Nope! On Taxing the Rich
Maybe I am missing something along the way here. Or is there just so many times when you go and kick the football and Lucy or in this case Joe Manchin decides to move the football again. Joe Manchin ain’t no cartoon character and I am not Charlie Brown. Somebody has to be getting a bit angry by now. We are trying to appease a chameleon, a child, or just a plain liar.
Manchin; “I’ve heard people say that before the July 4 break, you should have something done if you’re going to do anything because coming back might be futile.” As Joan McCarter at Crooks and Liars is saying Manchin gives himself full deniability in this quotation.
So what is the huckster from West Virgina up to now? Here is Joan:
The objectively corrupt Manchin should be pleased and at least a little bit willing to start playing nice with Biden. One, he’s now been exposed as corrupt by The New York Times, which should clip his wings just a little bit, and he also forced a presidential budget catered primarily to him. Too bad The New York Times story didn’t come pre-budget; Biden would have had a bit more leverage to tell him to stuff it.
At any rate, the budget is being touted by the White House as the biggest deficit cutter and most friendly to police, ever. Third Way is raving. But is it going to work? Who knows.
“Senator Manchin is always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward,” said Samantha Runyon, spokesperson for Manchin. “He remains seriously concerned about the financial status of our country and believes fighting inflation by restoring fairness to our tax system and paying down our national debt must be our first priority. He has made clear that we can protect energy independence and respond to climate change at the same time.”
He’s actually not all that into tax fairness, as it turns out. He’s already rejected Biden’s billionaire tax, a plan to impose a minimum 20% income tax rate on the top 0.01% of earners and households worth more than $100 million. That includes “unrealized investment income.” Manchin doesn’t like that.
“You can’t tax something that’s not earned. Earned income is what we’re based on,” he says, although you can entirely tax things that aren’t earned. “Unrealized gains is not the way to do it,” he told reporters, shooting down the 20% minimum tax. That’s what one gets trying to please the senator from West Virginia.Senator Maserati Houseboat Opposes Billionaire Tax | Crooks and Liars
Now I am not no redneck with a baseball cap turned the wrong way or driving a noisy, over-powered pickup burning gasoline faster than it can be made. I have been known to challenge a Senator or two at Garden parties or in an elevator. That is the nature of the beast and why people love me so much . . .
This is beyond ridiculous.
Manchin is definitely on the record advocating for higher taxes on the wealthy. Just some other kind of higher tax on the wealthy, apparently. Also note that many of the wealthiest Americans don’t actually “earn” much of anything—they pay for their lifestyles by borrowing against their stock holdings and avoid paying taxes that way. If Manchin insists the only way they can be taxed is on what they earn, well, Manchin is full of shit.
Things are going to start getting hard, period, for millions of Americans as COVID-19 relief programs start ending, and there’s no Biden Build Back Better plan to replace them. And this is happening while he sits high in his houseboat “Almost Heaven” while he makes life hell for those looking up at him asking why are you doing this to us?
There is more to this at Crooks and Liars; Senator Maserati Houseboat Opposes Billionaire Tax | Crooks and Liars, Joan McCarter
Crooks and Liars acknowledges Joan at Daily Kos; News flash: Joe Manchin is corrupt and Biden can’t trust a word he says (dailykos.com) too!
Biden’s Big New Wealth Tax
WS Journal – March 28 (Behind a pay wall, obviously.)
(Of course, Joe Manchin will not allow this to go forward.)
the Neat Trick of Biden’s Billionaire Tax
NY Times – March 28
Hmmm. It would seem that it’s up to the IRS to solve this pickle, by simply making a ‘determination’ that funds obtained by borrowing against assets is ‘henceforth to be considered taxable income’.
Determination of funds obtained from borrowing against assets can probably be determined more or less objectively. It’s transactional, after all.
Amounts of ‘wealth increases’ otherwise, can probably not be determined that easily. Evasion of such doesn’t seem to have held back a certain billionaire ex-president in the slightest. ‘Wealth increases’ and always be offset by ‘wealth decreases’ it would seem.
the county tells me the “value” of my property has gone up, then taxes me on the higher value.
so why can’t the country tell the billionaire the value of his stocks has gone up, then tax him on the increase?
fwiw i don’t like a “wealth tax”, but i don’t like false arguments either.
better to tax the income as it is earned…by the corporation the stocks value is derived from.
even better to limit the earnings of corporaions involved in predatory practices.
for what else it is worth, i don’t like jailing people, but jailing more than a few corporate ceo’s would have a salutary effect on the economy if not the morality of the country.
new tax legislation: “requiring the wealthiest American households to pay a minimum of 20 percent on all of their income, including unrealized investment income that currently is untaxed.”
In addition, it calls for a hike in the corporate tax rate from 21% up to 28%. The two Democratic problem senators, Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, rejected that increase in previous negotiations. Manchin was willing to go as high as 25% on the corporate rate; Sinema is flat-out opposed to an increase.
Taxing ‘wealth’ per se is usually considered ‘property confiscation’. Go figure!
