Author Topic: 2020 POTUS Candidates  (Read 140797 times)

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1350 on: November 16, 2019, 05:15:38 PM »
There have always been people with giant piles of money and control throughout history.

You are acting as if this is a shock.

Still, go look at a person making $15/hr and living in a reasonable area (ie, not trying to get by on that in San Francisco).  They can go to the grocery store and buy plenty of healthy food (usually low or no tax), they have access in most areas to public transportation at low cost, we now have medical care with subsidies for low income, phone, internet, tv, parks, libraries, bike paths.

Now compare that with a laborer working in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, or even part of the 1900s.

Yes the billionaire can fly his private jet to his private island while the laborer has to save for a coach ticket to the Florida panhandle, but a vacation is still a vacation.

This whole argument boils down to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KSryJXDpZo

GuitarStv

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1351 on: November 16, 2019, 05:33:10 PM »
There have always been people with giant piles of money and control throughout history.

You are acting as if this is a shock.

Still, go look at a person making $15/hr and living in a reasonable area (ie, not trying to get by on that in San Francisco).  They can go to the grocery store and buy plenty of healthy food (usually low or no tax), they have access in most areas to public transportation at low cost, we now have medical care with subsidies for low income, phone, internet, tv, parks, libraries, bike paths.

Now compare that with a laborer working in the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, or even part of the 1900s.

I'm not shocked that rich people exist.  They've always existed.  I'm shocked at the levels of inequality today . . . which are historically unusual.  We are regressing to levels of wealth disparity similar to those that existed when medieval kings ruled their serfs.  I don't see that as a good thing.

I've already mentioned that I agree with you that the standard of living has increased.  Not sure why you keep bringing this up rather than addressing my points.  The slight increase in standard of living doesn't blind me to the fact that the richest are befitting unequally from the massive increase in productivity of the average person over the past hundred years or so.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1352 on: November 16, 2019, 05:40:47 PM »
I will concede the point that perhaps some of the nice things we have today, like the roads, parks, public transportation are not really fully paid for and the mega millionaires and billionaires should shoulder more of that than the middle class or poor.

So why not have the candidates come up with some sort of reasonable tax rates.  Instead of a 6% wealth tax, what raising the top income tax bracket to something like 45% and also increasing capital gains and dividend rates to 45%.   Use a lot of that to bring our national debt below 100% of GDP instead of promising more spending.

To me that type of policy sounds rational, sustainable AND electable.

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1353 on: November 16, 2019, 05:54:20 PM »
Billionaires eventually hit a point where they no longer have any reasonable use for their money, so instead of funding new ideas, they end up spending more of it on protection of themselves. Through lobbying, political contribution, PAC's.

Billionaires do not innovate, they don't really invest. Their main concern is wealth preservation. As we see in this cycle, if that means destroying American democracy, they'll be willing to do that too.

We can point to someone like Bezos whose main schtick at making Amazon what it is was by selling products at a loss until competitors gave up. That's not innovation, it's just an embargo. Bullying with capital. Any modern billionaire that I can think of can be innovative, but they all made their money through forcing out competitors and creating monopolies to themselves.

Microsoft through the 90's would regularly lock out software developers from writing non-Microsoft code.
Amazon ran at a loss for decades in order to kill smaller competitors.
Uber is taking advantage of employee/contractor laws.
Internet companies. Need I say more.
Trump inherited the wealth his father stole. And then they ran a tax scheme in order to transfer it from father to son. (illegal, but was discovered too late)
Koch made his fortune off of building oil refineries for the Nazis and Soviets.

Out of all the billionaires in the world I'm going to assume 80% of them are there because of corrupt/ anti-democratic means. That's very sad for the 20% who are highly intelligent and probably deserve all the money they have, but for the sake of democracy, it's just better to say they shouldn't exist. You can still have a private jet and island with only 500MM.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1354 on: November 16, 2019, 06:02:58 PM »
Still, there are a few billionaires who do need the money.

Elon Musk is one.  He has poured a lot of his own money from Paypal into Tesla and SpaceX.   Had he been subjected to something like these current tax proposals, it is likely neither one would have gotten off the ground (pun intended for SpaceX heh heh).

Gates is doing some good now with his foundation.  Buffett I think has supported this foundation also or pledged to it.   Buffett does do some nasty stuff in his business activities though.   Several of the companies he owns really prey on the poor.

Assuming that all billionaires are just bald headed evil guys petting bald cats is just silly.   Hmm  ok Bezos is bald...

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1355 on: November 16, 2019, 07:18:38 PM »
Still, there are a few billionaires who do need the money.

Elon Musk is one.  He has poured a lot of his own money from Paypal into Tesla and SpaceX.   Had he been subjected to something like these current tax proposals, it is likely neither one would have gotten off the ground (pun intended for SpaceX heh heh).

Gates is doing some good now with his foundation.  Buffett I think has supported this foundation also or pledged to it.   Buffett does do some nasty stuff in his business activities though.   Several of the companies he owns really prey on the poor.

Assuming that all billionaires are just bald headed evil guys petting bald cats is just silly.   Hmm  ok Bezos is bald...

No I think they just have inflated egos and they think that they somehow succeeded because they, themselves, and them. We forget that the government has lots of projects that need investment that oil the machine of the American market. Our infrastructure, science grants, research, have all been a part of this wealth creation that more or less just gets handed to large companies. These people no doubt founded great businesses, but they would be no where without government funding and research.

There's a large tax bill looming. Not just our national debt, but the amount of infrastructure, building upgrades, new energy sources needed, we've been delaying paying that bill. And that money has to come from the people who've been hoarding a larger and larger percentage of that wealth.

KBecks

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1356 on: November 16, 2019, 07:29:02 PM »
Billionaires eventually hit a point where they no longer have any reasonable use for their money, so instead of funding new ideas, they end up spending more of it on protection of themselves. Through lobbying, political contribution, PAC's.

Billionaires do not innovate, they don't really invest. Their main concern is wealth preservation. As we see in this cycle, if that means destroying American democracy, they'll be willing to do that too.

We can point to someone like Bezos whose main schtick at making Amazon what it is was by selling products at a loss until competitors gave up. That's not innovation, it's just an embargo. Bullying with capital. Any modern billionaire that I can think of can be innovative, but they all made their money through forcing out competitors and creating monopolies to themselves.

