or to even set up the kinds of financial structures to minimize tax burden.
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My wife's and my money doesn't belong to our kids. It may be our choice to leave it to them (net of any inheritance tax), but that's not the same and we are under no obligation to do so.

Churchy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You don't need to bother to duck, as this has gone completely over your head with room to spare.
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They don't have that money to take away until the government (you know. . . the government we pay for with taxes) gives it to them.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are you standing next to churchy? It's apparently over your head by a wide margin, as well.
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You don't need to bother to duck, as this has gone completely over your head with room to spare.

Nope. I know a sense of entitlement when I see it. It really grinds on you, doesn't it?

BTW, current law allows an person to gift $14,000/year to any number of individuals without affecting the taxability of an inheritance.

We have 3 kids, 3 kids-in-law and 4 grandchildren. 10 people. My wife and I together could give each of these individuals $28K/year with no tax consequence to them or us. Over 20 years, that's $5.6 million. And that $14K ceiling will probably be raised over the years.

I have my IRA withdrawals set to come out on a monthly basis. Every month, a certain amount is withdrawn for taxes. I fail to see much of a difference between the taxes I pay monthly, vs. the one time tax that would be paid on a one time basis if my estate were large enough to become taxable on my death.

Like I said. A sense of entitlement.

Churchy
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Nope. I know a sense of entitlement when I see it. It really grinds on you, doesn't it?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was my point that went waaaay over your head. You seem to think that you (or society in general) are entitled to take something from someone because YOU don't think they deserve it. Who made you the arbiter of who deserves what? GRIND GRIND GRIND
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Churchy writes,

<<<You don't need to bother to duck, as this has gone completely over your head with room to spare.>>>

Nope. I know a sense of entitlement when I see it. It really grinds on you, doesn't it?

BTW, current law allows an person to gift $14,000/year to any number of individuals without affecting the taxability of an inheritance.

We have 3 kids, 3 kids-in-law and 4 grandchildren. 10 people. My wife and I together could give each of these individuals $28K/year with no tax consequence to them or us. Over 20 years, that's $5.6 million. And that $14K ceiling will probably be raised over the years.

</snip>


I found that the people who complain the most about the Estate Tax are those that are the least likely to amass the wealth required to be subject to it.

intercst
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Ucontwit: You seem to think that you (or society in general) are entitled to take something from someone because YOU don't think they deserve it. Who made you the arbiter of who deserves what?

So, you don't believe in representative democracy? You know, the kind where our elected representatives make and enforce tax laws? You seem to think you and yours should never pay any tax, right? No one has the right to tax you?

CNC
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I found that the people who complain the most about the Estate Tax are those that are least likely to amass the wealth required to be subject to it.

What about those who live with the delusion they will be the inheritors of a large estate? Of course, these are also the least likely to accumulate a sizable estate on their own.

Churchy
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No one has the right to tax you?

He’s the same type of person who would soil his shorts on a daily basis if the gummint owned a significant interest in profitable enterprises.

He doesn’t want to pay taxes, but he doesn’t want government to be financially independent, either.

Churchy
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And that $14K ceiling will probably be raised over the years.

Clearly you've been traveling into the future and back. ;)

The gift limit went up to $15k on 1/1/2018. Took a few years for inflation to add another 1000, but it happened.

--Peter
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And that $14K ceiling will probably be raised over the years.

Clearly you've been traveling into the future and back. ;)

The gift limit went up to $15k on 1/1/2018. Took a few years for inflation to add another 1000, but it happened.

--Peter

thank for the update to 15,000.00 info...i wasn't aware it was raised...i have been using that!
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The gift limit went up to $15k on 1/1/2018.

Oh great. That had to happen when I’m expected to be the one handing out the money rather than being the recipient. The system’s rigged, I tell you.

Churchy
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Churchy:"We have 3 kids, 3 kids-in-law and 4 grandchildren. 10 people. My wife and I together could give each of these individuals $28K/year with no tax consequence to them or us. Over 20 years, that's $5.6 million. And that $14K ceiling will probably be raised over the years."

