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Old 19th June 2021, 10:07 AM   #281
TragicMonkey
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
You wouldn't owe anything because you're already paying more than $800 in taxes.

But let's do millions of dollars instead. You'd owe $800k on your $10M investment. You can afford it.
But I put $100M into that investment originally. It lost $90M in value. Now you're adding more loss. True, if I sold it now I'd have 9.2M so I'd still be rich. But that money would be gone forever. The investment might skyrocket tomorrow but I couldn't afford to stay in. I cashed out. Less money in the market, less money for me, less money for the companies invested in, less tax money for the government. Who wins? Oh, the state got that $800K. It butchered the milk cow for hamburger.

The solution to wealth disparity is to enlarge the pie, not cut the pieces differently.
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:08 AM   #282
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
See my later post. When you assess the value matters.
See my earlier post. It's not crystal ball voodoo **** to place a good value on a fluctuating number. The same investments you claim to be mystically unrealized already do it all the time.

Quote:
I can't see instituting a maximum cap on market return as a good thing.
The hell is with these strawmen? No, a minimum. As in if you're not in the game for at least a couple of million don't worry about it, the IRS doesn't care about your nest egg.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But I put $100M into that investment originally. It lost $90M in value. Now you're adding more loss. True, if I sold it now I'd have 9.2M so I'd still be rich. But that money would be gone forever. The investment might skyrocket tomorrow but I couldn't afford to stay in. I cashed out. Less money in the market, less money for me, less money for the companies invested in, less tax money for the government. Who wins? Oh, the state got that $800K. It butchered the milk cow for hamburger.

The solution to wealth disparity is to enlarge the pie, not cut the pieces differently.
No, you used 10, not 100.

But even so, if a normal shlub blows his entire income on hookers and never pays his taxes the IRS is going to have words with him. He won't be making much money in prison either. Why should rich people making poor decisions get a pass?

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Old 19th June 2021, 10:12 AM   #283
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
See my earlier post. It's not crystal ball voodoo **** to place a good value on a fluctuating number. The same investments you claim to be mystically unrealized already do it all the time.
Because the investment is calculating its own value, not its value relative to the individual investors! The investors haven't gotten their money back yet, not until they sell. Some will have made money, some will have lost money, some will have broken even. It all depends when they bought and when they sold. When the gains/losses become real.


Quote:
The hell is with these strawmen? No, a minimum. As in if you're not in the game for at least a couple of million don't worry about it, the IRS doesn't care about your nest egg.
A minimum level to start assessing this tax is the same as a maximum level which you can invest before being hit by the tax. It's not a strawman that you can't see a border is between two things which will characterize it relative to which side of it they're on. Get this: the US's northern border is the same as Canada's southern border! Wild, right?
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:14 AM   #284
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
No, you used 10, not 100.
So you're only going to tax investments that break even or gain?
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:25 AM   #285
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Because the investment is calculating its own value, not its value relative to the individual investors! The investors haven't gotten their money back yet, not until they sell. Some will have made money, some will have lost money, some will have broken even. It all depends when they bought and when they sold. When the gains/losses become real.
So you own X shares valued at $Y? That's X*Y in your account.

Admittedly things get more complicated when you have more complicated accounts. If the accounts are too complicated for you to count, you don't have to throw your hands up and surrender, you could perhaps hire someone to help you account for those accounts. There should be a name for that job, like "asset-tallying-person."

[ETA] I just looked at my mutual fund. Even though it's an incredibly complicated and ever-changing balance of investments and investors, the current value of that fund to my net worth is represented by a dollar amount. Somehow they've managed to tame this impossible beast, despite it not being real. I'm certain the same can be done for others.

Quote:
A minimum level to start assessing this tax is the same as a maximum level which you can invest before being hit by the tax. It's not a strawman that you can't see a border is between two things which will characterize it relative to which side of it they're on. Get this: the US's northern border is the same as Canada's southern border! Wild, right?
By "cap" you meant "level," gotcha. Well, there's similar "caps" for inheritance, many kinds of capital gains, in fact a whole lot of stuff. Whether or not you see it as a good thing, it's certainly not a new one.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
So you're only going to tax investments that break even or gain?
In your example, your asset's value was 40k at its highest point. 2% of that is $800. Or $40M and $800k to bring it out of the "oh but what about the poor poor retirees" hyperbole. I don't care how much you paid for it or lost over it. 2%.

