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If we're talking fair, let's make it fair.

  1. tobey100 profile image60
    tobey100posted 6 years ago

    Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), pronounced wee-ner by the way, has publicly made the claim that the inheritance tax is fair because the individual leaving the inheritance is dead.  Basically, what do they care?  They're dead.  Besides, it's only FAIR.  (I hate that word.  Nothing is FAIR and no human on earth can make life FAIR.)  Never mind they've worked their whole life, had taxes deducted every paycheck, paid income tax each and every year, not to mention property taxes or sales taxes.  Why should they be able to pass on what they spent a life time accruing to their children?  Their greedy children didn't earn it so they shouldn't complain about giving more to the government.  In a nut shell, Weiner believes all wealth belongs to the government and only the government may decide how much we keep for ourselves.

    OK.  Following Weiners logic, let's make it FAIR.  If an individual, after a life time of labor has no rights concerning the inheritance they leave behind, then isn't it also FAIR that they have no responsibility for the debts they leave behind either?  After all, they're dead.  Basically, what do they care?

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      If someone dies owing more than they own, do the debts also get handed down to their heirs? (I don't know the legalities of this..)

      Are the creditors dead? (No, they aren't.)

      But let me ask you this seemingly unrelated question.

      Do you prefer feudalism? Or meritocracy?

      1. Flightkeeper profile image79
        Flightkeeperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        What a red herring question!

        1. 61
          C.J. Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yep, it's the typical "THIS OR THAT" fallacy argument. It's designed to trap your questionee. Debate team 101 or rules for radicals, if your so inclined....

      2. 61
        C.J. Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        What about taxation whith out representation? Can a dead man be represented? Basically that's what he's saying isn't it? He has no representation so why not take his/her stuff. Then why not take it all? I see, because it's not fair.

        Your arugment regarding feudalism and meriticracy is a this or that fallacy. Wealth can be gained via legacy and/or hard work coupled with wise money management. In either case it requires work and wisdom to retain wealth. Feudalism was associated with class standing more so than wealth. In fact that's what caused the revolt against feudalism, the desire for upward mobility...WEALTH!

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          "What about taxation whith out representation? Can a dead man be represented? Basically that's what he's saying isn't it? He has no representation so why not take his/her stuff. Then why not take it all? I see, because it's not fair."

          I can easily represent any dead man you want. I asked him who he wants to vote for. He said, "....."

          I guess we'd have to call that an abstension.

          "Your arugment regarding feudalism and meriticracy is a this or that fallacy."
          Granted, those aren't our only choices. But consider: America was founded on many principles, some of which are in a bit of a controversy at the moment (like the Christian nation one, for example). But one of those principles was that of equality (poorly implemented at the time of the founding, and still poorly implemented even today). The idea that you are to be treated as you deserve, rather than as your father, or your father's father, deserved.

          "Wealth can be gained via legacy and/or hard work coupled with wise money management. In either case it requires work and wisdom to retain wealth."
          Uh, yeah, I suppose. But are you saying that the fellow who inherits his wealth worked as hard for it as the fellow who started from scratch and earned his wealth? 'Cos if I had to pick between the two for easiness, I'd pick the inherit-and-maintain-wealth job rather than the create-and-build-wealth one.

          "Feudalism was associated with class standing more so than wealth."
          Not really. Or, sort of. It was more about control of land (which was the main means of producing wealth until the industrial revolution). Land and wealth used to go hand-in-hand. Once non-gentry began creating a lot of wealth, the landed gentry had only "breeding" to set them apart. (An oversimplification.)

          1. 61
            C.J. Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            If my explanation of feudalism is an over simplification, your explanation on how to represent the dead is outrageously over simplified. Doesn't matter any way. It's a red herring...

            If a person attains wealth legally, who cares how hard they worked for it? How does one decide if they worked "HARD"? Then, how to we determine level of effort?  In any case they will definitely have to work hard to keep the wealth, no matter how it was attained. They have to work even harder to further build their legacy. Besides a "death" tax only hurts the financially indipendent.  The real wealthy simply will find ways around the tax. For example, giving away their property in small ammounts over time. It's what they do now. Are you proposing that each generation has to start from scratch?

            1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
              Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              "If my explanation of feudalism is an over simplification,"
              Actually, I was calling my own explanation of feudalism an oversimplification, not yours. But okay.

