Lion of the Blogosphere

The Hillary Clinton tax plan

Certain commenters keep on insisting that the Democrat party is secretly using taxes to protect the richest of the rich and make it harder to become rich by only taxing income and not wealth.

The actual tax plan from Hillary shows how stupid this is. In fact, it’s an excellent tax plan designed to remove the unfairness from the current tax code. Most notably:

Clinton would also impose a minimum tax of 30 percent of AGI on filers with AGI greater than $1 million(i.e., the Buffett Rule). Taxes counted toward the new minimum tax requirement include: regular income taxes(after certain credits and including the Affordable Care Act surtax on net investment income), the alternative minimum tax (AMT), the 4 percent surcharge on AGI, and the employee portion of the payroll tax.4Taxpayers with AGI over $2 million would owe an additional tax on the difference between30 percent of AGI and the sum of those taxes. The tax payment phases in ratably between $1 and $2 million of AGI.

Because AGI includes capital gains and other investment income, it will ensure that the richest of the rich pay their fair share on investment income as well as so-called ordinary income.’

Clinton proposesto tax “carried interest” as ordinary income. Under current law, general partnersof an investment firm (e.g.,private equity) who receive a portion of their compensation as a share of the firm’s profits may report that portion as a long-term capital gain;thus they benefit from a lower income tax rate (23.8 percent)and avoid paying payroll taxes. Clintonwould tax carried interest income as ordinaryincome (top tax rate of 43.4 percent) and require the partner to pay self-employment taxes on the income.

Closes a major loophole there.

n tax year 2015, the basic exclusion for the estate tax is $5,450,000 (twice that for couples)and the top tax rate is 40 percent. Clinton proposes lowering the exclusion to $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for married couples, with no adjustmentsf or inflation going forward, and raising the top rate to 45 percent. These changes would return the estate tax permanently to its 2009 parameters. Also, Clinton would establish an unindexed lifetime gift tax exemption of $1 million. The unindexed exemption levels will decline in real value over time meaning that more estates and gifts will become subject to tax. Clinton also proposes to require consistency between valuations for transfer (estate and gift) tax and income tax purposes, and to reform the rules that apply to grantor trusts.

Higher estate taxes, another tax aimed at wealth and not income.

The big political irony of our times is that the rich people most heavily affected by Hillary’s proposed tax increases will be heavily voting for her, which means they don’t consider higher taxes that big of a deal, at least not such a big deal that they would vote for a candidate that supports pro-life, guns, “denies” climate change, and is as low-class as Trump.

On the other hand, the middle-class and working-class white voters have been duped by Republican bigwigs, for so many decades they now take it as a core faith, that higher taxes on rich people somehow hurts them.

If only we could combine Hillary’s tax plan and Trump’s immigration plan and ability to say “radical Islamic terrorism” into a single candidate with the demeanor of Mitt Romney.

* * *

Really, it’s a very good tax plan. I believe that the only rate increase is 5% increase in the estate tax and 4% increase on incomes GREATER than $5 million (a segment of the population likely 80 to 90% voting for Clinton over Trump).

All other revenue raised from the tax plan comes from closing what might be called loopholes, various ways that individuals and corporations avoid paying the existing top rate.

The impact of the tax plan will be almost entirely born by the top 1%, who are voting for Clinton anyway and deserve the tax plan they voted for, even if Trump wins.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 29, 2016 at 7:18 am

Posted in Politics, Taxes

177 Responses

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  1. Had Hillary’s plan been in effect for tax year 2015, how many additional dollars would have been collected?


    July 29, 2016 at 7:55 am

    • It’s in the document. A significant amount of money.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 8:17 am

      • Or…perhaps (a significant amount)/2 according to appendix B…

        And this gem from the abstract: “…Marginal tax rates would increase, reducing incentives to work, save, and invest, and the tax code would become more complex..”

        But that’s okay, because tax code changes are exercises in virtue signaling anyway.


        July 29, 2016 at 8:14 pm

  2. You realize that this is only loose talk on her web site.

    Fortunately there will be a lot of donors around to advise her how its it societies best interest to leave certain forms of charitable trusts untouched and how we cant want to discourage investment in new energy technology.

    Lion of the Turambar

    July 29, 2016 at 7:59 am

    • There will also be a lot of republicans working against it.


      July 29, 2016 at 8:54 am

    • Yeah, since Hillary seems to be actively courting the Bill Kristol vote, my guess is that this tax plan never even gets proposed.


      July 29, 2016 at 10:35 am

    • Thats the thing- the Republicans are against it for free.

      The Democrats will require donations so you can sit close to them and tell them your concerns about the bill.

      Lion of the Turambar

      July 29, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      • Being against it for free is much worse.


        July 30, 2016 at 11:04 am

  3. Looking beyond tax policies, you’ll find that HRC is the candidate of Globalism™ (good for the rich, not-so-good for the working class and middle class), whereas The Donald is the nationalist candidate (not-so-good for the rich, hopefully better for the working class and middle class).


    July 29, 2016 at 8:13 am

    • As with Brexit, given a choice between lower incomes and cultural suicide, most people will choose lower incomes.


      July 29, 2016 at 10:52 am

      • Good point,

        Joe Walker

        July 30, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      • Good point, indeed.

        What use is a better tax code if, culturally, you are put in a gimp suit and locked in a closet?


        July 31, 2016 at 7:50 am

  4. LOB’s coverage of this issue is very good, and he is addressing the same thing as a few (not enough) commentators on the left, notably Thomas Franks, as to why the wealthy now support the Democrats and the white working class the Republicans, though you would think from their positions on economics it would be the reverse.

    But both are still lost in the “Democrats really are better than the Republicans on economics, but the class alignments are flipped for cultural and racial reasons paradigm.” In the past there was a considerably amount of truth to this, but not this election. The parties are pretty much aligned with their voters’ interests, after the changes the Clintons made to the Democratic Party and after the change Trump is making with the Republicans, if they stick.

    First, on the taxes, LOB is correct, but remember that the tax code is written by Congress, not the President. LOB is falling for the media framing of the President as the fount of all policy, which isn’t true constitutionally and in fact in practice Congress still guards its power over the tax code.

    Second, he leaves out trade and immigration. Trade policy and immigration policy trumps tax policy for just about all the wealthy. They both allow them to hold down labor costs by flooding third world peasants into their labor force, either by moving production there and selling the products in the US, or by moving the peasants to the US. Labor costs are an even bigger deal than tax costs. Trade is also tied to tax policy too, tariffs are after all taxes. The income tax was instituted in the first place to make up the revenue lost through a measure lowering taxes.

    On immigration, the Democrats are pretty completely allied with the interests of the wealthy and the Republicans with the non-wealthy. That pretty much cancels out their positioning on taxes. On trade, until now the Republicans have been more aligned with the interests of the wealthy, particularly in Congress, and there has been no protectionist presidential candidate in like forever, but this is obviously starting to change.


    July 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

  5. An income of $1 million isn’t anywhere close to rich. That’s upper middle class, or lower upper middle. These people may live reasonably well, but they have zero influence in the world. They are not the ones pimping for open borders. It’s the billionaire class that needs to be taken to the woodshed. We need confiscatory taxes on wealth over, say, a billion dollars.

    Hillary’s tax plan just screws well off white people to provide more gibmedats for blacks and browns and yellows.


    July 29, 2016 at 8:59 am

    • What planet are you living on? $1 million/year is an income I could only dream about. It’s rich under anyone’s definition of rich.

      You have this stupid idea that white people making $1 million/year are somehow on the same team as you because you have the same skin color. Trust me, they are NOT on the team of middle-class and working-class whites.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 9:06 am

      • “What planet are you living on? $1 million/year is an income I could only dream about. It’s rich under anyone’s definition of rich.”

        It’s not rich. It’s well off. Hey, I can only dream about that income too. But making $1 m a year won’t let you live here:

        THAT’s rich. The oligarch class is rich. Zuckersperg is rich. Tom Steyer is rich. Sheldon Adelson is rich. These are the people that can change the political direction of the nation because they’re so rich and powerful. Can you buy a sports team on $1M a year? Can you own a private jet? No, you can’t do any of that. So you’re not rich.


        July 29, 2016 at 10:22 am

      • I agree generally but there are some people middle class people making 1 million+ in a single year due to some kind of one time income.


