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Old 10th June 2021, 09:46 AM   #201
SuburbanTurkey
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
That's a head tax. I like the idea because it puts people in their place, especially orphans.
Surely they have something of value they could be convinced to part with. Maybe a couple spare organs bouncing around in their tiny, impoverished bodies.
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Old 10th June 2021, 10:32 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
No you don't. You take out a loan on the assets and use that money. Then you either default on the loan (losing less than you'd pay in taxes, and the bank gets to write that off their taxes as well) or pay it with income you're already going to be taxed on, deducting the interest from your other taxes.
You are describing "Negative Gearing". The interest isn't deducted from your taxes but it is deducted from your income like other tax deductions.

Even so, nobody deliberately loses money in order to reduce their tax bill. They would be out of pocket if they did. The hope is that the value of their shares/property appreciates enough that they end up with a profit after all of the costs of owning the property (including interest payments) is taken into account.
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Old 10th June 2021, 10:55 AM   #203
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We can't have it both ways though.

If "Taxes" are a morally there as a straight fee to pay for the services/security/infastructure of a society... that's a legit objective value.

If "Taxes" are there to... I don't want say to "punish" but something like that I guess... people who make too much money that's another thing entirely.

And neither of those seem to benefit from my POV from this ultra-complicated tax system with nearly infinite nested exceptions and loopholes and ins and outs.
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Old 10th June 2021, 11:04 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
Personally I think rich people pay for more taxes than their fair share. A fair share would be to take the total budget of the government and divide by the number of citizens and send them a bill. The current progressive tax system is simply outrageous theft.
I would never want to take such a zany idea seriously, but just for a lark, one might consider what would happen if this did occur. If it were implemented in a realistic way it would result in bankruptcy, and either the starvation or enslavement, of the poorest. Once that occurs, the cost of government would be apportioned to those remaining, and as it increases, increasing levels of income would be insufficient. Eventually it would result in a very small proportion of the population paying for the entire cost of government. We are not told who will benefit from the enslavement of those unable to pay, if they are allowed to live. But we can guess that such an arrangement would not be to the detriment of the richest.

Now of course if that small portion of the population finds it does not need much government, they could probably afford a new oligarchy, in which they rule cheaply over a vast population of slaves. But I venture to suggest that a relatively large percentage of the population would find this outcome less than entirely satisfactory. I think perhaps the experiment has been done in the past, and has not been found sustainable.
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Old 10th June 2021, 11:07 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You are describing "Negative Gearing". The interest isn't deducted from your taxes but it is deducted from your income like other tax deductions.

Even so, nobody deliberately loses money in order to reduce their tax bill. They would be out of pocket if they did. The hope is that the value of their shares/property appreciates enough that they end up with a profit after all of the costs of owning the property (including interest payments) is taken into account.
"Nobody" is probably a bit extreme, as I think there are times when, owing to the way brackets intersect, and to the way different forms of income are taxed, when it is possible to lose a little to gain a little more. Uncommon, I'm sure, but just for the sake of argument, not "nobody."
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Old 10th June 2021, 11:09 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We can't have it both ways though.

If "Taxes" are a morally there as a straight fee to pay for the services/security/infastructure of a society... that's a legit objective value.

If "Taxes" are there to... I don't want say to "punish" but something like that I guess... people who make too much money that's another thing entirely.

And neither of those seem to benefit from my POV from this ultra-complicated tax system with nearly infinite nested exceptions and loopholes and ins and outs.
The answer is the neither is the real political motive of the tax system. The motive is to shift as much of the tax burden as possible from those who form your support base to those who don't form your support base.
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Old 10th June 2021, 11:12 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The answer is the neither is the real political motive of the tax system. The motive is to shift as much of the tax burden as possible from those who form your support base to those who don't form your support base.
Well yea. Functionally, removed from moralistic or even legal arguments, as to how they actually work taxes are just bribes.