              "If a person attains wealth legally, who cares how hard they worked for it?"
              I thought that the Right did. I keep hearing about how the rich earned their wealth and don't deserve to have it "stolen" from them and "redistributed."
              (Never mind that the gov't is not writing checks to the destitute, but rather trying to pay for stuff like defense, infrastructure, social safety net, bridges to uninhabited islands, etc.) Somehow, that gave me the idea that the earning was somehow important to the Right.

              If the earning of wealth is unimportant to you, I apologize for lumping you in with the rest of the Right.

              "In any case they will definitely have to work hard to keep the wealth, no matter how it was attained."
              Yes, I suppose it's hard not to spend...no, sorry, I can't say that with a straight face.

              "Besides a "death" tax only hurts the financially indipendent.  The real wealthy simply will find ways around the tax."
              Not sure what that's meant to mean? The first part seems to disagree with the second part. Can you help me out?

              "Are you proposing that each generation has to start from scratch?"
              Nope. A kid whose parents paid for his college education is hardly starting "from scratch." But sure, if a person has merit, they'll certainly rise to the top, especially given their top-notch education, useful monied contacts through their (and their parents') social network, and so forth, so they won't miss too many meals, even if they "only" inherit, say, $2 million of their parents' fortune after taxes.

              1. 61
                C.J. Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You and I have very similar ideas about money and very different ideas about taxes. Thats why for instance you can't say its "VERY HARD NOT TO SPEND" it's not for me either. However for lots of people that's not the case. That's part of the reason we are in the credit crisis of today. That's the reason why so many believe there is a NEED for Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment. Because people are irresponsible with money. The rich typically aren't. The rest of us are often very irresponsible.

                You made your point very consisely when you said that it is customary and fair to tax money each time it changes hands. I don't agree. However I do acknowlege that it's "the way it is".
                I simply believe that if you allow the government too much leeway with taxes, they abuse them. One side seems intent on buying votes by making political slaves of the poor. The other side seems intent on running a good ole boys club for the rich. I'm not in favor of my taxes going to either group. Money for roads, protection, mail, etc. I'm fine with that.

      3. tobey100 profile image60
        tobey100posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The answer to Jeff's question is yes.  The debts of the deceased are handed down to the heirs if his estate doesn't cover them.  Been there, done that.

        As to Do you prefer feudalism? Or meritocracy?

        I prefer common sense and logic.  Class has nothing to do with wealth in this country.  At least, so far.  Any one can become or earn what ever they can.  No restrictions.  For some reason, wealth, to the left, is a bad thing.

        1. Doug Hughes profile image61
          Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Tobey said - "The debts of the deceased are handed down to the heirs if his estate doesn't cover them.  Been there, done that."

          The truth is -

          "When someone dies, any debts they leave are paid out of their 'estate' (the money and property they leave behind). You're only responsible for their debts if you had a joint loan or agreement or provided a loan guarantee - you aren't automatically responsible for a husband's, wife's or civil partner's debts."

          1. habee profile image91
            habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I think Doug is right. Credit card companies and other creditors will hound and threaten you, but if you're not on the account, there's nothing they can do once the estate is exhausted.

      4. Evan G Rogers profile image83
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        this isn't an appropriate claim.

        Why is it that if you choose to give your children all your money one second before you die ANY different than having a sheet of paper that authorizes such a transaction right after you die?

        It's clearly nonsense.

        About the debts: this is why things like interest rates and insurance exist. If you die and you owe money, there is likely an insurance policy the lender could have enrolled in to help make sure the debt was repaid. Also, the dead person's valuables (if they have any) are to be used as collateral. This is why debt is a problem, and why people who lend money out should be very careful.

        Would you lend money out to an 85 year old smoking bacon eater? If so, then you took a risk, if not, then you didn't.

        Ta-da.

        The "what about debt" argument is nonsense.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          "Why is it that if you choose to give your children all your money one second before you die ANY different than having a sheet of paper that authorizes such a transaction right after you die?"

          It isn't different, if you give them a huge amount of money. Cash gifts up to a certain amount (what the amount is, I don't know) are not taxable. But cash gifts over and above that amount are.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "Cash gifts up to a certain amount (what the amount is, I don't know) are not taxable. But cash gifts over and above that amount are."

            That's what LAW says, not reason and logic.

      5. Barbara Kay profile image85
        Barbara Kayposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        In Michigan, the heirs are not responsible for the debts of their parents or whoever when they die. They are responsible to use the available money to pay what debts they can though.