If you want to start the example at $100M net worth, then you'd owe 2% of that, or $2M. That's a much larger chunk of what's left, but tough tiddies, it's still what you owe.

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Old 19th June 2021, 10:28 AM   #286
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Why can't you tax it twice if it produces income twice?
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:28 AM   #287
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
of course you can and should tax asset gains, even if not realized.
A portfolio or estate that has increased in value can be used to guarantee a loan which would then have a lower interest rate. This means that, even un-liquidated, assets can generate cash wealth.
If you are going to tax people just because the value of the USD has declined over the years then you have gone well and truly beyond the politics of envy.
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:39 AM   #288
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
If you are going to tax people just because the value of the USD has declined over the years then you have gone well and truly beyond the politics of envy.
nothing to do with envy, and everything to do with keeping the system that is generating so much wealth for some going.
a system that lets vast amounts of wealth accumulate in the hands of few is destroying the markets that created those fortunes. Markets only function properly if all participants are dealing on a more or less equal footing.
and since capitalism alone won't make markets fair, you need an active redistribution of wealth to save a market economy from its own success.

We could, of course, do what the Mongols did when a owner of a huge herd died: slaughter every single animal, leaving nothing to the heirs;
you can either destroy or redistribute wealth to keep the system going.
you can not stand by and wait until one person owns everything.
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Old 19th June 2021, 11:01 AM   #289
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
you can not stand by and wait until one person owns everything.
But it won't be real until he sells you all to the nation next door and you find out exactly what you were worth.
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Old 19th June 2021, 12:15 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
But I put $100M into that investment originally. It lost $90M in value. Now you're adding more loss. True, if I sold it now I'd have 9.2M so I'd still be rich. But that money would be gone forever. The investment might skyrocket tomorrow but I couldn't afford to stay in. I cashed out. Less money in the market, less money for me, less money for the companies invested in, less tax money for the government. Who wins? Oh, the state got that $800K. It butchered the milk cow for hamburger.

The solution to wealth disparity is to enlarge the pie, not cut the pieces differently.
A wealth tax would be based on your assets on Dec. 31, or some other established date. If you have $100M one year, you pay two percent on the $100M. If you're down to $9.2M the next year, you pay two percent of that. The fact that you apparently made bad business decisions that cost you 90+ percent of your assets is not a concern of the IRS or your fellow taxpayers. What don't you get about this?
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Old 19th June 2021, 12:57 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
of course you can and should tax asset gains, even if not realized.
A portfolio or estate that has increased in value can be used to guarantee a loan which would then have a lower interest rate. This means that, even un-liquidated, assets can generate cash wealth.
But this also means that one must either borrow on assets or sell them to pay the tax. I can certainly get behind tighter controls on cheating, and a more progressive way of taxing gains, but the taxation of assets is not the way to increase fairness, as it would mean that only the richest could afford to own anything at all. Those not wealthy enough to pay maintenance fees on what they own would be obligated to sell it to those who are. This is already a problem in the taxation of real property based on imagined market value, mitigated in many cases by use and age exemptions. But the idea that you must be able to pay to keep what you already have is at the very least problematic if not downright repugnant.

Don't forget too that if one pays periodic taxes on gain, this presumes, wrongly in some cases, that an asset can never go down in value. One of the things that drives the financial market is at least some willingness to risk loss. Taxing unrealized gain ignores the risk of eventual loss. What investor in his right mind would buy an unproven stock or product if he knew that he might pay a tax on his own loss? e.t.a. this was written before I saw the above post by Bob001. You can see asset value as wealth, and of course many very rich people do, but it really is just imaginary wealth until it is either sold or used as collateral. The same problem still applies - that taxing this vapor-wealth works only when a person actually realizes the value of it. Otherwise, you're taxing something that exists only in a speculative future, and while this might be fine for the super-rich, for the rest of us, we'd be damned fools to invest anything at all in anything that carried that kind of risk.

Remember that one of the most common capital assets many middle class Americans own is their home. We already pay our municipalities for the right to keep it, based on what they imagine it to be worth tomorrow, no matter what the circumstances when we bought it. That includes the value we have added to it ourselves. Our own "sweat equity" is taxed. In return, we hope, we get the municipal services, education, and other protection that make the place worth living in. But must we now add another level of taxation, based on speculative pricing, to that? The taxation balance only works as long as at least most people can still afford to support it.

