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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Death Tax™ = Environmental Destruction & Starvation

Yep. You read that right. Read on and become Enlightened™, friends. (We’ll type v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y for the KosTards who might have mistakenly stumbled in.)

Let us begin:

Here in Florida (and all across America) families that have owned cattle & farming operations for generations are finding that their property values are sky-rocketing, with the booming housing market forces driving up all real estate prices. In the past, before The Death Tax™ came about, one generation would hand down the land to the next and, in turn, would keep that land from becoming developed.

Even after The Death Tax™ came into being, (but before sky-rocketing land prices) many of the families were able to squeeze by and keep the land in the family, in production, relatively “green” and, thus, preventing “asphaltification“.

Well, now that the market value of land has gone through the roof (pun intended), quite a few of the families are finding that they can no longer afford to hand down THEIR OWN LAND, that they’ve worked for GENERATIONS, to their children & grandchildren, due the fact that they’d actually end up having to pay the government almost as much money as they’d ever be able to make off the land by continued farming or ranching.

So, instead of keeping the land in a relatively “green” state, more and more of these families are selling the land to developers, taking the money and running, (or investing it or putting it into trust funds for their heirs) and seeing the land being turned into huge housing develoments and shopping centers. Instead of having open range land or farms that act as sponges for rainfall, habitat for wildlife and in food production for wildlife and human beings, we have ever-increasing numbers of “zero setback cookie cutter developments” that do nothing except add to urban sprawl, destroy huge areas of native flora & fauna and suck up limited water resources, while preventing said water resources from being refilled by increasing stormwater run-off and decreasing aquifer recharge through natural percolation.

We could go on and on, but keeping it simple for the Demented Urchins of KosTardia™ is what we’re all about here.

So, to sum it all up, class: “The Death Tax = Environmental Destruction & Food Production Capacity Loss”

F.E.T.E.

PS: If you REALLY want to see an all-out, popcorn & beer-requiring, Free-For-All Steel Cage Deathmatch o’ Doom™ between the Screeching EnviroLoons™ and the TaxYourAssEvenAfterDeath Donks™, pass the word around and get this rolling and on to the Sooper Seekrit VRWC Election ‘06 Talking Points Agenda™.

59 Responses to “Death Tax™ = Environmental Destruction & Starvation”
  1. Cheapshot911 Comment by Cheapshot911 UNITED STATES

    Thanks BC,

    Death to death taxes.
    Here’s some crap they hope to put us back to sleep with..

    Reality: The few estates that pay any estate tax at all generally pay less than 20 percent of the value of their estate in taxes.

    …which is still crushing to a 1000 acre farmer.
    But hey, the list of victims is dwindling..

  2. sig94 Comment by sig94 UNITED STATES

    There’s one thing that these leftards cannot get by; the power to tax is the power to destroy. If we give them the power, they will destroy us.

    In their greed to get at “revenue” (YOUR dollars)these lying SOB’s will stop at nothing.

  3. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    …which is still crushing to a 1000 acre farmer.
    But hey, the list of victims is dwindling..

    So is the list of small farmers. Even in Wisconsin the only farms that are making it belong to big farmers and corporations.

  4. RobertHuntingdon Comment by RobertHuntingdon

    So is the list of small farmers. Even in Wisconsin the only farms that are making it belong to big farmers and corporations.

    Which of course leads to more and more “superfarms” that are all about mass production with no concern for the health content of the so-called food… why are the libtards NOT up in arms over this?? They are the nutcases who are the primary drivers of vegan idiocy… and when will the retardicans wake up and realize that organic actually IS good for you and take over from the nutcases who only care about organic vegan products, making it insanely expensive to get organic meats because nobody produces it…

    GRRR…

    End the farm subsidy bullcrap (all of it goes into Kennedy and other fatcat pockets anyway). End the death tax. End the Dumbocraps too. World would be a MUCH better place in five minutes flat.

    RH

  5. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy

    B.C.,

    Nice summation.

    I recently moved from Pasco Co., FL myself - the Death Tax plays a significant part in the constantly-encroaching spread of ever-increasing “Winds of Wiffenpoof” so-called ‘communities.’

    The old folks in the old families can’t afford to pass the entirety of the ranch properties, so they have to sell them off in (large) pieces. Unscrupulous developers (but I repeat myself) buy up everything they can, slap together another particle-board-and-cinder-block “kingdom” within its obligatory ‘Wall of Wealth’, declare bankruptcy and bail on the whole thing the instant the last house is sold.

    Since no effort is made toward ensuring that the surrounding infrastructure can SUPPORT another 1,500 himes/families, the roads can’t handle the influx of traffic, the schools can’t handle the influx of kids (none of whom can be LEFT BEHIND - no matter that they’re holding overcrowded classes in port-o-lets), and soon everyone realizes that for the sake of their families they need to find somewhere else to live.
    But hey! Thanks to the ever-constant Death Tax, more land has just been ‘freed-up’ and ….why, there’s a very nice ‘community’ being built just some north of here!

    ….no, wait…

    Death Tax = Crappy Education

    - MuscleDaddy

  6. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™ UNITED STATES

    …and when will the retardicans wake up and realize that organic actually IS good for you…

    Sorry, Robert, but “organic” only works on limited-scale farming endeavors.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s all good and well to have the goal of limiting the amount of “inorganic chemicals” used to produce our food, but keeping crop pests (insects, fungus, etc.) in check, as well as giving the plants the needed nutrients to thrive, without using “inorganic chemicals“, is never going to be possible in large-scale farming operations. (GM technology can make a HUGE dent in this, but THAT is being fought, tooth & nail, by the Loons.)

