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The estate tax is set to come roaring back in January. A real fear is that some families might...

The estate tax is set to come roaring back in January. A real fear is that some families might pull the plug on grandpa rather than get stuck with a massive bill.
Comments (70)
  • squire PB
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
     
    I'D TELL MY SON JUST DO IT ! WE ARE NOT GIVING HARD EARNED MONEY FOR 40 YEARS, MY MONEY,TO A BUNCH OF SOCIALISTS TO GIVE IT AWAY TO PEOPLE WHO DON'T PRODUCE
    9 Jul 2010, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
     
    I believe Obama is a communist, not a socialist.

     

    In my opinion:

     

    Capitalism = government controls no more than 10% of GDP
    Socialism = government controls 11% - 49% of GDP
    Communism = government controls 50% or more of GDP

     

    Obama would love to control the majority of GDP in the economy, so be definition, he is a communist.
    9 Jul 2010, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • D_Virginia
    , contributor
    Comments (2280) | Send Message
     
    > I believe Obama is a communist, not a socialist.

     

    Huh?

     

    What does Obama even have to do with this? This was a poorly thought-out law passed in 2001 by conservatives trying to cut any taxes they could, deficits be damned. Obama wasn't even a senator until 2004.

     

    And the "sunset" provision of the 2001 law was only included to circumvent processes that scrutinize deficit increases. (Where was all the talk of fiscal responsibility back then???)

     

    So, blame the stupid 2001 Congress, not the useless 2010 Congress.
    9 Jul 2010, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3358) | Send Message
     
    Positivethoughts:
    I see things a little different.
    Socialism and capitalism are polar opposites of economic systems. Most countries, including the US are a hybrid of both. While communism and democracy are two polar opposite political systems. For decades after 1949 China was both communist and socialist while today they're communist and a hybrid of socialism and capitalism.
    9 Jul 2010, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
     
    When taxes are reduced, often there are revenue increases. So please don't blame a tax reduction for a deficit - they are not directly related.
    9 Jul 2010, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
     
    Duude

     

    I see your point. I always think of communism as central planning or central control or control of the majority of wealth. If you control the wealth or control the planning or distribution of the wealth, you essentially control the people. Maybe one could argue soft communism versus hard communism. Soft being the right to vote and the rule of law and hard representing not having the right to vote and no rule of law.

     

    One other thing, and a little bit of a funny but sad real life story. My wife, born in 1968 Shanghai, China, didn't have very much of anything, nor did any members of her family. No television, fridge, car etc. She told me that because everything was centrally planned in terms of resources and production, one had to obtain a ticket (a permission slip) to consume whatever they were in need of, because of scarcity. So, for instance, when my wife wanted her first watch, she had to apply for the ticket, and upon getting it, she could take it to the store and purchase the item.

     

    Needless to say, she is the biggest capitalist you will ever meet and can't understand people who want more government in their lives.
    9 Jul 2010, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • NC Trader
    , contributor
    Comments (41) | Send Message
     
    Mercantilist is probably the best description of the current system.
    9 Jul 2010, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • Duude
    , contributor
    Comments (3358) | Send Message
     
    NC trader:
    Yes, I would agree with that, but its still a hybrid of socialist/capitalist.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • taxpro
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    by your definition
    9 Jul 2010, 10:04 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (714) | Send Message
     
    Well, it certainly didn't happen then, did it? No. They are related, perhaps not 1to1, but they are certainly related.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:30 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
     
    Deficits have to do with spending, not revenue. A government could have a 10% overall tax rate and not run a deficit, however, another government could have a 40% tax rate and run huge deficits.

     

    As almost all governments have proven in the past 40 years or so, taxes have gone up and so have deficits. It is the spending that has skyrocketed and has caused the great deficits.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:57 PM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (714) | Send Message
     
    Disagree. If spending were held constant, but you decrease revenue, then deficits would increase. The deficits we ran from 2001 to now are because we increased spending while cutting revenue via ill-advised tax cuts
    10 Jul 2010, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • Troubled Loaner
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    Democrats in Congress put in the 10 year phase out.

     

    They did this by filibustering the tax cut bill so that it could only be passed through reconciliation. Democrats could have worked to improve the bill so that tax cuts were made in wage taxes rather than for dividends, but they cynically decided to use it as a political issue rather than trying to do something that would help working people.
    10 Jul 2010, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • Troubled Loaner
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    There's an optimal rate for taxation that brings in the most revenue. If the government takes 100% of everything through taxes (as in a country like North Korea) then revenue will be very low because their is no incentive to produce anything. Conversely, if tax rates were very low (federal income tax started at 2% of income), then increases in the tax rate would bring in more money.

