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By: TFF Fri, 27 Apr 2012 13:02:44 +0000 MrRFox, if you were a little less full of yourself you would be easier to talk to. Reasonable people would not interpret “100% tax rates will result in a variety of evasion techniques rather than 100% tax collection” as “plutocrats do not deserve to be taxed”. They may both be reasons to object to your suggestion, but they are by no means equivalent.

I agree that your proposal would cause most/all of the big money to flee the country. If that was your intention, then why didn’t you say so from the start instead of repeatedly talking about the need for revenue that your proposal wouldn’t generate?

Here’s a deal for you — I’ll say what I mean (thus you can trust that I don’t have a soft spot in my heart for plutocrats). You say what you mean (and don’t change horses midstream). Will make for a much more civilized conversation, ESPECIALLY if you can put aside the name calling.

By: MrRFox Fri, 27 Apr 2012 04:03:33 +0000 I do hope you all appreciate what a struggle it is for “a complete idiot” like myself to keep-up with you intellectual Titans in debate – but one must soldier-on as best one can.

TFF, believe it or not, has one good point here – it’s going to possibly be impossible to prevent the plutocrats and their SPAWN from liquidating the old guard’s assets, moving the cash out of the country and themselves along with it; think – Mark Rich. That’s not optimal – the Feds need the money – but it is OK.

Raising revenue it only part of the objective. The more important part is preventing the emergence of an hereditary aristocracy in the US. Even if they manage to flee with their cash, at least they are gone – and the malignant influence they have on American political and social life will be gone too. Sometimes you have to settle for half-a-loaf, said the “complete idiot”.

By: TFF Thu, 26 Apr 2012 19:44:56 +0000 Four possible responses to a 100% inheritance tax (not meant to be a comprehensive list of all possibilities):

(1) Give the permitted amount to your heirs and patriotically hand over the remainder to the US Government.

(2) Set up a charitable trust. Appoint your heirs as trustees for the fund and pay them a 2% “asset management fee” plus expenses. (On a $100M estate that would come to $2M annually.)

(3) Buy a life insurance policy that names your heirs as owners/beneficiaries. (Pay for the policy through a pet corporation to dodge direct ownership of the policy.)

…and finally…
(4) Buy citizenship in some foreign country without an estate tax. Renounce your US citizenship. Problem solved.

You can definitely raise more money by restricting our inheritance laws and raising the tax rates, however if you go too far in that direction (a 100% tax rate is certainly too far) then the wealthiest will simply take advantage of #4. You end up taxing the MODERATELY wealthy, who don’t have enough to be worth inventing a tax dodge, while the TRUE PLUTOCRATS end up paying nothing.

If MrRFox comes up with a plausible way to address that final tax dodge, then I’ll definitely listen. Instead he spouts emotional rhetoric and assumes that anybody who believes he hasn’t thought this through carefully must be “soft on plutocrats”.

The true plutocrats have greater loyalty to their wealth than to any country.

By: TFF Thu, 26 Apr 2012 18:15:43 +0000 @SteveHamlin, that’s an interesting analysis!

“Now, it turns out that the optimal tax rate for growth is easy to calculate. The data cooperates very nicely. There is a relationship, an easy to estimate curve which I’ve modestly called the “Kimel curve.” And the high point in the Kimel curve is somewhere around 65%.”

Works for me… You’ll collect MUCH more estate tax at 50% or 65% than you will at 99% or 100%. And you’ve got a better chance of getting it passed, too!

If MrRFox weren’t a complete idiot, he’d get behind a proposal like that.