And of course, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will donate nearly all their 50 billion plus fortunes, totally escaping the tax man at death.

So you use loopholes, or COULD, if you wanted to pay little or no estate tax. If you didn't have your money tied up in an IRA, you could even set up a charitable remainder trust fund - say with your Alma Mater - or even with Vanguard or Fidelity where you delegate the beneficiary and when you die, the remainder in the trust goes TAX FREE to that beneficiary - meanwhile you are receiving income - some of it return of your money, some of it interest/gain on what you contributed - and you get to take a huge tax write off in the process. You could donate appreciated stock you bought for $1000, now worth a million, and get one heck of a tax write off for 'charitable donation'.

- - ----

Churchy:"I have my IRA withdrawals set to come out on a monthly basis. Every month, a certain amount is withdrawn for taxes. I fail to see much of a difference between the taxes I pay monthly, vs. the one time tax that would be paid on a one time basis if my estate were large enough to become taxable on my death."

Duh, you are being taxed on CURRENT INCOME, and your RMD is current income. You could actually take it all out at once, pay a whopping tax bill, then put the money in your checking account, and never pay taxes again the rest of your life if you had no other income. You'd live 'tax free' for as long as your money lasted.

Estate taxes are not REGULAR income taxes. Duh! That's the difference.

If you had a billion in MSFT and just sat on it, you'd pay ZERO income taxes - well, unless it pays a dividend they you pay a low rate - not the 55% that estate tax used to be when my mom died in 1999.

You do realize, that most folks with estates worth over 10 million don't pay estate taxes when they die? They pay estate tax folks NOW to make sure of it. It's just the little guy who goes over - who didn't estate tax plan. Certainly most billionaires don't pay estate taxes of more than a few percent - and that on the money they leave their kids if it already in trust funds for them, or the family off shore real estate trust fund like the Kennedies.


t.
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CNC:"So, you don't believe in representative democracy? You know, the kind where our elected representatives make and enforce tax laws? You seem to think you and yours should never pay any tax, right? No one has the right to tax you?"

When half the people in the country don't pay ANY income taxes, they certainly urge their congress critters to vote to tax 'the other half' and 'the rich' to provide all the benefits of government and benefits in $$$ to them.

"Moochers" and "Providers" ala Ayn Rand...... Atlas Shrugged....where those that produce were increasing taxed to provide for the Moochers...

t.
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"Moochers" and "Providers" ala Ayn Rand...... Atlas Shrugged....where those that produce were increasing taxed to provide for the Moochers...

You know that's a novel, right?
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""Moochers" and "Providers" ala Ayn Rand...... Atlas Shrugged....where those that produce were increasing taxed to provide for the Moochers...

Syke:"You know that's a novel, right? "

Of course......and so are all the stories about LGM (Little Green Men) and more than half the country believes in UFOs....

However, the fact is real - half the people in this country do not pay any income taxes. A ggod percent get 'money back' (earned income credit)....while paying zero income taxes.



t.
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You know that’s a novel, right?

You know that he can’t wrap his head around the fact that poor people don’t pay income tax because they don’t hit the threshold above which income taxes are levied, right?

Churchy
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Churchy:"you know that he can’t wrap his head around the fact that poor people don’t pay income tax because they don’t hit the threshold above which income taxes are levied, right?"

If they keep raising the threshold, then fewer and fewer and fewer people will pay taxes and will be willing to vote to raise taxes on the ones who actually do to fund their entitlement programs, benefits, ObamaKare subsidies, etc.

Just like in Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged. I assume that churchy skipped reading it, probably skipped reading the Cliff Notes version too....

Yeah, and the Trump tax cuts means even fewer folks will pay income taxes at all.....with the higher exemptions...... other than in high tax blue states.......who might wind up paying 'their fair share'.


t.
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If they keep raising the threshold, then fewer and fewer and fewer people will pay taxes and will be willing to vote to raise taxes on the ones who actually do to fund their entitlement programs, benefits, ObamaKare subsidies, etc.