We already have a problem with rich investors and funds buying up real estate and driving ordinary consumers into perpetual rental, so exempting real estate from an asset tax might also backfire and make that problem even worse.

I realize there are all sorts of loopholes the rich can exploit to become richer, and it's not fair, not nice, not good. But I think we ought to beware of looking at that and just saying "there oughtta be a law," without thinking very hard about what the other consequences of that law might be.

e.t.a. while I'm at it, I might mention one other problem here. As it stands now, the amount of a capital gain is based not only on the initial cost of an asset, but on the cost of maintaining it. You can deduct brokerage fees, taxes, even the cost of the safe deposit box you keep the certificates in, and including the cost of getting it back if it's used as collateral. Unless a wealth tax is so burdensome that a person cannot make any money at all on an investment, the likelihood arises that (again mostly for the very richest) one will be able to pay the tax, borrow on the asset, and then deduct so much from the final proceeds that the gain is erased. You might well end up just substituting one tax for another.
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Old 19th June 2021, 05:43 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
A wealth tax would be based on your assets on Dec. 31, or some other established date. If you have $100M one year, you pay two percent on the $100M. If you're down to $9.2M the next year, you pay two percent of that.
Seems to me like the result of that would be a massive sell-off of shares the business day prior to Dec 31, causing pretty much everything to drop in value in time for assessment. Then the next business day there would be a massive resurgence as everyone rushes to buy those same things back again at the lower prices. I suppose that would satisfy my desire to only tax realized gains: all gains would be realized because everything would be sold and bought again!

Quote:
The fact that you apparently made bad business decisions that cost you 90+ percent of your assets is not a concern of the IRS or your fellow taxpayers. What don't you get about this?
If you invest in a mutual fund and it goes down in value that has nothing to do with your "business decisions". The only decision you had was to invest or not, and when to sell. You seem to be confusing investment in a thing with controlling the thing you've invested in. I assure you, despite my holding shares of a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund, I do not have a seat on the board of those five hundred companies.
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Old 19th June 2021, 07:29 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Seems to me like the result of that would be a massive sell-off of shares the business day prior to Dec 31, causing pretty much everything to drop in value in time for assessment. Then the next business day there would be a massive resurgence as everyone rushes to buy those same things back again at the lower prices.
......
Why do you think this? If somebody sells off a bucket of stocks, they get an exactly comparable bucket of cash. If somebody sells a house, the payment lands in his bank account. Do you think the only assets are stocks, or that an asset's value disappears when it's sold? And do you really think investors would promote massive turmoil in the economy to evade a two percent tax? Why do you think this?

And note that a wealth tax would only apply to the wealthy. Sen. Warren's plan would start at fortunes of $50 million and, she says, would touch only about 75,000 households. Your beach cottage and IRA are not in her sights.
https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/ultra-millionaire-tax
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Old 19th June 2021, 07:36 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
A wealth tax would be based on your assets on Dec. 31, or some other established date. If you have $100M one year, you pay two percent on the $100M. If you're down to $9.2M the next year, you pay two percent of that. The fact that you apparently made bad business decisions that cost you 90+ percent of your assets is not a concern of the IRS or your fellow taxpayers. What don't you get about this?
How it's done is irrelevant. All that matters is that it's a tax on wealth, which means wealthy people won't like it. And they will do everything they can to avoid paying that tax, just like they do now.

So the question is what will the result of that be? It won't be a meaningful reduction in wealth inequality, that's for sure. In fact it will probably be counterproductive.

What we should do is encourage rich people to contribute, not force them. I propose that we make paying taxes voluntary for the rich. At worst it won't be much different to now, since they already pay very little.

But how to encourage them? Obviously if they aren't paying any taxes they shouldn't be getting any benefits. So if they want to drive on our roads, or get protection from the police or military, or even just enjoy living in a society where taxes make everyone's lives better - they will have to pay.

How much? The richer you are the more your wealth was built on top of the system that made it possible, therefore the more you should have to pay. But let's not talk about 'should'. The wealthier you are, the more you can pay. And since the supplier (the government) has a monopoly, they can set the price as high as the market (that's you) will bear, without worrying about being undercut by competitors.

