Private tax returns

A place to have discussions about anything else
User avatar
otw-refugee
Director of Sandbags
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:01 pm
Location: Dallas area

Re: Private tax returns

Post by otw-refugee »

notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm Rule of law should be fair and applicable to all.
Should be ... but then again look at who writes the "laws" :ugeek:
Yes that's it, Abby Normal
Shta
Chief of Unicorn Division
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:59 pm

Re: Private tax returns

Post by Shta »

notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm Rule of law should be fair and applicable to all.
What is the origin of law?
What constitutes the law? Or what makes the law the law?
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

Shta wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:00 pm
notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:19 pm How exactly does capitalism work?

A man making $4B pays minimal taxes.
Normal folks who don't make a fraction of that in their lifetime, pay 40% tax and yet they support this rich fat fuck's tax dodging?
And where is capitalism in this mix?
I find it funny that you're more offended by some guy evading robbery than by being robbed yourself.
Weird priorities you have.
Those are actually quite common human priorities. The ultimatum game provides a good example:
The ultimatum game is a simple economics experiment first put forward by Güth, Schmittberger and Schwarze. In the experiment, two participants are placed in separate rooms; they cannot see one another but they are able to communicate. One of the participants, the proposer, is given a sum of money — let us say £100 — and is told to split it between the participants however they like.

The second participant, the responder, may take the offer or reject it. If they take the offer, the money is split and both keep their share. However, if they reject the offer, both participants end up with nothing.

The classic economic theory goes that the responder would always accept any split, even accepting a measly £1. Anything is better than nothing. But, it doesn’t always go that way. When done with participants from a similar social status, fairness comes into play. The proposer will offer closer to 50/50 splits more regularly. Further, responders are more likely to reject less equal splits, ensuring neither participant receives any money.

There appear to be two reasons why the responder would not only voluntarily reject money, but ensure that the proposer does too. The first is that the responder wants to make sure that the proposer knows their behaviour is not fair and deter them from making uneven splits in the future. This is known as the altruist punishment theory.

The second account, the self-control theory, argues that the responder is simply frustrated with the inequality of the offer and will cut off their own nose to spite the proposer’s face.
https://theovertake.com/~rivalry/the-ultimatum-game/

Humans are unreasonably obsessed with fairness. Once you notice it, you start to see it everywhere - people choosing less for themselves just to punish someone else for something considered unfair.
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

Menelmacar wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:58 pm Those guys that are the CEOs and COOs of the large corporations and banking institutions do not receive large salaries, but instead get things like stock options and the such.
Most CEOs receive large salaries and stock options and bonuses.

Example: https://www.cio.com/article/3404205/how ... ealed.html
Thus they do not pay an income or payroll tax like everyone else, and only pay on their capital gains that are cleverly manipulated by accountants taking advantage of the loopholes provided by the Special Interest that own the Leadership of both Parties and write the tax code to their advantage.
It is true that they have significantly better opportunities to avoid taxes because of the way they are paid.

Which is exactly why we should publish the tax returns of the ultra-rich.
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

Shta wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:16 pm
notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm Rule of law should be fair and applicable to all.
What is the origin of law?
What constitutes the law? Or what makes the law the law?
Social contract.
User avatar
otw-refugee
Director of Sandbags
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:01 pm
Location: Dallas area

Re: Private tax returns

Post by otw-refugee »

dont_think_twice wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:39 am
Shta wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:16 pm
notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm Rule of law should be fair and applicable to all.
What is the origin of law?
What constitutes the law? Or what makes the law the law?
Social contract.
Bwahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes that's it, Abby Normal
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

otw-refugee wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:40 am
dont_think_twice wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:39 am
Shta wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:16 pm
What is the origin of law?
What constitutes the law? Or what makes the law the law?
Social contract.
Bwahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
?
User avatar
mrbassie
Director of Sandbags
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:29 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by mrbassie »

Shta wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:16 pm
notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm Rule of law should be fair and applicable to all.
What is the origin of law?
What constitutes the law? Or what makes the law the law?
Imposition of power upon the less powerful. On the exam I would translate that to cis white males.
Shta
Chief of Unicorn Division
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:59 pm

Re: Private tax returns

Post by Shta »

dont_think_twice wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:31 am Those are actually quite common human priorities. The ultimatum game provides a good example:
Yeah, I know this experiment. Not very original, but it is good to verify the "common knowledge" once in a while, in order to weed out the parts that are lies, misconceptions, or simply outdated.