     

    This means that there is a limit to how many resources government can command. When government uses too many resources this reduces the level of economic activity. The US devotes around 20% of GDP to government, which is probably about as much our economic system can bear. The challenge here is for government to use these resources more productively rather than continually asking for more.
    10 Jul 2010, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    I TOO AM A "CAPITALIST'. THESE ARE THE BIGGEST CAPITAL LETTERS I COULD FIND. DOES ANYBODY KNOW HOW TO MAKE BIGGER CAPITAL LETTERS? HEY IS THIS THING ON? CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?
    5 Aug 2010, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • Anwar Bhamla
    , contributor
    Comments (96) | Send Message
     
    Has money and wealth become so important in modern American Society that we would commit suicide/ fratricide to avoid paying taxes?

     

    Must be the religious awakening we keep hearing about.
    9 Jul 2010, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • cash
    , contributor
    Comments (442) | Send Message
     
    Well, some people take an insurance policy and attempt to die in order to provide for their kith & kin. Some get caught but not all. Nothing to do with modern or American. Men/women have sacrificed their lives for the sake of others.
    9 Jul 2010, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3339) | Send Message
     
    So Anwar, what you're saying is families that have built up family businesses through decades or more of hard work have no right to keep them? You have no idea of what traditional American Society holds dear.
    9 Jul 2010, 08:21 PM Reply Like
  • greenzulu
    , contributor
    Comments (217) | Send Message
     
    There is nothing new about the U.S. estate tax. What qualifies you to decide what Americans hold dear? Being from Cincinnati instead of having a "foreign-sounding name".?

     

    Get your facts straight. "Traditional American society" only extended voting to landholding white males. With time, the U.S. came to believe that extending suffrage to all, and promoting income and estate tax policies, was necessary in a true democracy to eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty that tend to undermine the social contract -- the contract to vote and accept the result, rather than pick up a gun and get your share.

     

    I think that being a reasonably egalitarian society -- with opportunity for all but only handouts for the helpless, is exactly what America is all about. What -- your not disgusted by the billions made by the financial pigs that pyramided mortgage debt profit from the destruction of the U.S. housing market?

     

    Do you really think that "what's mine is mine, let 'em eat cake" is what America's all about? That's what Venezuela is all about.

     

    Have you ever tried living as a "have-not" in a totally oligarchic society based on levels of impregnable wealth that puts individuals above the common good, and let's the incompetent children of the wealthy build up limitless wealth over generations without bothering to work for a living? I've lived in half a dozen, and I think you would see is as quite un-American.

     

    I hate paying estate taxes as much as anyone, and I think they are too high, but a lot of Americans have spilled blood to give you the freedom to build your company, not exactly the best deal for them, either. Freedom has its price.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:24 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    While no clause in the Constitution specifically protects inheritance, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment protections from property seizure would insulate inheritance from being “taken” by the state were the rights of devise and descent recognized as pre-political. If these rights are recognized as statecreated, however, regulations imposed upon them by the State (determined through democratic processes) are both philosophically and legally
    justified.

     

    The positivist [state created rather than a natural right] perspective of inheritance maintained by the Founders appears especially striking when considered in the context of their generally pro-property inclinations. Thomas Jefferson staunchly defended general property rights, contending not only that they are natural in character, but also that their protection is vital to the preservation of other liberties. Yet, despite maintaining a natural rights vision of general rights to property, both Jefferson believed that the specific rights to bequest and inherit owe their legitimacy to the State. Jefferson “argued that the use of property was a natural right, but . . . he also argued that property ownership ended at death.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:42 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3339) | Send Message
     
    What qualifies you greenzulu? Definitely not a knowledge of history. The US was founded as a constitutionally limited federal republic - it is not a democracy, and definitely not a "true democracy." You refer to egalitarian, but the US was not founded on any principle of economic egalitarianism - that is redistribution of wealth through the estate tax and similar mechanisms. Likewise, "social contract" is a term thrown about in collectivist systems, and the US was not founded as a collectivist system.

     

    The estate tax in permanent form, like the income tax, is a 20th Century invention. Prior to that time they existed rarely, and only as temporary levies during times of national emergency (i.e. the Civil War).

