Is Obama administration contemplating a "wealth" tax

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  1. GA Anderson profile image90
    GA Andersonposted 9 years ago

    Political pundits are saying the Obama admin is floating the typical "trial balloons", (ie. rumors to pundits to get it in the public conversation/news),  of a wealth tax - to see if it would have a chance of acceptance.

    The "rumors" floating around are talking about a 1% tax on wealth. Not income - but what you own - what your wealth is.

    Is it fair? Is it reasonable? Is it constitutional?

    What say you?


    1. tsadjatko profile image66
      tsadjatkoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I understand why you asked this question but the real question is why is a wealth tax or any tax even a topic of discussion? - the colonies went independent because of taxation and now 250 years later the government wants to take more of your hard earned money, not to pay off debt but to spend it !
      First of all revenue always goes up when taxes are reduced so raising taxes to raise revenue is a false argument - the only way to raise revenue effectively is to stimulate the economy, create jobs and promote prospertity. Raising taxes never does that and even Obama publicly stated so in 2010 when he extended the Bush tax cuts.
      But beyond the revenue discussion is the REAL PROBLEM of government overspending and sticking their nose in areas of our lives the founders never intended the federal government to be. Taxes should not be the discussion but the deficit, the debt  and unfunded government entitlement programs (now 86 Trillion dollars) but this administration is hell bent on bankrupting the country and refuses to address the issue  of overspending. That can't even begin to be be solved by a wealth tax or  any other tax increase. The only solution is to CUT spending and stimulate growth and raising taxes can have nothing to do with either.
      So the answer to my question, "Why is a wealth tax or any tax even a topic of discussion?" Because this administration wants to make the rich a scape goat for problems caused by his overspending, just more of his blame everybody else strategy and he could care less about really solving the problems, and he knows that half the voting electorate is so ignorant they will buy into his class warfare approach.

    2. profile image0
      Onusonusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      1. Josak profile image60
        Josakposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Ah so much hilarity here

        #1 Tocqueville never said that which shows the depth of your knowledge.

        #2 The poorest and most welfare addicted states are red.

        1. profile image0
          Onusonusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Alright, a mistake on my part. But please lets not resort to personal attacks. Who ever did say it was spot on. And Tocqueville did say that socialism is the new slavery, which is exactly the direction America is headed.

          1. profile image0
            Onusonusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Not only this but in democracy in America he spoke of a government of tyrannical kindness that would "degrade men without tormenting them" and that this kindly tyranny would seek to act as a father to its citizens, but  "seek, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood" by taking care of all of their needs and pleasures, and so little by little rob them of their free will. This is what he predicted, and it is the sad history of communism.

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Tocqueville was also a supporter of colonialism, a racist and a critic of individualism as an ideology believing that man should see himself as a tool of society so let's not get ahead of ourselves in the quotation of such a person (particularly false quotation).

              1. profile image0
                Onusonusposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Of course he was, he grew up in France. However he had the fortitude to realize the dangers of collectivism, and accurately predict the gradual abridgments of freedom that would ensue in a state controlled by growing governmental power. Much like the people who live in Communist countries they will shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master and then relapse into it again. The tax rate rises, the spending increases, all under the guise of a kindly government who only wishes to right the wrongs of the past by taking the money from a diminishing class of wealth producers and giving it to a growing class of welfare recipients.
                And as that "wealthier 7%" of elitists grasp for the wealth of the rest of us "racists" in hick land, they do so under the false pretense that they are better equipped to spend the money that we created as though their college certificates automatically add benevolence to their countenance's when clearly they do not.

          2. Josak profile image60
            Josakposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            It's a completely abstract criticism devoid of any actual meaning, the aim of any governmental system is to take wealth and invest it in the well being of the people and thus the very essence of governance is of the government "bribing" (actually providing for) the people with the people's own funds and thus the criticism of it as an integral part of any system of governance is just empty rhetoric anyone can see through with a seconds thought.

            I would also remind that liberals are far more likely to have a college education and as such are an average 7% wealthier than their conservative counterparts, it is not them receiving the benefits of social aid rather they are the ones paying for it.

            1. GA Anderson profile image90
              GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              That statement may be more telling than you think. As to the left vs. right responses to government actions.

