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Protect the Farm, Tax the Manor [next year, law calls that there be no Estate Tax at all..]
New York Times Op-Ed ^ | November 21, 2009 | RAY D. MADOFF

Posted on 11/21/2009 9:27:35 PM PST by fight_truth_decay

HOW do you tell a wealthy heiress from a family farmer? It sounds like the setup for a joke. But in fact it is the fundamental problem underlying sensible reform of the federal estate tax.

Members of Congress are hoping to revise the current law on the estate tax by the end of this year; if they don’t, the estate tax will disappear for a year. Lawmakers should use the opportunity to solve the farmer/heiress riddle once and for all and move our tax system closer to the values on which the country was founded — that hard work should be rewarded and power should not be conferred by birth.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: estatetax; kennedy; sellthefarm
Republicans, argue that there should be no estate tax at all, not just next year but forever.

VS

Democrats, argue that we should return to lower exemptions and higher rates so that the wealthy can contribute much-needed dollars to the nation’s recovery.

Video: A Tax Day moment with Teddy Kennedy By Michelle Malkin • April 15, 2008 09:24 AM

The Merchandise Mart, the Chicago-based real estate conglomerate Joseph Kennedy established in '35, was the most valuable asset belonging to Ted Kennedy and his family. In 1974 Joseph Kennedy divided Merchandise Mart's ownership among numerous family members, including Ted, in the form of a trust that was domiciled in the Pacific island of Fiji. Because the trust was based in Fiji, it was not subject to the taxes normally imposed on trusts domiciled in the United States.

Front Page Magazine, Wednesday, April 26, 2006,Do As I Say.... By: Peter Schweizer


1 posted on 11/21/2009 9:27:35 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

Here’s a radical notion: how about making one tax law that is fair and treats everyone equally without “trying to get even with the rich”?

Zero is a fair amount.

True - the children of millionaires didn’t do anything to earn it, but neither did the government.


2 posted on 11/21/2009 9:38:30 PM PST by Tzimisce (No thanks. We have enough government already. - The Tick)
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To: Tzimisce
True - the children of millionaires didn’t do anything to earn it, but neither did the government.

The rich don't pay taxes, they have "charitable" foundations with which to shelter their expenses.

3 posted on 11/21/2009 9:46:48 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Tzimisce

And they already paid tax on that money and should be able to do whatever they want with it, even if they’re dead.


4 posted on 11/21/2009 9:54:23 PM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Income taxes, without variation, always are disproportionately paid by the middle and upper-middle income brackets.

The super-rich find ways around it, and the poor don’t have it to begin with.

Sounds great. Only problem is, it’s the middles and upper-middles who employ 3/4 of the people out there.

Answer? 10% VAT, no income tax, no estate tax, no other tax whatsoever.

And government has to spend the equivalent of 10% of our consumer output, or less. If their budget doesn’t reflect it, then there’s a nationwide referendum on whether to lower spending, or raise the VAT.

PS. VAT = Value Added Tax (sales tax).


5 posted on 11/21/2009 10:00:28 PM PST by Romnizzle (What did the white sheep say to the black sheep? "Ewe Lie!")
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To: Tzimisce
"the children of millionaires didn’t do anything to earn it"

Au contraire

..children are often "a part of the whole" wheel in working the "farm". Many small companies/ small business are made up of "family" who are dedicated and work together for decades successfully.

Government has become the "Boogie Man" in the night you were told about as a child, which had you checking under the bed!

6 posted on 11/21/2009 10:01:33 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: Tzimisce
Ohz Noz! Now that the estate tax is zero, all the rich people who had been staying alive to avoid it will take the opportunity to die! Just think of those evil rich people getting all those tax breaks! It just makes me mad..
7 posted on 11/21/2009 10:13:52 PM PST by donmeaker (Invicto)
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To: All

But officer, you can see it was accident. Mommy and daddy accidentally slipped and fell upon the same hunting knife...four times.


8 posted on 11/21/2009 10:20:22 PM PST by ak267
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To: tiki
....the living and breathing American citizen pays income taxes, Social Security taxes, state taxes, county taxes, real estate taxes, unemployment taxes, license taxes, exise taxes, sin tax and capital gains taxes.. and after all those years (death & taxes) the estate tax comes due...

Al Gore: Except for wealthiest, exempt people from estate tax

GORE [to Bush]: Under the plan that I’ve proposed, 80 percent of all family farms will be completely exempt from the estate tax, and the vast majority of all family businesses would be completely exempt, and all of the others would have sharply reduced. The problem with completely eliminating it goes back to the wealthiest 1 percent. The amount of money that has to be raised in taxes from middle class families would be a heavy burden.

BUSH: Eliminate the death tax completely because people shouldn’t be taxed twice on their assets. It’s either unfair for some or unfair for all. I think if you’ve got tax relief, everybody benefits.

Source: St. Louis debate

9 posted on 11/21/2009 10:21:14 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: Carry_Okie
"The rich don't pay taxes, they have "charitable" foundations with which to shelter their expenses."

Define "rich". Regardless, Carl Levin has a plan:

"Higher-income Americans should be taxed to pay for more troops sent to Afghanistan and NATO should provide half of the new soldiers, said Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. An “additional income tax to the upper brackets, folks earning more than $200,000 or $250,000” a year, could fund more troops, Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said in an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” airing this weekend."

10 posted on 11/21/2009 10:25:32 PM PST by The Good Doctor (Democracy is the only system where you can vote for a tax that you can avoid the obligation to pay.)
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To: The Good Doctor
Define "rich".