    2. tony0724 profile image59
      tony0724posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Tobey you have to remember that leftists Dems like Weenie dog have a vision of utopia premised on fairness. And this utopia will never be acheivable.  So instead they try to tax someone who inherits the blood sweat and toil of their parents. That is not fairness , it is extortion.In the name of fairness of course.

      1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
        Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'd say, treat every inheritance as if it were earned income, and tax it just like you'd tax the paycheck of a store clerk. Don't call it an inheritance tax, or an estate tax. Just call it income tax, 'cos that's what it is: a tax on the inheritor's income.

        1. Doug Hughes profile image61
          Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          ""A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune. No advantage comes either to the country as a whole or to the individuals inheriting the money by permitting the transmission in their entirety of the enormous fortunes which would be affected by such a tax; and as an incident to its function of revenue raising, such a tax would help to preserve a measurable equality of opportunity for the people of the generations growing to manhood."

          Teddy Roosevelt - He's the republican Roosevelt whose likeness is carved on Mt. Rushmore with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.

  2. Flightkeeper profile image79
    Flightkeeperposted 6 years ago

    Your logic makes sense tobey although we know that the dems are really not concerned about logic but income redistribution.  The dems and liberals have made progress in trying to erase property rights in this country.  This is another attempt and I hope they're not successful.

    1. tobey100 profile image60
      tobey100posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Dang it!  I keep forgetting logic has nothing to do with it.

    2. tony0724 profile image59
      tony0724posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Flightkeeper I love that avatar.

  3. 0
    luabuposted 6 years ago

    what's the percentage tobey100?

  4. Rabid Puma profile image60
    Rabid Pumaposted 6 years ago

    If they have to tax someone I  prefer that they tax the dead than the living.

    1. 0
      luabuposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      death and taxes
      it kinda rings a bell!
      50% or what?

  5. 0
    Home Girlposted 6 years ago

    If government needs more money - you'll be paying it anyway, - alive or dead. It's legal necessary robbery. You can protest, you can hide your money,(may be), or you can run to the 3rd world country and be robbed illegally there (old fashioned way).
    No escape.

  6. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 6 years ago

    Hasn't the wealth of the deceased already been taxed?

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Not necessarily. Much of it is untaxed capital gains with the values "stepped up" to the date of death. For example if you inherit 100 shares of Exxon stock worth $65,000 which your parent paid $5 for ($500) 40 years ago, you get to start over for capital gains purposes at $65 or $65,000. Only the dividends your parent received were taxed.

      1. habee profile image91
        habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'm wondering how this will affect farmland that's been in a family for generations. Many farmers in the South are "land poor." They might have a large farm that's worth 2 or 3 thousand bucks an acre, but little money.

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
          Ralph Deedsposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          They could lose the land. Or they could borrow against it to pay the estate tax and pay off the loan over several years. My grandfather left a large ranch which was undervalued by a friendly appraiser for inheritance tax purposes. The land was left to his three sons, and my mother received cash for her share, the value of which was based, unfortunately for her, on the low ball inheritance tax appraisal.

        2. Jim Hunter profile image60
          Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          They would LIKELY lose the land, many family farms have been seized by our benevolent government.

          Just think, they want to provide your health care too.

          1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
            Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            You got one documented real-world example of a farm or a small business that was destroyed by the estate tax? Just one?

            'Cos in spite of all the howling about how the estate tax will destroy family farms and small businesses, I have yet to hear about one real family farm or small business that was wrecked by the estate tax. Foreclosed on? Sure. Wrecked by the estate tax? Nope.

            So, please, show me a documented case of a real farm, or a real small business, that was wrecked because of the estate tax.

            1. habee profile image91
              habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Here ya go, Jeff - and this is just in Ohio:

              http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statemen … ly-farms-/

              1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
                Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Thank you, Habee. Actual evidence to support the claim.

                1. habee profile image91
                  habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  You're welcome, Jeff. I can see both sides of the estate tax debate. On the one hand, it's like someone "winning" a fortune through no sweat or toil of his own. On the other, in the case of family farms, I see it a little differently.

                  1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
                    Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    A big problem with taxation of an inherited farm is that the value of the land is assessed based on what it'd be worth as something other than a farm, rather than its worth as a farm.

                    Maybe the real estate bust will have the silver lining that the value of land has gone down, which will make farmland worth less when it's assessed when inherited.

            2. Jim Hunter profile image60
              Jim Hunterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I didn't see this until now.