     

    You unwittingly refer to Venezuela, when Venezuela is precisely the sort of collectivist regime lacking property rights where the estate tax would be welcomed. Collectivists love the arbitrary seizure and redistribution of assets that the estate tax represents. Likewise, you imply oligarchies and estate taxes are mutually exclusive. That's certainly not true. Lack of property rights and resulting seizures are what one would expect. Estate taxes are a useful tool to that end.

     

    Your reference to financial pigs and mortgage debt profit is mindless hyperbole, and has nothing to do with the estate tax. I was as opposed to the bailouts as anyone, but to say the estate tax is the fix is asinine. The bailouts and the estate tax are justified and underpinned by the same collectivist foundation - that the state can arbitrarily seize and redistribute assets for "the good of society". The financial pigs should have failed, but instead had massive amounts of wealth transferred to them using the collectivist state that you so trust and champion.

     

    P.s. Cincinnatus was a political of the Roman Republic, so you could say he had a foreign-sounding name, but he is not known to have visited Cincinnati, OH.
    10 Jul 2010, 03:23 AM Reply Like
  • Papaswamp
    , contributor
    Comments (2178) | Send Message
     
    "With time, the U.S. came to believe that extending suffrage to all, and promoting income and estate tax policies, was necessary in a true democracy to eliminate extremes of wealth and poverty that tend to undermine the social contract "

     

    We are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic..NOT a democracy. Our founding fathers were quite against democracy.

     

    As Ben Franklin put it best..."Democracy is 2 wolves and sheep deciding what is for dinner...Liberty is a well armed sheep disagreeing." Clearly, Ben Franklin thought Democracy and liberty are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
    10 Jul 2010, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • MiniB
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    etext.virginia.edu/jef...

     

    "The laws of civil society, indeed, for the encouragement of industry, give the property of the parent to his family on his death, and in most civilized countries permit him even to give it, by testament, to whom he pleases." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Earle, 1823. ME 15:470

     

    "Our wish... is that... equality of rights [be] maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry or that of his fathers." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805. ME 3:382

     

    "To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'" --Thomas Jefferson: Note in Destutt de Tracy's "Political Economy," 1816. ME 14:466
    10 Jul 2010, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • kcr357
    , contributor
    Comments (557) | Send Message
     
    The colonists died over it....
    10 Jul 2010, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    I guess that includes slaves.
    10 Jul 2010, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • greenzulu
    , contributor
    Comments (217) | Send Message
     
    The brief answer is that nothing qualifies me to decide what "Traditional Americans hold dear." Nor are you qualified to do so.

     

    So you shouldn't mount ad hominen attacks on those who disagree with you. For all you know, Anwar's great-great grandfather might have been Thomas Jefferson. O'l TJ got around a bit, it turns out.

     

    Claiming that the U.S. is not a "true democracy" is pure semantics, and "traditional Americans" would probably be surprised to be told they don't live in a democratic system.

     

    As for the "collectivist state" being responsible for the mortgage derivative pyramiding, you obviously haven't worked on Wall Street. The "collectivist state", if that's what it is, was represented by the dumb guys in business school who went to the SEC instead of Goldman Sachs. The only bonus they got was free internet porno. It was a private sector scam all the way, put over on quasi-governmental agencies like Fannie, Freddie -- and AIG.

     

    Your namesake Cincinnatus was indeed not from Cincinnati, but rather was a patrician Roman dictator. And redistribution of assets to average folk -- the plebians - was the furthest thing from his mind. And yours, obviously. But that was 2,000 years ago.

     

    Your "historical" analysis is just a transparent cover for the your gut feeling that the rich should keep theirs, and tough luck for the rest.

     

    If you want to debate what American "traditions" really are, remember that "liberty and justice for all" is one of them. But there is no political freedom or justice in societies in societies with large and permanent extremes of wealth. There is a correct balance between private wealth and the public weal in a healthy society.

     

    That you find similarities between the United States and Venezuela simply indicates that you have never lived in Venezuela and wouldn't know the difference. Consequently, you feel no gratitude toward your fellow American citizens, most considerably poorer than you, I would guess, who defend you in war rather than surrounding your house and burning you out for being a selfish capitalist.
    12 Jul 2010, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3339) | Send Message
     
    "As for the "collectivist state" being responsible for the mortgage derivative pyramiding, you obviously haven't worked on Wall Street."

     

    Never claimed that. You're confusing mortgage derivatives with the bailouts, which you would not if you had worked on Wall Street. As I clearly stated those involved in these products should have failed. The socialization of their losses through the bailouts is where the collectivist state comes in to redistribute from the responsible to the irresponsible. Note that you're for this redistribution. The estate tax is a source of revenues for this redistribution effort.