"Vote for me and I'll take money from people who didn't vote for me and give it you you." That's really the "Cliffnotes" of our entire tax system.
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Old 10th June 2021, 01:11 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We can't have it both ways though.

If "Taxes" are a morally there as a straight fee to pay for the services/security/infastructure of a society... that's a legit objective value.

If "Taxes" are there to... I don't want say to "punish" but something like that I guess... people who make too much money that's another thing entirely.
You're missing something here. The principle of everyone paying the same is perfectly just, fair, and sound. The problem with it is the practical: simply, most people couldn't afford the amounts required to pay fairly.

If the total cost of services/security/infrastructure divided by the total number of the population resulted in a figure low enough so everyone could pay it at all, pay it without starving, etc then we should totally do it. Unfortunately the math doesn't work out that kindly.

In other words, we can only split the check evenly if the sum of everyone's portion would add up to meet the bill, but since some/many/most of the diners don't have enough money to pay their share it has to come from somewhere...Yeah, it sucks to be rich and have to pay more than your share, but it sucks a lot more to not even have enough to pay your share if you wanted to.

For me, the injustice of unfair tax burdens would be a lot less galling than the grinding hell of poverty, but apparently some people feel otherwise. They'd rather be so poor they don't owe taxes at all than be billionaires who have to pay taxes.
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Old 10th June 2021, 03:24 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
For me, the injustice of unfair tax burdens would be a lot less galling than the grinding hell of poverty, but apparently some people feel otherwise. They'd rather be so poor they don't owe taxes at all than be billionaires who have to pay taxes.
Well, not them personally, but they're very confident of others who prefer to be poor, because that's the easy life free of the hardship and responsibility that comes of gainful employment.
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Old 10th June 2021, 10:21 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
"Nobody" is probably a bit extreme, as I think there are times when, owing to the way brackets intersect, and to the way different forms of income are taxed, when it is possible to lose a little to gain a little more. Uncommon, I'm sure, but just for the sake of argument, not "nobody."
Sure, there are some people who don't appreciate that just losing money is just losing money but for the most part, people see a profit some time in the future.

OTOH there are a lot of accounting tricks that make it seem as if you are losing money so you don't have to pay taxes.
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Old 11th June 2021, 04:39 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Sure, there are some people who don't appreciate that just losing money is just losing money but for the most part, people see a profit some time in the future.

OTOH there are a lot of accounting tricks that make it seem as if you are losing money so you don't have to pay taxes.
Ugh. "Hollywood accounting", where they can take in hundreds of millions of dollars on a movie but declare it a loss because of another, different movie they made.
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Old 11th June 2021, 05:12 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Ugh. "Hollywood accounting", where they can take in hundreds of millions of dollars on a movie but declare it a loss because of another, different movie they made.
Sussing out legitimate losses from illegitimate losses and making sure that your support base doesn't fall into the "wrong" category is a tricky thing.
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Old 11th June 2021, 12:28 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well yea. Functionally, removed from moralistic or even legal arguments, as to how they actually work taxes are just bribes.

"Vote for me and I'll take money from people who didn't vote for me and give it you you." That's really the "Cliffnotes" of our entire tax system.
No it's not. If it was, the handful of superrich would pay way more than they do, and many of us would pay less. We as a society have agreed that we expect our government to provide certain services, ranging from local 911 response and public schools and libraries, to bridges that don't fall down, to health and safety regulations, to Medicare and Social Security, to national defense. Taxes are the way we pay for those services, and for multiple reasons and in multiple ways the tax codes favor capital over labor. They're not cast in stone. They could be changed.

And as I think about it, your vote doesn't count for nearly as much as the essentially unlimited money the rich can spend to support a politician's campaigns. Right now there's broad suspicion that Joe Manchin's commitment to the filibuster has a lot to do with the money he gets from Koch sources.

