Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Billionaires WANT their taxes increased

Whenever I post about this, the same commenter makes the dumb argument that it’s some sort of conspiracy. He’ll write something like “they only want an income tax increase so that it will prevent other people from becoming wealthy, while their wealth remains untaxed.”

But there’s no way to reconcile that conspiracy theory with what the billionaires are actually asking for: a wealth tax, only on the top 0.1%.

We are writing to call on all candidates for President, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, to support a moderate wealth tax on the fortunes of the richest 1/10 of the richest 1% of Americans—on us. The next dollar of new tax revenue should come from the most financially fortunate, not from middle-income and lower-income Americans.

When will Republicans give rich people that tax increase that they are asking for?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 24, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Taxes

It pays to have famous parents

In order to have the opportunity to present your photos, you need the connections from having rich and famous parents.

If only conservatives could boycott all of the Hollywood actors who say crap like that about Trump.

He must hate Trump’s tax cut. You see, rich people like Rob Reiner (net worth $60 million) WANT their taxes raised. Trump should give them what they want.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 15, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Taxes

New York Times Donald Trump tax hit job

I previously complained that accelerated depreciation is too good of a deal and should be eliminated from the tax code. (And when I said that, the usual truecons complain loudly about me being “socialist” or “Marxist.” Whatever.)

Donald Trump, or rather the tax experts he hired, took advantage of those tax breaks (and who knows what other tax breaks). Duh! Nothingburger story. Only fools would pay more taxes than they are legally required to pay.

* * *

And I apply the principle above to Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, and every other rich person regardless of their politics, regardless of whether they support lower or higher taxes. No one is going to pay more in tax than they are legally required to pay.

It’s up to Congress to eliminate unfair tax breaks like accelerated depreciation, differential taxation for capital gains vs. ordinary income, foreign tax credits, and other tricks used to avoid taxes.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 8, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Taxes

Tax cuts don’t help the rich

This article showed up in my Twitter feed, somehow I missed it when it was published in 2017. Economist Robert Frank explains how the rich don’t actually benefit from tax cuts:

Many affluent people are likely to celebrate if an eventual deal in Washington grants them big tax breaks. Evidence suggests, however, that their jubilation would be short-lived — and followed by deep disappointment.

It is perfectly natural, of course, to believe that extra cash will help them buy the special things they want, such as more spacious homes or better performing cars. But that belief is a garden-variety cognitive error.

The mistake occurs because “special” is an inescapably relative concept. A spacious home is one that is larger than most other homes. A high-performance car is one that outperforms most other cars. Successful bidding for such things depends almost entirely on relative purchasing power. Taxes affect absolute purchasing power, not relative purchasing power. The upshot is that the ability of the already rich to bid successfully for special things is not enhanced by tax cuts.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 15, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Taxes

Proof that rich people want their taxes raised

Commenters have mocked me when I’ve written this before. But as reported today in the NY Times:

… Morris Pearl, a former BlackRock executive who is the chairman of Patriotic Millionaires, a group dedicated to pushing for higher taxes on businesses and the ultrarich.

Testifying on Tuesday at a state budget hearing, Mr. Pearl asked a bipartisan group of about half a dozen legislators to create a new “multimillionaire’s tax” on households earning more than $5 million a year in order to fund new affordable housing, infrastructure and schools.

“I’m a person of some means. I could live wherever I want,” said Mr. Pearl, a former managing director at BlackRock. “I could live in Kansas, if I wanted to live in a state with low taxes and low services. But I don’t.”

Of the more than 200 members in the Patriotic Millionaires, 41 live in New York, a state known for its high wealth and high taxes.

Proof that rich people want their taxes raised!

Visit their website!

Patriotic Millionaires have annual incomes of more than $1 million and/or assets of more than $5 million.

As an organization we actively work together to advance our common goals which include a fairer tax system that includes greater tax obligations for millionaires and major corporations who have benefitted the most from the nation’s resources; higher incomes, beginning with a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour, for wage earners, who are the foundation of our nation’s economy; and less political influence for those whose sole credential is the ability to pay for it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 13, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Taxes

Marco Rubio must be reading my blog!

Last week, I wrote that I agreed with Sanders/Schumer on stock buybacks because they are a tax loophole that allows corporations to evade the dividend tax.

Marco Rubio has proposed a plan to tax stock buybacks like dividends.

Under the plan, any money spent by companies on buybacks would be considered, for tax purposes, a dividend paid to shareholders — even if investors did not actually sell their stock. Every shareholder would receive an imputed portion of the funds equivalent to the percentage of company stock they own.