     

    As to your continued attacks on the "rich", that's a shibboleth for the vapid who suffer penis envy that someone might have more than you've got. The US was founded on the ideal that the state has no power to expropriate wealth legally acquired. That you could get together with a mob and vote yourself the wealth of your neighbor is consistent with a democracy, but the Founders were well aware of such mob rule, and gave us a Constitution that if observed would prevent it. The problem is we've got our own Hugo Chavez in the White House and his sycophants that have no problem in demonizing society's producers (i.e. those evil rich).
    12 Jul 2010, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    My point is the estate tax has been with us from the begining of our republic. It's not unconstitutional or villianous. The rhetoric and historical distortion by various propganda groups is just that self-serving propoganda.
    12 Jul 2010, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    You need to get your facts straight. The current estate tax is completely new and different in both intent and amount.
    3 Aug 2010, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    >>Claiming that the U.S. is not a "true democracy" is pure semantics<<
    Actually it is the very core of the problem as are people like you who have no idea of the significance.
    |>>and "traditional Americans" would probably be surprised to be told they don't live in a democratic system.<<
    The average American is an idiot and your post confirms this.
    3 Aug 2010, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    At which point it was bequethed - you forgot that part.
    3 Aug 2010, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    typical idiotic statement
    3 Aug 2010, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    The estate tax in its current form, intent, and amount has not been with us from the beginning and differs radically form its origin. Please read a little before posting.
    3 Aug 2010, 03:16 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    You sound like my wife when we argue.
    4 Aug 2010, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    You're married to a woman?
    4 Aug 2010, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (1219) | Send Message
     
    Why were they not pulling the plug in the first place? If grandpa is a vegetable with no brain waves then why prolong existence at great cost?
    9 Jul 2010, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • Uncle Pie
    , contributor
    Comments (2675) | Send Message
     
    Only in America do we have a tax code that works like Russian Roulette!
    9 Jul 2010, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
     
    I don't know about America, but my understanding regarding Candian law is that an estate transferred by death is treated as capital gains exposure, much like making money in the stock market or selling a non-primary real-estate property. Capital gains are determined and then 50% of that amount is taxed at the appropriate tax rate the individual would pay on the money if he/she earned it as employment income or the like.

     

    However, you can pass your estate on tax free to your common law spouse. Now, a common law spouse can be anyone who you have entered into a cohabitational relationship with for a period of 12 months or more prior to death, regardless of sex and as long as such said relationship doesn't qualify as incest under the Canadian Criminal Code.

     

    Incest in Canada is defined as sexual relations between any combination of mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or sister. It does not refer to common law status between direct/indirect aunts or uncles and their respective nieces, nephews; nor does it refer to a possible relationship scenario between mother or father and daughter-in-laws or son-in-laws etc.

     

    So, conceivably, if dad or mom fell ill and had limited time to live, the family could arrange a living situation by which they could get around the exposure to the tax liability realized upon death of the asset holder.
    9 Jul 2010, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • dvdivx
    , contributor
    Comments (71) | Send Message
     
    I have to admit I never thought of incest as tax planning. This board really does cover all the options.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • positivethoughts
    , contributor
    Comments (1811) | Send Message
     
    As an example to my point, if a husband who's father was dying, divorced his wife and then his wife cohabitated in a common law relationship with the dying father for 12 months or more, and upon the father's death, the wife remarried her now ex-husband, then the money could pass from the husband's father to the husband ex-wife and then back to the husband through the remarriage to his wife. It would take some time and have to be carried out with specificity, but it could be done. America probably would have similar opportunities.
    9 Jul 2010, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1826) | Send Message
     
    dvdivx, that's the comment of the day. Well done!
    10 Jul 2010, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    Interesting. With that type of taxation, Canada has replaced all the jobs lost during the recession.
    10 Jul 2010, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • haunted
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
     
    "Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

     

    And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. "
    --- Ecclesiastes 2

     

    Don't worry about it too much. Eat it, drink it, and be merry, as the Preacher said, while you have life, because ...

