Open thread July 16, 2010 Dan Crawford | July 16, 2010 7:54 pm Comments (29) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Permanently Repeal the Estate Tax ?
Thomas Jefferson to John Adams
28 Oct. 1813Cappon 2:387–92
Which, as literally as intelligibility will admit, may be thus translated. “Concerning the interprocreation of men, how, and of whom it shall be, in a perfect manner, and according to the laws of modesty and sanctity, conjointly, this is what I think right. First to lay it down that we do not commix for the sake of pleasure, but of the procreation of children. For the powers, the organs and desires for coition have not been given by god to man for the sake of pleasure, but for the procreation of the race. For as it were incongruous for a mortal born to partake of divine life, the immortality of the race being taken away, god fulfilled the purpose by making the generations uninterrupted and continuous. This therefore we are especially to lay down as a principle, that coition is not for the sake of pleasure.” But Nature, not trusting to this moral and abstract motive, seems to have provided more securely for the perpetuation of the species by making it the effect of the oestrum implanted in the constitution of both sexes. And not only has the commerce of love been indulged on this unhallowed impulse, but made subservient also to wealth and ambition by marriages without regard to the beauty, the healthiness, the understanding, or virtue of the subject from which we are to breed. The selecting the best male for a Haram of well chosen females also, which Theognis seems to recommend from the example of our sheep and asses, would doubtless improve the human, as it does the brute animal, and produce a race of veritable [aristocrats]. For experience proves that the moral and physical qualities of man, whether good or evil, are transmissible in a certain degree from father to son. But I suspect that the equal rights of men will rise up against this privileged Solomon, and oblige us to continue acquiescence under the
[the degeneration of the race of men] which Theognis complains of, and to content ourselves with the accidental aristoi produced by the fortuitous concourse of breeders. For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction. There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it’s ascendancy. On the question, What is the best provision, you and I differ; but we differ as rational friends, using the free exercise of our own reason, and mutually indulging it’s errors. You think it best to put the Pseudo-aristoi into a separate chamber of legislation where […]
Thomas Paine is an easier read.
Something about ibeciles gaining power as the issue from…………………….
Today Greenspan came out in favor of suffering all Bush tax cuts to expire. All income levels and estate too!
Maybe the Randites think it is revenues that need to rise.
thanks for this. most interesting.
i wonder what jeff would say today about “they will elect the good and wise.”
as for the estate tax. i have been reading a little history of physics lately and am impressed by the apparent inheritability of physics talent. real talent, not just what could be expected of an ordinary person taking up the subject because his daddy did.
i am not altogether happy about “the moral and physical qualities of man, whether good or evil, are transmissible in a certain degree from father to son.” but it seems to be true to at least some extent and it gives rise to the folowing, not necessarily logical, thoughts.
first, if i were a father with a talented son, i might wish to leave him enough wealth so he could concentrate on his talent and not have to waste his time making money. to that extent i do not think a confiscatory estate tax is wise.
second, on the other hand, i don’t think it is wise to give the second generation of the wealth a leg up so they can succeed without talent over men who might have more talent but poorer fathers.
which leads me to a moderate attitude toward the estate tax. perhaps it is fatal to democracy to allow wealth to become concentrated in the hands of the few through inheritance. on the other hand it seems such a perversion to insist that all wealth in a nation be “earned,” that is be aquired by the talents of buying and selling in the marketplace. so let us try to devise a tax code that is sufficiently aggessive to break up a growing aristocracy, but not so confiscatory that it reduces every generation to the kind of brutal poverty from which only brutal men can rise.
This week we’ve had articles on “electioneering” and “framing”, so let me make this observation re: framing. Obama has been frequently making this claim: ““I know there are some who want to go back — who think we should return to the policies that actually led to the recession.” This is usually preceeded with a claim of how well his stimulus is working.
These charts confirm that Bush was on a track to balance the budget withn two years before the housing bubble burst. Clearly Bush cut the deficit by 2/3s. Not bad performance, considering his awful unemployment numbers of ~4.7% at its lowest with an eight year average of ~5.5%.
They also show that Obama’s policies are on a track to have deficits as far as they can project. Unemployment is near 10% with no on one predicting we will get back to the Bush high numbers.