              I hope you have been satisfied with the proof others have provided.

              Google, its a household name  roll

        3. I am DB Cooper profile image66
          I am DB Cooperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          There are actually exemptions for family-owned farms, which protects land-rich, money-poor families who keep the farm (I believe part of the tax exemption includes the rule that they can't sell it for a certain number of years).

          1. habee profile image91
            habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            That's good to know. Thanks!

          2. habee profile image91
            habeeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I think you're referring to the Thompson Bill, which hasn't been voted on yet.

    2. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      The "double-tax" argument is silly. The company I work for pays corporate taxes, and then they pay me with the leftover money, which has already been taxed once. My paycheck is taxed once, when I cash it. Then I spend the money, and pay sales tax on that transaction. If I hire a nanny (and do it legally) I pay her with money I have already been taxed on, but it gets taxed again, because it's her income now, not mine.

      Pretty much anytime money changes hands it gets taxed.

      I say, treat all inheritances (all inheritances, not just multi-million dollar ones) as part of the heirs' earned income for tax purposes. That year, they'll pay taxes not only on their take-home pay (however much that is) but also on their inheritance (however much that is). So instead of earning only, for example, $100K that year, they'll have earned $100K plus whatever their inheritance amounted to, be it $1K or $500K.

  7. Evan G Rogers profile image83
    Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago

    inheritance taxes are tyranny. Just like all other taxes.

    If you choose to give your children money before you die, why is that any different than giving them money after you die?

    And if it IS NOT different (as Statists seem to think), then why doesn't the government tax parents when they buy groceries to make dinner for their children? After all, feeding your children food is a form of a transfer of wealth from parent to child; it's an inheritance...

    but it's not taxed...

    Clearly it's just nonsense to steal more money for people who want to live cushy government "bribery-laden" jobs.

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "then why doesn't the government tax parents when they buy groceries to make dinner for their children? "
      Sales tax already does that (in some states). But giving food away is not an exchange of money for goods, and is therefore untaxed.

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        no no - they tax you when you buy it, but now when you give the food to your children.

        I might have mistyped: I meant to say "why doesn't the government tax the parents when they FEED their children food that they bought at the store".

        With inheritance tax, the money gets taxed when it is received by the next generation, and then it is taxed again when it is spent. It's an unnecessary, tyrannical tax.

        1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Evan, you think all taxation is evil and tyrannical.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            yes i do. But especially this one.

            "I earned my money all my life, and i want to give it to my children so that they can do better in life than i did" --- this is called "the american dream"

            But... inheritance tax then says "no, you can't do this. Your children 'didn't earn it', and thus the government (trumpets blow in glorious melodies) shall take your wealth, and give it to people who .... also... didn't ... earn it.... .... .... "

            IT makes NO sense to argue for inheritance taxes, except from the point of view of "damn, that guy's rich. i want his money for myself".

            "I want your money": This is the ONLY logical argument for inheritance tax. But to accept it, you must be willing to accept theft in all of its forms.

  8. kateperez profile image76
    kateperezposted 6 years ago

    It's all fair!  Honestly, I listened to a news man "dis" Sarah Palin because she has the NERVE to expect to be PAID to do her WORK!!!

    So she has a TV show.  So she speaks at public engagements, so she's written a book or two.  Why shouldn't she expect to be PAID for the WORK of doing those things? I betcha she pays her taxes!

    If this news man was so adamant that Mrs. Palin was to NOT receive money for the WORK that she does, is that an indication that he could just give me his paycheck?  After all, I'm pretty sure, much like Mrs. Palin putting her money into the Palin family, he does the same with his money.

    What the heck?  If a liberal actor or actress makes a million dollars on a film, does he or she give the money to other people, or does he buy a multi-million dollar house?  Does Al Sharpton give his money for public speaking to the poor?  Does Barack Obama give his income back to the citizens, after all he's making money on (how DARE he??) writing a book or two, as well!  What NERVE!!!

    Fair is letting people of both sides of this stupid political rift keep the stinking money they EARNED while doing their JOBS!!!

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "If a liberal actor or actress makes a million dollars on a film, does he or she give the money to other people, or does he buy a multi-million dollar house?"
      Depends on the actor, but in most cases, both. smile

  9. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 6 years ago
  10. Doug Hughes profile image61
    Doug Hughesposted 6 years ago

    Step back and look at the larger picture, which I think Jeff was hinting at with the word 'feudalism'- which refers to a set of customs from medieval Europe. In that system you were a nobleman if you were born to it - and a serf (servant)  if you were born to that.