I don't think it's conclusions are applicable here though.
In a game of ultimatum, being "unreasonable" actually makes sense. You must be willing to lose the prize in order to be offered any prize in the first place.
If I knew you were going to accept any offer I give you, I'm totally going to give you absolutely nothing, duh! (Unless I have my personal reasons to do otherwise, which is not going to happen in a single, artificial encounter with a stranger in a lab).

Now, how is it different from taxes and tax evasion?
It's not the rich guy evading taxes that's your opponent. The puppet master behind a bunch of obedient suckers with guns is. Put the blame where it belongs, not where the puppet master wants you.
I don't care that one big guy evades extortion by another big guy. I care that the other big guy is extorting me (and a bunch of other people, including the former big guy, though he appears to roll pretty well on his dex saves).

These "common human priorities" ( I don't disagree they are quite common) make for a big part of why we can't have good things. Crabs in a bucket.
Oh the irony, when you place this attitude next to FOSS.
mrbassie wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:12 pm
Shta wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:16 pm
notageek wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm Rule of law should be fair and applicable to all.
What is the origin of law?
What constitutes the law? Or what makes the law the law?
Imposition of power upon the less powerful.
Yeah, you got it right, and so did dont_think_twice, I suppose.
On the exam I would translate that to cis white males.
Pussy :lol:
User avatar
mrbassie
Director of Sandbags
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:29 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by mrbassie »

Shta wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:04 pm Pussy :lol:

Does that make me a vet (as in pets, not nam?)

EDIT: How do you think I gotmy NVQ3?

EDIT HTE THIRD: [qwapt[ Yeah, you got it right, and so did dont_think_twice, I suppose. ][kwonf[ we did it better
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

Shta wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:04 pm Now, how is it different from taxes and tax evasion?
It's not the rich guy evading taxes that's your opponent. The puppet master behind a bunch of obedient suckers with guns is.
What's the difference?
Put the blame where it belongs, not where the puppet master wants you.
I think you misunderstand my point. I don't blame Jeff Bezos. He just plays the game better than anyone else. I am just advocating for policies that will make a better society. We need to design a society which works given human nature, not pretend that human nature can be banished.
I don't care that one big guy evades extortion by another big guy. I care that the other big guy is extorting me (and a bunch of other people, including the former big guy, though he appears to roll pretty well on his dex saves).
What extortion are you referring to?
Shta
Chief of Unicorn Division
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:59 pm

Re: Private tax returns

Post by Shta »

dont_think_twice wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:44 pm What extortion are you referring to?
Forcing me to pay for not throwing me into jail?
Extortion is extortion, no matter who does it and what pet name those people want to sell.

I think you misunderstand my point. I don't blame Jeff Bezos. He just plays the game better than anyone else. I am just advocating for policies that will make a better society. We need to design a society which works given human nature, not pretend that human nature can be banished.
Dunno. Maybe.
So, how does forcing him to pay make a better society?
I'd rather neither him nor me had to pay. Getting rid of the bully alone would roughly triple my income. And I'm pretty sure the overall production would increase too, as a side effect of dropping a bunch of other silly "because I said so"s, so I could get more value per $$ on top of tripling my income.
What was your point again?