Just like in Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged.


You realize that's a novel, right?
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"This was my point that went waaaay over your head."

It seems there are things going way over your head that you do not understand. You think you are entitled to all of the benefits of living in the U.S., but should not be required to pay for them.

"You seem to think that you (or society in general) are entitled to take something from someone because YOU don't think they deserve it. Who made you the arbiter of who deserves what?"

Embarrassing and laughingly false. That person doesn't believe THEY are entitled to take something from someone. They don't think they are an arbiter of who deserves what. Only an idiot would think that.

What that person recognizes is that the U.S. is a representative republic and the rules that have been set up is that our representatives decide how to collect money to pay for the costs of our society. Everyone who continues to live in the country is agreeing to live by those rules (even if only implicitly). Most rational adult realize that maintaining a civilized society is expensive and requires money to keep up. Rational adults recognize that the money to pay for those costs have to come from somewhere. In our society, the way money is raised to pay those costs is through taxes.

Now there are some people who display child-like thinking who accuse others of being entitled when other people suggest responsible ways of collecting taxes to pay for the costs of the society.

Taxes are not theft. When you agree to live in this country you agree to abide by the rules it was founded under. Someone advocating for certain taxes isn't being entitled to other peoples money. Taxes are a simple fact of life that a rational adult recognizes as necessary to continue to maintain a civilized society.

This is why our tax system is so messed up. People cannot have an adult conversation about the most efficient and least intrusive ways of collecting taxes to pay for the costs of our society. The reason adult conversations can't happen is because any adult conversation quickly gets sidetracked by a child yelling about taxes being theft or anyone who pushes certain taxes must think they are entitled to other peoples money.
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You realize that’s a novel, right?

You realize he operates on a level where he’s terrified that someone will get half a gram more cake than he does, right?

Churchy
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Why push back on the estate tax if you're unlikely to be effected personally by it either way?

Because at my core, I'm an American and an optimist?

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” John Steinbeck
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NozRydr asks,

Why push back on the estate tax if you're unlikely to be effected personally by it either way?

</snip>


That's just 5th grade arithmetic. If the 1% pay less tax, the 99% have to pay more, or suffer the loss of benefits like SS or Medicare.

At least unless you believe the fairy tale that tax cuts for the rich "trickle down" into any benefit for the 99%.

intercst
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At least unless you believe the fairy tale that tax cuts for the rich “trickle down” into any benefit for the 99%.

You don’t understand, intercst. The Libertarian Randinista is congenitally incapable of looking at things in systemic terms. For the Randinista true believer, it’s all about “me”. “Me” is the standard by which all things are measured. If it’s not about “Me”, it’not important.

Churchy
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That's just 5th grade arithmetic.


I peaked in 4th grade. Miss Armentraut with her black granny shoes was a peach.
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The Libertarian Randinista is congenitally incapable of looking at things in systemic terms. For the Randinista true believer, it’s all about “me”. “Me” is the standard by which all things are measured. If it’s not about “Me”, it’not important.


I'm soooooo confused. Here I thought greed was good?

Michael Douglas so convincing.
Oh well, still never going to buy an airline stock. He pretty much nailed that one. Well expect for LUV.

/sigh/disillusioned/
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Hogwash - you've been brainwashed

- --

Ummm: "What that person recognizes is that the U.S. is a representative republic and the rules that have been set up is that our representatives decide how to collect money to pay for the costs of our society. Everyone who continues to live in the country is agreeing to live by those rules (even if only implicitly)."

No...this is not the 'my way or the highway' country. Yes, rules have been set up - but you fail to realize there are THREE levels of government.

Federal, State, and Local.

You also fail to realize that this is the United STATES of America - where the government was set up to give the STATES most of the authority to set up rules.

Ever since the founding, it has become more and more of the Nanny State.

And certainly no, it is not 'everyone who continues to live here 'agrees' to live by those rules. Unlike Russia, Commie China, Cuba, we have the right to protest each and every rule and to petition to change them.