Of course you don't have to pay if you don't want to - but then you will need to employ your own army, build you own roads etc. And you won't be using our courts to get redress for any 'crimes' committed against you. Unless you pay. Or you can just pay taxes like we do. It's your choice.
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:08 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
...
The solution to wealth disparity is to enlarge the pie, not cut the pieces differently.
Talk about myths, that's one of them.

I've been watching some old Jon Stewart Daily Show and I'm finding nothing has changed, the pieces are just as relevant now as they were then. Please do watch this 11 minutes, it will be worth your time and is remarkably relevant to this thread.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:12 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
So you're only going to tax investments that break even or gain?
It's called taxing capital gains without waiting for said millionaires and billionaires to cash those investments in. They get a loss, fine, deduct it. They have gains, tax it.

That money is not contributing to or sustaining economic growth.
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Old 19th June 2021, 10:39 PM   #297
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
nothing to do with envy, and everything to do with keeping the system that is generating so much wealth for some going.
Wow. And to think that when Tippit goes on about the "inflation tax", everybody calls him a kook. Yet that is exactly what you are defending.

The solution to wealth inequality is to close the massive tax loopholes and not to tax assets per se or unrealized capital gains - especially ones that are purely from inflation.

If a rich person wants to borrow against their assets instead of getting a job then fine. But only a bought politician would make the interest on these loans tax deductible.
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Old 19th June 2021, 11:00 PM   #298
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Wow. And to think that when Tippit goes on about the "inflation tax", everybody calls him a kook. Yet that is exactly what you are defending.
.....

Gain is gain. If part of the gain is the result of inflation, it's also the result of allowing the value of the asset to compound untaxed for however long it's held.

However, the annual rate of inflation has ranged between 0.1% and about 4% over the last 30 years, less than 3% most years. The average annual increase of the S&P 500 during its history has been more than 10%. So even if taxes were indexed to inflation, there would be plenty of real gain subject to tax.
https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-infla...recast-3306093
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/ans...urn-sp-500.asp

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Old 19th June 2021, 11:09 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
So even if taxes were indexed to inflation, there would be plenty of real gain subject to tax.
The argument was that gains should NOT be indexed to inflation.

And why tax unrealized gains instead of closing tax loopholes? Don't you see that you would miss the wealthy yet again?
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Old 19th June 2021, 11:38 PM   #300
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When it comes to preserving a market economy that is benefitting society in general, it's necessary to be a Consequentialist, not a Kantian - precisely because a few people will always be able to game the system.

Closing loopholes is critical, sure, but that won't stop Bezos and the others from becoming trillionaires, which would be devastating to the economy.
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Old 19th June 2021, 11:41 PM   #301
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The argument was that gains should NOT be indexed to inflation.

And why tax unrealized gains instead of closing tax loopholes? Don't you see that you would miss the wealthy yet again?
Who said it has to be one or the other? Real tax reform would require both, and much more.

And inflation is a basic factor in the economy. So what? If you bought a house for 100 grand 30 years ago, and sell it now for a million, you get a million current dollars. If your salary has kept pace with inflation, you're getting a lot more money than you were 30 years ago, even if you're not able to buy much more stuff. A loaf of bread in 1900 cost around a nickel. Indexing capital gains to inflation would only increase wealth disparity because it would benefit the wealthiest the most.
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Old 20th June 2021, 01:03 AM   #302
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
And inflation is a basic factor in the economy. So what? If you bought a house for 100 grand 30 years ago, and sell it now for a million, you get a million current dollars.
That's nuts. It means that many people could lose their family home because it has been subjected to CGT even though its real value didn't change.
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Old 20th June 2021, 01:06 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Who said it has to be one or the other? Real tax reform would require both, and much more.
Not according to you. The only thing you are focused on is taxing unrealized capital gains or taxing assets themselves.

What are these other reforms that you have been keeping a secret?
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Old 20th June 2021, 06:18 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
No. The rich cheat more proportionally. The top 1% have around 15% of the country's annual income but are responsible for more than 33% of its non-payment. Your defense of a system that is contrived to keep making the rich richer and the poor poorer is counterfactual.
If the top 1% have 15% of the country's annual income, but are responsible for 33% of its non-payment is that evidence of disproportional cheating?