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Old 11th June 2021, 12:31 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
No it's not. If it was, the handful of superrich would pay way more than they do, and many of us would pay less. We as a society have agreed that we expect our government to provide certain services, ranging from local 911 response and public schools and libraries, to bridges that don't fall down, to health and safety regulations, to Medicare and Social Security, to national defense. Taxes are the way we pay for those services, and for multiple reasons and in multiple ways the tax codes favor capital over labor. They're not cast in stone. They could be changed.
*Scoffs* Okay. That's why our tax code is literally 9 times as long as War and Peace and have more exceptions to the rules then it has rules.
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Old 11th June 2021, 12:44 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
*Scoffs* Okay. That's why our tax code is literally 9 times as long as War and Peace and have more exceptions to the rules then it has rules.
And every one of those exceptions reduces somebody's taxes somehow. Most countries have simpler income tax codes.
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Old 11th June 2021, 12:45 PM   #216
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Most countries have simpler income tax codes.
Yes... because those country don't use their tax code as a bribing system, just as I said.
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Old 11th June 2021, 03:26 PM   #217
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I would never want to take such a zany idea seriously, but just for a lark, one might consider what would happen if this did occur. If it were implemented in a realistic way it would result in bankruptcy, and either the starvation or enslavement, of the poorest. Once that occurs, the cost of government would be apportioned to those remaining, and as it increases, increasing levels of income would be insufficient. Eventually it would result in a very small proportion of the population paying for the entire cost of government. We are not told who will benefit from the enslavement of those unable to pay, if they are allowed to live. But we can guess that such an arrangement would not be to the detriment of the richest.

Now of course if that small portion of the population finds it does not need much government, they could probably afford a new oligarchy, in which they rule cheaply over a vast population of slaves. But I venture to suggest that a relatively large percentage of the population would find this outcome less than entirely satisfactory. I think perhaps the experiment has been done in the past, and has not been found sustainable.
Nah, it wouldn't cause bankruptcies because I would make the payment voluntary.
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Old 12th June 2021, 10:14 PM   #218
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Another major culprit: private equity.
Quote:
There were two weeks left in the Trump administration when the Treasury Department handed down a set of rules governing an obscure corner of the tax code.

Overseen by a senior Treasury official whose previous job involved helping the wealthy avoid taxes, the new regulations represented a major victory for private equity firms. They ensured that executives in the $4.5 trillion industry, whose leaders often measure their yearly pay in eight or nine figures, could avoid paying hundreds of millions in taxes.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/private-i...154034998.html
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Old 14th June 2021, 05:04 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We can't have it both ways though.

If "Taxes" are a morally there as a straight fee to pay for the services/security/infastructure of a society... that's a legit objective value.

If "Taxes" are there to... I don't want say to "punish" but something like that I guess... people who make too much money that's another thing entirely.

And neither of those seem to benefit from my POV from this ultra-complicated tax system with nearly infinite nested exceptions and loopholes and ins and outs.
There's a pretty straightforward argument that a society that creates an elite class of hyperwealthy individuals fails to be a democracy in any meaningful sense.

Everything we know about how politics occurs in real life, not just in theory, shows that wild wealth inequality undermines the entire principal of "one man, one vote". The ultra wealthy wield undo political influence, and in some cases become practically sovereign unto themselves, through the way their wealth can be used to ensure the political process protects their interests above the interests of society generally.
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Old 14th June 2021, 05:45 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
There's a pretty straightforward argument that a society that creates an elite class of hyperwealthy individuals fails to be a democracy in any meaningful sense.

Everything we know about how politics occurs in real life, not just in theory, shows that wild wealth inequality undermines the entire principal of "one man, one vote". The ultra wealthy wield undo political influence, and in some cases become practically sovereign unto themselves, through the way their wealth can be used to ensure the political process protects their interests above the interests of society generally.
I don't understand why the wealthy can't just enjoy being wealthy. Why do they have to scrabble for power and influence as well? Why do they seem to live every moment in terror that they'll lose the comforts and enjoyment they're not actually having because they'd spending every moment in terror? I think such people must be insane.