As I said in the framing thread, it’s not about framing the message it’s about the contents. And they ain’t pretty.
Firstly, I did not post the article a second time (at least intentionally).
More importantly, we tax all unearned income. You want to give your offspring free money ( and power over others) do it on your own time. The rest of us have to deal (and compete) with the so empowered. We should tax the living hell out of unearned income transfers such as lotto winning and inheritance.
Wow… I used to think that CoRev was just a tongue-in-cheek Bush acolite. Now I know that it is a blog spoiler.
“These charts confirm that Bush was on a track to balance the budget withn two years before the housing bubble burst”
What a dip stick.
i thought you had something interesting to say, but it seems that you have the Truth and can’t be talked to. meet CoRev. he also has the Truth. have fun.
Coberly and CoRev, the alter-ego brothers, one and the same me thinks. Tea bags, perhaps.
Say something interesting and matbe I will talk with you. However, I warn you, I do not suffer fools gladly.
An Alan Greenspans mea copa ? Matbe he doesn’t get invited out any more.
Randian masterbation doesn’t seem in vogue this year. Next thing we know Larry Kudlow will admit that Uncle Milty was FOS.
Deficits are a terrible thing and George Bush, even more than Ron Reagan, was the king. Hank Paulson was the Wall Street “trojan horse”, sent in to divert the Social Security withholdings into the AAA RMBS market. Thankfully he failed.
Now it’s Pete Peterson’s turn, with his “deficit reduction commission” composed of Bowles, Simpson, Rivlin, Ryan. Gollum creatures, not a populist, or a heart beat, among em.
Can’t think of one thing we can do to balance the budget except strip Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Mr. Potter (Peter Peterson) from “A Wonderful Life”.
They pay rents with their labor………….
Need an excuse to plunder labor.
Cuts taxes, feed the war machine and plunder Social Security and Medicare benefits.
1984 and 2003.
Labor cannot receive rents.
Property is the inalienable right.
With Obama telling us we don’t want to go back to the way it was he by definition he’s including the 8 years of economic growth that coincided with the Clinton administration. Obama is a break from our economic past and not just a break from the Bush administration whoes administration that coincided with a major terrorist attack, a stock market bubble bursting, and oil prices rising to 100+ a barrel. With Obama’s drilling moratorium all we’re going to see are rising oil & gas prices and lost jobs. His financial reform is going to reduce credit to consumers and his healthcare is going to increase red tape in healthcare without reducing the cost and prices charged by doctors and hospitals.
With Obama its more than a break from the Bush Administration since Obama wants to reform the private sector making it more managed by the federal government. Obama is a retro politicans that’s going againts liberalization trends around the world. These trands have been the reason why countries such as China and India are advancing. You don’t create more business by making business harder to conduct, more costly, and eliminating opportunity with regulation. Obama is a Joba killer and his administration is a lost 4 years to the U.S. economy.
There is a new King in town on deficits, President Obama (aided by the democrat controlled legislature).
No, it is context.
Lots of real estate commissions in 2006 and 2007.
Income for nothing, skimmed off financial transactions which made nothing to produce or compete.
Investing in Mac Mansions and wars for profiteering make nothing to feed, shelter and educate hungry kids.
Do not conflate content and context.
SR, however I do not suffer fools well??!!??? The chart is unclear as to what happened or does idealogy top rationality?
BTW, you can not be accusing Dale & I of being sock puppets? Gonna break Dale’s heart.
2/3s reduction in the deficit in less than three years. How did he do it? Grew the economy (economic growth policies) and stabilized spending at a rate less than the increase of revenue. See any of that in today’s policies?
Wow….it sure is election time.
Dan, it’s about the framing, right? 🙂
***Thomas Paine is an easier read. ***
Along with Ben Franklin, Paine is a guy who would be perfectly at home in the 21st Century. He did, however, have a pretty much unique ability to piss people off. Think Ralph Nader or Noam Chomsky, but even more abrasive. Among his other accomplishments — writing a fiery anti-religous tract (The Age of Reason) in the 18th Century, being one of the votes in the French Convention against executing Louis XVI, and declaring Napoleon to be “the greatest charlatan that ever existed” shortly before returning to the US having managed to make himself persona non-grata in both England and France.