@mrbassie, I don't understand your reply
saellaven
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:15 pm

Re: Private tax returns

Post by saellaven »

dont_think_twice wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:13 pm I believe that under certain circumstances, the government needs to have the ability to hold citizens at gunpoint and take their stuff.
How very authoritarian of you. What happens when you, personally, are on the other end of the gun?
What are these rights you keep speaking of? You mean we live in a country which has a document that states that the government must allow citizens to do certain things, which are referred to as "rights"? We should design the government which results in the "best" society possible, and if that means changing the rights, then we should do so. The only useful question is what is the "best" society, and what government provides/supports that?
The Constitution gives the federal government exactly 17 powers and, due to fear of abuse, further explicitly declares that all powers not explicitly granted to the government belong to the people.

and I 100% guarantee you that your definition of the "best" society and my definition of the "best" society won't be anything similar to each other, so, by what right do you have to force your authoritarianism on me?
People with a lot of money can use that money to influence the government. That isn't fair, or good for our democracy. So we have to balance individuals right to privacy with a societies need to limit the power of the rich. Publishing the tax returns of the ultra-rich provides some minor check on the their power, and is only a minor invasion of their privacy.
There's a difference between wealth and income...
Of course. I'm not sure what that has to do with the discussion.[/quote]

You brought up wealth - "people with a lot of money" and said it isn't fair. Wealth and income are different things. Why do you want to punish income if your problem is wealth?
... and a government with less influence in our life is a government with less power for the wealthy to abuse.
I agree. All else held equal, a smaller weaker government is better. But all else isn't held equal, as the last 4000 years of history has taught us. And attempts to build societies which ignore history don't tend to work out well.
Authoritarian governments which single out individuals or small groups for punishment based on arbitrary criteria DO work out well in your mind?
...and it isn't just the rich that abuse power against us. So do petty bureaucrats.
Yea, so do non-petty bureaucrats. And petty non-bureaucrats. Maybe I can simply it - everyone abuses power. So we need a government that limits the ability of people to abuse their power.
If you're going to publish the tax returns of the rich, why not everyone?
As I stated above, there is a privacy cost to publishing tax returns. We should only pay that cost when the benefits are worth it. My contention is that the ultra-rich are a bigger risk to democracy, and thus for them, the cost/benefit calculation comes out on the side of publishing their tax returns. For ordinary people, there is much less societal risk, so there is no need to publish tax returns.

As you suspected, I am not going to publish my tax returns. What does that prove? I already conceded from the start that publishing tax returns is an invasion of privacy, which is obviously something I don't want. Similarly, Jeff Bezos doesn't want his tax return published. Both of our opinions are irrelevant to the question at hand.
Do you understand the concept of equal protection under the law? And again, you keep conflating wealth with income. I reiterate that, if you feel the tax returns of other people should be publicly available, why not start with your own if you have nothing to hide? What gives you the right to demand the public disclosure of the private information of other people, just to satisfy your idle curiosity, if you aren't willing to surrender your own privacy?
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

saellaven wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:39 am
dont_think_twice wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:13 pm I believe that under certain circumstances, the government needs to have the ability to hold citizens at gunpoint and take their stuff.
How very authoritarian of you. What happens when you, personally, are on the other end of the gun?
If that is an authoritarian viewpoint, then 99.999% of people who have ever lived have been authoritarian. The term kinda loses it meaning when you use it like that. As for your question, I'm not sure what you are asking.
What are these rights you keep speaking of? You mean we live in a country which has a document that states that the government must allow citizens to do certain things, which are referred to as "rights"? We should design the government which results in the "best" society possible, and if that means changing the rights, then we should do so. The only useful question is what is the "best" society, and what government provides/supports that?
The Constitution gives the federal government exactly 17 powers and, due to fear of abuse, further explicitly declares that all powers not explicitly granted to the government belong to the people.

and I 100% guarantee you that your definition of the "best" society and my definition of the "best" society won't be anything similar to each other, so, by what right do you have to force your authoritarianism on me?
Sure, but if enough people agree, we can change the constitution, which would then change what "rights" we have. It's just a legal document.

I also agree that we would differ on definition of the "best" society. I would prefer a system in which every individual has the ability to consent to every specific law - but nobody has actually made anything anywhere close to that work. So we are left with things like "representative democracy" as the forms of government which do a reasonable job of respecting individual autonomy and distributing scarce resources. While they are not perfect, they are the best thing we have right now. And because of that, I consider them to be "legitimate" - if a fair representative democracy passes a law that says the government can point a gun at you and take your bookshelf, then that is the reason it is right.