As I slowly grow more financially secure I find my worries decreasing, because having money should mean there's less to worry about.
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Old 14th June 2021, 05:52 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't understand why the wealthy can't just enjoy being wealthy. Why do they have to scrabble for power and influence as well? Why do they seem to live every moment in terror that they'll lose the comforts and enjoyment they're not actually having because they'd spending every moment in terror? I think such people must be insane.

As I slowly grow more financially secure I find my worries decreasing, because having money should mean there's less to worry about.
To be honest, these people that continue to accumulate wealth even beyond the point of ever hoping to spend should probably be treated similar to someone that hoards cats and trash in their home.

If any other primate hoarded resources in such an absurd way scientists would probably dissect its brain to figure out what the hell was wrong with it. Instead our culture treats this as a virtue.

Like you say, the diminishing value of the dollar on people's general happiness and well being is pretty well understood. Being broke will absolutely make you miserable, but after you've covered the basics of life, a safety net to fall back on, and a few modest luxuries, more money does not bring much more happiness.
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Old 14th June 2021, 06:11 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yes... because those country don't use their tax code as a bribing system, just as I said.
It's not even that, you can keep the bribery aspects of the Tax Code without the complexity.

The complexity of the US Tax code comes mostly from the fact that several special interest groups, H&R Block and their fellow criminals, Intuit (TurboTax), have spent millions of dollars in lobbying the US Government to prevent US Taxpayers from having a simple and free method to file their taxes.
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Old 14th June 2021, 09:32 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't understand why the wealthy can't just enjoy being wealthy. Why do they have to scrabble for power and influence as well?
For many, money is just a means to power and influence.

There is only so much pleasure that you can stuff into your body. You can have crass ostentatious displays of your wealth but at the end of the day, if you only use your wealth for self gratification then it won't be all that satisfying for long.
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Old 14th June 2021, 09:40 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't understand why the wealthy can't just enjoy being wealthy. Why do they have to scrabble for power and influence as well? Why do they seem to live every moment in terror that they'll lose the comforts and enjoyment they're not actually having because they'd spending every moment in terror? I think such people must be insane.

As I slowly grow more financially secure I find my worries decreasing, because having money should mean there's less to worry about.
I've always had that problem. I always found MacBeth mysterious, for instance. Scrabbling his way from one stony castle to the next. Power in the abstract is very weird.
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Old 14th June 2021, 10:13 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't understand why the wealthy can't just enjoy being wealthy. Why do they have to scrabble for power and influence as well? Why do they seem to live every moment in terror that they'll lose the comforts and enjoyment they're not actually having because they'd spending every moment in terror? I think such people must be insane.
....
Well, there are different kinds of wealth. Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg etc. founded wildly successful companies. Most of their wealth comes from their continuing ownership of large shares of those companies, but they didn't start out saying "How can I get rich?" That's quite different from, say, a hedge fund manager or private equity czar who spends their days looking for ways to make more money. As others have said, at some point the money stops being about what you can buy, and it becomes a method of keeping score against everybody else.

Which is why higher taxes and tougher codes wouldn't really discourage business activity. People who are motivated to make money and keep score would still want to do so, even if their totals were lower.
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Old 14th June 2021, 10:47 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Which is why higher taxes and tougher codes wouldn't really discourage business activity. People who are motivated to make money and keep score would still want to do so, even if their totals were lower.
That's far from a complete or even accurate picture. Those entrepreneurs depend on capital investment in order to start and expand their businesses. And the availability of capital for such investments IS sensitive to tax rates and tax codes, because the people who are putting that money on the line, who make the capital available for these investments that the entrepreneurs depend on, actually do care about risk and their return on investment. And that return is affected by taxes. If expected returns decrease, risk tolerance decreases too, and investment allocations change as a result. So even if every single one of those entrepreneurs would have tried to do everything the same regardless of the tax code, the resources available to them won't be the same, and neither will the outcomes.