        July 29, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      • People who have onetime million dollar bounty should consult a tax expert to change the timing of it.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 29, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      • Agree with Peterike.

        Someone making $1mm is probably experiencing a categorically similar lifestyle to someone making, say, $150k. He just has nicer things.

        Especially if he’s married, he’s going to find a lot of social pressure to do things like put the kids in the most expensive schools, hire a nanny/housekeeper (possibly part-time), belong to an expensive country club, make charitable contributions, and have a nice home with which he can entertain. He might even be substantially in debt.

        He’s still probably working for someone else and limited to, at best, 4 weeks of vacation, and many years he doesn’t even use all of it.

        There’s an above-average chance he lives in a place like NYC or SF, which is also swallowing a lot of his income.

        He can’t afford to own his own jet, so he still has to fly commercial most of the time. If he has a yacht, it’s very modest and bites deep into his income. He doesn’t have a helicopter, a private chef or any other staff beyond his nanny/housekeeper. He’s not a particularly influential person.

        In short, he lives a life that’s still recognizable compared to your own. He feels the same pressures. His consumption includes some nice things, but it is still reasonable, and he still needs his income to sustain his consumption. If he loses his job and can’t find a comparable one, his lifestyle will take a big hit.

        None of these things are true about the truly rich.


        July 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      • We all probably know/are friendly with at least a few people who have income in most years ~1M. I dont personally know anyone making $10M+.

        But $1m+ is maybe .1% of incomes. To be in the “middle” or the “upper middle” while not being anywhere close to the population middle is axiomatically impossible to me. Hence these guys are rich. They arent “Richie Rich” in the sense that burn bonfires of dollars or have solid gold toilets, but thats a silly criteria for richness.

        Lion of the Turambar

        July 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      • I’m in total agreement. A million dollars a year is indeed rich.

        Since the upper middle class got mentioned, I’m going to really piss everyone off and say I think they’re part of the problem, too. It isn’t people who make a million dollars a year who charge me and my insurance company two hundred dollars to discuss my health issues for ten minutes. People really do go bankrupt paying for medical care. And that’s to say nothing of legal fees charged by lawyers who are connected or talented enough to have lucrative positions.

        Americans go broke paying for their nice German cars, but, hey, it’s alright because those people worked so HARD for the privilege of overcharging us for their services.

        I’m amazed that people are so concerned about whether or not gay people can get married but not about how badly they’re getting effed by our medical establishment.


        July 29, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      • 220 Central Park South is off limits to millionaires such as Mick Jagger.

        And what class would Mr. Jagger be, given the fact that $1M/annual in NYC, is barely scratching a dent in a billionaire universe?


        July 30, 2016 at 12:30 am

    • “White people” are not our group. Any of us who strolls around Park Slope will realize this within ten minutes. Nerds/Freaks are our group. Nerds/Freaks are usually White, and a higher percentage of Whites than of other races is Nerdy/Freaky, but there are a fair number of non-White Nerds/Freaks.


      July 29, 2016 at 9:32 am

      • I thought Park Slope was mostly Jewish?

        Joe Walker

        July 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      • Park Slope is SWPL with kids.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      • Park Slope has a lot of Jews (some quite religious) and wealthy gentiles.


        July 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      • Joe Walker, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish the superior, Jewish, White people of Park Slope from the inferior, non-Jewish, White people of Park Slope. JS, I attended the 9th St. shul for years with every single one of your “quite religious” Park Slope Jewish White people, and they’re all SWPLs.


        July 31, 2016 at 7:54 am

      • Jews who live in Park Slope aren’t always de facto well off. I’ve met a few Jews who live there, because they knew other fellow Jews who were able to give them a deal in one of those coveted brownstones, either through family connections or what one calls ethnic tribalism. Yes, some of them are quite religious. I see a few of them with religious garb who take their children for a stroll, as if it was in Crown Heights or Williamsburg.

        The Gentiles whom I know in Park Slope are all upper middle class and beyond.


        July 31, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    • I think $1 million per year is rich. That’s a dramatic difference vs. normal people in what is possible in life.

      I think this does raise a valid point though – the Democrat tax plan might be better just as a tax plan, but the money wouldn’t be spent well. We should be putting lots of money into space technology, making sure our military remains #1 by a wide margin, and things like that. Infrastructure (real infrastructure) is worth it too, but the Dems will spend a lot on bogus “green technology” and transcontinental bike lines and crap. Making ourselves strong and embarking on great projects is worth it, but the dems will pour money into useless and delusional social justice stuff.


      July 29, 2016 at 9:36 am

      • “making sure our military remains #1 by a wide margin”

        Hey, the 80s wants its foreign policy back!

        By the way, even if the tax revenue is totally wasted, it will benefit the-non rich by taking some of their money away (which they don’t need anyway) and make things more affordable because less money will be chasing it. More affordable real-estate, more affordable private schools, etc. Although, yes, I’d prefer the money be used to build a Wall and enforce immigration laws instead of “green” crap.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

      • I don’t see why having the strongest military should be viewed as out-of-date thinking. It’s good for us if we are the strongest. Also, it’s not foreign policy – it’s capability. The choices about how to use that capability would be the foreign policy.


        July 29, 2016 at 9:45 am

      • 80’s foreign policy was pretty solid, albeit not without its flaws.

        There’s a lot of value in an extremely strong military, but it has to be matched with fear it’ll be used if necessary. One reason RR was so effective was the belief by our enemies that he was a loose cannon; they almost certainly think the same of Trump.


        July 29, 2016 at 10:47 am

      • Eighties foreign policy didn’t go far enough. Hezbollah should have been destroyed after those Lebanon attacks against our noble warriors, and a Christian dictator put in power there; Cuba should have been occupied and annexed, North Korea should have been eliminated, the Vietnam War (the noblest war in history) probably should have been started up again and won; permanent military bases on the Moon and Mars and in Antarctica should have been established. Giant walking war-robots should have been developed. Mile-long hovering blimp-aircraft-carriers should have been built. Reagan could have been the first Galactic Emperor. Now it’s up to Trump.


        July 29, 2016 at 10:51 am

      • America is pretty much a lost cause going forward.

        if the White demographic is dazed and confused, any welfare subsidy will not benefit NAMs, who are less intelligent and less capable.


        July 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      • One needs to understand that “affordability” in the United States with housing and school, only invites NAMs and the wrong kind of people.

        Liberal centers are expensive, because it keeps NAMs at bay.

        Again, this is the only issue, not income inequality, not outsourcing, not high taxes, but of course, it’s very unPC, and thus, it gets ignored.

        One reader here made a comment that the Democrats are making it hard for the average person to join the elite. Not so much, as in making it hard for someone, not to be surrounded by NAM miscreants.

        High real estate prices bring in good neighbors!


        July 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      • “Reagan could have been the first Galactic Emperor. Now it’s up to Trump”

        I could live with that.


        July 29, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      • I think this does raise a valid point though – the Democrat tax plan might be better just as a tax plan, but the money wouldn’t be spent well.


        Why should we entrust more money to a liberal government that’s fiddling while ISIS takes over the planet?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    • To me, rich means not having any contact with blacks (or, increasingly, youth). If to you it means influencing policy, fine, but I think most people would be happy just living in La Jolla and hanging out at the country club. A million a year will do that for you.

      Explainer 21

      July 29, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      • San Diego is one of the few cosmopolitan areas for wealthy people, where the sighting of blacks is kept at a minimal. In La Jolla, blacks are almost non-existent. The same is to be said of all the SWPL areas, along the Pacific Coastline. Compare to Manhattan, and Northside Chicago (if you want to count the “downtown” areas), blacks are ubiquitous.


        July 29, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      • There are hardly any minorities in the Hamptons.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 29, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      • Yes, but overall, the Hamptons is not what one calls an urban center. And the likelihood of encountering a token black in the Hamptons is a greater possibility than let’s say in La Jolla.


        July 29, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    • $ 1 million income per year is rich by any rational definition of rich. You are out of your mind.