Microsoft through the 90's would regularly lock out software developers from writing non-Microsoft code.
Amazon ran at a loss for decades in order to kill smaller competitors.
Uber is taking advantage of employee/contractor laws.
Internet companies. Need I say more.
Trump inherited the wealth his father stole. And then they ran a tax scheme in order to transfer it from father to son. (illegal, but was discovered too late)
Koch made his fortune off of building oil refineries for the Nazis and Soviets.

Out of all the billionaires in the world I'm going to assume 80% of them are there because of corrupt/ anti-democratic means. That's very sad for the 20% who are highly intelligent and probably deserve all the money they have, but for the sake of democracy, it's just better to say they shouldn't exist. You can still have a private jet and island with only 500MM.

Do you hate Oprah?

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1357 on: November 16, 2019, 08:12:31 PM »
Do you hate Oprah?

Is that how far you have to go down the billionaire list before you find someone remotely likable?

GuitarStv

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1358 on: November 16, 2019, 08:17:07 PM »
You don't have to hate any billionaires to be concerned with the wealth disparity and accelerating concentration of wealth that is going on in our society.

Daisy

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1359 on: November 16, 2019, 09:07:05 PM »
You don't have to hate any billionaires to be concerned with the wealth disparity and accelerating concentration of wealth that is going on in our society.

I see how companies like Amazon and Walmart have displaced thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. Whatever happened to trust busting and avoiding monopolies? It seems like these laws are not enforced and as a result there are less and as a result much larger companies around and the tops of these companies are richer billionaires instead of thousands of rich millionaires owning small and medium-sized businesses. I think that enforcing antitrust laws would be a more effective strategy to "spread the wealth".
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 09:08:47 PM by Daisy »

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1360 on: November 16, 2019, 09:13:44 PM »

Poor early retirees, they should have to work until 62.

Exactly.   This is what strikes me as kind of amusing when you see people on MMM sort of laughing at the billionaires.   We really should not be allowed to retire at 30 or 35 or what have you.   If you consider the effort society put into training a person until they are 22, getting just 8 to 13 years of work out of that person is silly ridiculous and is not sustainable if everyone were put on equal footing.

The only reason some of us are able to retire so early is because other people are forced to work until they are 50 or 60 (or longer)

Until we get robots to do everything....which is coming I guess.

If you fundamentally disagree with FIRE I fail to understand why you are on these forums?
The whole point of these forums is to help people to gain FIRE. MMM retired at age 30 from being an engineer.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1361 on: November 16, 2019, 11:24:07 PM »
You don't have to hate any billionaires to be concerned with the wealth disparity and accelerating concentration of wealth that is going on in our society.

I see how companies like Amazon and Walmart have displaced thousands of small and medium-sized businesses. Whatever happened to trust busting and avoiding monopolies? It seems like these laws are not enforced and as a result there are less and as a result much larger companies around and the tops of these companies are richer billionaires instead of thousands of rich millionaires owning small and medium-sized businesses. I think that enforcing antitrust laws would be a more effective strategy to "spread the wealth".
Amazon is 5% of US retail/e-com sales; it is nowhere near a monopoly. By comparison, Walmart has a 10% US share and Target is at 2.5%.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1362 on: November 17, 2019, 05:38:41 AM »

If you fundamentally disagree with FIRE I fail to understand why you are on these forums?
The whole point of these forums is to help people to gain FIRE. MMM retired at age 30 from being an engineer.

I don't disagree with FIRE, I am just one of the few on here who realizes their farts don't smell like roses.

KBecks

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1363 on: November 17, 2019, 06:11:20 AM »
Do you hate Oprah?

Is that how far you have to go down the billionaire list before you find someone remotely likable?

I just thought of her as a self-made billionaire.  Do you want to punish her success?  Tell her she's not worthy and didn't work hard enough for it?  Only deserves 500 million?  You think she's not smart enough or not kind enough to make good decisions about her own self-made wealth?

Are you going to day, Oprah, you didn't build that?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 06:14:47 AM by KBecks »

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1364 on: November 17, 2019, 06:17:23 AM »
Investment gains

Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $60. The result: taxes as high as $95 on income of $60 for a combined tax rate of 158%.

A wealth tax is not a tax on investment gains. Why would the percent relative to investment gains be relevant?

If I own enough property that my property taxes are greater then my total income, would you say I'm paying over 100% taxes?

I'm not in favor of Warren's plan and I have reservations about a wealth tax in general, but I don't understand this argument. Or rather, I do understand that the point of this argument is to provide a headline that people can grab onto and be outraged by, but I don't think it's a sound argument.

The bolded part and the sentiment behind it is a pretty good encapsulation of why although I have become much more liberal over the years, I doubt I will ever fully be able to drink the Kool-aid. How on earth can anyone not see any issues or have any problems with the government literally saying you have too much so I'm going to take it from you. The government has to get taxes to exist and everyone wants at least something from the government, I get it. Sales taxes, income taxes - these are transactional and by definition you have the money (if you didn't spend it at least) because you earned it. So I'm on the opposite side of this spectrum. I honestly can't comprehend how taxing at greater than a 100% tax rate of what you actually earned in liquid money is not a huge deal. And yet in this thread and the other thread about Warren's tax raises for small businesses, liberals seem to either be at least totally fine with it, all the way to the extreme of being gleeful to do it. I'm not saying I could never support a wealth tax. In certain situations, and some could say ours right now is one, people have so much stuff because of a biased system that it has to be rectified somehow. I could see myself holding my nose and saying it had to be done. Having it become common place where you can take more from someone than they gained in liquid money in a year...sheesh it's a bridge I doubt I could ever cross and is one of the few issues I have a hard time seeing the other side on...

GuitarStv

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1365 on: November 17, 2019, 06:57:06 AM »
Do you hate Oprah?

Is that how far you have to go down the billionaire list before you find someone remotely likable?

I just thought of her as a self-made billionaire.  Do you want to punish her success?  Tell her she's not worthy and didn't work hard enough for it?  Only deserves 500 million?  You think she's not smart enough or not kind enough to make good decisions about her own self-made wealth?