A good part of the economy is 'underground' - or 'under the table'. Those people don't agree to 'follow the rules' set by others. Hundreds of billions. (as well as estate transfers under 5.5 million these days - and likely more than the tax man is not aware of).



- -------



Umm:" Most rational adult realize that maintaining a civilized society is expensive and requires money to keep up. Rational adults recognize that the money to pay for those costs have to come from somewhere. In our society, the way money is raised to pay those costs is through taxes."

And three levels of government, with the 'local' the most efficient returning about 90% on the dollar to those in the local area. State is then the next most efficient, with over 70% actually providing benefits. The Feds are the least efficient with half getting lost in administratium and pet projects like turtle tunnels and bike paths that no one uses or actually can use.

And most rational adults are more than willing to try to minimize the cost of government and the administratium. And cut out the 'gold plating' that seems to creep in all the time.

- - -------


Umm:" Taxes are not theft. When you agree to live in this country you agree to abide by the rules it was founded under."

Hogwash. When was the last time you saw mass outflows of people because they 'disagreed' with the rules? We have the right to petition to change, demand change (everything from #metoo to BLM to MLK. And with several million incarcerated, it's obviously not everyone agrees with your rules.

When was the last time you actually saw anyone leave the country because they did not agree to 'live here'?

- - -- ---



Ummm:" Someone advocating for certain taxes isn't being entitled to other peoples money. Taxes are a simple fact of life that a rational adult recognizes as necessary to continue to maintain a civilized society."

A certain level of taxes. However, taxes can be used for multiple purposes.

The Constitution gave the Fed government powers in seven areas. Transfer of wealth from the top half of income earners to the bottom half of income earners who pay no income taxes was not one of them.

- - ----



Ummm:"This is why our tax system is so messed up. People cannot have an adult conversation about the most efficient and least intrusive ways of collecting taxes to pay for the costs of our society. The reason adult conversations can't happen is because any adult conversation quickly gets sidetracked by a child yelling about taxes being theft or anyone who pushes certain taxes must think they are entitled to other peoples money."

well, in reality, our government THESE DAYS is all about wealth transfer from one part of the US income earners to another part of either lower income earners or no income earners.

And your definition of 'adult conversion' probably means capitulation to the bottom half, who now outnumber the upper part.........rather than anything else.

Right now, 2/3rds of the US budget is on autopilot. Entitlement programs that grow and grow - that take more than half the tax take - and are going to grow to 'unsustainable' levels not too far off. That no one seems to be able to modify because those collecting the benefits now outnumber the ones providing it. Only 1/3rd is discretionary - and that includes defense, NASA, flood control, infrastructure, R&D, etc.

- - - -----

We certainly can have a conversation, and indeed protest, about the 'function of government' and whether we want a Nanny State providing everything from birth to death like "Julia" in the Obama era ads. No responsibility for themselves. Talk about your 'adults' and what you wind up with is mindless children indoctrinated and run by the Nanny State with no personal responsibility.

we can also have a 'conversation' about what functions should be done at the local and state levels - rather than every creeping, creeping, more powerful intrusive FEDERAL government.

We can also have a 'conversation' about how much theft of estates occurs. For many years it was 55% or more. More than HALF - just yanked from dead people and redistributed. and that occurred at $550,000........ not much more than the selling price of a home in NY or CA at the time. That's been fixed a bit.

Face it - taxes are simply wealth distribution - through MORE and MORE creeping government and programs.


t.
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intercst:"That's just 5th grade arithmetic. If the 1% pay less tax, the 99% have to pay more, or suffer the loss of benefits like SS or Medicare.

At least unless you believe the fairy tale that tax cuts for the rich "trickle down" into any benefit for the 99%."

well, by my math, most Americans will get a thousand buck or more decrease in their taxes this year. The 1% paid less..so did the rest.

Over a million got a $1000 kicker or more in their paychecks thanks to Trump

The stock market is at an all time high. For the half of Americans owning stock, a nice healthy increase, even after a 5% drop giving up Jan gains.

Are people better off?