By "the country's annual income" are you referring to the total of the money collected in taxes, or the total summed incomes of the people in the country?
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Old 20th June 2021, 06:34 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's called taxing capital gains without waiting for said millionaires and billionaires to cash those investments in. They get a loss, fine, deduct it. They have gains, tax it.

That money is not contributing to or sustaining economic growth.
That money literally is economic growth. It's money that these oh-so-greedy investors are loaning to other people.

And again, you can't say "tax growth" without specifying the start and end points of your calculation. See several previous posts for the problem with that on unrealized growth or loss.
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Old 20th June 2021, 06:50 AM   #306
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I think in the end that income is about the only thing that can be taxed with true equity. Pay a tax on what you make, and you're free to do what you like with the rest. There should not be a cost penalty if you decide to make a wise investment instead of spending it on hookers and blow. Investment and capital gain are essential ingredients of a capitalist economy. In some degree that will always mean that some people get richer than others, but within certain bounds, I think that's an inevitable byproduct of a system that tends to work pretty well.

That said, I think we should close loopholes, and tax high incomes at a much higher rate than we do now. That could even include income-based surcharges on some of the operations that are not otherwise taxed. But I believe any means tax or tax on imaginary wealth that is not strictly income based would be an economic disaster, and end up impacting the wrong people.

e.t.a. I should add that changing the way we do things now cannot mend the problems caused by a long history of doing them wrong. It is a lot easier to prevent there being another Gates or Bezos than it would be to make the wealth they already have retroactively illegal. If we wish to avoid reactionary excess, we may have to live at least for a while with the consequences of our many years of bad policy. Those who are already very rich will not stop being rich.

Not that long ago, tax rates on very high income were enormous - nearly confiscatory. Yet people still got rich. If we came even within a ballpark distance of those rates again, much of the problem we're seeing now would, I think, disappear. We are living at what I with foolish optimism think is the tail end of a long trend toward favoring the richest of the rich, simply by allowing them to avoid the taxes the rest of us cannot. I say the tail end, simply because there's little more that can be done without giving them all our money outright. But I think the solution is not necessarily to change the fundamental way that wealth is taxed when so much could be accomplished first by simply changing the rate.
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Old 20th June 2021, 07:08 AM   #307
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That's nuts. It means that many people could lose their family home because it has been subjected to CGT even though its real value didn't change.
Oh for pity's sake, exempting the family home, small business assets, for that matter business assets with some exceptions for people hiding wealth in their businesses ... why would that be so difficult?
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Old 20th June 2021, 07:20 AM   #308
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Not according to you. The only thing you are focused on is taxing unrealized capital gains or taxing assets themselves.

What are these other reforms that you have been keeping a secret?
Are you familiar with the term framing the narrative?

As for taxing assets, we already do that with some assets. It's called a luxury tax. I don't imagine people's yachts need to be taxed every year. There's no gain to tax there.

As for appreciation of property and physical 'things', that can be exempted in numerous ways. One doesn't want to add a burden to home ownership. People already pay property taxes so there's no reason to add taxes to anything that is already taxed just because it appreciates.

Probably one area that would need specific policies toward is pension asset holdings. Pension fund assets, mutual funds, things like that can be looked at closely before adding more taxes there. But some of that is already taxed when the fund managers buy and sell stock assets. The mutual fund holders see a tax deducted from their 'holdings' every time they see a report on their mutual fund stocks for those capital gains when the stocks behind them are bought and sold.
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Old 20th June 2021, 07:26 AM   #309
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
That money literally is economic growth. It's money that these oh-so-greedy investors are loaning to other people.

And again, you can't say "tax growth" without specifying the start and end points of your calculation. See several previous posts for the problem with that on unrealized growth or loss.
How about you, are you familiar with framing the narrative?

A capital gain is a gain on paper one hasn't cashed in yet. What "growth" besides that are you including?

One can exempt certain real estate including that owned and used in any business.
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Old 20th June 2021, 07:36 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
A capital gain is a gain on paper one hasn't cashed in yet. What "growth" besides that are you including?
The capital gain is the growth from the perspective of the investor. The use of that money until the investor sells the investment is growth from the perspective of the entity invested in. A company that needed to raise money to fuel its operations and expansions that issued public stock. It's kind of the point of having stocks at all.