              Some do not believe that is the purpose, (or aim), of government. Some believe the purpose of government, (in the U.S.), is as stated in the constitution.

              I hope I didn't mistake the context of your response.


              1. Josak profile image60
                Josakposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                The same is covered in the very foundation of the country, the state taxes to for example repay or "bribe" the populace by securing their borders and keeping them safe etc. etc. no one except pure anarchists disagrees with the state protecting and caring for the citizen with state revenue and thus this criticism can be applied to any governmental system and pattern and thus it becomes meaningless as a criticism of any system and is rather a criticism of having a state.

  2. innersmiff profile image64
    innersmiffposted 9 years ago

    Well, no, it's not fair or reasonable because taxation is theft. I don't know whether it's constitutional or not.

    1. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Greetings Innersmiff,

      A quick response, thanks, but....

      for following posters - let's leave aside the issue of the legality of any taxation - and deal with the concept of a wealth tax.

      @innersmiff - I'm not disputing, or agreeing, with your point - just trying to provide direction


      1. innersmiff profile image64
        innersmiffposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Then I don't have any more to add. Thanks for your time!

        1. GA Anderson profile image90
          GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Whoa, Nellie! I sure hope I did not misunderstand and offend you. That was not my intention.

          Come on back and toss in your 2 cents worth.


          1. innersmiff profile image64
            innersmiffposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I didn't intend to convey that I was offended, I'm not. I genuinely don't have anything to say about the validity of this particular tax within the context that tax, as a rule, is indeed valid.

  3. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 9 years ago

    well....supposedly...the assets have already been taxed at some point in why tax again on something that has been the heck would gov't figure out fmv to determine the tax 2 cents.....whether you are wealthy or not....this is a giant can of worms...

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      i should say the means (dollars) to gain the assets are in theory taxed at some other time.........

    2. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Well, in case there should be any doubt - I am against the proposal, should it turn out to really be a proposal.

      But to answer your question, re. "how would they figure it out..."

      It has been suggested that the govt. would use a "calculation" similar to current IRS 'standard deductions" numbers. France has such a tax, and system, and supposedly the originators of this idea are using France as their model.


      1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
        SomewayOuttaHereposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        interesting....i've been scanning some articles on the net.....

        ...wonder how much money would be spent administering it? vs tax dollars jobs created in gov't i guess!

        ...wonder what the 'scale' would be to determine who must pay the  tax etc.

        ...wonder how quickly non-residents will sell any assets held in the US before getting caught up in it if they are included etc.

        ...some countries have gotten rid of it....

        ...this topic must be the 'flavour of the month' in tax discussions in a few countries....france is a much smaller country than the US and no doubt has implemented a way to generate some dollars because they have a smaller tax base to draw from - but the true amount of how much is generated is key e.g. admin. vs tax dollars...and surely the US can come up with something else and maybe stop spending all of those billions on the armed forces????? rather than spending $'s to implement it and then turn around with a different administration that trashes it sometime down the road....kinda like france's politics ...just a thought!

        i still don't know how an actual fmv would be determined on property for example - these days it is hard to price something when sales are slow and the flow of sales data is not the same as it used to be.

        ...does this mean assets are valued on a regular basis and tax paid on increases and tax refunded on decreases.........

        the above are quick thoughts i have around it.

        interesting topic GA

  4. tammybarnette profile image60
    tammybarnetteposted 9 years ago
  5. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 9 years ago

    Why would it be considered any more unethical than any other tax?  Consider:

    You are taxed on your earnings when earned, in the form of a FICA tax.  In April you will pay a federal tax on what wealth you have retained and then be taxed again by the state.  What little is left will be taxed yet again if you try to use it, in the form of a sales tax.

    If you have converted some of your wealth from cash to home ownership it will be taxed yet again as property tax, or if an automobile when you license it each year.  You will pay more tax every time you fill your gas tank in an effort to get to a job to earn more wealth.  You will pay additional tax on what little portion of your earned wealth you manage to retain all through the year.  Does it really make a difference whether you have owned that wealth for a day, a month, a year or 10 years?  It's still your wealth that is being taken.

    Although this particular tax is aimed at only the rich, with more wealth than others, isn't that the whole purpose of a graduated tax system anyway?  To legally force those that have more than you do to pay for the things you want but can't or won't pay for yourself?