Now go back to that piece of paper we call the constitution. You never signed it, did you? Why do you think it grants you rights? If only legitimate actions are those you individually agreed to with the other party, then the constitution should be meaningless to you.
There's a difference between wealth and income...
Of course. I'm not sure what that has to do with the discussion.
You brought up wealth - "people with a lot of money" and said it isn't fair. Wealth and income are different things. Why do you want to punish income if your problem is wealth?
I'm not sure what you are talking about. (1) I didn't say that it "people with a lot of money" isn't fair. (2) I didn't propose "punishing income". I proposed publishing tax returns based on wealth.
... and a government with less influence in our life is a government with less power for the wealthy to abuse.
I agree. All else held equal, a smaller weaker government is better. But all else isn't held equal, as the last 4000 years of history has taught us. And attempts to build societies which ignore history don't tend to work out well.
Authoritarian governments which single out individuals or small groups for punishment based on arbitrary criteria DO work out well in your mind?
No, of course not. Why would you think I believe that?
...and it isn't just the rich that abuse power against us. So do petty bureaucrats.
Yea, so do non-petty bureaucrats. And petty non-bureaucrats. Maybe I can simply it - everyone abuses power. So we need a government that limits the ability of people to abuse their power.
If you're going to publish the tax returns of the rich, why not everyone?
As I stated above, there is a privacy cost to publishing tax returns. We should only pay that cost when the benefits are worth it. My contention is that the ultra-rich are a bigger risk to democracy, and thus for them, the cost/benefit calculation comes out on the side of publishing their tax returns. For ordinary people, there is much less societal risk, so there is no need to publish tax returns.

As you suspected, I am not going to publish my tax returns. What does that prove? I already conceded from the start that publishing tax returns is an invasion of privacy, which is obviously something I don't want. Similarly, Jeff Bezos doesn't want his tax return published. Both of our opinions are irrelevant to the question at hand.
Do you understand the concept of equal protection under the law?
Sure, it is probably the best counter argument to my proposal I can think of.
And again, you keep conflating wealth with income.
Not sure why you say that. I am arguing that the tax returns of the wealthy should be published. How am I conflating wealth with income?
I reiterate that, if you feel the tax returns of other people should be publicly available, why not start with your own if you have nothing to hide? What gives you the right to demand the public disclosure of the private information of other people, just to satisfy your idle curiosity, if you aren't willing to surrender your own privacy?
I've already answered this question multiple times on this thread. You should read my answers, and respond to the specific response I provided, rather than just making the same point over and over again.
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

Shta wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:10 am
dont_think_twice wrote: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:44 pm What extortion are you referring to?
Forcing me to pay for not throwing me into jail?
Extortion is extortion, no matter who does it and what pet name those people want to sell.
Fine. If you are going to use non-standard definitions for words, you should probably define them clearly so we are all on the same page as you.
I think you misunderstand my point. I don't blame Jeff Bezos. He just plays the game better than anyone else. I am just advocating for policies that will make a better society. We need to design a society which works given human nature, not pretend that human nature can be banished.
Dunno. Maybe.
So, how does forcing him to pay make a better society?
Not sure what you are asking. I'm not proposing forcing anyone to pay anything. I am proposing publishing his tax return.

Are you asking how Jeff Bezos paying taxes makes a better society?
I'd rather neither him nor me had to pay. Getting rid of the bully alone would roughly triple my income.
Again, it is difficult to follow you. I assume you are referring to the US government as "the bully"? And they are taking two thirds of your income? You must be doing something wrong. Nobody pays anywhere near that in federal taxes in the US. I would get a tax attorney to look at your filings.
And I'm pretty sure the overall production would increase too, as a side effect of dropping a bunch of other silly "because I said so"s, so I could get more value per $$ on top of tripling my income.
What was your point again?
My point was that as a check on the power of the ultra-wealthy, we should publish their tax returns. Not sure what you libertarian fantasy has to do with that.
User avatar
Spent
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:47 pm
Location: Balmer MD

Re: Private tax returns

Post by Spent »

There is no justifiable reason to publish anyones tax return. It won't make society better, unless public shaming of the wealthy is your cup of tea.