      July 29, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      • I think what lion really wants is an increase in the velocity of money, I.e. Poor people go out and spend it and it offers them higher marginal utility than a rich person. In that sense it’s not the tax code that needs fixing, it’s the federal funds rate. Currently older people are being forced to stay in the workforce preventing younger workers from beginning their careers in the labor force, possibly creating a permanent unemployed unskilled class. At the same time the money saved on low interest rates is retained by corporations (i.e. The very wealthy shareholders). I’m not sure how much of the interest savings helps inflate stock prices and so improves the mutual funds of said old people, nor how many of the citizens in America who are old own mutual funds (I think only 10% of America owns stocks, but I’m not sure if that includes pension obligation holders like 401k beneficiaries).

        The amount of damage low interest rates is doing to our economy cannot be understated. All to save the asset prices of a few billionaires and upper middle class people who own homes and think their home is a source of “wealth”. This is the real wealth transfer from rich to poor and it has fueled most of the negative social trends during the last 30 years. The spiraling health care costs, the outlandish pay of Wall Street relative to Main Street, even college costs, and real estate, all due to monetary policy and Harvard/Princeton’s perpetual control of thought on the matter.

        How about we define rich as someone for whom the marginal utility of ten thousand dollars is de minimus. Like if you found it in cash on the street you literally would not care. That’s probably the $10M net worth point and it sounds pretty reasonable. Even $10M put in the bank for 1 year will yield more than $10k in interest and people consider bank interest to be 0 utility in today’s zirp environment.

        Then again someone truly rich should be able to afford anything traditionally purchasable in this world and that money won’t buy you a $300M yacht.


        July 30, 2016 at 11:18 am

  6. I do not disagree with your analysis, lion, but it has generally been my impression that very good accountants and estate planning can minimize the tax load for the very wealthy. They can afford to move their money into places that are hard for the government to reach (as with wealthy Chinese buying US real estate). Her tax plan is the right idea, but breaking up the monopolies and oligopolies would likely lead to better results.


    July 29, 2016 at 9:42 am

    • Her plan is the way forward to eliminate the loopholes.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      • I guess I’m just not convinced that the extremely wealthy can be taxed, loopholes or otherwise. Our bureaucrats aren’t exactly the best and brightest, and the wealthy don’t like paying if they don’t have to.


        July 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm

  7. So, Lion, tell me again why you have cast your lot with the bullies and are supporting Trump. I can only assume you are a single-issue voter, and that issue is immigration. No different in my mind than having abortion as the thing that blinds one to all else. (For me, immigration is a cultural issue rather than an economic one: if only people would just assimilate as they used to!)


    July 29, 2016 at 9:51 am

    • Mexicans are too short to assimilate. Arabs are too sinister. SouthAsians are too flabby. Chinese are too robotic, except for the Chinese girls who mate with our Nerds. You see? It’s all about HBD!


      July 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      • East Asians serve as a focal point, as to why non-Whites, do not make compatible/complementary citizens, with the White majority.


        July 29, 2016 at 9:48 pm

  8. “Clinton would also impose a minimum tax of 30 percent of AGI on filers with AGI greater than $1 million(i.e., the Buffett Rule).”

    Don’t we already have an Alternative Minimum Tax? And doesn’t it kick in at a far lower income?

    As to $1M/year making you rich: if you do that year-in-year-out, then yes. But if you own a business and have just one really good year, $1M one time won’t do it. You’re still middle class, and if you’re smart your attitudes and choices will not be affected by that one time windfall.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    July 29, 2016 at 10:16 am

    • Despite Chris Rock’s joke about how “Shaquille O’Neal is rich; the guy who signs his paychecks is wealthy,” I think there’s a case to be made that “rich” means having lots of money, not just making lots of money. If you’re a pro athlete or rock star making $1 million a year but blowing it all on hookers, blow, and Lamborghinis, and at the end of your 20-year career you have nothing to show for it, I think it’s fair to say you’re not “rich.” But if you save and invest and build up a $20 million net worth, then yeah, you’re rich. (“Rich” shouldn’t be reserved for people who can afford the most expensive condo in one of the most expensive cities in the world.)


      July 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

  9. Taxing corporations sounds good, but doesn’t raise much money, and corporations always have layers of lawyers and accountants to game the system. There’ll always be weird credits and such to exploit. Another thing you have to consider is that you give foreign corporations with big US operations an advantage over US domestic firms. There’s lot of talk about inversions (when a US company is “acquired” by a foreign company). But what about companies that are really foreign? Siemens, Philips, NEC, Hyundai, Samsung, Toyota, Volkswagen, and lots of others that operate here. They pay US taxes on US operations, but not on their global operations.

    About ten years ago, I worked for a company that was headquartered in Canada, but it did less than 5% of its revenues in Canada. About half the operations were in the USA. It had a great tax position for doing this, and it had originally been a Canadian company that simply grew and made big acquisitions in the US and elsewhere. It bought a company in the USA. The US subsidiary bought it, but then borrowed money from a European subsidiary, and paid interest from the US to the European subsidiary. That European country only charged 1% (or some really low amount) tax on interest income, but we go to deduct the entire interest payment made by the US subsidiary (which had a high interest rate, 15% or something), thereby moving the money out of the US. Canada doesn’t tax worldwide like the US does.

    So even if you prevent inversions, you can’t realistically prevent foreign companies from operating here, and they’ll never pay taxes on their global income. So you can make Apple or whatever pay corporate taxes on income earned in Denmark, but you can never make Samsung do the same.


    July 29, 2016 at 10:24 am

  10. Hillary exemplifies the problem: the Clinton Foundation doesn’t pay taxes, yet it’s the Clinton’s that have control over that money. Why isn’t that wealth?

    US already has the most progressive tax. This will only tax the future rich most, and will protect the wealthy against the future rich. The wealthy already have money. If you invest that in an asset, you don’t pay tax every year, even if that asset is extremely liquid. Hillary can buy the s&p and sit on it for decades. The potentially future rich will have to pay taxes every year, while the wealthy can store the wealth.

    Another way to look at the problem: if you invest long term, you store wealth, you don’t create new business activity or new opportunities. You are proposing a world where you tilt the benefits towards the already wealthy and hit the would-be new entrants. That’s actually going to be bad for the economy, because of less economic activity — people less incentivized to create new things. We’ll become more like Europe where you have money in families that have been in the elites for centuries. That’s anti-American actually. The point of America when it was founded was that people would be given a part of their economic activity unlike in Europe where there would be a more upper/lower class system.


    July 29, 2016 at 11:32 am

  11. The Dems never instituted these tax policies when they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency. I’m skeptical about that being any more than talk.


    July 29, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    • Because Republicans blocked the tax policies.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      • Since the Dems were in the majority, doesn’t mean that some Dems opposing it were the deciding factor?


        July 29, 2016 at 6:38 pm

  12. I love it how blue-collar whites are accused of “voting against their economic interests” but that charge is never levied at rich Dems who vote for candidates who routinely excoriate them.


    July 29, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    • The reality is that working class whites really did vote against their economic best interests until the Dems went all open borders. In fact, up through the 90s the Dems were the better party on immigration.

      Otis the Sweaty

      July 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      • How so?


        July 29, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    • Poor Republican voters are viewed as stupid dupes, rich Democratic voters are viewed as generous and unselfish.


      July 29, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      • Which is a completely rational way to look at it.


        July 30, 2016 at 2:38 am

    • I’ve had the same thought about Thomas Frank. Notice he’s not writing a book called “What’s the Matter With Massachusetts” claiming that wealthy elites are voting against their economic self-interest by voting for politicians who want to raise taxes. Of course, being familiar with a Thomas Frank fan (my own left-wing father,) I’d guess that the rejoinder to that would be that the very rich are voting Democrat yet funding special-interest lobbies which control the Democratic politicians to ensure they don’t raise taxes on the donors themselves. Still, true or not, that doesn’t explain why so many well-off but non-very-rich, e.g., doctors, middle managers, etc., apparently want their own taxes to go up. I guess voting against your own economic self-interest is only foolish when you’re voting for the “wrong” side.

      Also, notice the article by Frank linked by gothamette above. He says Donald Trump is closer to his own views than Hillary Clinton on economics (the issues he considers most important; in fact, the only “real” issues, the social and cultural issues being a fake and fraudulent distraction fabricated by cynical, Machiavellian Republican elites in order to dupe proles into voting against their own economic self-interest.) Yet he then says he refuses to vote for Trump on the basis of… the social/cultural issues! (Trump’s a bigot, racist, anti-immigrant, etc.) And this is a guy who has a book out (“Listen, Liberal”) arguing decrying how the Democrats are no longer the “party of the people” but instead consist of a technocratic, managerial intellectual elite, but there he is proving himself a member of said elite rather than sympathizing with working people. What a hypocrite.