I don't say this to argue for or against any particular tax rate. There are benefits to higher tax rates, but there are also negatives, and even if it's worth it, the negatives won't just disappear (the same is also true for lower tax rates). As Thomas Sowell said, there are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
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Old 14th June 2021, 10:51 AM   #227
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I don't understand why the wealthy can't just enjoy being wealthy.
Executive Quits Fast Track To Spend More Time With Possessions
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"As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose -- that it may violate property instead of protecting it -- then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious." - Bastiat, The Law
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Old 14th June 2021, 11:45 AM   #228
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McConnell weighs in, how dare anyone suggest taxing wealth (aka non-wage income).

McConnell blasts ProPublica tax leak, says whoever is responsible should be 'hunted down and thrown into jail'
Quote:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on Monday called for legal action against anyone who was responsible for leaking the tax records of the super wealthy to ProPublica.

In a recent ProPublica report, the publication detailed how billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffett have largely avoided paying a substantial amount of income taxes.

The report cited "an anonymous source" who provided the publication "with large amounts of information on the ultrawealthy, everything from the taxes they paid to the income they reported to the profits from their stock trades."

During an interview on conservative host Hugh Hewitt's radio show, McConnell rebuked the disclosure of the tax records of some of the most affluent Americans in the country and called for consequences for the perpetrators.
Too bad the leaker wouldn't qualify for whistleblower status.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 14th June 2021 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 14th June 2021, 11:51 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That's far from a complete or even accurate picture. Those entrepreneurs depend on capital investment in order to start and expand their businesses. And the availability of capital for such investments IS sensitive to tax rates and tax codes, because the people who are putting that money on the line, who make the capital available for these investments that the entrepreneurs depend on, actually do care about risk and their return on investment. And that return is affected by taxes. If expected returns decrease, risk tolerance decreases too, and investment allocations change as a result. So even if every single one of those entrepreneurs would have tried to do everything the same regardless of the tax code, the resources available to them won't be the same, and neither will the outcomes.

I don't say this to argue for or against any particular tax rate. There are benefits to higher tax rates, but there are also negatives, and even if it's worth it, the negatives won't just disappear (the same is also true for lower tax rates). As Thomas Sowell said, there are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
But if everybody played on the same field, then lower returns for everybody would become the norm. I don't know what return a vulture capitalist expects now. But suppose for the sake of argument that today he reasonably expects, say, a 10% return, and changes in the tax codes reduce a reasonable expectation to 7%. That would become the target. Investors would seek a 7% return and be happy when they got it. It's not like they're going to stuff their cash in a mattress. As long as there's the prospect of profit, they would invest for the profit. Total returns would be lower across the board, but there would still be big winners.
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:00 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
But if everybody played on the same field, then lower returns for everybody would become the norm. I don't know what return a vulture capitalist expects now. But suppose for the sake of argument that today he reasonably expects, say, a 10% return, and changes in the tax codes reduce a reasonable expectation to 7%. That would become the target. Investors would seek a 7% return and be happy when they got it.
No. This is wrong, and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. There is not one expected rate of return. There is a continuum of expected rates of return, depending on risk. It's a curve. Change the expected rates of return for any given risk level, and you change where people want to be on that curve. You will change how investments are allocated, and that will come at a cost. Again, that cost may be worth it, but it's delusional to think that it won't have to be paid.

Moreover, since investments compound, a lower rate of return means less money to invest in the future.
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:16 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. This is wrong, and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. There is not one expected rate of return. There is a continuum of expected rates of return, depending on risk. It's a curve. Change the expected rates of return for any given risk level, and you change where people want to be on that curve. You will change how investments are allocated, and that will come at a cost. Again, that cost may be worth it, but it's delusional to think that it won't have to be paid.

Moreover, since investments compound, a lower rate of return means less money to invest in the future.
Yeah right, like every billionaire only makes money off of venture capital.

And what about those millionaire/billionaires who buy up companies and sell off all the assets for a profit?