That we tolerate it at the state or local levels is somewhat odd, perhaps. I suppose this is because much of this goes to support education, which is traditionally a local responsibility, and of some tangible benefit. However, the result for us is a whoppingly large town tax bill every year, even with our kids long gone. Having been a school board member long ago, I am familiar with the POV that one must continue to pay (& pay) even if our kids were in school long ago, and only in school locally for a small portion of the years that we have lived here. So be it. Tangible benefits and all.
Of course we pay a lot of federal income tax & obtain all the benefits thereof, which largely seems to consist of the best aircraft carriers, fighter jets & space telescopes ever. (I jest!)
We really don’t pay much at all in the way of state taxes, despite that we live in Taxachusetts. But that’s what you’d expect of a state that persists in a flat income tax. We may be ultra-liberal around heah but we like our state taxes non-progressive!
That we have a federal income tax at all is a relatively recent development, like about a century old. The federal guv’mint always had trouble raising taxes, initially was expected to make to with tariffs & duties alone. Forced on US by Abe Lincoln to pay for the War Between the States, and firmly rejected after. Didn’t return until WW1 ostensibly, and then came the Constitutional Amendment that made it a permanent imposition.
The traditional GOP view on Corporate Income Taxes, lest we forget, is that shareholders will dutifully pay what they owe (i.e. can’t avoid) out of the income they receive in dividends. As if! Anyway, that is no doubt what Kyrsten Sinema believes (out in Goldwater Country.) I’m not sure how Joe Manchin manages to object, other than that he is really, really wealthy, after all.
In Michigan we were always careful of a “takings” when it came to land use and what the township could do with it. I was vice chair om a Planning Commission then. We were never sued.
my state is always careful to “take” land from the very poor, pay them “fair market” for the value…which is far less than what it would cost them (the poor) to buy a new place to live… because there is no “market” for housing for the very poor.
so it’s a win-win for the public. we get a new lane for the freeway and a lot of new homeless people we can harass and feel superior to.
That is in your state. It was not so easy in Michigan. Also, paying fair value was not the intent of my comments.
You can change an ordinance which would limit a homeowner from using his land lawfully too. In which case he still has the land but the municipality has denied him lawful full or partial use of the land. Changing zoning to block the use of the land for something else is another way to get sued and lose. For example, changing the zoning from apartments to single family housing can get you in trouble if someone wants to build apartments on it.
Before we would change zoning, we would have a public hearing and post the time and date one month out.It would be advertised in the newspaper and post on the Township/county bulletin board.
When the economy crashed in 2008, my property taxes remained the same even though the value of my house was equal to the mortgage. You do get to deduct improvements when you go to sell. There is an exemption under $400,000 in gains.
Manchin must be one of those who would be taxed at 20%. I wonder if he is writing off that tugboat of his.
My grandmother was on Medicaid or what preceded it. The county took a lien on her property. Literally everything she owned went to the county when she died. The only reason I got some dishes is that the value of her chattel property was less than the cost of auctioning them off.
I know that not all assets generate enough cash to pay the taxes on them, but why not let the IRS take a lien against them for the value of the tax owed? Amount due in full when the asset is sold or the taxpayer dies, or some arbitrary time limit.
I hope the conversation here since your comment answers your question. Letting the government take a lien on your “wealth” opens the door to massive abuse.
We could, in the case of Medicaid just fold it into Medicare for All and let people pay for it as insurance for a fair percent of their wages. We would pay less in the long run than we pay for private insurance, or Medicaid, now. Problem is 1) convincing the Rich that it’s not “socialism” 2) convincing the not-Rich that the Rich should pay for all of their needs.
Note, that the “premium” would cover insurance against the possibility that one day you couldn’t afford the premium.
I am all in favor of taxing the rich a fair (proportionate to income) amout to what they “get” from having a well-run country. They are mostly too stupid to understand what they get, but i don’t mind taxing them even if they are too stupid to understand… even to very high marginal rates. note “marginal.” This is better than rube-goldberg-izing the tax code.
Still not quite sure how to tackle the borrowing from wealth to avoid taxes scam, but don’t much like anything i have heard so far.
note: a good place to begin would be fair wages for all. the poor would have less need of “welfare”, the rich would have less obscene money, but also end up paying less taxes for welfare.
What do we call your proposal, a red herring or a straw man?
i didn’t intend to propose anything. just talking about possibilities and the problems with them.
Even when I know what I am talking about, I don’t get much agreement.
I am not proposing it. I am reporting it.
Commercial Healthcare Insurance is two to three + times more costly than Medicare. Fifteen percent of the cost can be attributed to insurance administration and almost as much at the hospital level. Insurance companies are also big on getting faxes from doctors rather than other and more efficient methods.
CMS Medicare pays out more to Medicare Advantage Insurance companies than what it pays directly. MA can not compete head to head with traditional Fee for Service Medicare.
I guess what I am telling you is Medicare for All with the 4 elements needed for Single Payer or Single Payer would pay the costs and the nation most likely would not need tax increases. I have not even touched on the increased costs of hospitals, products such as Pharma, and ACOs.
This is stuff I have written about and have also posted about taking Kip Sullivans articles. It is just like your writing on SS minus an audience and its on Angry Bear.