      July 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      • Our progressives in America are not intellectuals in any shape or form. They live in a cloud, made up of a toxic fume of self suicidal delusion, known as universalism.


        July 30, 2016 at 11:12 am

      • What’s the matter with Thomas Frank


        July 31, 2016 at 3:40 am

      • That’s a good point about Franks. I never quite put my finger on what about him disturbed me.

        I do think that he’s right about Republican voters being duped; the alt right put their finger on this in their “cuck” terminology.


        July 31, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    • The reason so many blue collar whites vote against their economic self-interests is because of black crime. It is no use having a well-paying job if you are a murder victim. The Democrats have been pandering to the blacks since at least the days of FDR which is why white support for the Democrats has continued to decline over the last 50+ years

      Joe Walker

      July 30, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      • Right about black crime; wrong about FDR. Eleanor was more of the black activist than FDR. The pandering to blacks reached warp speed with LBJ. Obama finished the process. Or was that Michelle? I suspect she was the driving force behind BLM in the WH.

        Enough acronyms?


        July 31, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  13. This is too conventional look at taxes, Lion. Look, feminism and open borders are PROFITABLE for a tiny elite.

    We must return to the crucial lens of AFFORDABLE FAMILY FORMATION. Expensive housing and private schools (to avoid “bad schools”) are what prevents decent people from marrying and having kids.

    And what *really* causes this housing scarcity and bad schools?

    In my perfect world, all the money that’s spent on welfare to the dysfunctional/criminal classes would go to the competent middle class. The government would pay THEM to get married and have children as opposed to they dysgenic program we now have.


    July 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    • Absolutely. And marketed right, it would be great politically too.


      July 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    • Never, America has a large contingent of urbanized NAMs, who have this irrational dislike of “White” civic values, and thus, they will not make good citizens.

      If East Asians have a hard time complementing the values of the White demographic, most certainly, blacks and to a certain extent, Hispanics will have a harder time.

      Affordability is another word for NAM friendly.


      July 31, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      • Even deeply, entrenched suburban, affordable prole areas in NYC, like Staten Island is 11% black and rising. This is startling, and its a lot of blacks. Furthermore, as usual, blacks in Staten Island are crime prone.

        Now compare that to an expensive sprawl like San Diego, where blacks are less than 1/2 of that. And because it’s expensive, blacks who live there must have the means to do so.

        San Diego County has one of the lowest crime stats for any metropolis in America.


        July 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

  14. The donor class ultimately keep their stuff in trusts or charitable foundations, don’t they?


    July 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm

  15. If Trump wins he should go, “we’re adopting Hillary’s tax plan – too bad she couldn’t bring herself to say ‘it’s the muslims’ or she’d be in the White House now.”

    Men Belli

    July 29, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    • The fact that Hillary supports those BLM thugs would stop me from ever voting for her.

      Joe Walker

      July 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm

  16. Taxes are an after-function of spending. The US could EASILY trim a trillion off the budget without anyone even noticing, except a bunch of bureaucrats who might lose cushy jobs. Certainly, the chances of Hillary looking to cut spending are less than none. Trump understands budgets and spending. While he hasn’t said anything yet (that I know of), I have hopes he will finally complete the Reagan era promise to shut down the Dept of Education ($77 B a year) and few other entities like HUD ($50 B a year) which commit active evil. Of course, there are mere trimming exercises (but any way you slide it, $50 B a year is a lot of money and does a LOT of damage). The big money is in defense and the various welfare programs and Soc Sec.

    I would love to know how much Social Security goes to very recent immigrants who paid not a dime into the system. I know it’s quite widespread for Chinese to bring in Granny and Grampy and magically get them on Soc Sec a week after showing up. I would retroactively take away ANY gibmedats for immigrants (legal and otherwise) going back at least ten years.


    July 29, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    • Even GWB didn’t cut any spending, of course Hillary won’t.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    • Meaningful slashing of the federal budget begins and ends with health care costs. Enforce price transparency/consumer protection and anti-trust laws across Big Pharma, health care providers and health insurance companies. Do this and healthcare costs fall as much as 80% in time. This would save ~$600 billion annually in federal spending without cutting a single service or taking anyone off the Medicare/Medicaid rolls. This would be at least 40% less expensive than single payer.

      Not to mention similar savings to private health care costs and private insurance costs.

      Andrew E.

      July 29, 2016 at 6:04 pm

  17. I love these posts where you scapegoat rich people for your personal failings and whine about how they need to pay more taxes. News flash–tax rates have NOTHING to do with your failure at life. You’re a failure because you made a string of terrible life decisions and because you have an offputting, autistic personality. Let me repeat that: you are the author of your own misfortunes, NOT rich people or tax law.

    I almost hope that soak-the-rich taxes are implemented, because when they are, you’ll be no better off than you are now, and then you’ll have to own up to the fact that your dead-end career and dead-end life are entirely your own fault.


    July 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    • One needs a very thick skin to be a blogger. Even then, I think blogging is bad for one’s self-esteem.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      • To be honest, it’s bad for my self esteem just reading the blog comments at times. It’s a big pity party for a bunch of guys who don’t like much of anything.

        I thoroughly enjoy your point of view, however. I came back here day after day, year after year. Thanks for the stimulating writing.


        July 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm

      • So why do you keep LoftB open, despite the psychological issues it causes?

        And my acronym for your blog is LoftB as in Loft B = like a large apartment or residential complex.


        July 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      • “One needs a very thick skin to be a blogger.” I am one of those who have criticized you in the past, but only because I am shocked that a fellow Northeastern prole with Jewish ancestry would be so blatantly pro-choice – the pro-choice crowd does not – really does not – like Jews who are not rich – I really don’t get why you don’t understand that. On the other hand, a couple times I talked about how good your photos and paintings were and within an hour or two I got unfairly criticized (once, for pointing out an easy small fix to your perspective on a photo of a Staten Island main street, and once for saying you were as talented as a lot of well-paid abstract expressionists). Even as a mere commenter, and even though the criticisms were clearly unfounded, I felt bad for a moment or two, so I can feel your pain as the guy who runs this blog. Anyway, I really wish you would read real Jewish philosophy on the pro-life issue – basically, anything that the current Supreme Court says about it – and I say this as the friend of a friend of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (my friend has compared her to a lovable little scamp, but he knew her when she was much younger than us, bless his little old heart) – is the opposite of the truth. I also would like to see more photos or paintings, both from the prole parts of Long Island (roughly all the parts more than a mile from the Ocean or the Sound) and from my beloved Staten Island.

        howitzer daniel

        July 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      • Why? If it’s true – do something about it, if not – why care? I think criticism is good. Most people are phonies and will not tell you the truth to your face. Blogging gives you a chance to hear the truth more often.

        You have a good blog and you are a decent sort of a chap, but that nonsense you write about cows is really bad. They are not dangerous. I love cows – they are the most useful animals on the planet. Gonna eat one soon.


        July 30, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      • I am one of those who have criticized you in the past, but only because I am shocked that a fellow Northeastern prole with Jewish ancestry

        Lion doesn’t seem like a prole at all.


        July 31, 2016 at 12:09 am

      • Tom – I used the word “prole” broadly, to include individuals from a “prole” background who still understand “proles” as an adult – which I think is an accurate description of LoTB. I used the word “friend” broadly too, in saying I was a friend of a friend of Ginsburg’s – I had a college teacher who was a close friend of hers way before she was rich and he and me got along well – that is,without more, not really a “friend” , I guess, although in some contexts the word fits. It is a prole trait to use words broadly, I think, whereas the upper classes are more often very understated about things (when they are not politicians, anyway).

        howitzer daniel

        July 31, 2016 at 8:53 am

      • I disagree with your use of “prole”. I don’t think Lion comes from a prole background. Being prole isn’t the same thing as not being rich.


        July 31, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      • Lion, you come across as a very decent individual, but you also give off a bit of fussy/nerdy. That combo brings out the sniper in people.