Big thumbs up to Marco Rubio for having the courage to go against Republican orthodoxy that any tax loophole is a fast one that they pulled on the Democrats.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 13, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Taxes

Being old enough to remember the 1970s

That means being old enough to remember when Republicans complained about the budget deficit. That was back when Republicans were primarily concerned with lowering government spending (and possibly even genuinely concerned about the budget deficit).

Today Republicans are primarily concerned with lowering taxes for the rich, so today it’s Democrats who complain about the budget deficit instead of Republicans.

And I guess there’s also the fact that during brief period in my lifetime when there wasn’t a budget deficit, Clinton was president, so this is no longer seen as an issue that Republicans can use against the Democrats. (Clinton was lucky to benefit from the huge tax windfall caused by the dot.com bubble, but then George W. Bush and the Republican Congress pushed lower taxes without any compensating reduction in government spending.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 8, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Taxes

Fred Trump’s taxes

Massive article in the NY Times that I have not finished reading that alleges that Fred Trump cheated on his taxes. Few people will read the whole thing. Fifteen-thousand words long!

It’s the GIVER of gifts and not the receiver of them who owes tax, so if money was transferred to Donald and no taxes were paid, it was his father who was cheating and not Donald.

Of course, the NY Times also alleges that Donald helped, so I guess then there would be conspiracy to commit tax fraud, but the statute of limitations has expired on any criminal liability for Donald.

I have no idea what sort of civil tax fines could be levied against Donald or the other heirs of Fred Trump.

* * *

A commenter writes:

I will not go into any details but this kind of stuff was/is incredibly common with transactions like these with privately held real estate owners in places like New York. I could throw out names you would know and could guarantee that they used similar tax strategies over the years.

I believe that.

Congress should pass laws that make it harder for the richest of the rich to get away with not paying their fair share of taxes!

* * *

I hope this doesn’t become Trump’s Whitewater.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 3, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Politics, Taxes

The Manafort trial

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/01/politics/manafort-trial-day-two/index.html

It’s rather significant that there’s a trial taking place at all. The whole assumption behind Mueller indicting Manafort was that Manafort would turn against Trump in order to avoid going to prison. But that has NOT happened. And I’m pretty sure that the reason it hasn’t happened isn’t because of Manafort’s loyalty to Trump. Ha ha. Nope, the fact that this trial is happening is proof that Manafort doesn’t know anything.

The biggest surprise is that Manafort’s defense is to blame his business associate Richard Gates. This is further evidence that Manafort has no useful knowledge that Mueller could use against Trump. If Manafort is willing to throw his longtime business associate under the bus, I’m sure he’d have no problem doing the same to Trump in order to avoid prison.

It’s not surprising at all that Mueller’s team’s trial strategy is to prejudice the jury by presenting Manafort as a rich fat cat who does business with shady people. As the judge himself pointed out, it’s not illegal to be rich or to have a lavish lifestyle, and I would add that it’s also not illegal to do business with shady people as long as you are doing honest work for them. The Mueller team’s legal strategy is as shady as those wealthy Ukranians who Manafort worked for.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 1, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Law, Taxes

South Dakota v. Wayfair (2018)

This is one of the strangest Supreme Court decisions ever.

First of all, there is the oddness of two Justices, Kennedy and Thomas, overruling themselves. They were both on the other side of the issue in Quill v. North Dakota (1992).

And then you have the conservative wing of the Court (1) ruling in favor of more taxes; and (2) ruling against stare decisis.

Meanwhile, except for the strange cross-over of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the other liberals on the Court, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan, sign on with Chief Justice Robert’s dissenting opinion in which he writes:

E-commerce has grown into a significant and vibrant part of our national economy against the backdrop of established rules, including the physical-presence rule. Any alteration to those rules with the potential to disrupt the development of such a critical segment of the economy should be undertaken by Congress.

Conservatives see their decision as supporting states’ rights.

How would I have decided if I were on the Court? I would have decided with Roberts and the three liberal Justices. I don’t buy into the states’ rights angle at all. I support states’ rights more than most, but the right to tax E-commerce businesses in other states is not something that anyone was thinking about when the Constitution was written.

I think that the situation we had before Wayfair was economically stupid and unfairly discriminated against local bricks and mortar businesses, but the judicially imposed cure is even worse. If every state is allowed to impose its own weird sales tax rules on very small-time merchant, it will create a nightmare of compliance issues. And what happens if merchants just ignore it and don’t remit any sales taxes? How will the states ever know about it?

I think that the conservative thing for the Supreme Court to do is to not try to solve every problem that Congress refuses to deal with.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 25, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Law, Taxes

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