Are you going to day, Oprah, you didn't build that?

That's dishonest.  Why are you misrepresenting what Obama said by quoting him out of context? 

Quote
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me – because they want to give something back. They know they didn't – look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges--if you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.


A person who makes a billion dollars for themselves works very hard to do so.  But they don't do it on their own.  They do it with the help of others through a wide variety of service, and in the safe environment that is provided for them.  To reiterate . . . Operah did work hard for what she achieved.  But at the same time, she profited because of the environment that was available to her.  Do you think that she would have been able to achieve it if the government hadn't forced southern states (like Mississippi where she was born) to stop keeping black slaves, or the anti-discrimination laws that likely led to her being hired in the first place?  Or without the regulation and legislation that allows the telecommunications network that broadcast her talk program to work across the country?  Or without the security in banking regulation and police protection that allows her to amass truly huge quantities of wealth without any real risk of it being stolen?  Without the building codes that ensure her mansion doesn't fall down after it's constructed, the health and safety codes that ensure the food she buys doesn't poison her, or the environmental regulations that keep companies from poisoning the land she owns?  What we call a 'self made' person is one who has capitalized on the many advantages available to them.  This is something that is difficult to do . . . but would be flat out impossible without the tremendous amount of assistance from society that they take advantage of.

There's also a popular myth that money drives people to succeed in all situations.  My question to you is, do you think Opera did what she did because she wanted a billion dollars?  If she made 900 million instead of a billion, do you think she would have thrown her hands up and yelled "Oh, hell no . . . I'm out!  Fuck this." ?

Is Oprah smart enough to make decisions about her wealth?  Of course she is.  But she'll make selfish and self-centered decisions most of the time (as anyone in her position would).  The whole point of taxation is to have those who benefit the most from the system pay back into the system that they used to gain wealth.

former player

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1366 on: November 17, 2019, 07:02:46 AM »
The opposite of saying "you can only tax someone less than they earn in a year, however many billions they have" is that you are saying "some people/families/trusts will be allowed to become infinitely rich, richer than any government on the planet" - because governments have to spend, whereas individuals/families/trusts will be able to accumulate indefinitely.

That seems to me to be a position that has rarely occurred in the past (some very rich historical leaders within their limited context, of course) but which in the past couple of decades has become a real possibility - one I find pretty disturbing, to be honest.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1367 on: November 17, 2019, 07:50:25 AM »
Just realize that while a billionaire's wealth looks vast from our perspective here on MMM, our wealth and early retirement probably look equally vast from some 55 year old cashier working at Wal-mart during the thanksgiving rush.

We don't have any sympathy for the billionaires, don't expect the masses to have any sympathy for the 35 year old retirees with a few million in the bank after we finish killing off the billionaires.

Davnasty

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1368 on: November 17, 2019, 09:00:04 AM »
Investment gains

Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $60. The result: taxes as high as $95 on income of $60 for a combined tax rate of 158%.

A wealth tax is not a tax on investment gains. Why would the percent relative to investment gains be relevant?

If I own enough property that my property taxes are greater then my total income, would you say I'm paying over 100% taxes?

I'm not in favor of Warren's plan and I have reservations about a wealth tax in general, but I don't understand this argument. Or rather, I do understand that the point of this argument is to provide a headline that people can grab onto and be outraged by, but I don't think it's a sound argument.

The bolded part and the sentiment behind it is a pretty good encapsulation of why although I have become much more liberal over the years, I doubt I will ever fully be able to drink the Kool-aid.

What sentiment? My point is that >100% taxation is already possible through property taxes... if you think the Wall Street Journal's argument is logical. If I own property worth $10 million and pay a property tax of 1% then I owe $100,000 in taxes. If my income is less than $100,000, would you say I'm paying >100% taxes? I wouldn't because property tax is unrelated to income. Just like a wealth tax would be unrelated to income.

Quote
How on earth can anyone not see any issues or have any problems with the government literally saying you have too much so I'm going to take it from you. The government has to get taxes to exist and everyone wants at least something from the government, I get it. Sales taxes, income taxes - these are transactional and by definition you have the money (if you didn't spend it at least) because you earned it. So I'm on the opposite side of this spectrum. I honestly can't comprehend how taxing at greater than a 100% tax rate of what you actually earned in liquid money is not a huge deal. And yet in this thread and the other thread about Warren's tax raises for small businesses, liberals seem to either be at least totally fine with it, all the way to the extreme of being gleeful to do it. I'm not saying I could never support a wealth tax. In certain situations, and some could say ours right now is one, people have so much stuff because of a biased system that it has to be rectified somehow. I could see myself holding my nose and saying it had to be done. Having it become common place where you can take more from someone than they gained in liquid money in a year...sheesh it's a bridge I doubt I could ever cross and is one of the few issues I have a hard time seeing the other side on...

I'm confused as to why you chose my comment to respond to, it makes me think you've missed my point. The only sentiment I gave was that I disagree with Warrens plan. The rest was just an explanation of why this is a bad argument. Maybe I should give another example to help elucidate my point.

Let's look at the example given by KBecks. It was tailor made to make the point that the author wanted to make. Let's try it with some different numbers:
Quote
Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6%-9% return, or $60-90, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $350 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $6054.60. The result: taxes as high as $9554.60 on income of $60-90 for a combined tax rate of 158infinity%?.

Oh noes, infinity % taxes!!!

If the example breaks when you start filling in different values, that's a sign of a bad argument. The only reason an “infinite%” tax is possible is because the tax is not on income, it’s on wealth. It just doesn’t make sense to express it as a % of income.

Again, none of this has anything to do with my personal opinion of a wealth tax. I think there are good arguments against a wealth tax. I do not think expressing wealth tax owed as a % of income is one of them.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 09:03:38 AM by Davnasty »

skp

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1369 on: November 17, 2019, 09:20:02 AM »
The problem I see are tax loopholes.  People smart enough or rich enough to hire tax experts will find someway out of paying, legally, whatever taxes the political flavor of the day decides.  Andrew Yang says he isn't against the taxes in theory, but that they will be impossible to implement.   