        July 31, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      • Is it prole to own a female sexbot companion?

        Better yet, I’m waiting for liberals to whine about sexual inequality w/robots among NAMs, once they are doled out into the market for the rich!


        July 31, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    • the is/ought fallacy on display by “astral”.

      one must wonder why astral feels the need to say such things and at such length.

      lion’s observation is correct. the ultimate political reason for lower rates on the rich is that non-rich white people are ashamed of not being rich.

      this is a uniquely american phenomenon. the american system rewards a lot of virtues like intelligence and thrift. but it also rewards a lot of vices. astral may be excused. she needn’t take responsibility for her ignorance.

      jorge videla

      July 29, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      • I wouldn’t reward him(or her) by posting his comment, let alone by replying to it.


        July 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      • Spain has the most robust middle class as of 2015:


        July 30, 2016 at 12:16 am

      • A lot of white people don’t want to appear to be acting like the blacks. Blacks and now Hispanics can often be seen looking for freebies and handouts. Most whites don’t want to imitate that behavior.

        Joe Walker

        July 30, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      • JS, I’d spent a year and a half in Italy before coming to America and there was no comparison in the material well being of the working people between these countries. I find it hard to beleive that Italy has overtaken the US. I would much rather live in Rome or Florence then in NYC, if I could afford it, though. Italians are great chaps to live among.

        Lion, you gotta see Italy – it’s magnificent.


        July 31, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      • Yakov, you and your delusional vision of the American White proletariat as being a well lived species is a myth. Not only do Americans slave ridiculous hours to maintain a middle class lifestyle, which is now harder to achieve, they have to contend with these lower IQ immigrants who are non-white for the same jobs. If not, they bear the brunt of subsidizing their idle existence along with those of blacks. Furthermore, many American proles do not eat well, they have absolutely no permanent assets of their calling. No one “owns” real estate in America, the gov’t does if you don’t pay your taxes. Many Southern Euros have more than one home, even among the lower middle classes. And one very important thing, American proles have little to fall back on. Uncle Sam is stingy for normal people, when it comes to welfare.


        July 31, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      • JS, it works out for me and for people around me. Producers produce and complainers complain. It’s possible that America’s decline cannot be reversed, but it’s still the best country for economic opportunity and we’ve got to do what we can save it.


        August 1, 2016 at 9:59 am

      • JS’s chart is silly because the definition of “Middle Class Wealth” varies by country. In the US its max assets <500K.

        In addition Spain has the tiniest fraction of any country on that chart of people above middle class. Not even 4%!

        Table 3 shows that from 2000-2015 in the US over 9 million people got above middle class.
        In Spain its just 300K! In the entire country with a population of 46M less than 20,000 people a year a scrambling into anything like financial security.

        To me Spain looks like a terrible economy where you are basically mathematically barred from accomplishment and the good life.

        Lion of the Turambar

        August 1, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    • First, your comment is completely uncalled for. And, second, Leon has a point. Not that people aren’t ultimately responsible for their own outcomes. But that doesn’t mean there’s not lots of cronyism and corruption. It’s not either or. Both can be true.

      Regardless, billionaires are exerting an undue negative influence on our politics. And they all claim to want higher taxes. I say we give them what they want until they cut the shit out.


      July 29, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    • Ouch. This was pretty vicious. Whenever I get critical of Lion, I try to soften the blow a bit. I’ve had people hit me hard on internet posts and I agree that you need a thick skin to endure it. It was disturbing to me a while back when Lion indicated that something I’d written (a piece of analysis) lowered his self-esteem (I pointed out things that he felt he should have thought of already). But then I go to the other extreme and praise him to the skies for something and then people write as if I sleep with a pillowcase on my pillow that has a picture of a heart and a picture of a Lion next to it!


      July 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    • This comment is spiteful and uncalled for. Lion is one of the most insightful social commentators out there. If there was any justice in the world, Tom Friedman and ta’nehisi Coates would be in a gulag fighting over scraps and Lion, Sailer, and Derbyshire would be feted and commanding $50K per speaking engagement.


      July 29, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    • the just deserts hypothesis became absurd a long time ago. that is, if it ever approximated reality.

      the US now has the least social mobility in the developed world. it is the most unequal country in the developed world. it is the poorest country in the developed world as measured by median wealth per adult.

      at this point this way of thinking is just a cognitive bias of the ill-informed.

      a man in prison for a crime he did not commit is not responsible for his being in prison.

      jorge videla

      July 29, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      • Spain has the most robust middle class as of 2015 (much of Spain’s wealth is from this class):


        July 30, 2016 at 12:20 am

      • I believe Italy and the UK have a bit less social mobility than the US.


        July 30, 2016 at 9:36 am

      • I notice that no one objects to the substance of the comment, I.e. It is factually correct. Even MaryK says as much, but because she is a woman she would have put it more motherly. Lion needs a man to set him straight though… That means stern and forceful. Like a shovel to the face.

        I think the prison comparison is apt, but extreme. The US is by no means a prison but it has become more difficult in some ways but much easier in others to become successful. People 50 years ago would have said the same thing. The more things change the more they stay the same I guess. The world will always be mostly full of losers (figuratively speaking not literally) and underachievers. This is almost by definition. I think the underlying reasons why Lion writes such posts were captured by the original commentor “Astral” though, and all attempts henceforth were to be nice or kind about he truth. It’s not what the hbd or right-o-sphere is about as we don’t sugarcoat truth here. I don’t think Astral meant to be offensive or to hurt your ego here either. The truth is just oftentimes sad and we are all flawed human beings (it’s a necessary but insufficient condition for being one).

        Yes in a just world Friedman (piece of shit that he is) and Coates (worthless affirmative action mediocrity that he is – note he isnt terrible just infuriatingly overrated) and Malcolm Gladwell (piece of shit doesn’t even know what an eigenvector is, but has the audacity to write about it), in a just world these people would be at best middle class and at worst living under a bridge. However, the world is not just. When has it ever been just?

        Most of the people posting here are probably borderline atheists/agnostic or believe in G-D because they know that a good right winger advances the cause of religion for its stabilizing effects on the human psyche and society at large, but I’m surprised anyone would post something as vacuous as “a just world”. That phrase should not even be uttered around here.


        July 30, 2016 at 11:39 am

      • I believe Italy and the UK have a bit less social mobility than the US.

        It’s unfair to compare a Southern Euro country like Italy and say its living standards are below that of the United States and the UK, given the dysfunctional social dynamics in the Anglo-Prole-Sphere nations. Italy doesn’t have a large restive and surly black population, neither does it have a colonial legacy like the UK, where this invites 3rd world migrants, sometimes, I say often, who have this indirect vendetta towards their colonial masters.


        July 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      • And a real sad fact about the United States:

        Proles are voting for Trump, because he promises to bring back a robust blue collar job market, if he gets elected, without taking consideration that humans will become useless, as automatons take over many manual industries.

        Meanwhile Canada and Western European nations are formulating a plan to bring basic income for their prolier citizens.


        July 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      • your post sounds like “hip-hop” to me illumination. are you a black guy?




        i repeat myself:

        at this point this way of thinking is just a cognitive bias of the ill-informed.

        and as lion has correctly observed…

        IQ is only an advantage up to a not very high point.

        past that it’s irrelevant…or even a negative.

        jorge videla

        July 30, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      • JS, shut up already! America is the best for mobility of any kind. Everyone I know that works and studies is successful. I’m on familiar terms with wealthy customers, I don’t feel any great social divide. I work, make good money, completly free, what’s the problem? Vote Trump to stop the slide and save the country and stop wining.


        July 30, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      • if one is so inclined he may always “explain” social rank by hypothetical innate traits of individuals.

        and furthermore he may confuse such “explanation” with justification of rank.

        but when one considers that so far as such traits have been discovered (like IQ and “conscientiousness”) they do not in fact explain much of anything…and are also far from perfectly innate…

        one must return his thumb to his mouth.

        jorge videla

        July 31, 2016 at 12:48 am

      • the US now has the least social mobility in the developed world. it is the most unequal country in the developed world. it is the poorest country in the developed world as measured by median wealth per adult.

        the US also has the most NAMs in the developed world. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,


        July 31, 2016 at 5:57 am

      • That’s right, Destructure, to me, greater America is devoid of any interesting culture, and Manhattan is basically an island of wealthy Whites and social pariahs they call NAMs.