Any one of us could have been Jeff Bezos. All we had to do was be smart enough to start selling books, in the mid 90's, over the internet, out of a garage. But none of us were, that's why Jeff Bezos has the money he has. He was able to do what no one else could.
User avatar
dont_think_twice
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:15 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by dont_think_twice »

Spent wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:45 pm There is no justifiable reason to publish anyones tax return. It won't make society better, unless public shaming of the wealthy is your cup of tea.
Norway publishes all tax returns. Seems to work out okay for them.
Any one of us could have been Jeff Bezos. All we had to do was be smart enough to start selling books, in the mid 90's, over the internet, out of a garage. But none of us were, that's why Jeff Bezos has the money he has. He was able to do what no one else could.
Good for him. He is rich, and he deserves to be rich. Publishing his tax return won’t change any of that.
User avatar
Spent
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 242
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:47 pm
Location: Balmer MD

Re: Private tax returns

Post by Spent »

dont_think_twice wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:54 pm
Spent wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:45 pm There is no justifiable reason to publish anyones tax return. It won't make society better, unless public shaming of the wealthy is your cup of tea.
Norway publishes all tax returns. Seems to work out okay for them.
Any one of us could have been Jeff Bezos. All we had to do was be smart enough to start selling books, in the mid 90's, over the internet, out of a garage. But none of us were, that's why Jeff Bezos has the money he has. He was able to do what no one else could.
Good for him. He is rich, and he deserves to be rich. Publishing his tax return won’t change any of that.
Who cares if Norway publishes tax returns, this isn't Norway. Publishing tax returns also won't accomplish anything.
User avatar
mrbassie
Director of Sandbags
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:29 am

Re: Private tax returns

Post by mrbassie »

Shta wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 12:10 am @mrbassie, I don't understand your reply
That's cool, neither do I.
saellaven
Bride Kidnapping Expert
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:15 pm

Re: Private tax returns

Post by saellaven »

dont_think_twice wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:56 pm
saellaven wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:39 am
dont_think_twice wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:13 pm I believe that under certain circumstances, the government needs to have the ability to hold citizens at gunpoint and take their stuff.
How very authoritarian of you. What happens when you, personally, are on the other end of the gun?
If that is an authoritarian viewpoint, then 99.999% of people who have ever lived have been authoritarian. The term kinda loses it meaning when you use it like that. As for your question, I'm not sure what you are asking.
You justify demanding the release of tax information from people richer than you, because of the influence they can wield over the government. What stops the poorer people in your community from making the exact same claim about you?

You seem fairly well educated and have a decent job... I'm sure you're earning above your city's median income. To the people at the bottom levels of income, you have far more influence than they do. Maybe you're even friends with some local politicians, judges, celebrities, etc - I know that I am. I'm a member of a couple local chambers of commerce, where politicians like to come rub elbows with business owners, I have high ranking government officials as my business clients, I grew up with my town's supervisor (his dad was my dad's boss), a friend's dad is a state senator, etc. It's just as easy for me to get a word or two with them as it is for Bezos to get a word or two in with a national politician, but someone in the hood doesn't have those connections, so how long before they demand yours or my tax return? After all, that is your justification for demanding Bezos' return.
Sure, but if enough people agree, we can change the constitution, which would then change what "rights" we have. It's just a legal document.

I also agree that we would differ on definition of the "best" society. I would prefer a system in which every individual has the ability to consent to every specific law - but nobody has actually made anything anywhere close to that work. So we are left with things like "representative democracy" as the forms of government which do a reasonable job of respecting individual autonomy and distributing scarce resources. While they are not perfect, they are the best thing we have right now. And because of that, I consider them to be "legitimate" - if a fair representative democracy passes a law that says the government can point a gun at you and take your bookshelf, then that is the reason it is right.