I have no disagreement with you on this, but it always sounds to me like you think I do.
Usually, the state takes the estate.
Yep, that does happen. When you sign up for Medicaid in many cases you are signing over any assets you have for healthcare. You can have joint ownership or will it als0. You would think this would be abolished as 90% of the ACA is funded by the Federal Government and this includes Medicaid.
Some readings on raising the “Takings” argument:
The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments – Section I (D to E) | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)
well, the irs pub does specifically refer to income tax.
the good thing about an income tax is that all parties to the income generating transaction have advance notice of the tax consequeces and can adjust their bid to compensate. a wealth tax allows the government to come after your possessions long after you ought to be able to consider them “at rest.” it is indeed the power to destroy. this is obvious in the case of property taxes, a well accepted form of wealth tax. there are arguments for it, of course, but they still allow the state to pauperize you, which seems to me to be an act against universal justice.
even rich people are entitled to some reasonable standard of justice. when we violate that, we destroy our credibility when we demand justice in the way we are treated by both the rich and the government.
a borrowing tax?
as if i go to the bank and borrow money to buy a house or start a business and the govrnment charges me a tax on the amount i borrow…sort of like a sales tax? maybe it could work if steeply progressive.
but it all feels creepy to me. an envy tax? robbing the innocent rich to give the greedy poor a little more to spend on plaxtic toys?
what i used to like (may still if I think about it) is a “patriotic deficit emergency surtax” also steeply progressive. of course, that still leaves the problem of the “borrowing money is cheaper than paying income tax on realized earnings” tax dodge.
Given the guv’mintal preference for homeownership, the IRS shall be further instructed to exempt the first (say) $500K of a mortgage loan for the purpose of purchasing a primary residence from any income taxation.
As for purchasing a business, yer on yer own. If you get a loan to buy a business, be sure to borrow enough to cover the additional income tax. In full knowledge that if you borrow more, you must pay even more in tax.
It turns out you can’t impose taxes without creating loopholes.
I don’t see the loophole in this. I can see things I don’t like about it. Your exemption for the first few hundred thousand may take care of most of it, though I don’t think the exemption should be limited to the case of boroowing for the purpose of buying a house. I don’t know enough to usefully think about this. But consider the following scenario.
I am not rich. Very far from it. But I have a little money saved…actually it’s the savings of three generations. Still not much. We have always been poor, but we have always saved. The savings is meant to protect our children (and ourselves) against really hard times. Also, it has been used to buy houses (a home)…it saves having to pay a bank interest on a mortgage. And in fact it becomes “savings” as it is passed on to the next generation.
This makes me a little (lot) unhappy with “wealth” taxes and “inheritance” taxes. Even poor people want to leave something to their kids as a hedge against hard times.
On the other hand, I don’t like to see the really rich use clever tax dodges to avoid paying for their “fair” share of taxes. [note “fair” here does not mean I rhink they should pay for my groceries, or groceries in retirement, “because they have more money than I do.”]
So I guess I’ll leave it there. I think you-all (the Left) need to think much more carefully before you rush out to “tax the rich” with a plan that destroys the savings of the poor. And I do think greed by the Left is just as evil as greed by “the rich.”
Maybe it’s like “national defense”.. an obscenity made necessary by the fact that there really are evil people out there we do need to have a defense against.
‘I don’t see the loophole in this. I can see things I don’t like about it. Your exemption for the first few hundred thousand may take care of most of it, though I don’t think the exemption should be limited to the case of boroowing for the purpose of buying a house. ‘
The loophole is the preferential treatment for loans for primary residences below a certain value. (In many parts of the country, a $250K limit for this would be sufficient, but not around heah, or where my kids are.) You would make the loophole larger by not restricting it (as much?)
i am certainly no expert on tax loopholes. even a tax on borrowing strikes me as probably too full of unintended consequences to be realistic. i’d rather primary Manchin and Synema, and maybe get rid of a few Senators from somall states that we have cnceeded to the Republicans for too long.
Thing is with liberals is they always go for the obvious fix…and lose. The republicans that count..that can count…are always a little more subtle. and win.
i hadn’t quite realized that dobbs was making a suggestion and that suggestion would probably work. at least eliminate the “earnings not paid out” bookkeeping nightmare and dubious constitutionality, as well as having to pay back the when the earnings turn out to be losses next year.
comment re “waiting moderation.”
comes from starting the comment before filling out the name field, which is always blank even though I am a frequent commenter and AB used to save my name without my having to reenter it every time I comment.
I thought you forgot the word Robot after the i.
well, you know how it is with robots. one power failure and they forget everything they ever knew.
sometimes my fingers brush a key and the computer prints something some place i am not looking and everything goes to hell after that.
Biden’s tax proposals are a step in the right direction
Boston Globe editorial – April 3
a wealth tax is clumsy, dangerous, and hopefully unconstitutional. seems we could make a good start just by repealing the Trump tax cut. raise the marginal rate, raise the corporate tax rate. get rid of all the damn special loopholes. any of these would, or should, be easier sells than a weath tax.