        July 31, 2016 at 9:23 am

      • Meanwhile Canada and Western European nations are formulating a plan to bring basic income for their prolier citizens.

        That assumes Salafists haven’t taken them over before they can distribute the goods.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 31, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      • JS — My comment had nothing to do with “culture”. And your comment had absolutely nothing to do with mine.

        I was responding to Jorge’s comment about the US having the greatest inequality and least mobility in the developed world. This isn’t a result of anything nefarious. Opportunity and personal freedom naturally result in unequal outcomes. Some people are just smarter and make better choices than others.

        Nor is it surprising that, after a few generations of social mobility, social mobility would decrease. Social mobility is the result of having smart people born into the lower class and dumb people in the upper class. But, after a few generations of opportunity and freedom, most people are born into the class they would have ended up in. Of course the US will have less social mobility because most of it has already taken place.

        Both of these would happen even in a homogeneous country. But it’s complicated by America being multi-cultural. Half of America’s inhabitants come from first world countries with an average IQ over 100 and half come from 3rd world countries with an average IQ below 85. Rather than dumb people being grateful for the opportunity to live in a wealthy country with a high quality of life, many resent those who create the very wealth and quality of life they enjoy.

        As I’ve always said, I don’t resent people for being rich. But I resent some of them for using their wealth to push a destructive selfish and/or left-wing agenda. I would, however, knock the wealthiest down a peg to prevent the situation one finds in the Monopoly board game where one person ends up with all the money and property. Even if the game is fair and no one is cheating, that’s still not a good situation.


        July 31, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      • you are correct chairman, and i knew it aforehand, but one must be brief.

        concinnity is the enemy of precision, so to say.

        1. italy’s very high intergenerational income elasticity is due to italy’s being two different countries…i assume. that is, within northern and southern italy the class system is much less rigid than within italy as a whole…

        and, to be fair, this applies to the US too…yet canada is similarly huge as countries go and has no class system at all. australia is the same way.

        according to the nyt’s david leonhardt the class system in the former confederate states is just as rigid for whites as it is for blacks.

        so one must wonder whether the “honey boo boo” stereotype is the cause of a rigid class system or the effect.

        2. britain’s rigid class system may be sui generis. idk.

        jorge videla

        July 31, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      • C’mon Destructure – You’ve said America is a NAMland, which makes it unliveable for normal humans, and I said America is a cultural desert, with pockets of feudalism.

        They are related comments — America is no good!


        July 31, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      • yet canada is similarly huge as countries go and has no class system at all. australia is the same way.

        Canada and Australia may be large in terms of land area. But most Canadians live in a few major cities near the US border and most Australians in a few major cities along the coast. The rest is either very rural or uninhabited.

        I’ve spent plenty of time in Australia. There is absolutely a class system.


        July 31, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      • compared to the US, UK, and Italy…australia has no class system.

        australia is the richest country in the world in terms of median wealth per adult. (excluding silly countries like monaco of course)

        the rigidity of the american class structure is simply not explained by any conservative quodlibets like “the US used to have more mobility and has bred its overclass”…all such “explanations” are just rot.

        as my hero donald trump might say…”it’s midnight in america.”

        and trickle down economics is a huge part of the problem along with open borders.

        it’s funny how trickle down is so recent a phenomenon. G H W Bush ridiculed it as “vodoo economics”.

        the former episcopacy let in a few proles. and the proles pulled up the ladder behind them. it’s like that scene from The Blues Brothers…

        Waiter! Sir! Please, waiter!
        MR. FABULOUS
        Yes sir. How are your salads?
        The salads are fine. It’s just that, we’d..
        we’d like to move to another table, away
        from those two gentlemen.
        MR. FABULOUS
        Why? Have they been disturbing you?
        No. It’s just that.. well frankly, they’re
        offensive. Smelling. I mean they smell bad.

        trickle down is nouveau riche economics. should never have let them in.

        jorge videla

        July 31, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      • that is, the recent sclerosis of the american class structure is due to ideology not genes, and it is the ideology of self-made men or those whose wealth is only one generation old.

        this is not an observation of mine.

        it used to be that:

        1. to whom much is given much is expected, and…

        2. there is a place for everyone and everyone is in his place…

        but now it’s…

        i’ve got mine. i earned it (or my parents earned it). screw all y’all.

        jorge videla

        July 31, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      • Jorge — compared to the US, UK, and Italy…australia has no class system.

        Compared to Michael Moore you’re a stud. But you’re not.

        the rigidity of the american class structure is simply not explained by any conservative quodlibets like “the US used to have more mobility and has bred its overclass”…all such “explanations” are just rot.

        I can see why you scoff at the idea that intelligence is the primary predictor of success. On paper, you’re smart. So you think that if you’re smart but not successful then it must be “rot”.

        Plenty of studies have shown that intelligence is a very good predictor of success. But it’s not the only factor and certainly no guarantee. It’s not simply a matter of being handed a golden ticket just because you got a high score on your SAT and good grades. As it turns out, and I’ve argued before, there are other qualities as well such as emotional intelligence and “grit”. Regardless, common sense says that heritable traits conducive to success will become more concentrated among those who are successful. In fact, desirable traits not directly related to success such as height, attractiveness, etc should become more concentrated, as well.

        but now it’s…i’ve got mine. i earned it (or my parents earned it). screw all y’all.”

        I’ve never said otherwise. And I don’t like it, either. But my objection is not to any arbitrary “unfairness” or “inequality”. My objection is that the bastards are destroying our nation. Something to consider is that loyalty is strictly a conservative trait. And the people who say “screw all y’all” are demonstrating a shocking lack of loyalty. And just so there’s no misunderstanding, I’m not defending those running the GOP. I’m saying they’re no more conservative than those running the Dems..


        August 1, 2016 at 5:52 am

      • JS — NAM’s harm quality of life with their dysfunction. And, of course, multiculturalism and commercialism ruin culture. But I don’t think the US is unlivable or a cultural desert. And it also has nothing to do with my original comment. Are you confusing me with someone else?


        August 1, 2016 at 6:04 am

      • Plenty of studies…

        except they don’t and lion has shown this. the facts are in, and you’re wrong. you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

        above the very low 6 figures, the top 5% in earned income in the US, there is no way to predict who will be “successful” or not based solely on psychological traits.

        as yoda might say, “the just deserts hypothesis is strong in you.” but it’s also very weak in folks like warren buffett and bill gates. so your ad hominem is simply irrelevant.

        and there is no just world explanation for why social mobility varies so much by country and by geography within the US…controlling for race.

        jorge videla

        August 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      • one trait that i expect is of benefit up to a point is a burning desire to be rich and even richer once one is already rich. but it’s not a trait as far as psychology is concerned.

        and i’d call it a vice not a virtue.

        jorge videla

        August 1, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      • here’s a very interesting tom keene interview from this morning. if these figures are true, they are impossible to explain with genes.

        i think lion also believes that unlike in times past, the rich today are mostly making their fortunes in “value transference”. so higher taxes on the rich aren’t so much “punishing success” as punishing parasitism.

        jorge videla

        August 1, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    • That’s why I come here… To feel bad about myself.


      July 30, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      • America is abound with mental illness due to income inequality, and it’s the most depressed country in the industrialized world.

        I would say, it’s also the angriest of the angry prole nations.


        July 31, 2016 at 8:58 am

  18. I doubt seriously that Billionaires are supporting Clinton to pay more taxes. Like Warren Buffet who claims its so unfair that his income tax bill is lower than his secretaries, they’re all full of crap. Any capital gains tax rate increase will be avoided by loopholes in the bill and tax shelters. The Gates Foundation is billed as Bill Gates caring about the poor, but its just a giant tax shelter. These Foundations only need to give three percent of net worth to charity, and investments can exceed that by a wide margin. Most of the charity goes to purchase computers for poor minority schools. Guess what Operating System runs on these?
    The Rich don’t pay taxes. Corporations pay no tax at all. Apple paid not a single cent in taxes last year. They offshore their money so the IRS can’t touch it. All the taxes are passed to their customers while their corporation pays nothing.