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1370 on: November 17, 2019, 09:32:10 AM »
Just realize that while a billionaire's wealth looks vast from our perspective here on MMM, our wealth and early retirement probably look equally vast from some 55 year old cashier working at Wal-mart during the thanksgiving rush.

We don't have any sympathy for the billionaires, don't expect the masses to have any sympathy for the 35 year old retirees with a few million in the bank after we finish killing off the billionaires.

Ahh ok, yeah you made up a conspiracy theory. That's nice. I'm still waiting for the estate tax to even come close to anyone in my family's net worth.

Davnasty

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1371 on: November 17, 2019, 09:40:10 AM »
How on earth can anyone not see any issues or have any problems with the government literally saying you have too much so I'm going to take it from you.

Some people probably do feel this way, but it's not "literally" what a wealth tax says.

The existence of currency is a service provided by the government. Anyone who uses money benefits from that service and as one accumulates wealth, they use more of that service. Just like someone who uses the roads more pays more gas and vehicle tax, shouldn't those with more accumulated wealth pay more for the ability to accumulate it? I also think it's reasonable that wealth below a certain threshold be exempt from such a tax, but that gets a bit more complicated.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1372 on: November 17, 2019, 09:45:13 AM »
So, like paying protection money.  :-)

Honestly, I don't have a problem with taxing billionaires to death, knock them down to millionaire status, as long as it will stop there and the rest of us normal wealthy can keep exploiting the people below us.

Daisy

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1373 on: November 17, 2019, 10:22:39 AM »
Andrew Yang has said that other countries have tried a wealth tax but the implementation was difficult and they abandoned it. Which countries is he talking about?

I can only imagine the complex and intrusive nature of what a wealth tax would entail into all of our personal lives so for that matter alone I am not a fan, even though I don't like the existence of billionaires and huge disparities of wealth.

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1374 on: November 17, 2019, 10:26:24 AM »
So, like paying protection money.  :-)

Honestly, I don't have a problem with taxing billionaires to death, knock them down to millionaire status, as long as it will stop there and the rest of us normal wealthy can keep exploiting the people below us.

Seeing as part of the money goes to pay for the military. Yes. Protection money.

Daisy

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1375 on: November 17, 2019, 10:31:07 AM »
Andrew Yang has said that other countries have tried a wealth tax but the implementation was difficult and they abandoned it. Which countries is he talking about?

I can only imagine the complex and intrusive nature of what a wealth tax would entail into all of our personal lives so for that matter alone I am not a fan, even though I don't like the existence of billionaires and huge disparities of wealth.

Yes I am replying to myself to add some more thoughts.

How would the wealth tax measure wealth? Just money in investment accounts? Home and car values? What other types of personal property? Do we have to do an inventory of jewelry? If not why wouldn't everybody just go ahead and buy Rolex gold watches or something like that the hide their wealth?

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1376 on: November 17, 2019, 10:43:45 AM »
Andrew Yang has said that other countries have tried a wealth tax but the implementation was difficult and they abandoned it. Which countries is he talking about?

I can only imagine the complex and intrusive nature of what a wealth tax would entail into all of our personal lives so for that matter alone I am not a fan, even though I don't like the existence of billionaires and huge disparities of wealth.

Yes I am replying to myself to add some more thoughts.

How would the wealth tax measure wealth? Just money in investment accounts? Home and car values? What other types of personal property? Do we have to do an inventory of jewelry? If not why wouldn't everybody just go ahead and buy Rolex gold watches or something like that the hide their wealth?

1. The proposed Wealth tax would only hit high net worth individuals so likely >15MM.
2. Academic studies on these taxes usually include a 15% avoidance
3. It would be kind of funny to see a person worth 50MM trying to hide 1MM worth of Rolex watches. I guess they could, but they'd only be avoiding 2% of their wealth. The easier way would be to find ways to devalue your current assets. Invest more in your company to reduce profits. Pay your employees more to reduce book value.

EvenSteven

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1377 on: November 17, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
Andrew Yang has said that other countries have tried a wealth tax but the implementation was difficult and they abandoned it. Which countries is he talking about?

I can only imagine the complex and intrusive nature of what a wealth tax would entail into all of our personal lives so for that matter alone I am not a fan, even though I don't like the existence of billionaires and huge disparities of wealth.

Yes I am replying to myself to add some more thoughts.

How would the wealth tax measure wealth? Just money in investment accounts? Home and car values? What other types of personal property? Do we have to do an inventory of jewelry? If not why wouldn't everybody just go ahead and buy Rolex gold watches or something like that the hide their wealth?

I see what you are saying, but I already pay tax every year based on the value of my house and car, so it doesn't seem so outrageous.

Hirondelle

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1378 on: November 17, 2019, 10:58:11 AM »
Hi Daisy! Usually I wouldn't reply on this thread but as you have some questions about a wealth tax and how to implement it I thought I may chime in as my country (NL) has one (and so does Norway).

I don't know when the wealth tax has been implemented and actually it's currenly changing but let me explain what it does:
- Wealth tax starts at €30k savings/investments per person
- Primary residence is excluded
- I'm not sure about rental properties, but I think they do count
- Old rules: the government assumed a 4% return on your investments (regardless of where they were) and taxes that at 30%, essentially making it a 1.2% tax on the savings you have.
- New rules make a bit more distinction between savings vs investments as people complained when savings interest rates got closer and closer to 0. Now if you have a small amount of investments/savings (30-70k) you pay only 0.6%. As your wealth increases the government assumes a higher % of it is in investments rather than savings, so the expected return is larger and the tax % goes up; from 70k-1M you pay 1.34% and above 1M it's about 1.7%. Basically you could see it as a form of capital gain tax but over fictual returns rather than real returns and paid annualy rather than upon selling investments. We don't have a capital gain tax like you guys know it.


The Norwegian system is a bit different and actually taxes stocks less than savings, but I don't know the specifics.

Daisy

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1379 on: November 17, 2019, 11:26:24 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

Even if you don't have a lot of wealth wouldn't you still have to inventory everything for the government when it comes  tax time so you can prove you are under their threshold? How would they know who is and isn't hiding their wealth? You can't base it on income since high wealth individuals might not derive much earned income.

In reply to taxing cars I live in Florida and we don't have to pay property tax on cars so I was unaware of this already existing.