    I say go for it.  If your sense of morals allows you to steal from someone simply because they have accumulated more wealth than you, have at it.  If you do it long enough maybe you'll convince me that it's all right too, and I'll come play Robin Hood at your doorstep. 

    And no, GA, I'm not point fingers at you.  I understand you simply ask a reasonable question and did not necessarily agree with more legal theft.

    1. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      @wilderness - point away, I have thick skin.

      I think the idea is preposterous. Just like the estate tax.

      Some taxation is necessary, but that is a larger topic.

      This idea, to me, is just another example of wealth/class envy.

      Also, tammybarnette's link seems to indicate it is an unpopular idea in France too. (that's a surprise)


      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Of course it's preposterous - I tried to point out just how preposterous it is in my next to last paragraph.  Just as "of course" is that it's another example of wealth/class envy.

        There are altogether too many people in this country that have rationalized themselves into the position that it is morally correct to play Robin Hood; that anyone with more wealth than they have needs to have that wealth taken away from them in the name of good.  Or right, or for the poor, or for whatever reason they have rationalized to be good.

        1. tammybarnette profile image60
          tammybarnetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Interesting point you make here. I believe the wealthy should pay more because they earn more and because they gain far more use of the infrastructure of this great nation which is in need of repair. I do not think this is Robin Hood's STEALING from the rich to GIVE to the poor, it is however, the responsibility to whom much is given much is required. smile

          1. GA Anderson profile image90
            GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            How much more, Tammy?
            What would be a fair share for the rich to pay?
            Yours is a common sentiment, almost a mantra, but how much more do you think would be fair?

            As for your quote, "to whom much is given...."
            What if it wasn't given to them?
            What if they earned every penny by the sweat of their brow? - This appears to derive from another popular sentiment - the rich did not earn their wealth, they either inherited it, or stole it by cheating and oppressing the "common" man.

            In our, (the U.S.), current situation, with obvious out-of-control government spending, (both parties), it definitely is a case of "Robin Hood"

            Or at least that's how I see it.


            1. tammybarnette profile image60
              tammybarnetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              First my quote was not intended to mean "given" as in unearned, however, this is the case in some situations. Let's look at it from this perspective. let's say that we split the wealth up into average income segments per average american households and then apply the rate at which that same amount would be taxed...That is how much I think they should pay...

              Why do wealthy people deserve to pay less than average Americans as a percentage of total income? Do you believe average Americans are lazy and this is why they are not wealthy and therefore should pay a higher percentage? Do you believe that billionaires made those billions alone?

              1. GA Anderson profile image90
                GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Greetings Tammy,

                Thanks for at least offering an answer - instead of using the "fair share" cop-out.

                But I'm not sure I understand your answer.

                The average American household income is somewhere between $44,000 and $63,000 - depending on the source you choose.

                So let's arbitrarily decide it is $50,000

                That amount falls into the 25% tax bracket - but after typical deductions, it averages out to about a 17% tax rate.

                Those two items are simple to grasp - $50k, 17%

                But what do you mean, divide their wealth into average income segments?

                Given the topic, did you mean their wealth, or just their income?

                Can you explain further using these numbers? Use a rich guy worth $10 million, with a $1 million income.

                as for your quote, if "given" was not your intended meaning - than it was not an appropriate quote to use  - given means given.


                1. tammybarnette profile image60
                  tammybarnetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  GA, not wealth, income...Given as in the sense"from the lord"...Then, I thought about the tax, I played with the idea of the numbers you indicated and moved the precebt to 20% for easier figures...$50,000x20%-$10,000 tax..$50.000x20yrs+1 mill...$10,000x20yrs=$200,000(per million..$200,000,000 per billion)...

                  Does that sound fair? Reasonable?

                  1. tammybarnette profile image60
                    tammybarnetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    I meant(smile not +1 mill, sorry...

                  2. GA Anderson profile image90
                    GA Andersonposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    Are you saying that it would take the 50k income earner 20 years to earn what the one million dollar income earner earned in one year...

                    and that the 50k income earner would have paid 200k in taxes over that time - so to be fair,  the one million income earner should pay 200k in taxes per year - just as the 50k earner would have had to do to accumulate the same one million?