     

    We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out -- The Order for the Burial of the Dead.
    9 Jul 2010, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • BetTheHouse
    , contributor
    Comments (147) | Send Message
     
    Talk about a BS argument devoid of facts. Typical of our Congress. Congress claimed they were repealing the estate tax to help farmers. Nevermind that investigators could not find a single farmer impacted by the estate tax that year. NOT ONE. How about lower the capital gains tax or the payroll tax? The estate tax. Is it great? Do I love it? No. Is it high on the list of things that Congress should address? Not by a freaking long shot.
    9 Jul 2010, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • Troubled Loaner
    , contributor
    Comments (116) | Send Message
     
    The estate tax mainly impacts people who do no planning. It could be thought of as a financial ignorance tax, as the ultra wealthy use trusts and other arrangements to minimize their liability.

     

    I think the government could do a much better job at helping ordinary people to be handle their finances. The tax laws seem to be written for the benefit of banks and lawyers rather than the average person.
    10 Jul 2010, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • Cincinnatus
    , contributor
    Comments (3339) | Send Message
     
    There's a recent book by William Baker titled "Endless Money" that describes how guys like Buffett don't pay the estate tax, just as they manage to keep their income off their personal income tax statements. The estate tax is directed squarely at those attempting to ascend to and through the upper-middle class. It's not ignorance for most, but rather how the game is rigged.
    11 Jul 2010, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    Yes, he commented once on how the office staff paid more in taxes than he did.
    12 Jul 2010, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    @Cincinnatus
    Yes the ultimate hypocrisy and shameless self-aggrandizing by the likes of Bill Gates and countless other very wealthy globalists who promote the estate tax toward increasingly less wealthy US citizens while they have all of their wealth protected in trusts from which they can affect policy long after they are dead.
    These people are pure anti-American scum.
    4 Aug 2010, 12:37 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    Yes, they are giving away billions of dollars to help the plight of their fellow man and then taking a tax write-off!!
    4 Aug 2010, 07:59 AM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    Naive. Go talk to your husband.
    4 Aug 2010, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    The Estate tax is criminal
    10 Jul 2010, 12:19 AM Reply Like
  • enigmaman
    , contributor
    Comments (2686) | Send Message
     
    I thought grave robbing was illegal!
    10 Jul 2010, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    Give me a break. Only the very wealthy are effected.
    10 Jul 2010, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    $1 million is very wealthy to you. You must be a total loser. Please read up on the history of the estate tax to gain a proper perspective. If you take the time to do so, you will learn how it has inexorably encroached into the lives of more and more citizens at lower and lower net worth over time. In so doing it has abrogated its original intent. The communists in the US would like to have a zero dollar limit and a 100% estate tax if they could get away with it so they can confiscate everything for the State upon a citizen's death. Even the wording "Estate Tax" is misleading as it is not a tax, rather it is a direct confiscation of assets, the only such direct, unabashed confiscation of assets that exists in the US system.
    3 Aug 2010, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    I guess 90% of Americans are losers. Sorry you feel that way about your fellow citizens who do very menial jobs for low pay. Do you sneer at the guys who cut your lawn for you?
    4 Aug 2010, 08:01 AM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    That's the difference between people like you and people like me. I cut lawns as a child, construction labored as a young adult, worked my way up, paid for all the education I got, and made myself something through hard work and putting everything I had on the line to create more. I have no disdain for anyone doing honest work on any level.
    You do. That's why you love confiscation of other people's assets.
    Honest, hardworking people of all economic strata don't. Only the frauds do - go to work everyday at some stupid office where they spend the bulk of their time screwing around, surfing the Internet, etc., on and on. Then whine about the most productive people in society who they have disdain for. Sound familiar?
    4 Aug 2010, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    Ah, I worked on a dairy farm. Stacked hay bales in 90 plus degrees in the barn. Stuck my hands into a cows vagina to pull the calf out. I know what work is. And I respect your opinion on the estate tax.
    4 Aug 2010, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • bikerron1
    , contributor
    Comments (468) | Send Message
     
    Just pull the plug and get it over with. That way the kids can go to Mickey Ds. and get the super value meal.
    10 Jul 2010, 05:46 AM Reply Like
  • jpau
    , contributor
    Comments (714) | Send Message
     
    Actually, our current system is simply corrupt. Bribery and abuse of privilege have been institutionalized, and as such are no longer considered crimes. Corporations bribe representatives and senators on a daily basis, and get pretty much what they want - just look at the so-called health-care or banking reforms. Total giveaways to corporate interests.