Hirondelle

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1380 on: November 17, 2019, 12:19:03 PM »
In the Dutch situation the government actually already has all your data somehow just coming from the banks and brokers and your employer (when filing your tax return you just check if all the numbers are correct, I don't have to manually enter anything and this is the case for most folks).

Sure they aren't gonna look for any money that you may keep at home in a drawer (you're not making any return on that anyways!), unless you've been taking thousands of euros out of the ATM for the last weeks. Also any consumer product investments (e.g. jewelry, expensive cars) don't count towards the wealth tax.

Debt gets subtracted btw.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1381 on: November 17, 2019, 01:47:38 PM »
Andrew Yang has said that other countries have tried a wealth tax but the implementation was difficult and they abandoned it. Which countries is he talking about?

I can only imagine the complex and intrusive nature of what a wealth tax would entail into all of our personal lives so for that matter alone I am not a fan, even though I don't like the existence of billionaires and huge disparities of wealth.
Something like a dozen European countries had wealth taxes but most have abandoned them because of capital flight and the size of the administrative burden relative to the amount of tax collected. The top marginal taxes were nearly all at 1.5% or lower. Spain, Switzerland, and Norway still have wealth taxes. Here is an argument that wealth taxes would be possible to administer in the US to by avoiding some of the problems faced in Europe. Occasionally it's argued wealth taxes would be unconstitutional in the US.

Warren painted herself into a corner with her read my lips moment, promising massive expenditures without any additional tax burden on the "middle class" (whatever that is). Her mistake is similar to Hilary's problem in 2016: running a technocratic campaign against the emotional leech, Trump. Voters are irrational so candidates have to resonate with a broad base of support by tapping into the ethos of the American voter. If Warren advances, Trump will have a ready-made evisceration of her candidacy. Obama gets it. People need to watch Boston Legal, where William Shatner's character Denny Crane is one of the best articulations of the middle-American ethos being leveraged by Trump.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 01:51:22 PM by lost_in_the_endless_aisle »

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1382 on: November 17, 2019, 02:17:44 PM »

Poor early retirees, they should have to work until 62.

Exactly.   This is what strikes me as kind of amusing when you see people on MMM sort of laughing at the billionaires.   We really should not be allowed to retire at 30 or 35 or what have you.   If you consider the effort society put into training a person until they are 22, getting just 8 to 13 years of work out of that person is silly ridiculous and is not sustainable if everyone were put on equal footing.

The only reason some of us are able to retire so early is because other people are forced to work until they are 50 or 60 (or longer)

Until we get robots to do everything....which is coming I guess.

If you fundamentally disagree with FIRE I fail to understand why you are on these forums?
The whole point of these forums is to help people to gain FIRE. MMM retired at age 30 from being an engineer.


If you fundamentally disagree with FIRE I fail to understand why you are on these forums?
The whole point of these forums is to help people to gain FIRE. MMM retired at age 30 from being an engineer.

I don't disagree with FIRE, I am just one of the few on here who realizes their farts don't smell like roses.

Oh you have it all backwards.  It's the billionaires who think their farts smell like roses.  It's really weird how someone like you is willing to do the bidding for the billionaire class. But I'm sure they appreciate it. They might even throw you a few crumbs.

KBecks

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1383 on: November 17, 2019, 02:36:47 PM »
Just realize that while a billionaire's wealth looks vast from our perspective here on MMM, our wealth and early retirement probably look equally vast from some 55 year old cashier working at Wal-mart during the thanksgiving rush.

We don't have any sympathy for the billionaires, don't expect the masses to have any sympathy for the 35 year old retirees with a few million in the bank after we finish killing off the billionaires.

First they came for the billionaires, and I didn't say anything...

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Here's a little paragraph about dekulakization:
In 1927 the Soviet government began to shift its peasant policy by increasing the kulaks’ taxes and restricting their right to lease land; in 1929 it began a drive for rapid collectivization of agriculture. The kulaks vigorously opposed the efforts to force the peasants to give up their small privately owned farms and join large cooperative agricultural establishments. At the end of 1929 a campaign to “liquidate the kulaks as a class” (“dekulakization”) was launched by the government. By 1934, when approximately 75 percent of the farms in the Soviet Union had been collectivized, most kulaks—as well as millions of other peasants who had opposed collectivization—had been deported to remote regions of the Soviet Union or arrested and their land and property confiscated.

Class warfare is so ugly:
Mao pursued his goals through the Red Guards, groups of the country’s urban youths that were created through mass mobilization efforts. They were directed to root out those among the country’s population who weren’t “sufficiently revolutionary” and those suspected of being “bourgeois.” The Red Guards had little oversight, and their actions led to anarchy and terror, as “suspect” individuals—traditionalists, educators, and intellectuals, for example—were persecuted and killed.
....
Libraries full of historical and foreign texts were destroyed; books were burned. Temples, churches, mosques, monasteries, and cemeteries were closed down and sometimes converted to other uses, looted, and destroyed.[44] Marxist propaganda depicted Buddhism as superstition, and religion was looked upon as a means of hostile foreign infiltration, as well as an instrument of the ruling class.[45] Clergy were arrested and sent to camps; many Tibetan Buddhists were forced to participate in the destruction of their monasteries at gunpoint.[45]
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 03:00:33 PM by KBecks »

EvenSteven

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1384 on: November 17, 2019, 02:58:03 PM »
Just realize that while a billionaire's wealth looks vast from our perspective here on MMM, our wealth and early retirement probably look equally vast from some 55 year old cashier working at Wal-mart during the thanksgiving rush.

We don't have any sympathy for the billionaires, don't expect the masses to have any sympathy for the 35 year old retirees with a few million in the bank after we finish killing off the billionaires.

First they came for the billionaires, and I didn't say anything...

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Here's a little paragraph about dekulakization:
In 1927 the Soviet government began to shift its peasant policy by increasing the kulaks’ taxes and restricting their right to lease land; in 1929 it began a drive for rapid collectivization of agriculture. The kulaks vigorously opposed the efforts to force the peasants to give up their small privately owned farms and join large cooperative agricultural establishments. At the end of 1929 a campaign to “liquidate the kulaks as a class” (“dekulakization”) was launched by the government. By 1934, when approximately 75 percent of the farms in the Soviet Union had been collectivized, most kulaks—as well as millions of other peasants who had opposed collectivization—had been deported to remote regions of the Soviet Union or arrested and their land and property confiscated.