                    I guess I am misunderstanding your example - because the one million income earner is already paying more than that. Their tax bracket is currently 35%, and typical deductions, (same as the 50k earner would have), only reduce that to around 28%, or approx. $280k in taxes. (leaving aside tax manipulation efforts - they would also be available to the 50k earner, to a degree)

                    as for your quote, I disagree with the "given" quote - as to its appropriate application. But I do so respectfully because you have explained it as being used in a religious sense - which is not an area I feel anyone is entitled to criticize as invalid. Disagree, yes - declare wrong, no.

                    To be fair to your sincere effort - I believe the "rich," (minus the manipulative scoundrels that any group has), are already paying their "fair" share. So it is going to be difficult to convince me otherwise. It is government spending that is the problem - not anyone's rate of taxation. (very generally speaking, that is - of course exceptions can be found)

                    "Taxing the rich," or "making them pay their fair share," is just manipulative and patronizing rhetoric designed purely to pander to "the masses."

                    But I also believe ending the Bush tax cuts for them, (the "Rich"),  would be appropriate, and it would not be a  prelude to an exodus of investment capital and American achievers - that's just right wing blathering.


  6. ftclick profile image55
    ftclickposted 9 years ago

    I've read some good points until I found this inaccurate statement "but this administration is hell bent on bankrupting the country and refuses to address the issue  of overspending" by tsadjatko, C'mon. Bush spent the most, and Obama is just continuing it. 
    It's about time we tax more on the rich or those who earn $250k+. However, just like businesses leaving California and other high tax states for more tax-friendly ones, the rich will also domicile themselves in tax friendly countries and/or make shell corporations that earn money. The IRS will have to dig real deep to find the evaders even more.

    1. tsadjatko profile image66
      tsadjatkoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      So that's the best you have - blame Bush? It's his fault that "Obama is just continuing it." So I guess if Obama lost the election you'd advise Romney to just continue it? If they are not hell bent on bankrupting the country why are they advocating spending more while not cutting spending but pushing taxes on the rich when it will do nothing to solve the deficit and debt problems- you want to blame Bush for that? I don't defend Bush's spending either, I agree he was a disgrace and if he was still in office I'd be saying the same about him (although Obama has spent more in 4 years than Bush did in 8 and his spending is on top of what was already an unacceptable debt), but that has nothing to do with what is happening under this adminstration - grow up - Obama sited Bush's spending as unpatriotic when he ran in 2008 and in 2009 promised to cut the defict in half. His words: "Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office." HA ha - by his own description of Bush, is HE not unpatriotic?
      And it is obvious when it comes to inaccuracy you have that market cornered. Does 86 Trillion dollars of debt mean nothing to you? Let me help - that is 550% of GDP. … 8-trillion

      1. tammybarnette profile image60
        tammybarnetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I do believe there should be certain cuts made, but we must be realistic, if we cut deep now we shall surely relapse into recesssion. These legislators have a job to do, and I hope they do their jobs.

        1. tsadjatko profile image66
          tsadjatkoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          The negotiations going on now are just to avoid deep cuts occurring and the republicans are the ones with the only "realistic" plan. The only ones not  being  realistic are Obama and the democrats - if you listen to the news their plan they submitted yesterday advocates for tax rate increases that will hurt small businesses and more spending - no cuts whatsoever at this time and they want to increase the debt limit without corresponding reductions in spending (not immediate but over years). And you are talking about anyone being unrealistic about deep cuts? The republicans aren't advocating massive short term cuts at all but have a plan to lower the deficits gradually and close tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy. Give me a break, we all know who is being unrealistic - Reid said entitlements aren't even on the table in the current discussions while Obama himself said in 2011 they are the big problem that has to be dealt with..Hisown words: "The big drivers of deficit and debt are Medicare and Medicaid, rising health care costs."
          When he was runnng in 2008 he said Obama Said “We’re Going To Have To Take On Entitlements … I’d Like To Do In The First Term As President.”
          (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks During The Second Presidential Debate, Nashville, TN, 10/7/08) OBAMA: “Well, Tom, we’re going to have to take on entitlements and I think we’ve got to do it quickly. We’re going to have a lot of work to do, so I can’t guarantee that we’re going to do it in the next two years, but I’d like to do in the my first term as president.”

          Unrealistic? Not the republicans by any stretch of the imagination. You can't trust anything the democrats say.


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