Yes

t.
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At least unless you believe the fairy tale that tax cuts for the rich "trickle down" into any benefit for the 99%.

Hostess is giving their employees a bonus pack of Twinkies and Ding Dongs each week for the year.

In the words of Marie Antoinette, Let them eat cake.
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Hostess is giving their employees a bonus pack of Twinkies and Ding Dongs each week for the year.

That's "twinkie down", not trickle down.

intercst
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That's "twinkie down", not trickle down.

To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Twinkie, Twinkie, man that's funny.
We give you cake instead of money.
You can't spend it anywhere,
We got our tax cut and we don't care.

Twinkie, Twinkie have no fears,
The shelf life is 20 years.


Churchy
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Twinkie, Twinkie have no fears,
The shelf life is 20 years.

</snip>


Twinkies are my pension.

intercst
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Twinkies are my pension.

I assume these are investment grade Twinkies and I'm glad to see you're avoiding Ding Dong mania.

I hope you didn't fall for the "Great Donette Swindle" of '06.

Churchy
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Tele, you quoted words I said, but you did not really respond to those words. Instead you must have responded to words the voices in your head were saying.
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Twinkies are my pension.

Between their long shelf life and the scare of Hostess going out of business, perhaps Twinkies could be an investment class?

What would retirement be without access to Twinkies?

You need to stock up on them in case Hostess goes out of business completely next time!

Or Twinkies like fine wines? "I have here a delightful 2005 Twinkie - pre-bankruptcy with the lovely Yellow #17, instead of the post-bankruptcy slightly paler Yellow #29."

Bubbles in Twinkie futures?

There's a lot of potential here!

--Peter
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Taxes are not theft. When you agree to live in this country you agree to abide by the rules it was founded under. Someone advocating for certain taxes isn't being entitled to other peoples money. Taxes are a simple fact of life that a rational adult recognizes as necessary to continue to maintain a civilized society.

You don't even have to live in a country. If you visit another country, you agree to pay certain taxes. We visited the UK last summer. The tax on gasoline is 57.95 pence/liter (US $0.81/liter at current exchange rate). 1 US gallon = 3.8 liters (actually 3.785, but close enough). 3.8 x .81 = $3.08. That's the tax portion of a gallon of gas.

At current exchange rates, the current average price of a liter of gas = $1.67. This translates to a price of $6.35/US gallon. You can stomp your feet all you want and hold your breath until you turn blue and snivel that it's theft, but it won't do you any good.

Generally speaking, roads in the UK are in considerably better condition than in the US.

Churchy
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Generally speaking, roads in the UK are in considerably better condition than in the US.

Churchy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is that because they have money for infrastructure upkeep, or because nobody can afford to drive anywhere?
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" Is that because they have money for infrastructure upkeep, or because nobody can afford to drive anywhere? "


They have small size trucks that don't tear up the roads and drive smaller cars - and not very far at $6.35/gallon...and that is a recent 'low price'. When our gas was over $3, it was over $8 there....a gallon.......thin $200 fill ups in your SUV or pick up truck....

A lot of people there don't even own cars.......they live where there is transit. Not that there mass transit is cheap , it isn't, but more folks use it.

Oh, and they used to charge you a big annual 'fee' to register your car based upon the 'displacement' - ie, liters.......so folks there bought high reving teeny engines to pay the least amount of taxes , er, fees , each year.

Heck, you live out on a farm, raise most of your food, have a chicken coop, rabbit hutch, maybe a few pigs, and you are set. You need to raise enough cash each year to pay your real estate taxes (generally a few hundred bucks), buy a few things you can't grow like sugar and salt and some other things, pay for some electricity, some cloth to make clothes, some shoes...... and you are set. Never pay a dime in 'income taxes'. and you don't have to leave the country.



t.
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Is that because they have money for infrastructure upkeep, or because nobody can afford to drive anywhere?

If you’d ever visited the UK, you’d realize how dumb that question is.

Churchy
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"Is that because they have money for infrastructure upkeep, or because nobody can afford to drive anywhere?"