Example: Theresa Heinz Kerry in 2003 reported over 5,000,000 in income and yet she only paid 587.000 in federal tax.

11 posted on 11/21/2009 10:32:43 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

An article on the virtue of hard work by a fellow named Madoff???


12 posted on 11/21/2009 10:33:18 PM PST by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Carry_Okie
"The rich don't pay taxes, they have "charitable" foundations with which to shelter their expenses."

And you say this based on your personal experience with great wealth?
Or on your envy?

13 posted on 11/21/2009 10:36:09 PM PST by Redbob (W.W.J.B.D.: "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Redbob
...probably only a distant..far distant relative!! ;)
14 posted on 11/21/2009 10:37:08 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: Carry_Okie
The rich don't pay taxes, they have "charitable" foundations with which to shelter their expenses.

Nah. The real reason is that they don't have taxable income.

A little old lady in Miami that owns her home outright, and gets 3% on $1,000,000 in the bank is rich but has an income of just $30,000/year.

Or the kid that inherited $2,000,000 in tax exempt municipal bonds at 4% gets $80,000/year to play with.

We don't tax the rich. We tax those with taxable income.

15 posted on 11/21/2009 10:45:57 PM PST by mc6809e
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To: Romnizzle
"Income taxes, without variation, always are disproportionately paid by the middle and upper-middle income brackets."

This statement is not supported by the facts.

In 2007 the top 1% of earners paid over 40% of all Federal income tax. The top 5% of earners paid over 60%. In fact, income taxes are always diproportionately paid by the highest earners; and the disproportionality has been steadily increasing.


16 posted on 11/21/2009 10:46:06 PM PST by The Good Doctor (Democracy is the only system where you can vote for a tax that you can avoid the obligation to pay.)
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To: The Good Doctor
Define "rich"......

Anyone richer than myself...!


17 posted on 11/21/2009 10:46:40 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: Redbob
And you say this based on your personal experience with great wealth?

No it's based upon published research re the regulatory influence racket it funds.

18 posted on 11/21/2009 10:54:00 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Carry_Okie
"Example: Theresa Heinz Kerry in 2003 reported over 5,000,000 in income and yet she only paid 587.000 in federal tax."

So she paid $587,000.

You made an unqualified statement, "The rich don't pay taxes." I'm going to guess Teresa Heinz paid more of the government's bills in 2003 than you.

19 posted on 11/21/2009 10:57:06 PM PST by The Good Doctor (Democracy is the only system where you can vote for a tax that you can avoid the obligation to pay.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

This will be a moot point as soon as Obama takes over ownership of all farms and estates.


20 posted on 11/21/2009 11:12:27 PM PST by Iron Munro (I carry a gun because I'm too young to die and too old to take another beating.)
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To: The Good Doctor
I'm going to guess Teresa Heinz paid more of the government's bills in 2003 than you.

As a percentage of her income, she paid less than a quarter what we did.

21 posted on 11/21/2009 11:22:03 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: The Good Doctor; Carry_Okie

http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/presreturns.nsf//E2DF8209BA59B45485256F310077A3DF/$file/T_HeinzKerry_2003.pdf

http://forums.techguy.org/civilized-debate/282048-teresa-heinz-kerry-urges-democrats-5.html


22 posted on 11/21/2009 11:23:17 PM PST by fight_truth_decay
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To: The Good Doctor
Heinz owns a lot of municipal bonds, and is effectively "taxed" by way of the reduced yields she gets on them (under ordinary circumstances) versus the yields if they were taxable corporate bonds of equivalent credit rating.

People who attack tycoon like Heinz for paying lower total tax rates on their mostly passive income than the upper middle class pay for their mostly earned-at-work income are actually making precisely the same argument that is made by those who support the estate tax: that there is no good reason to make the return on investment (or gift or bequest) of already-taxed income subject to lower rate of tax because it has already been taxed.
23 posted on 11/21/2009 11:34:06 PM PST by only1percent
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To: The Good Doctor

Bush’s cuts in lower-middle-class tax rates was one of the several incredibly stupid things that he did. In pursuit of a goal that could never be achieved en masse (making people earning $20,000-$50,000 a year feel a common cause with entrepreneurs and executives) he instead inflicted an injury the depth of which we are only now beginning to feel: making people earning $20,000-$50,000 feel that the government services are on a net basis, given to them and not paid for by them.


24 posted on 11/21/2009 11:37:36 PM PST by only1percent
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To: The Good Doctor

If the tax exemption received by municipal bond holders was eliminated and local government was to pay prevailing interest rates , one would get extreme sticker shock when their property and school tax bills arrive in the mail. Oh I rent one says, then your landlord will be the recipient of the tax increases.


25 posted on 11/22/2009 12:41:50 AM PST by JohnLongIsland
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To: mc6809e
"The rich don't pay taxes, they have "charitable" foundations with which to shelter their expenses."

Your Response: Nah. The real reason is that they don't have taxable income.

Read the headline, this is about ESTATE taxes, not income taxes. And the rich do avoid the estate tax through charitable foundations.

26 posted on 11/22/2009 9:06:09 AM PST by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: Romnizzle
Answer? 10% VAT, no income tax, no estate tax, no other tax whatsoever.

Close, but no cigar. The trouble with the VAT is that it's too easily hidden. Make it a retail sales tax, so every consumer knows how much they're paying.

27 posted on 11/22/2009 2:44:06 PM PST by JoeFromSidney
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