Comments on: When plutocrats call for higher taxes A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: johnhhaskell Tue, 07 Sep 2010 00:33:21 +0000 The estate tax only falls on the estates of people who are sloppily organized. It is the closest thing the country has to a voluntary tax, which on the one hand explains why it collects so little revenue, and on the other hand makes a good argument for keeping it.

By: IraStoll Sat, 04 Sep 2010 12:37:12 +0000 I have more on this here 9/rubin-and-robertson-on-estate-tax

and here 9/more-on-robertson-rubin-and-the-estate -tax

By: David.L.Smith Fri, 03 Sep 2010 13:54:55 +0000 Felix – the inheritance tax and increasing taxes on the rich are stimulative – think of all the incremental business that CPAs, tax attorneys, etc will receive! At the end of the day, the government probably will not see an appreciable increase in taxes directly from these changes, but the second derivative increases will be great.

[stated only partially tongue-in-cheek]

By: Tshak Thu, 02 Sep 2010 18:51:40 +0000 Tax rates are minimums and not maximums. If Rubin, Robertson and Buffet think that they should pay more taxes, nothing in the tax code prevents them from doing so. Personally, I think I am already fully taxed and decline to voluntarily pay more, and I appreciate Buffet, Rubin and Robertson to mind their own business.

By: SteveHamlin Thu, 02 Sep 2010 14:26:56 +0000 @DanHess “Further, if an estate tax winds up breaking up businesses, or causing equity to be sold immediately, it is decapitalizing the economy and is therefore GDP-negative, methinks.”

If someone is selling, then someone is buying, and therefore is not decapitalizing. Same with the whole “cash on the sidelines” meme.

Now, perhaps the breakup or semi-forced-sale price is less than what the original owner thinks the business is worth, but I would say that most often means the original owner is overvaluing the business, not that the estate tax is destroying value. An arms-length-transaction not under duress is a better valuation method than the original owner’s mere assertion.

And in the few cases where a business is liquidated-for-little or shuttered due to estate taxes due, then the business was worth little outside of an income stream to the proprietor (probably a lot of hidden costs, or low enough ROI to not be interesting to any capital purchaser). If I have an small business that is not worth buying after my death, then that “enterprise” was not worth much, although my labor was.

None of those destroy value – the estate tax simply forces the recognition of previously unrecognized lack-of-value.

There are many other arguments for and against the inheritance tax, but I don’t think enterprise value destruction is one of the important ones.

By: REDruin Thu, 02 Sep 2010 14:13:46 +0000 Technically, the estate tax is not gone…it’s reverted back to the old ‘no capital gains exemption’.

Let me explain. As of last year, any assets you had, on death, were automatically ‘revalued’ to the value they have on date of death. This figure is what is inherited by your heirs, and what is taxed by the estate.

This stricture is not in effect for the current year. So, that building you bought for $1 million and now worth $10? 9 million dollars is taxed for capital gains. Ditto stocks, paintings, whatever.

So, the estate tax is being reverted back to the absolute capital gains tax it used to be, minus the exemption. Still lower then most of the capital gains rates, unless you do some spectactularly bad planning.

==Bob D.

By: ericinaustin Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:52:35 +0000 Sorry,, Verb

e in austin

By: ericinaustin Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:50:08 +0000 I think that the adj. skirt implies something shady. New York has a certian number of days required to be considered a resident. He apparently was not there for that number of days and didn’t qualify. He did qualify in another state and I am sure that he paid his taxes there.
Eric in austin

By: DanHess Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:52:32 +0000 It is always interesting to see lifelong antitax capitals suddenly get socialist ‘religion’ in their old age. Robertson is not the first and he certainly won’t be the last. Buffett and Soros, while they didn’t blaze the trail, certainly turned it into a six-lane expressway.

My friend and coworker cynically says, ‘Oh that’s just an old guy trying to get into heaven.’ After a certain point, perhaps some people are too old to make good use of their money, but what why should they dictate what other people do with their money?

Further, if an estate tax winds up breaking up businesses, or causing equity to be sold immediately, it is decapitalizing the economy and is therefore GDP-negative, methinks.

By: FelixSalmon Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:06:06 +0000 Hm, good point…