Class warfare is so ugly:
Mao pursued his goals through the Red Guards, groups of the country’s urban youths that were created through mass mobilization efforts. They were directed to root out those among the country’s population who weren’t “sufficiently revolutionary” and those suspected of being “bourgeois.” The Red Guards had little oversight, and their actions led to anarchy and terror, as “suspect” individuals—traditionalists, educators, and intellectuals, for example—were persecuted and killed.


Just so we're clear, you're comparing a 2% wealth tax on billionaires to the holocaust?

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1385 on: November 17, 2019, 03:52:15 PM »
There is class warfare going on. The Republicans try to make it difficult to access Medicaid in states where it was expanded. Republicans are trying to do away with SNAP, the food assistance program. And they're trying to potentially gut Social Security and Medicare. All the while providing tax cuts that primarily benefit billionaires the most.

KBecks

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1386 on: November 17, 2019, 04:35:44 PM »
Just realize that while a billionaire's wealth looks vast from our perspective here on MMM, our wealth and early retirement probably look equally vast from some 55 year old cashier working at Wal-mart during the thanksgiving rush.

We don't have any sympathy for the billionaires, don't expect the masses to have any sympathy for the 35 year old retirees with a few million in the bank after we finish killing off the billionaires.

First they came for the billionaires, and I didn't say anything...

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Here's a little paragraph about dekulakization:
In 1927 the Soviet government began to shift its peasant policy by increasing the kulaks’ taxes and restricting their right to lease land; in 1929 it began a drive for rapid collectivization of agriculture. The kulaks vigorously opposed the efforts to force the peasants to give up their small privately owned farms and join large cooperative agricultural establishments. At the end of 1929 a campaign to “liquidate the kulaks as a class” (“dekulakization”) was launched by the government. By 1934, when approximately 75 percent of the farms in the Soviet Union had been collectivized, most kulaks—as well as millions of other peasants who had opposed collectivization—had been deported to remote regions of the Soviet Union or arrested and their land and property confiscated.

Class warfare is so ugly:
Mao pursued his goals through the Red Guards, groups of the country’s urban youths that were created through mass mobilization efforts. They were directed to root out those among the country’s population who weren’t “sufficiently revolutionary” and those suspected of being “bourgeois.” The Red Guards had little oversight, and their actions led to anarchy and terror, as “suspect” individuals—traditionalists, educators, and intellectuals, for example—were persecuted and killed.


Just so we're clear, you're comparing a 2% wealth tax on billionaires to the holocaust?

And Holodomor, and the Cultural Revolution.

Once we start saying, you don't deserve that, you shouln't have that, you can't own that... it can snowball.  If there is not enough money coming in from the billionaires, what's next?   Who's next?

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1387 on: November 17, 2019, 05:13:02 PM »
Just realize that while a billionaire's wealth looks vast from our perspective here on MMM, our wealth and early retirement probably look equally vast from some 55 year old cashier working at Wal-mart during the thanksgiving rush.

We don't have any sympathy for the billionaires, don't expect the masses to have any sympathy for the 35 year old retirees with a few million in the bank after we finish killing off the billionaires.

First they came for the billionaires, and I didn't say anything...

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


Here's a little paragraph about dekulakization:
In 1927 the Soviet government began to shift its peasant policy by increasing the kulaks’ taxes and restricting their right to lease land; in 1929 it began a drive for rapid collectivization of agriculture. The kulaks vigorously opposed the efforts to force the peasants to give up their small privately owned farms and join large cooperative agricultural establishments. At the end of 1929 a campaign to “liquidate the kulaks as a class” (“dekulakization”) was launched by the government. By 1934, when approximately 75 percent of the farms in the Soviet Union had been collectivized, most kulaks—as well as millions of other peasants who had opposed collectivization—had been deported to remote regions of the Soviet Union or arrested and their land and property confiscated.

Class warfare is so ugly:
Mao pursued his goals through the Red Guards, groups of the country’s urban youths that were created through mass mobilization efforts. They were directed to root out those among the country’s population who weren’t “sufficiently revolutionary” and those suspected of being “bourgeois.” The Red Guards had little oversight, and their actions led to anarchy and terror, as “suspect” individuals—traditionalists, educators, and intellectuals, for example—were persecuted and killed.


Just so we're clear, you're comparing a 2% wealth tax on billionaires to the holocaust?

And Holodomor, and the Cultural Revolution.

Once we start saying, you don't deserve that, you shouln't have that, you can't own that... it can snowball.  If there is not enough money coming in from the billionaires, what's next?   Who's next?

Seeing as billionaires are not the ones who create valuable things, what's next is that people are actually paid for what their labor produces. Then everyone makes more money and a wealth tax becomes irrelevant.

Seriously, why are you talking about the billionaires as if they're a second class citizen? If they were producing something worthwhile with their money, we wouldn't really be talking about this. Like that one time Gates wasted 500MM on an education policy that was basically No Child Left Behind ++ that everyone said was a bad idea, but they did it anyways. Billionaires can waste a lot of money doing stupid pointless and sometimes counter productive things. Look at Steyer and Bloomberg wasting their money on a political campaign when there are already plenty of qualified people running. Or how the Koch brothers have basically spent a large part of their money on propaganda machines for Libertarian-Randian politics confusing the public on climate change and basic economic principles. When Billionaires start acting as dictators, yeah they shouldn't have that.

It used to be that the rich would build some great public work. Donate all their money to build the local hospital, library, or tuition funds. But now it seems that that isn't important anymore to the wealthy class. They'll refuse to pay for things that taxes should pay for, but then fight from paying any taxes.

KBecks

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1388 on: November 17, 2019, 05:18:55 PM »
Billionaires Governments can waste a lot of money doing stupid pointless and sometimes counter productive things.

Who says that Governments are any better with money and power than Billionaires?

I wonder when landlords will start to feel the heat for being too greedy and too wealthy.