    The VERY large estate, of a size that would be subject to a 50% tax is a dangerous political force. The modern 'nobility' does not need to or care to understand the wealth they have, but they hire bright financial wizards with ivy-league degrees to snowball that fortune into an even larger fortune - through no skill, knowledge or ability of the aristocrat who, like the European nobleman, won the genetic lottery.

    The ivy-league wizards and the lawyers and lobbyists are at work  now - trying to convince the peasant in this democracy, that the nobility are too noble to contribute to the common good.

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Exactly. The hyperconcentration of wealth that is taking place is a kind of de-facto feudalism. True, in our system it's easier to move up the ladder, but it's still not easy.

      Plus, as Doug points out, the wealthy are doing their very best to convince the rest of us that they earned what they inherited, spending millions to save billions in estate taxes when their parents die.

      Couple the hyperconcentration of wealth (10% of the people control what, 90% of the stuff? This is a guess; I'm too lazy to look it up just now.) with the recent ruling that money is speech, and now the wealthiest 10% are legally more important than the remaining 90% of us.

      In time, that 90% is going to lose faith in government of the people by the people and for the people, realizing that government of the people is being done by the elite's lackeys, and it's being run for the (further) benefit of the elite.

      I realize that the Tea-party movement pays a lot of populist lip-service to anti-elitism, but pretty much all of the policies they're agitating for (from tax cuts to deregulation to a hamstrung federal government) favor the wealthy elite and leave the rest of us to be exploited without recourse (because we can't afford recourse).

      1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
        Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        "The hyperconcentration of wealth that is taking place is a kind of de-facto feudalism"

        You completely ignore how wealth is generated, and thus reach outlandish conclusions such as this.

        1. kateperez profile image76
          kateperezposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Honestly, I don't CARE who is rich and who is not,

          What I do care about is that those who are not so rich, those who are unable to pay for those super-accountants, pay a great deal of the tax note in things like purchasing cars, and well, just generally working for a living!

          What is wrong with a tax that does not have so many loopholes that just make the rich richer by the pockets of the not so rich?

          I have issue with $250,000-aires being called rich.  In this world, with this economy, and with the price of things, that is possibly middle class.  If you make a million dollars a year, you're rich.  $250,000 for a married couple barely makes ends meet in some places.

          OK, so I can survive on $50,000 but that is even considered upper middle class where I live, and I cannot agree with that one little bit.  It'll pay my bills and get me a night out once in a while, but it is certainly not upper anything.

          Rich get richer because they know how to take advantage, or know people who know how to take advantage.

          Rich does not know a political party, they pick the one who will do them the most good.  So, look at those who are rich, see who they voted for, and see who is not working for the majority of Americans, those poor SOB's who work for a living and see the poor on the corners with their hands out, and the homeless sitting in crannies in the cities.  We are the ones who's forced hand-outs are trying to help by paying for shelters and a soup kitchen here and there.  Rich doesn't care about anything but staying rich.

          Me?  I am borderline poor right now, but I don't expect the government nor the rich to pay for me.  It is not their job to pay for me.  What it does take is for me to stand up, work some freaking place, and pay my bills.  If I am going to get rich, it will be because I've locked up all the money and not let anyone spend it. 

          This world is what each of us makes it.  Control is only there if we control ourselves.  No one else has true power over us if we don't let them.

          1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
            Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "$250,000 for a married couple barely makes ends meet in some places."
            What? If you can't make ends meet on $250K a year, you're doing something seriously wrong.

        2. Jeff Berndt profile image90
          Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          "You completely ignore how wealth is generated, and thus reach outlandish conclusions such as this."
          And you ignore how unearned wealth is transferred and concentrated, and thus find my conclusion outlandish.

          1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
            Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            how is it un-earned wealth if the person making the money chooses to give it to someone.

            All the meals, clothes, toothpaste, water, electricity, and countless other amenities that my parents gave to me as a child were completely unearned.

            Your arguments demand that I pay a tax on that which I used as a child.

            Every birthday present, every christmas present I received were "unearned" - should I pay a tax on those as well (on top of the sales tax that WAS paid)?

            Every time my fiance makes me a meal, I "un-earnedly" am allowed to eat it. Should I pay the GOVERNMENT for HER labor?