Now go back to that piece of paper we call the constitution. You never signed it, did you? Why do you think it grants you rights? If only legitimate actions are those you individually agreed to with the other party, then the constitution should be meaningless to you.
Thomas Jefferson argued that no law should last for more than 20 years, because any such law would be an imposition on the next generation. And today, we live with many such laws, laws which are firmly Unconstitutional, but were often upheld by a Supreme Court that itself was abused and held hostage (see FDR).

And yes, you can amend the Constitution... we did so for weighty matters like ensuring that nobody could ever be owned as a slave again (unless it is your federal government, holding others as slaves, forcing them to give up the fruits of their work to be redistributed to buy votes as the politicians see fit), but it would require an actual mandate from the people, something which the politicians have decided is too hard, resulting in usurping of power illegally instead.

...and I'm sure you were just fine with Jim Crow laws and such, because that's what "representative democracy" gave us. Mob rule is legitimate. You live in a scary, scary world where you're ok with that my friend.
There's a difference between wealth and income...
Of course. I'm not sure what that has to do with the discussion.
You brought up wealth - "people with a lot of money" and said it isn't fair. Wealth and income are different things. Why do you want to punish income if your problem is wealth?
I'm not sure what you are talking about. (1) I didn't say that it "people with a lot of money" isn't fair. (2) I didn't propose "punishing income". I proposed publishing tax returns based on wealth.
Do you listen to yourself? You're demanding tax returns (income) based on someone's wealth. You keep conflating those two things. You can be wealthy with no income, and you can have a ton of income while building no wealth.

What do you do with the Rockefellers, whom have set up a family trust that owns the intergenerational assets, only loaning them out to current beneficiaries so that the wealth stays protected in the trust, where it is exempt from estate taxes* while at the same time, allowing you to have little to no income yourself despite leading a life of vast wealth.


* a trust is set up by a grantor(s) and may pay estate taxes upon the death of the grantor, but from that point on, is a separate entity which never dies and, thus, is exempt from future estate taxes. The trust is run by trustees for the benefit of the beneficiaries, whom can receive the benefits of the trust, like use of property and loans from the trust which are not subject to income on the part of the beneficiary. Additionally, if the the beneficiary becomes wealthy themselves, they may intentionally pay usurious rates on to funnel money into the estate to protect it from future taxation. ie, you can rent a mansion from the estate for $10 million/year to grant the estate another $400 million over 40 years to prevent that $400 million from being picked up in the estate tax.

I agree. All else held equal, a smaller weaker government is better. But all else isn't held equal, as the last 4000 years of history has taught us. And attempts to build societies which ignore history don't tend to work out well.
Authoritarian governments which single out individuals or small groups for punishment based on arbitrary criteria DO work out well in your mind?
No, of course not. Why would you think I believe that?
It is exactly what you're proposing... Let's target this group you don't like, based on arbitrary criteria, to punish them just because you don't like them.
...and it isn't just the rich that abuse power against us. So do petty bureaucrats.
Yea, so do non-petty bureaucrats. And petty non-bureaucrats. Maybe I can simply it - everyone abuses power. So we need a government that limits the ability of people to abuse their power.
So get rid of the power... if the government doesn't have power, the wealthy can't abuse it. It was only when the government began to exert power that the wealthy felt the need to control it. Bill Gates was never involved in DC politics until the federal government went after Microsoft.
As you suspected, I am not going to publish my tax returns. What does that prove? I already conceded from the start that publishing tax returns is an invasion of privacy, which is obviously something I don't want. Similarly, Jeff Bezos doesn't want his tax return published. Both of our opinions are irrelevant to the question at hand.
and yet you call for his returns anyway. Hypocrisy much?
And again, you keep conflating wealth with income.
Not sure why you say that. I am arguing that the tax returns of the wealthy should be published. How am I conflating wealth with income?
Wealth = lots of assets. Income = lots of money coming in this year. They're completely different things and they aren't directly connected. If I blow all my income on hookers and blow, I'm not going to be wealthy (see random athlete here), while I can be wealthy and structure my life so I have little to no income.
Post Reply