     

    All this nonsense about Obama being a communist, or socialist is just misdirection. The problem with this country is that we don't have publicly funded elections, and we allow our politicians to depend on the generosity of the wealthy, corporations, and special interest groups to keep them in office. The right thing almost never gets done, and unless we fix our political system, we are hosed - no matter who is in office.
    10 Jul 2010, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • anarchist
    , contributor
    Comments (1219) | Send Message
     
    Great comment jpau.
    11 Jul 2010, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    The government has no right to tax estates. This is a communist plot. The colonists died over the estate tax. Only losers would stand for death taxes cause grave robbing is taboo in every society, unless you're an Egyptologist. The criminals who are taxing our estates need to hear from us. If we have to become zombies we won't let them get away with this. The 'man" is trying to keep us down; but we will rise. Since my conversion to the Tea Party I have re-read history and now understand that I was dead wrong. The estate tax must go now. Estates should be allowed to grow generation to generation with no tax and never be taxed in any way.
    3 Aug 2010, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • greenzulu
    , contributor
    Comments (217) | Send Message
     
    A government has no right to tax estates? Well, they do, actually -- a legal right to pass a law and enforce it.

     

    You mean "morally"? Well, I dunno. I'm not sure we have a moral right to ask other people to die for us, but they do, in foreign wars, every day. That's what a country is all about -- government by the majority in a democratic process.

     

    Should estates be allowed to grow without ever being taxed? That is exactly what is allowed in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, and most other "developing nations." The result is a permanent upper of "rentiers", people who take no risks with their money and do little work because they own everything. The other 99% of the population has to work and pay for everything -- land, houses, food -- at whatever price this permanent Oligarchy may demand. They tax all the imports so no one can get anything cheaper than the price they ask.

     

    It ain't healthy, and it's UnAmerican, if you really believe that America should be a land of opportunity, rather than a land of permanently entrenched privileges of the few. Just because grandpappy earned it doesn't mean that 20 generations of his progeny should get to sit on their butts and collect rent for walking the streets and breathing from the great majority who actually have to work for a living.

     

    But I don't like estate taxes any more than you do, and I think 50% is ridiculous -- since I've already paid taxes on it when I earned it.
    3 Aug 2010, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    Now I am all confused. Should I stay in the Teaparty and join the Michigan Militia; abandon ethics, history, logic, not to mention spelling and grammar; or should I become a homosexual and marry a guy? Help, I'm a lost sheeple. Won't someone feed me a "soundbite"?
    5 Aug 2010, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    You could do both.
    5 Aug 2010, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    You're right, I could combine the two. A bunch of guys running around in the woods together who believe in second ammendment solutions. This could be the nucleus of the next "Great Compromise" in American politics. Thanks again.
    5 Aug 2010, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    See, there are really simple answers to all these problems.
    5 Aug 2010, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • zorrow
    , contributor
    Comments (847) | Send Message
     
    Simple anwers. No big words. I like. Thanks.
    5 Aug 2010, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • stev53e
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    >>Well, I dunno. I'm not sure we have a moral right to ask other people to die for us, but they do, in foreign wars, every day. That's what a country is all about -- government by the majority in a democratic process.<<
    It easy to ask/demand people to die in foreign wars, even illegal wars, every day as you say when a country's government is by majority in a democratic process rather than by rule of law as in a republic.
    3 Aug 2010, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • greenzulu
    , contributor
    Comments (217) | Send Message
     
    Not a bad answer, but somewhat circular. I'm pretty sure laws in a republic are made by representatives who were voted into office by a majority of voters, subject to the original Constitution.

     

    I agree that "mob-ocracy", unfiltered by a Constitution and subject to the popular whims of the day, is a system that will produce hugely unfair results -- certainly one in which the minority will have no protections against the majority, the hallmark of a republic.

     

    But there is an undertone throughout this thread that treats "private" property as inviolable, notwithstanding that it may lead to accumulations of wealth that will eventually destroy the consent of the governed, and lead to limited social mobility and ultimately stunt the growth of the republic. Would you go to war to defend the rights of an entrenched oligarchy -- or take up arms against them?

     

    Fundamental fairness matters in any country, because it preserves social cohesion. If some must die to preserve American liberty - not volunteers, but draftees -- is it really too much to ask that others contribute some of their wealth to the public weal?

     

    Of course, what the government actually does with the money, and how much they should take, is a whole different story. Taking half of my already-taxed money upon death, I would argue, is not fundamentally fair. But neither is a country with two classes, the permanently rich and those who can never be.
    4 Aug 2010, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • OptionManiac
    , contributor
    Comments (3304) | Send Message
     
    Yes, rather then immediately taking a "polar" stance, the two sides of this debate could probably come up with a suitable solution. But, we are governed by politicians and not managers.
    5 Aug 2010, 07:37 AM Reply Like
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