    Joshua Sinistar

    July 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    • I don’t see why it’s full of crap to take advantage of free money while saying that it’s dumb that the free money is there.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 29, 2016 at 4:42 pm

  19. The capital gains, investment income, and estate taxes aren’t taxes on wealth though. They’re taxes on income and economic activity.

    The capital gains tax is a tax on the profit or income from the sale of an asset. Investment income taxes are taxes on income. And the estate tax is like a sales tax on transferring your money.

    A wealth tax would be like a property tax, but applied to all assets, not just real estate. With a wealth tax of 10%, someone with a net worth of a billion dollars all in Microsoft stock would have to pay 100 million dollars in tax.


    July 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm

  20. Is Hillary essentially proposing a 2nd alternative minimum tax? Wouldn’t it be better to simplify the tax code?

    You can still have higher rates on the rich with a simplified tax code, but there’d be fewer distortions and compliance costs.

    David Pinsen

    July 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm

  21. Apropos to the subject to taxes, this is worth a read.

    Doesn’t matter what Hill or Trump’s tax plan is. Absent massive and radical change, we’re doomed regardless. It’s already baked into the cake.


    July 29, 2016 at 6:28 pm

  22. You can’t have a wealth tax in the US without a constitutional amendment. Right now, if you were to put in place a wealth tax, the proceeds would need to be distributed to the 50 states proportionally.


    July 29, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    • Florida already has a wealth tax (or an asset tax, or whatever they call it).

      David Pinsen

      July 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      • Yet that banker from Jersey is moving down.

        The best kind of tax would be a progressive consumption tax. A “wealth” tax, other than existing forms like property taxes and estate taxes, would be a terrible idea.


        July 29, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      • A consumption tax is a bad idea. Middle and working class people don’t own much wealth, and rely on income from working and spend a greater proportion of their income on consumption than wealthy people. Furthermore, their income is dependent on consumption by other people. One man’s consumption is another man’s income and vice versa.

        A wealth tax would be best. Right now, wealthy people can just park their money in real estate and fine art with little tax and even write offs while poorer people’s incomes are taxed. If wealthy people got taxed on their assets, they would be forced to sell off their assets and put their wealth into more productive income generating assets that are better for the economy and do things like hire people.


        July 30, 2016 at 12:40 am

      • A progressive consumption tax exempts a certain amount of income so that the lower and middle class families do not suffer.


        July 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      • That’s why the progressive consumption tax is not very good. I primarily affects middle class people. The lower class is exempt, and for the wealthy, it has no effect since they’re rich anyway.


        July 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm

  23. Forget about taxes. The only things that matter are trade deficits, immigration and breaking the back of the Cathedral.


    July 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    • Indeed, though not in that order. Let President Trump generously stimulate the economy if need be.

      I wouldn’t mind if there was a dissolution of the monasteries, that is, the charitable foundations and university endowments that fund the Cathedral. Warren, Bill and Mark might get to participate in that too. But we can leave that for his second term.


      July 30, 2016 at 3:35 am

      • he is tanking in the polls again it looks like. i wouldn’t be holding my breath for the possibility of a president trump — unfortunately.

        james n.s.w

        July 30, 2016 at 6:07 am

      • Some polls are just a matter of changing the weights in some Excel sheet. Others are more elaborate faking. Hardly worth despairing over this poll, there have been many and there will be many more before the election is done.


        July 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      • there has been like 5 polls showing that trumps bump is gone. give it a week before any hasty conclusions are made but i feel like if trump isnt leading consistently in at least 2 weeks or so this election is more or less wrapped up. polls become predictive without much point movement very close to the point in the election cycle you guys are in now.

        james n.s.w

        July 31, 2016 at 10:08 am

  24. I like the LotB definition of tax loopholes

    Some opaque tax law manipulation that the Republicans do to think they pulled one over on the democrats.

    E. Rekshun

    July 29, 2016 at 8:38 pm

  25. The candidate who got the highest number of primary votes in Georgia’s richest county (by median household income) -Forsyth County- is… Donald Trump. Same for New York’s richest county (by median household income) -Puntam County.

    DeKalb county, meanwhile, a wealthy urban majority-Black county with rich and Obama-voting Whites -the most densely populated county in Georgia- voted solidly for Her. In second place was Bernie Sanders. Rubot got third place, Trump fourth.

    Affordable family formation matters, folks. Affordable family formation matters. DeKalb is like New York. Forsyth is like Puntam.


    July 30, 2016 at 1:05 am

    • That’s genuinely interesting, but primary voters aren’t like voters in the general.


      July 30, 2016 at 10:35 am

      • They’re reasonably representative.


        July 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

  26. Meh…

    Democrats have been pushing these kind of tax plans since Roosevelt. The result? The rich have gotten richer in the same period that such tax proposals have been pushed.

    I put no faith in a corrupt crony capitalist who is trying to run for office by telling everyone she intends to raise taxes on herself.

    The only people who have experienced actual tax increases over time have been the middle class…along with all of the other social costs.


    July 30, 2016 at 2:16 am

  27. If only we could combine Hillary’s tax plan and Trump’s immigration plan and ability to say “radical Islamic terrorism” into a single candidate with the demeanor of Mitt Romney.

    Maybe this comes under demeanor but one of the things I like about Hillary is that it’s clear she actually read her tax plan and has actually thought about these issues over her life.


    July 30, 2016 at 2:45 am

    • She is a typical Wellseley student. Does her homework and polishes the teachers apple, swallows all her semen like a good girl, doesn’t wipe. Exactly what this country doesn’t need. It’s time he nerd rebellion of the 80s was put down.


      July 30, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    • Unfortunately she is less interested in dealing with black crime which is the main reason why I would never vote for her.

      Joe Walker

      July 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      • But I’m sure she’s actually read her position papers on the topic and makes that clear whenever she discusses the issue.


        July 31, 2016 at 4:46 pm

  28. The Buffett rule is an improvement, but silly.

    There is no reason that capital gains and dividends should be treated differently than other than work income at all. The arguments deployed are spurious.

    It’s said we need to tax capital gains at a lower rate since investment is spending for new production, and new production creates new wages and profits (assuming it succeeds). Investing also is “risky”, and thus should receive more favorable treatment.

    The problem is that what economists define as investment is not what most people or the tax code consider to be investment. Economists literally define investing as spending for new production. Purchasing new machine tools for your business for instance.

    What the tax code and most people consider investing is not. It’s purchasing financial assets. If I buy shares in Berkshire Hathaway, there is ZERO spending for new production. I am buying an ownership share in a conglomerate which gives me certain legal rights.

    The only time purchasing securities may lead to new investment are when corporations issue bonds or new stock–and that’s not guaranteed. A lot of this used to take over other companies or to buy back shares.

    Purchasing financial assets is also not “risky” unless you yourself are an idiot and get swindled by pump and dump stock swindlers or lever up too much. And I’m not sure It’s certainly not risky to purchase SPY.

    Now, I do think it does make sense to reward actual economic investment. We can do this by eliminating depreciation schedules for equipment and facilities and allowing companies to expense them directly instead. If combined with a corporate tax hike, that could create and investment boom.

    As far as dividends go, the argument on them is that they’re “double taxed” because corporations pay taxes on profits. Okay…how is that different than wages?

    As for for me I am a one percenter and manage a business. On a personal level I hate taxes and feel like my pocket has been picked, but we need taxes and it makes sense that those with the ability to pay more should pay more. Peter Turchin has also been very persuasive in convincing me than extreme inequality is dangerous.

    And as Lion often points out, many of the people in my class are now SJWs anyway so fuck ’em.


    July 30, 2016 at 10:41 am

  29. Hillary inserted a bunch of Bernie blarney into her tax plan to appease the Bernie followers. In the end, Hillary won’t betray her donors.

    Mark Caplan

    July 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm

  30. The reason so many whites vote Republican is because of the race issue. If Democrats would only realize that pandering to the most destructive elements of the black community is hurting them with white voters, then the Democrats would have a chance to win them back. Unfortunately, too many Democrats have swallowed the BLM bullcrap.