            The arguments for inheritance taxes are complete and utter garbage. If you truly believe that "unearned wealth" needs to be stripped away from people, then look around at all the things that YOU got throughout your life that you didn't earn, and think of what life would have been like without it.

            AND - on top of the utter fallacy of the argument - why is it that the GOVERNMENT gets the money? How much logic does that make?! The government / populace didn't earn the money either!!! How is "Bill Gates VOLUNTARILY giving his children money 'un-earnedly'" ANY DIFFERENT than "Bill Gates having his money stolen from him at death and then dished out to millions of people who didn't earn the money"?

            How, I ask. I have an answer: the latter is theft, the former is voluntary.

            Thus, I have refuted your argument on two fronts. Three, to get technical.

            1- everyone has benefited from unearned wealth
            2- how is it that the children of the rich "don't earn" the wealth, but when the government gives the money to their populace, suddenly the wealth is considered "earned"?
            3- why do you value theft over voluntary distribution?

            1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
              Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              "Thus, I have refuted your argument on two fronts. Three, to get technical."
              No, you've taken my argument to the most absurd extent possible, and refuted that, or tried to.

              "1- everyone has benefited from unearned wealth"
              Sure. If you like, you can assume that I want to impose a lactation tax for when a baby gets unearned milk, but that doesn't change what I'm actually arguing for.

              "2- how is it that the children of the rich "don't earn" the wealth, but when the government gives the money to their populace, suddenly the wealth is considered "earned"?"
              I never said that the government "earned" the wealth, nor did I suggest that the government directly give wealth to the populace. What I did suggest is that perhaps the government should treat inherited wealth as if it were earned income, and tax it at the same rate as if the heir took it home in a paycheck.

              "3- why do you value theft over voluntary distribution?"
              I never said that I did. Why do you assume that I do?

              1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
                Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Are you arguing for any inheritance tax?

                If so, then you are demanding a tax on unearned wealth.

                If so, then you are arguing the things that I claim you're arguing for. And thus, are for a Lactation tax.

                And, by arguing for a TAX, you are arguing that the government has the right to dispense this "unearned wealth" to other people who have not earned it.

                Taxation to redistribute "unearned wealth" from the recipient to the government is theft - and thus you argued for theft.

                These are indeed "the most absurd extent possible", but they are all logical conclusions derived from the logic behind an inheritance tax. I'm not picking a fight, I'm simply pointing out the lunacy of any justification of an inheritance tax -- to be FOR an inheritance tax is to be for theft, taxing dinners for children, and to be for giving wealth from one unearned party to a different unearned party with not logical justification for this.

                1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
                  Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  "And thus, are for a Lactation tax."

                  Whooa, I'm slipping. Dang, I wish this slope were a bit stickier, and less, hmm...what's the word...?

                  "And, by arguing for a TAX, you are arguing that the government has the right to dispense this "unearned wealth" to other people who have not earned it."
                  Not at all. I'm arguing that if the government has the consent of the governed (which it does, since the people elected the government) and it has the constitutional power to tax our income (which it does, since it's in the constitution), then it can tax our income. And if an inheritance is a form of income (which it is, since it's basically getting money that one didn't have before), then the government can--that is, has the constitutional and legal right to--tax an inheritance.

                  Further, I'm not arguing that the government should go around exercising its constitutional powers of taxation and then just handing out money willy-nilly until everyone has the same amount of wealth (which is what redistribution would really look like). I'm suggesting that the government use the revenue for stuff like defense, infrastructure, law enforcement, etc. All those things cost money, and all those things benefit all the people.

                  "Taxation to redistribute "unearned wealth" from the recipient to the government is theft - and thus you argued for theft."
                  Taxation without representation would be theft. Taxation with representation is merely taxation, not theft. Taxation with representation might be onerous, but it ain't theft. Even the Sons of Liberty agreed with this.

                  "I'm not picking a fight, I'm simply pointing out the lunacy of any justification of an inheritance tax --"
                  Fine, if it will make you happy (and get you off the absurdism kick) let's just pretend that heirs earned their inheritance just like a doctor earns his medical fees, and tax it as if it were earned income. The first 100K of it would be subject to FICA and Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the rest of it would be taxed just like any other earned income in one's paycheck.