Quote:
One can exempt certain real estate including that owned and used in any business.
This appears unrelated to what I was talking about. Perhaps you meant it for someone else.

eta: Also, you didn't answer my question. How are you deciding what was growth? Difference between initial investment and final sale? Difference between initial investment and...arbitrary point in time? Highest point of value? Lowest point of value? Investor's choice? Randomly generated moment? New Year's Eve? Valentine's Day? With realized gains/losses you have a start and an end point so the calculation is easy. With unrealized gains on holdings that change in value minute-to-minute you don't have that start and end point. So how do you do it?
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Old 20th June 2021, 07:58 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That's nuts. It means that many people could lose their family home because it has been subjected to CGT even though its real value didn't change.
To repeat, a wealth tax would only apply to the wealthy. In Sen. Warren's plan the threshold would be $50 million. Your house would be safe. And what do you mean by "real value?" In most places there is an annual local property tax on that house, assessed on what the market value would be today, not what it cost when it was bought.
https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/ultra-millionaire-tax
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Old 20th June 2021, 08:00 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
....
eta: Also, you didn't answer my question. How are you deciding what was growth? Difference between initial investment and final sale? Difference between initial investment and...arbitrary point in time? Highest point of value? Lowest point of value? Investor's choice? Randomly generated moment? New Year's Eve? Valentine's Day? With realized gains/losses you have a start and an end point so the calculation is easy. With unrealized gains on holdings that change in value minute-to-minute you don't have that start and end point. So how do you do it?
How 'bout the last day of the tax year, Dec. 31 for most people, which is what applies to many other tax calculations?
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Old 20th June 2021, 08:29 AM   #313
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I feel like there is basically a grade school at best understanding of investment and especially company ownership in this thread.

First off, most of what ya'll are talking about is people who own chunks of public companies. This makes the valuation of the asset at a current point in time relatively easy. It also gives some amount of liquidity to the holder of the asset. It ALSO lets the public actually invest in that asset.

Going public with a company isn't a requirement though. Private equity is also capable of funding large companies. The valuation of private companies is much more difficult to figure out and there is often a range of valuations that could be argued. And in fact this kind of thing happens all the time during the 409a process where companies are manipulating their valuation to make the most sense for the life cycle of the company.

So one of the first effects of taxing wealth directly is that less founders are going to take their companies public so they can hide the wealth. The side effect here is that regular investors will be cut out (e.g. imagine Facebook, Google, Apple etc are just privately owned with the only investors being allowed to be already rich accredited investors buying on a private market). Go look at any joe average investment portfolio btw and you will see these companies represented, imagine you couldn't buy them because they were private.

The bottom line is that if you are charging on the total value of an asset this is going to push down asset prices FOR EVERYONE. This isn't worth 2% or whatever going to the government.

BTW you could confiscate the complete wealth of the top 100 richest Americans and it wouldn't even make a dent in the federal debt.

To me all of this is just people spinning a story because of jealousy because they think someone how rich people are lording it over them because they happened to create and operate successful companies.

The reality is that if you want a strong social welfare state there is already well known tax techniques to make this happen and it's mostly got to be paid for by the average people that use the services. Look at any western country like Canada where the taxes are far LESS progressive than they are in the USA.

Basically a wealth tax is a way to cut your own nose off.
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Old 20th June 2021, 08:42 AM   #314
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Anyway, I really hope we do institute a 2% wealth tax on wealth greater than $50M or whatever. When it completely backfires and creates massive backlash hopefully we will have learned our lesson for another generation. Basically you are inviting every billionaire to spend a chunk of their fortune every year trying to lower the value of the fortune for tax purposes. This is also going to invite insane amounts of hardcore lobbying and political manipulation. Remember, you are basically advising making enemies of ONLY the richest 75k families.

Also there are RIDICULOUS amounts of ways to split up a fortune to try and get around this stuff. Split it amongst family to get under the $50M limit. Depress the value of the asset through market manipulation on the day it's valued. Give it to charities that you control (each charity gets less than $50M). Move the assets into forms that aren't easily tallied (physical art, gold, land in foreign countries with obfuscated ownership etc). Basically it's going to drive wealth underground and outside of the USA. Overall just one of the top dumbest ideas around.