London traffic is legendary. right now it cost you $15 or $20 each time you drive into 'downtown' London in the 'congestion zone' in 'fees'. Sort of like Manhattan.

England has tens of thousands of miles of barely 1 1/2 lane roads throughout the country - winding narrow little roads - along with a decent intercity set of highways.....

The USA has 795 cars per capita.

United Kingdom 519 cars per capita

US has 50% more cars than England.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_vehicles_...


t.
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You realize that's a novel, right?

Wait! You mean that’s a fictional story and never actually happened? And nothing like it has ever happened? And it’s solely the product of someone’s selfish imagination? Really?

Harrumph. Probably written while they were sitting around collecting Social Security and Medicare.
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"You mean that’s a fictional story and never actually happened? And nothing like it has ever happened? And it’s solely the product of someone’s selfish imagination? Really?"


So were Jules Verne Around the World in 80 days and Journey to the Moon.......

Imagination works......

And then was 1984.......the novel....

Hillary's book whining about how she lost the election is mostly fiction despite it being categorized otherwise. From the Russian Dossier (fiction) on ......


t.
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Middle income figures per state are weird for Alabama. You have areas of wealth like Huntsville (50% engineers) and Birmingham (doctors galore) and then you’ve got endless stretches of trailer parks and shacks...maybe that’s true of many states though.
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Is that because they have money for infrastructure upkeep, or because nobody can afford to drive anywhere?

Could be because their longest road is only 410 miles long. The longest in England is 236 miles. We have roads in the US where the gas stations are further apart than that.

Could also have something to do with the fact that the US protects them militarily, so they can spend their money on goodies instead of self-protection. (But at least their newest carrier only has a leaky prop shaft seal. The French aircraft carrier had a propeller snap off.)
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Rayvt: Could be because their longest road is only 410 miles long.

Strange. When I drove from London to Glasgow, I would have sworn it was more than 410 miles.

Per wiki, Great Britain has approximately a quarter million roads. Once you get off the superhighways (Designated with the letter a followed by a number), they do get rather crooked.

CNC
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When I drove from London to Glasgow, I would have sworn it was longer than 410 miles.

Depends on your route. Via the M6, it’s 412 miles. The A1 from London to Edinburgh is the longest numbered highway (410 miles). However, they actually have multiple highways, but then you knew that.

London to Kyle of Localsh 590 miles. And then there’s driving on the Isle Of Skye. Of course, if you arrive and depart from Heathrow, multiply by 2.

Land’s End to Inverness- 715 miles.

One of the prettier drives is from Pitlochry to the southern end of Loch Ness, up the west shore of Loch Ness to Inverness and back down the A9, stopping for a visit at the Dalwhinnie distillery. It’s about a 200 mile round trip.

Churchy
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" Could be because their longest road is only 410 miles long."

Strange. When I drove from London to Glasgow, I would have sworn it was more than 410 miles.


Just the other day I was wondering "What did we ever do before the internet and google?"

Nowadays I don't even bother to crack open a manual from my bookshelf. It's faster to find the detailed information I need by typing a query into the web browser.
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London to Kyle of Localsh 590 miles. And then there’s driving on the Isle Of Skye. Of course, if you arrive and depart from Heathrow, multiply by 2.

Land’s End to Inverness- 715 miles.


At my department at Motorola we were working on a project that other groups in Copenhagen and Basingstoke (England) were doing major subsystem work for us. At various times a team of 4-6 people from one of them came to Chicago for a couple of weeks.

One Friday afternoon, the team from Copenhagen was asked what they were planning to do over the weekend. They told us "We are going to drive to New York and see the sights." !!
They had no concept that it would take them the entire weekend just to get to New York.
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If you’d ever visited the UK, you’d realize how dumb that question is.

Churchy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you would get off your high horse, you'd realize it was sarcasm.
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If you would get off your high horse, you’d realize it was sarcasm.

Ditto.

Churchy
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OK, I think this thread has run its course and suggest before we devolve into places we shouldn't go, we just end it.

Fuskie
Who loves that this board is constructive, supportive and educational...

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