The idea all these rich people are creating wealth is a complete falsehood. The idea all these rich people are creating jobs (supply) is a falsehood. With the increasing divide between the rich and the poor, demand has dropped to a trickle in many cases because the wage earners have been squeezed dry.
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:17 PM   #232
Bob001
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. This is wrong, and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. There is not one expected rate of return. There is a continuum of expected rates of return, depending on risk. It's a curve. Change the expected rates of return for any given risk level, and you change where people want to be on that curve. You will change how investments are allocated, and that will come at a cost. Again, that cost may be worth it, but it's delusional to think that it won't have to be paid.

Moreover, since investments compound, a lower rate of return means less money to invest in the future.

Yeah, I actually get that. I was trying to use an example. Costs, risks and rewards vary for every deal. My point was that if changes in the tax code change the scoring system, then investors will still assess deals by the same standards they use now. There will still be a range of possible outcomes, even if the scale of outcomes changes, and investors will still be motivated to choose between higher returns or lower risk.

More broadly, if investors were discouraged from, say, gutting established businesses to make short-term profits, that might be a Good Thing. See link above about the economic impact of private equity operations.
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:29 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No. This is wrong, and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding. There is not one expected rate of return. There is a continuum of expected rates of return, depending on risk. It's a curve. Change the expected rates of return for any given risk level, and you change where people want to be on that curve. You will change how investments are allocated, and that will come at a cost. Again, that cost may be worth it, but it's delusional to think that it won't have to be paid.

Moreover, since investments compound, a lower rate of return means less money to invest in the future.
The rich already have too much money to invest really. There is more money looking to be invested than there are profitable things to invest in. That's how you get people buying and selling multi-million dollar homes that they never actually live in. Sadly, many of the signs of this (rising real estate prices, higher stock prices) are seen as good things rather than as signs we are just pumping up an unsustainable asset bubble.
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:31 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Sussing out legitimate losses from illegitimate losses and making sure that your support base doesn't fall into the "wrong" category is a tricky thing.
A lot of "Hollywood Accounting" is all about PR and Image,which is all important in the movie industry. To prove that a movie made a profit is all importatn, even if the profit is just on paper.
One wierdness is that marketing a movie is a huge expense..often costing as much as the production costs of the movie itself. But most studio do not carry marketing on the budgets for individual films..but on a budget for the studio as a whole. That gives you a lot of wriggle room to show an expansive movie made a profit, when in reality it probably lost money.
Rule of thumb: A movie has to gross around twice it's production budget just to break even 'Studios only get roughly half the ticket price.
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Old 14th June 2021, 01:34 PM   #235
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I dunno, a lot of people try to imagine motives that don't exist for rich people. Most of the richest of the rich are simply people that have started huge companies. They are focused on building companies not focused on cash money, the money is mostly a side effect. From a US government fiscal perspective the wealth of these people simply isn't that much. The richest guys in the world at the $200B level already have their wealth invested in their companies. You can take a little bit of it if you really want to bother (e.g. through a wealth tax) but overall they don't have enough wealth to pay for government sized operations in a real way. You could confiscate 100% of the wealth of the richest 100 americans and it wouldn't make an appreciablw dent in the US government debt (and would likely hurt a lot of average people with their savings invested in companies).

Overall if the average person wants $X in services from the government on average they are going to have to pay $X in taxes. The rich can (and do) pay a bit more to pay for the people on the lower end of the spectrum, but the middle class needs to pull it's own weight. This is the way it works in almost every western country that has a strong welfare state.

The US already has one of the most progressive tax structures in the world in practice. Capital gains rates are in line with most western countries as well as most countries advantage cap gains to encourage investment.

Overall I find the narrative that wealth people are hoarding wealth to be naive and silly. They aren't hoarding anything, they simply have created super valuable companies.

Anyway the more I've paid in taxes (and I've paid more millions than I care to count) the more I ask questions about where the money is going and the less I like the answers.