In the long run what would happen is that capital would move to jurisdictions where it is not taxed like this. When starting new companies people would do it offshore. I personally immigrated to the USA to start a company, I just wouldn't have come here and done that if there were ridiculous wealth taxes. Cap gains in my home country are fairly reasonable but raising capital there was hard, it would be easier under a wealth tax regime.

Basically I think ya'll have no idea of what you are talking about and just how dumb this idea is.
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Old 20th June 2021, 09:22 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
Anyway, I really hope we do institute a 2% wealth tax on wealth greater than $50M or whatever. When it completely backfires and creates massive backlash hopefully we will have learned our lesson for another generation. Basically you are inviting every billionaire to spend a chunk of their fortune every year trying to lower the value of the fortune for tax purposes. This is also going to invite insane amounts of hardcore lobbying and political manipulation. Remember, you are basically advising making enemies of ONLY the richest 75k families.

Also there are RIDICULOUS amounts of ways to split up a fortune to try and get around this stuff. Split it amongst family to get under the $50M limit. Depress the value of the asset through market manipulation on the day it's valued. Give it to charities that you control (each charity gets less than $50M). Move the assets into forms that aren't easily tallied (physical art, gold, land in foreign countries with obfuscated ownership etc). Basically it's going to drive wealth underground and outside of the USA. Overall just one of the top dumbest ideas around.

In the long run what would happen is that capital would move to jurisdictions where it is not taxed like this. When starting new companies people would do it offshore. I personally immigrated to the USA to start a company, I just wouldn't have come here and done that if there were ridiculous wealth taxes. Cap gains in my home country are fairly reasonable but raising capital there was hard, it would be easier under a wealth tax regime.

Basically I think ya'll have no idea of what you are talking about and just how dumb this idea is.

Sure, some of that could happen and it would need to be dealt with by legislation and enforcement. But do you really think most of the wealthy would go to such great lengths -- and risk much bigger losses -- to evade a TWO PERCENT tax? Two percent is what financial advisors routinely take off the top of the assets they manage. Two percent is less than two months' average long-term increase in the S&P. The marginal tax rate on ordinary income is 37%, and as recently as 1980 it was 70%. Do you really think smart rich people would be foaming at the mouth to try -- maybe unsuccessfully -- to save two percent?

The same argument applies to public vs. private equity. Do you really think the founders of Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. would have given up all the benefits of public trading to save two percent? Would those stocks be worth as much today if they were not publicly traded? I actually have more confidence in the judgment of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett etc. than you do.

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Old 20th June 2021, 09:53 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Sure, some of that could happen and it would need to be dealt with by legislation and enforcement. But do you really think most of the wealthy would go to such great lengths -- and risk much bigger losses -- to evade a TWO PERCENT tax? Two percent is what financial advisors routinely take off the top of the assets they manage. Two percent is less than two months' average long-term increase in the S&P. The marginal tax rate on ordinary income is 37%, and as recently as 1980 it was 70%. Do you really think smart rich people would be foaming at the mouth to try -- maybe unsuccessfully -- to save two percent?

The same argument applies to public vs. private equity. Do you really think the founders of Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. would really have given up all the benefits of public trading to save two percent? Would those stocks be worth as much today if they were not publicly traded? I actually have more confidence in the judgment of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett etc. than you do.

Yes I think 2% would be a big deal. This isn't a one time tax, this is 2% every year once they hit $50M. So first off you will see a big cutoff in valuations around the mark that will make people worth $50M. Lots of scheming will happen around company growth during what would normally be something like a C investment round to keep the valuations down for founders. $50m is actually quite a low cutoff given current company valuations. It's actually pretty easy to have a fairly non-liquid net worth of $50M these days if you are a founder in involved in any kind of successful company. Your company could be worth a few hundred million but not traded publicly yet and you don't really have anyone else to sell shares to to even pay the tax (nor do you really want to divest during this growth phase). So machinations would definitely happen at company formation time to avoid this. What exact form they would take is up to speculation, we usually let the accountants handle that but it would be a cat and mouse game with the IRS for years into the future for sure.

Remember, you aren't talking about Bezos the already successful guy here. You are talking about the much larger group of people who are trying to become the next Bezos. Most of them aren't going to make it but that doesn't mean they won't all go through the machinations to manipulate their wealth to avoid this tax.