Before the government programs, wealthy people did do more to care for the poor.  Now that we have government doing it, there is less involvement from individuals.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1389 on: November 17, 2019, 05:19:26 PM »
The opposite of saying "you can only tax someone less than they earn in a year, however many billions they have" is that you are saying "some people/families/trusts will be allowed to become infinitely rich, richer than any government on the planet" - because governments have to spend, whereas individuals/families/trusts will be able to accumulate indefinitely.

That seems to me to be a position that has rarely occurred in the past (some very rich historical leaders within their limited context, of course) but which in the past couple of decades has become a real possibility - one I find pretty disturbing, to be honest.

That is only true without an estate tax. I did not include that part, my bad. However, an estate tax could easily take care of dynastic wealth. Again, I'm also not saying that taxing beyond what you actually make is untenable in my mind, just that it should only be done to rectify extreme circumstances and not bandied about like it's nothing.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1390 on: November 17, 2019, 05:20:44 PM »
Investment gains

Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6% return, or $60, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $35 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $60. The result: taxes as high as $95 on income of $60 for a combined tax rate of 158%.

A wealth tax is not a tax on investment gains. Why would the percent relative to investment gains be relevant?

If I own enough property that my property taxes are greater then my total income, would you say I'm paying over 100% taxes?

I'm not in favor of Warren's plan and I have reservations about a wealth tax in general, but I don't understand this argument. Or rather, I do understand that the point of this argument is to provide a headline that people can grab onto and be outraged by, but I don't think it's a sound argument.

The bolded part and the sentiment behind it is a pretty good encapsulation of why although I have become much more liberal over the years, I doubt I will ever fully be able to drink the Kool-aid.

What sentiment? My point is that >100% taxation is already possible through property taxes... if you think the Wall Street Journal's argument is logical. If I own property worth $10 million and pay a property tax of 1% then I owe $100,000 in taxes. If my income is less than $100,000, would you say I'm paying >100% taxes? I wouldn't because property tax is unrelated to income. Just like a wealth tax would be unrelated to income.

Quote
How on earth can anyone not see any issues or have any problems with the government literally saying you have too much so I'm going to take it from you. The government has to get taxes to exist and everyone wants at least something from the government, I get it. Sales taxes, income taxes - these are transactional and by definition you have the money (if you didn't spend it at least) because you earned it. So I'm on the opposite side of this spectrum. I honestly can't comprehend how taxing at greater than a 100% tax rate of what you actually earned in liquid money is not a huge deal. And yet in this thread and the other thread about Warren's tax raises for small businesses, liberals seem to either be at least totally fine with it, all the way to the extreme of being gleeful to do it. I'm not saying I could never support a wealth tax. In certain situations, and some could say ours right now is one, people have so much stuff because of a biased system that it has to be rectified somehow. I could see myself holding my nose and saying it had to be done. Having it become common place where you can take more from someone than they gained in liquid money in a year...sheesh it's a bridge I doubt I could ever cross and is one of the few issues I have a hard time seeing the other side on...

I'm confused as to why you chose my comment to respond to, it makes me think you've missed my point. The only sentiment I gave was that I disagree with Warrens plan. The rest was just an explanation of why this is a bad argument. Maybe I should give another example to help elucidate my point.

Let's look at the example given by KBecks. It was tailor made to make the point that the author wanted to make. Let's try it with some different numbers:
Quote
Consider a billionaire with a $1,000 investment who earns a 6%-9% return, or $60-90, received as a capital gain, dividend or interest. If all of Ms. Warren’s taxes are implemented, he could owe 58.2% of that, or $350 in federal tax. Plus, his entire investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., at least $6054.60. The result: taxes as high as $9554.60 on income of $60-90 for a combined tax rate of 158infinity%?.

Oh noes, infinity % taxes!!!

If the example breaks when you start filling in different values, that's a sign of a bad argument. The only reason an “infinite%” tax is possible is because the tax is not on income, it’s on wealth. It just doesn’t make sense to express it as a % of income.

Again, none of this has anything to do with my personal opinion of a wealth tax. I think there are good arguments against a wealth tax. I do not think expressing wealth tax owed as a % of income is one of them.

I can see that property tax is not as related to income as income tax is, of course. However, to be frank, it's still tax; that's pretty clear too... You are still expressing the sentiment that I'm talking about, which I believe I was pretty clear on - that if the government taxes in whatever the capacity is more than what you actually generate in liquid money that year, that's a serious problem. That's not a bad logic argument, it's pretty dang straight forward - the government took from you more than you generated in liquid money that year.  I could have copied plenty of people on it - FIPurpose, bwall (from the other Warren tax thread), etc. but I copied you because you more clearly than anyone else expressed that you see literally no issue whatsoever with the government taking more wealth than you generate liquidly per year. You expressed it clearly, but again, plenty of others seem not just to see it as an unfortunate necessity because otherwise things will simply be so far tilted as to cause sever problems. It feels to me like it's well beyond that into the punitive nature of it - into the screw them they're rich, we don't like them territory. They're not saints, and I understand the frustration, but to piggy back a little bit off of what others are saying on this thread who are talking against the wealth tax - even if it's only for selfish reasons for people pursuing FI, punitive measures for those who have more don't typically stop at a couple of ultra billionaires. Anyone on here really pursuing FI will almost certainly appear pretty much in need of punitive measures if we pursue this route as a country.

meghan88

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1391 on: November 17, 2019, 05:27:54 PM »
Cool thread - it is making my head hurt, and that's a good thing.  A few random thoughts:

- This is why legislating is so difficult.  So many competing interests to balance.  So many potential loopholes to address.
- If a country is a great place to live, its citizens will stay and contribute, rather than moving to Monaco or some other tax haven.
- We, and our assets, exist primarily on paper.  And we are a few natural disasters removed from total chaos.

GuitarStv

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1392 on: November 17, 2019, 06:20:21 PM »
Billionaires Governments can waste a lot of money doing stupid pointless and sometimes counter productive things.

Who says that Governments are any better with money and power than Billionaires?

In a dictatorship?  Then your point is valid - the government is no different than a billionaire.  In a democracy though, we pick the government who represents us and if we disagree strongly enough with what they are doing with our shared money we get rid of them by voting.



Before the government programs, wealthy people did do more to care for the poor.