                  "I'm not picking a fight,"
                  Evan, I've never seen you post anything that was remotely belligerent, even when we (or whoever you're arguing with) are on polar opposite sides of the discussion. No worries there.smile

  11. habee profile image91
    habeeposted 6 years ago

    It's true that many Democrats keep referring to the current tax rates as "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." That's quite a stretch. A couple making $250,000 isn't rich, especially if they have a large family and/or live in an expensive state or city. I still like Schumer's idea of raising it to $1 million. That would cover a lot of small businesses.

    1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
      Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "A couple making $250,000 isn't rich"
      Maybe not, but they sure as heck aren't poor either. If someone can't make ends meet on $250K/year, they're doing something very very wrong.

  12. 70
    logic,commonsenseposted 6 years ago

    If you are rich and don't want to pay taxes, just do like Steve Martin suggests.  First make a million dollars, then when the IRS shows up at your door wanting to know why you didn't pay taxes on the million dollars, you say,"I forgot!". smile

  13. lovemychris profile image80
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    Why have a society at all, if the sole purpose is to make the rich get richer?
    What the hell kind of crap is that?
    Common Good, More Perfect Union? Remember that?....oh yeah, not as important as the bottom line of a company. Gotta make policies that guarentee the CEO can have 5 million in profit....this is America? Are you kidding me?

    Was NOT the America of my youth, nor my parents. I mean--Greed is always there, but it took a back-seat to more important ideals. Now, it seems, greed is the driving force.
    What a shame.

    Well, you must deal with what is there. Or you can fight it, like Bernie Sanders is doing. He represents the ideals of my youth. And I think he's right.

    Pick a side America. It's no longer one for all and all for one. It's us and them.
    What a shame.

  14. lovemychris profile image80
    lovemychrisposted 6 years ago

    •    Tax "cuts," "breaks," and "loopholes" sound good (wouldn't you like one?) even for super-wealthy individuals and corporations. What they really mean is that money is being transferred from poorer people to richer people: The poor and middle are giving money to the rich! Why? Money that would otherwise go to their necessities: food, education, health, housing, safety, and so on is instead going into the pockets of super-wealthy people who don't need it.

    •    Markets in a democracy have a fundamentally moral as well as economic function. Working people who produce goods and services are necessary for businesses and should be paid in line with profits and productivity. Salary scales in private industry are a matter of public, not just private concern. Middle-class salaries have not gone up in 30 years, while the income of the top 1 percent has zoomed upward astronomically. This is a moral issue.

    *****George Lakoff

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
      Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      you forgot to mention that  when the poor give to wealthy through taxes that it's done through GOVERNMENT.

      Anarchy, baby. Anarchy.

      1. lovemychris profile image80
        lovemychrisposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly---gvt polivcies that favor the rich.
        I want policies that help the middle class.
        Because a lot of the poor are taken care of, but it is on the backs of Middle that all gets done.

        They pay all the taxes.
        FICA, FED, STATE.
        Poor pay FICA, which is more of a chunk than fed and state combined.
        Uber Rich only pay FED, STATE. Least of all.
        Not fair. Not healthy.
        Not good policy.

        1. Evan G Rogers profile image83
          Evan G Rogersposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          why would a government official want to help the poor? It costs a lot of money to run for office, thus only rich people can afford to do it.

          Anarchy, baby. Anarchy.

  15. OpinionDuck profile image61
    OpinionDuckposted 6 years ago

    Taxing an estate is making the government an involuntary beneficiary under a Will, Trust or other devise chosen by the person trying to arrange their affairs while still alive.

    I guess that is why they refer to the Federal Government as "Uncle Sam", a relative.

  16. OpinionDuck profile image61
    OpinionDuckposted 6 years ago

    What benefit does having an estate give to the people.
    Isn't the Federal Government discriminating against a class of people.

    Estate taxes and income taxes are not levied equally, and that would be discrimination.

  17. OpinionDuck profile image61
    OpinionDuckposted 6 years ago

    The government gets the first crack of an estate to satisfy any and all taxes owed to the government, this separate from estate taxes.

  18. OpinionDuck profile image61
    OpinionDuckposted 6 years ago

    The problem here is that everyone focuses on taxes, and the real culprit is spending.

    The need to tax is directly attributed to the rate of spending.

    The more you spend the more you tax, but there should be limits on spending and limits on taxing.

    Two hundred and fifty thousand isn't what it was when the cost of cars, houses, insurance were much lower than they are today.

    Every government worker is a tax liability, and they don't count as part of the GDP.

    We should be discussing cuts in spending, and not trying to validate more taxes, or increases in taxes.
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