Cash is king and liquidity is actually hard to come by. There is a huge difference between owning $50M in stock in a company and having $50M in actual cash. Cash is much much much harder to come by. So even $1M in cash at that level is going to be a big deal to founders.

I also think yes that people would defer going public and stick to private equity events as much as possible. That's actually been happening anyway because there are many downsides to going public. I would also expect a lot of non-priced rounds, possibly even pushing these further down the road.

Just to be clear a non-priced round means you haven't actually picked a valuation for the company and all of the invested money is in the form of a loan. This is actually the most common funding method for early stage companies at the moment, typically with conversion to a priced round happening on series A funding. However, if the valuation was a problem one could theoretically extend that framework further into the future. Instead of the company having a high valuation it's just buried in debt forever.

The bottom line is that a wealth tax is going to throw a massive monkey wrench into equity markets in a way that I don't think most people really appreciate. Certainly I think it's hard to argue that the 2% of value the government is going to get is going to be worth it or that it's somehow going to change wealth inequality. I would bet dollars to donuts it will actually make inequity worse because you will drive wealth underground.

Remember, the government gets way more than 2% when you realize a gain. Yes some of the ultra rich borrow instead but all of this money is actively invested in companies, that's the whole point.

Overall I think this is mostly driven by this false idea that someone having more than you means they stole it from you. We would be far better off doing actionable things to fix healthcare, education and housing to make joe average better off than screwing up our capital markets with a wealth tax.
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Old 20th June 2021, 10:07 AM   #317
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Originally Posted by NewtonTrino View Post
Basically I think ya'll have no idea of what you are talking about and just how dumb this idea is.
For once I agree with you.

This is mostly a hand full of posters who have no idea how complicated trust/company structures and offshoring wealth are used to avoid taxes. All they have left is "take it off them (the people who are richer than me)". They have no idea how badly that could backfire.
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Old 20th June 2021, 10:16 AM   #318
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
For once I agree with you.

This is mostly a hand full of posters who have no idea how complicated trust/company structures and offshoring wealth are used to avoid taxes. All they have left is "take it off them (the people who are richer than me)". They have no idea how badly that could backfire.
Crazytown, the planets must be aligned.

Anyway I think we mostly agree. Which is why this likely won't happen anyway, because once you get into the details it gets messy really quick.

Capital gains taxes simply aren't that effective a way of funding a government either. Revenue from cap gains is just generally pretty much a drop in the bucket. Even doubling them it's NOT going to be substantial at current spending levels.

Also please note cap gains have actually gone up quite a bit. The rate is now 20% for long term gains and for incomes over $250k there is another 3.8% healthcare tax. A few short years ago you would have owed 15% on those same gains which means the taxes have increased ~50% on cap gains. This means our cap gains taxes on the wealth are actually generally higher than places like Canada which taxes them at 50% of the income rate.
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Old 20th June 2021, 10:51 AM   #319
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Oh for pity's sake, exempting the family home, small business assets, for that matter business assets with some exceptions for people hiding wealth in their businesses ... why would that be so difficult?
It wouldn't necessarily be so difficult, but it isn't stated until it's stated. Much of the subject argued here is presented very simplistically.
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Old 20th June 2021, 02:53 PM   #320
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
For once I agree with you.


This is mostly a hand full of posters who have no idea how complicated trust/company structures and offshoring wealth are used to avoid taxes. All they have left is "take it off them (the people who are richer than me)". They have no idea how badly that could backfire.

Sens. Warren and Sanders, among others, are hardly a "handful of posters." Yeah, we get that a wealth tax is complicated and is not a perfect solution to any problems. But where we are now gets worse every year.

From a fairly straightforward account of the proposals and shortcomings:
Quote:
Data from the Federal Reserve shows that the top 1% owned nearly one-quarter of all U.S. household wealth 30 years ago...and now owns nearly one-third. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% of people have gone from 3.7% of the wealth in 1989 to 1.9% today.

And indeed, wealth inequality is so much bigger than income inequality. As of 2016, the median family income in the U.S. was nearly $65,000 — not quite one-third of what the 90th percentile household had. But the median family wealth was around one-twelfth of the 90th-percentile family, with nearly $1.2 million. (The ratio for the 10th-percentile household to 90th-percentile is far more gaping — the 10th-percentile family has -$950 in wealth.)
https://www.npr.org/2019/12/05/78213...ealth-tax-work
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