    Joe Walker

    July 30, 2016 at 1:44 pm

  31. Lion puts a lot of faith in the IRS. The guys that go after every single conservative group and leaves the democrats in the fast track with little supervision at all. The tax rates have little to do with actual taxes paid. The accountants and lawyers always come up with new tax dodges. That’s what they get paid for, and the IRS has proven to be corrupt already. Hillary will make sure her donors’ tax bills are remarkably light. Those millions in donations are not gifts, they’re investments in which they expect Quid Pro Quo. This government is run by crooks in both parties. No one voting for Hillary expects her to carry through on anything. As long as they get some freebies leftover from the scraps, they’ll happily support her. I doubt most of her voters even know or care what her platform is really.

    Joshua Sinistar

    July 30, 2016 at 10:53 pm

  32. I don’t know why an individual can’t give the same amount as a married couple for the estate tax exemption. Some people aren’t married or may make their millions after a spouse dies. Someone could win the lottery at 70 and he would have to pay more than the couple. If he had a 7 million estate, he would lose about 1.6 million over the couple who had a 7 million estate.

    Maybe there are trusts that the money can be put into to minimize taxes.

    It should be indexed for inflation whatever it is. That you don’t have to keep changing it.


    July 30, 2016 at 11:50 pm

  33. Interesting link about what people pay in estate taxes. Estates over 20 million pay 18.8%.

    10-20 million estates pay 15.8%

    Raising income taxes on the rich is more important.

    I heard actors are actually incorporated so that when the get their big payments for a fill it goes to their corporation,not their personal income tax. Athletes and singers probably do the same.

    Does anybody know if that is true?


    July 31, 2016 at 12:09 am

  34. What is Astral is talking about?

    Lion lives in Manhattan and had the means to walk away from a job when he felt like it. Most people can only dream of doing that. The man is extremely successful.


    July 31, 2016 at 3:09 am

    • There are many levels of success. The most basic one, as a biological creature, is winning the evolutionary battle. Everything else is secondary. This is the first commandment in the Bible and the most basic instinct. No cubs, no lions.


      July 31, 2016 at 8:49 am

    • 1/20 Manhattanites are millionaires and they live in better housing. Lion is not of them.

      Furthermore, the lower White middle class in Manhattan, generally lives better than the upper White middle class, because they have more spending power and often more spacious apartments, if not a lower rental payment.

      Imagine making more than $50K a year, but less than 6 figures, and paying less than a 1K for an apartment in Manhattan. Most upper middle class strivers don’t have this privilege.


      July 31, 2016 at 9:16 am

  35. Lion, sometimes you dont use your intelligence. Do you actually think Hillary would enact a tax plan which would punish her base of donors and financiers? Of course not. Its what Democrats always do – pretend to be for the middle class while doing every favor they can for the super wealthy.

    Plus, a Paul Ryan led House will never support progressive tax reform. If they were smart (theyre not) theyd propose such a plan to force Hillary (assuming she wins) to publicly take the side of the rich.


    July 31, 2016 at 9:35 am

  36. O/T – Is self actualization a form of White Privilege? It seems like liberals want to find another way to stigmatize those who do what they love.

    Racial minorities, especially blacks are boring, and lacking in self empowerment and insight, and this has nothing to do with White privilege and institutionalized racism. It is inherent in their nature.


    July 31, 2016 at 11:44 am

  37. Lion, opposition to Trump is hardening.


    July 31, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    • Convulsions are stronger before death.


      July 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      • I think it’s Trump who is convulsing.


        August 1, 2016 at 8:42 am

  38. OT. Lion, have you heard of this academic running for President? Incredibly, he identifies legal immigration as a problem.


    Immigration has been a major topic in the Republican Presidential debates. But the discussion has been remarkably disconnected from the facts. Notwithstanding the suggestion that illegal immigrants are overrunning our borders, there are and have been more illegal immigrants leaving our country than entering it. Indeed, over the last decade, roughly 1 million more illegal immigrants have left our country than have entered it. This is tribute, in large part, to our immense, decades-long effort to secure our borders. We still need to work extremely hard on border enforcement to eliminate illegal entry to our country. But we shouldn’t presume nothing has been accomplished.

    The real issue with immigration is legal immigration. We are adding 1 million legal immigrants to the population each year. The great majority are unskilled. This isn’t hurting investment bankers or the software engineers at Google. This is hurting low-skilled U.S. workers. It’s the last thing we need if we are trying to restore our middle class.

    Population Explosion

    Legal immigration is also fueling a veritable population explosion. Unless we reduce legal immigration, our population will rise by one-third – over 100 million people – in just 45 years. That’s the current population of the Philippines. Most of these additional people will locate in the nation’s major cities. Driving in our major cities at peak hours is already a major challenge. With one-third more people, driving in our major cities may be like driving in Manila – an experience I don’t recommend.

    America’s population explosion has far-reaching implications for wage growth, jobs, productivity growth, public services, infrastructure, congestion, public transportation, the education system, agriculture and our nation’s ability to reduce its carbon footprint. Yet, neither Secretary Clinton nor Mr. Trump seem aware of the great demographic changes we have underway. It’s one thing to consciously let your population explode. It’s another to do so with no planning for the consequences.

    I’ve talked to many people about this issue. Most argue that the country has plenty of space, that the Midwest has been emptying out, and that the country could easily accommodate twice the number of annual immigrants. My fear is that what happens when other countries have experienced rapid population growth will happen here. People will move primarily into existing urban areas that are already highly congested. Egypt’s three-largest cities including Cairo represent far less than 1 percent of its land mass. But they contain a quarter of that country’s population.


    July 31, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    • 100% true, but I don’t think the country can talk about the problem of legal immigration before first being able to completely get behind the idea that we must enforce the immigration laws against illegal aliens.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 31, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      • Why? If anything a total reduction of immigration is easier to discuss because there is nothing un-PC about it (unlike in Europe where it is intrinsically tied to migrant crisis). It should be easy to make a case for unemployment necessitating a decrease of all immigration (then you can sneak in all the country origins you want).

        The US is full. There is no need for any immigration period. How is it different than a European country or any other established old world empire like China? What it takes more than 400 years for a country to stabilize. We are already there. This is the steady state. Time to ban all immigration except for a small trickle of 250k of the world’s best and brightest (after evaluating if this will damage their home country via brain drain). That’s it done.


        August 1, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    • @Julian

      America has evolved into feudal society, where our elites in their Manhattan, DC, SV fortresses, require a large contingent of low skilled serfs to cook, clean with their full arsenal of gun totting burly guards to protect them from riff-raff near and far, until automatons and terminators become a full force to be reckon with.


      July 31, 2016 at 10:45 pm

  39. This discussion has gone off the rails. Trump is making a damn fool of himself every day. He will not be elected. See you in November.


    August 1, 2016 at 11:53 am

    • How is he making a fool of himself? Or were you always just a sleeper cell high level concern troll?


      August 1, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      • Not only that, I’m a member of the (((Illuminati))).

        Be afraid. Be very afraid.


        August 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    • “Trump is making a damn fool of himself every day. He will not be elected”.

      Only if you believe the MSM. You keep mistaking Trump’s bluntness for unrecoverable disaster, and your tendency to think that the MSM has any sway over Trump supporters is entering its nth iteration. No one except dedicated progressives will remember the Muslim dad next week, especially now he has screwed the pooch and claimed this ISIS terror business and its offshoots have nothing to do with Muslims. As for the wife, the optics were not good. Someone mentioned that she looked liked she should have been carrying a rosy red apple in her gnarled hand…

      It looks more and more (to me) that the debates will decide whether this will be a Trump landslide, or a very close contest.

      Difficult to see how Clinton can survive a fair face-to-face “debate” with Trump, because Trump will eviscerate her in any such contest. As he did with every Republican opponent, many of whom infinitely more talented in debates than she could hope to be. How will the Inner/Outer Party and the MSM game that, I wonder? Perhaps they will have them confined to separate stalls, where they are unable to lay eyes on one another. Or Trump’s mike will be cut off, or rendered unintelligible. Certainly he will be heavily handicapped in some way.

      Whatever. In any event, let me help to rephrase your comment.

      “Trump continues to shoot from the hip too much. I don’t think I can vote for him, so I think he will lose”.

      Tax plans? Meh.


      August 1, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      • I agree w/Hillary’s tax plan. Even Lion does.

        You guys really sound like cult members. I read Trump’s tweets, I don’t even bother with the MSM. His reax to the Khans show a very screwed up person. But there’s no use arguing with you.


        August 1, 2016 at 3:31 pm

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