I think I’d have liked the guy. I doubt Paine would have had any problem whatsoever with taxing estates.
Well, the title was a poke in the eye. Framing is a difficult concept apart from messaging. Needs more thought and examples on my part.
Quiz: How can a conscientious objector and non de guerre have common ground with a grouchy old veteran logistics background, or a former NATO officer, or a former USAF pilot, or a former USAF engineer… etc. Shouldn’t be possible. Our messages are quite different.
We’re all Americans, that’s the common ground. After that its gated civility.
I addressed the issue of estate tax not long past on this site. So someone spell out for me how inherited income is any more deserving of privilege than is any other form of income. And that is the same for unearned income, as Sandi points out. If it’s unearned it should probably be taxed at even higher rates. Why the devil the special treatment for income that isn’t earned. Again regarding the estate tax, if the owner of an estate feels that the beneficiaries of his/her death should receive a tax break why not give it up while alive and pay the tax themselves. The point is that an estate is not a family asset, otherwise junior wouldn’t have to ask pops for the cash when he wants to waste it. As with any lottery jackpot
an inheritance is income. Income should be taxed regardless of the source. Any other position is a scam.
Why the devil the special treatment for income that isn’t earned.
Neither the government or the people earned the money so there is no basis to take money from those that earned it and decided with their own free will what to do with it and give to those that did not earn it but want it anyway.
You once again show yourself to have no basic understanding of a general economic principle,
a government is supported by all of its people and that support comes through the collection of taxes on income. Income taxation is the broadest based method of the people providing the financial support to its government and, therefore, the most equitable basis for determining each person’s share of that burden. That all income is earned under the protection of the government and within an economic structure that is supported by that government is yet additional rationale for the income basis of tax collection. No income is earned outside of the laws and regulations provided by and enforced by the government. All else would be chaos, as it too often is when sectors of the economy seek to go outside of those regulations or to revise those laws so that specific sectors will gain some income advantage.
Taxation of income is not a redistribution of that income, but, instead, only a means by which each does their part in supporting the government that protects their ability to earn any income. The tax paid by one does not go to any other beyond those activities which the government may perform in the benefit of its people. Can we say that our taxes pay a soldier’s salary? Only in the most indirect sense. No more so than that our taxes pay the salary of the CEO of Boeing because our taxes benefit that corporation in many ways. Stop griping about the taxes that you are obliged to pay. Or maybe you should move to Guatemala or Afghanistan. They pay very little taxes iin those countries, and it shows.
perfectly glad to join you in this. sandi is the kind of person that gives liberals a bad name.
anyone who brags about not suffering fools has just told the world that he is a fool.
LOL…you just framed your point of view and underlying rage. And I just described Rdan with CoRev, Movie Guy, Buffpilot, and ilsm.
Now, that’s funny! Grouchy???? Why not passionate, patriotic, conservative, or even loving Grand dad? Huh? huh? Splain that lapse! 🙂
coberly, and little john,
You could raise the estate tax to 100% and you still won’t get these families wealth unless you make lots and lots of changes elsewhere. Uncle is not touching Gates’ fortune. Let aloone anyone who can pay even a little to an estate attourney.
And lots of congress-critters plan on giving their wealth and seat in congress to their progeny. (See ‘Kennedy’s seat’, Dodd, Bush, et all)
I would add a law that prohibits all children (and childrens spouses) and brothers and sisters of anyone who ever sat in congress or the presidency from being able to stand for elected office.
Estate tax is to avoid an aristocracy.
Islam will change
And for completeness, note how the wheels came off the bus right after the Dems took over the House and Senate….
Islam will change
COs have a distinguished history in US military service. I beleive at least one CO won the Medal of Honor in WW II as a Marine Medic. Never carried a weapon fighting to take Japanese controled islands in the Pacific.
So yes, we can have lots in common. Mostly avoiding Dem Presidencies since they seem to be unlucky enough to get us in all the big wars for the past 100 years with the attendant huge loss of life. Warmongers to the core…
Islam will change