Realistically what's happening now is that the money printing machine is taking on a big part of the tax burden. That combined with low interest rates are driving inflation across the board which is not a good thing for joe average.

We would be smart to focus on things like making it easier/quicker to build housing, fixing the insane cost of education driving by government guaranteed student loan insanity and reforming the health care system for real to make it fair and equitable. Billionaires paying more in taxes doesn't frankly make my top 10 in terms of importance.
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Old 16th June 2021, 09:58 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Absent better information I'm taking issue with the terms "leaked" as used in the OP and "confidential" as you use it. Sometimes the information is already in the public sphere and the "news" is created through analysis. Though this doesn't sound all that new to me; Buffett copped to this decades ago.

A mainstream news outlet is going to avoid using stolen information if possible.

The government isn't entitled to keep all information secret. Probably legislative bodies get less "freedom of information" type oversight because they're the ones who make the laws and they can exempt themselves. But it's best, IMO, to work on the assumption that this data is properly public; unless good reason can be given for keeping it secret.
Individual tax return information is exempt from FOIA requests, except for your own, and the sharing of tax information is a crime. If they got it from an IRS employee, they are going to jail. Basically, all TIGTA has to do is see who accessed Musks, Bezo's et all returns, find the common party, and bring them in for questions. It's all logged. And has been a crime since 1997 to browse taxpayer returns.
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Old 16th June 2021, 05:52 PM   #237
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
McConnell weighs in, how dare anyone suggest taxing wealth (aka non-wage income).

McConnell blasts ProPublica tax leak, says whoever is responsible should be 'hunted down and thrown into jail'

Too bad the leaker wouldn't qualify for whistleblower status.
I hate to say it but I kind of agree. This didn't tell me much I didn't already know or suspect. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have talked about this for years. I didn't know the exact numbers but I don't think I really need to. I'd much prefer to know that I can trust the IRS to keep financial information private. The names and the amounts haven't really added much to my knowledge of this.
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Old 17th June 2021, 06:16 PM   #238
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The details still matter if you want genuine change. Ask Occupy Wall Street how far "come on we all know it's a problem" will get you on its own.
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Old 18th June 2021, 12:54 AM   #239
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An heiress describes the philosophy of hereditary wealth:
Quote:
My grandfather Roy O. Disney, who co-founded the Walt Disney Company with his brother Walt, was a fervent believer in this idea. He was so determined to prevent the government from taking any of the money he wanted to leave to his family that he created generation-skipping trusts to end-run the IRS. What he did back then was so effective that most of it is illegal today.
.....
Practically speaking, the way the trusts were devised meant that I came into a significant amount of money at the tender age of 21. I became an asset manager before a lot of people get their first apartment. I’m 61 now, meaning I’ve been the recipient of four decades’ worth of tax advice from the decent, good, kind men (yes, they were all men) who were put in place by my grandparents, and then my parents, to ensure that I wouldn’t do anything stupid with what I had been given.
....
When you come into money as I did—young, scared, and not very savvy about the world—you are taught certain precepts as though they are gospel: Never spend the “corpus” (also known as the capital) you were left. Steward your assets to leave even more to your children, and then teach them to do the same. And finally, use every tool at your disposal within the law, especially through estate planning, to keep as much of that money as possible out of the hands of government bureaucrats who will only misuse it.

If you are raised in a deeply conservative family like my own, you are taught some extra bits of doctrine: Philanthropy is good, but too much of it is unseemly and performative. Marry people “of your own class” to save yourself from the complexity and conflict that come with a broad gulf in income, assets, and, therefore, power. And, as one of my uncles said to me during the Reagan administration, it’s best to leave the important decision making to people who are “successful,” rather than in the pitiable hands of those who aren't.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...ca-tax/619212/
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Old 18th June 2021, 03:28 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
An heiress describes the philosophy of hereditary wealth:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...ca-tax/619212/
Sound advice. (Would have liked to know about what has been made illegal since).
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