[[Citation needed]]

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1393 on: November 17, 2019, 06:49:49 PM »
All I am saying is be careful.   There is not enough billionaire money out there to make a really long term positive improvement on the bottom 50% of the USA population and once people have a sip of the well they will not allow it to dry up.

I am pretty selfish and if we could truly stop this plan at billionaires and mega millionaires I would not argue strongly against it.  I get jealous of their mega yachts when I am in our 34 foot sailboat and I can't stand seeing little 10 year old snots with their rich parents in first class when I walk by them to get to my coach seat.

I go get a haircut though and the lady who has been standing on her feet all day asks me if I am off work.  I reply I am retired (at an obviously young age).   You think there is not some jealousy there, you are fooling yourself.

After the billionaires and mega millionaires are depleted, I fear the mugs will have MMM early retiree tears slogans on them.

FIPurpose

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1394 on: November 17, 2019, 07:10:45 PM »
All I am saying is be careful.   There is not enough billionaire money out there to make a really long term positive improvement on the bottom 50% of the USA population and once people have a sip of the well they will not allow it to dry up.

I am pretty selfish and if we could truly stop this plan at billionaires and mega millionaires I would not argue strongly against it.  I get jealous of their mega yachts when I am in our 34 foot sailboat and I can't stand seeing little 10 year old snots with their rich parents in first class when I walk by them to get to my coach seat.

I go get a haircut though and the lady who has been standing on her feet all day asks me if I am off work.  I reply I am retired (at an obviously young age).   You think there is not some jealousy there, you are fooling yourself.

After the billionaires and mega millionaires are depleted, I fear the mugs will have MMM early retiree tears slogans on them.

This is all based on.... what exactly? The past 70 years have seen pretty much nothing but continued tax decreases. GOP lowered taxes in 2017/2018 when absolutely nobody except the rich were asking for them. You think it's hard in this country to decrease taxes? Please. It's going to be fighting tooth and nail just to get the capital gains rates to match income let alone a wealth tax. There is no where near a majority of people in this country hounding to eat the rich. The fear mongering your projecting is simply billionaire propaganda. "If you let them touch my 80 Billion, then next they're going to start taking your 500k." It's preposterous to be conflating raising taxes on dynastic wealth and a middle-income worker's retirement fund.

bacchi

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1395 on: November 17, 2019, 07:13:10 PM »
All I am saying is be careful.   There is not enough billionaire money out there to make a really long term positive improvement on the bottom 50% of the USA population and once people have a sip of the well they will not allow it to dry up.

<slippery slope fears>

Before the Trump tax cuts, and before the Bush tax cuts, taxes were higher. We lived, we prospered, and we didn't have a 90% tax on people making $15k/year (in 2019 dollars).

There are a multitude of options between not taxing anyone and taxing everyone.

KBecks

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1396 on: November 18, 2019, 01:14:43 AM »
In a democracy though, we pick the government who represents us and if we disagree strongly enough with what they are doing with our shared money we get rid of them by voting.

That's pretty idealistic.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1397 on: November 18, 2019, 05:51:59 AM »
This is all based on.... what exactly? The past 70 years have seen pretty much nothing but continued tax decreases. GOP lowered taxes in 2017/2018 when absolutely nobody except the rich were asking for them. You think it's hard in this country to decrease taxes? Please. It's going to be fighting tooth and nail just to get the capital gains rates to match income let alone a wealth tax. There is no where near a majority of people in this country hounding to eat the rich. The fear mongering your projecting is simply billionaire propaganda. "If you let them touch my 80 Billion, then next they're going to start taking your 500k." It's preposterous to be conflating raising taxes on dynastic wealth and a middle-income worker's retirement fund.

I would agree with you if they were just going to raise taxes to pay down the debt but they want to raise taxes and spend it on larger scale social programs...a net increase in spending actually.

Whatever, I don't really care that much.  It will take decades for it to trickle down to our level and by then I will be thinking about which jello I prefer.

Bring it on!

Davnasty

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1398 on: November 18, 2019, 07:22:09 AM »
...snip

I can see that property tax is not as related to income as income tax is, of course. However, to be frank, it's still tax; that's pretty clear too... You are still expressing the sentiment that I'm talking about, which I believe I was pretty clear on - that if the government taxes in whatever the capacity is more than what you actually generate in liquid money that year, that's a serious problem. That's not a bad logic argument, it's pretty dang straight forward - the government took from you more than you generated in liquid money that year.  I could have copied plenty of people on it - FIPurpose, bwall (from the other Warren tax thread), etc. but I copied you because you more clearly than anyone else expressed that you see literally no issue whatsoever with the government taking more wealth than you generate liquidly per year. You expressed it clearly, but again, plenty of others seem not just to see it as an unfortunate necessity because otherwise things will simply be so far tilted as to cause sever problems. It feels to me like it's well beyond that into the punitive nature of it - into the screw them they're rich, we don't like them territory. They're not saints, and I understand the frustration, but to piggy back a little bit off of what others are saying on this thread who are talking against the wealth tax - even if it's only for selfish reasons for people pursuing FI, punitive measures for those who have more don't typically stop at a couple of ultra billionaires. Anyone on here really pursuing FI will almost certainly appear pretty much in need of punitive measures if we pursue this route as a country.

So you think that someone who has zero income in a given year should pay no property, sales, gas, or any other tax? These taxes, like a wealth tax, are all unrelated to income, so by your logic it is a serious problem that they must pay any form of tax whatsoever.

Also, you didn't answer this question
If I own property worth $10 million and pay a property tax of 1% then I owe $100,000 in taxes. If my income is less than $100,000, would you say I'm paying >100% taxes?

GuitarStv

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Re: 2020 POTUS Candidates
« Reply #1399 on: November 18, 2019, 08:21:43 AM »
In a democracy though, we pick the government who represents us and if we disagree strongly enough with what they are doing with our shared money we get rid of them by voting.

That's pretty idealistic.

That is how a democracy works. . . but I was responding to the post where you asked what the difference between a government and a billionaire spending money was.

Because a democratic government is answerable to the people they serve, they are more motivated to do things that the majority of people who elect them want.  Billionaires are answerable to no one.  It is in their best interests to enrich themselves, and they have no stake in improving the lives of others.  That's a pretty fundamental difference.