  7. Unregistered Trackback by BIG DOG'S WEBLOG UNITED STATES

    Round Up…

    Alabama Improper has achy feet after finally wearing real shoes.
    Bushwack is organizing a BBQ in support of the troops.
    Raven wants people to stop insulting our intelligence with regard to ILLEGAL immigration.
    BC at Anti-Idiotarian Rotweiller discusses…

  8. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™ UNITED STATES

    MuscleDaddy, you got it, buddy.

    I’m just a bit farther South than you were, (Read: Hillsborough) and just about every old, small farming and ranching family in our area has gotten out of the business. Even a lot of the big ones have sold to developers as the patriarchs have approached their twilight years.

    There are developments going up around here with tens of thousands of houses and single, two-lane roads leading to them. (It’s REALLY fun when they start the road-widening projects AFTER they let the developments be built.)

    Fuggin’ idjits.

  9. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    At last! A subject that I can say I know a few things about: The unearned windfall tax, the highest and best use restrictions on farm property and zoning and development laws, otherwise known as why do you let the politicians who are on the take write the laws? However, I am still at work. I’ll drop my two cents on the table later.

  10. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    Here’s what we’re facing:

    1) A 200 acre family farm/ranch owned by my family since 1946,
    2) Skyrocketing land values that have made the estate worth millions,
    3) Dwindling agricultural returns,
    4) A 47% estate tax,
    5) The formation of three separate corporations and the need for extensive consultation with estate planning attorneys (and the expense of thousands of dollars) in an effort to keep our place in the family, as an agricultural enterprise,
    6) The reality that when my mother dies, we’ll probably sell out to a developer, take the tax hit, pocket the money and retire.

    The shitheads at CBPP are abysmally stupid fucktards.

  11. bigdicksplace Comment by bigdicksplace

    Perfectly written sir.
    Even the simplist should be able to understand. Not the Libs, but those just above them on the food chain.

  12. RobertHuntingdon Comment by RobertHuntingdon

    Sorry, Robert, but “organic” only works on limited-scale farming endeavors.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s all good and well to have the goal of limiting the amount of “inorganic chemicals” used to produce our food, but keeping crop pests (insects, fungus, etc.) in check, as well as giving the plants the needed nutrients to thrive, without using “inorganic chemicals“, is never going to be possible in large-scale farming operations. (GM technology can make a HUGE dent in this, but THAT is being fought, tooth & nail, by the Loons.)

    Yes truly “organic” as it is currently defined is only workable on small-scale stuff. However, I STRONGLY disagree with the assertion that pesticides will “never” be “possible” to abandon. It is already possible. Hell they did just fine for a few thousand years with simple crop rotation. End NPK fertilization and the bugs will disappear. NPK is a HORRIBLE corruption of the plant. It forces it to grow and to look “green” while it is literally rotting to death from the inside out. And that’s what those annoying pesky bugs were created for — to eat the unhealthy stuff for us before we are made sick by it.

    In the early 1900s the Senate knew the farmland was pretty much denuded of the mineral content essential to proper food production. And they have done nothing to fix the problem since. Chemical fertilizers aren’t the best, but if they had ALL the minerals needed in them they would at least be better than nothing.

    End farm subsidies as they exist now. That will at least fix the fraud. Then subsidize the cost of the more expensive “comprehensive” artificial fertilizers (ones that contain ALL the natural mineral content) and the “natural” fertilizers (cowdung — horse and pig aren’t safe to use).

    Problem solved. You probably wouldn’t even have to outlaw grain-fed meat raising, because the quality of the feed would go up so much… although indoor should be outlawed and the fencing should encompass at least four times the amount of square footage the animals are expected to take up at max size… let them get some exercise and fresh air and watch the need for antibiotics disappear…

    By the way, what is the GM technology you speak of? I suspect I’ve heard of it before but can’t remember for sure…

    RH

  13. juandos Comment by juandos UNITED STATES

    Well this is hardly a new tactic for the liberal moonbats…

    No one really expected anything but Krugman-like eonomics from those fine thieves at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities did you?…

    I guess you noted (thanking cheapshot for the link) following whine by those CBPP folks, right? “Permanently repealing the estate tax would cost roughly $1 trillion over the first ten years of extension, 2012-2021“…:lol:

    What a joke! If these folks were seriously interested in getting it all down, the national debt and the deficit then there are all those program spawned by the Great Society song & dance that could use a dumping…

    I mean just what is the exit strategy for the war on poverty?

    The financial cost of the War on Poverty has been enormous. Between 1965 and 2000 welfare spending cost taxpayers $8.29 trillion (in constant 2000 dollars). By contrast, the cost to the United States of fighting World War II was $3.3 trillion (expressed in 2000 dollars). Thus, the cost of the War on Poverty has been more than twice the price tag for defeating Germany and Japan in World War II, after adjusting for inflation

  14. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™ UNITED STATES

    However, I STRONGLY disagree with the assertion that pesticides will “never” be “possible” to abandon.

    We’ll continue this discussion on another thread that deals with it. Right now we’re discussing The Death Tax and ITS impact on the environment & food supply capacity. ;)

  15. LC Moriarty Comment by LC Moriarty UNITED STATES

    Here’s the matter as it stands.

    You generate income and are taxed on it.

    You purchase enough ag property to make a living (these days, generally over 500 acres) and and are (typically) taxed at the time of purchase.

    You pay property taxes on your holdings.

    Any income you generate on the property is subject to taxes.

    If you sell the property, the transaction is taxable.

    The State reserves, at any time, to tell you what you can do on your land, fine you or seize the place subject to the whim of a bureaucrat who’s never seen the place simply because you might be at odds with a Federal regulation you’ve never heard of.

    The Gummint reserves the right, by Executive Order, to turn off your water, used for generations, at any time.

    … and after all of that the State wants more. You’re not even allowed to will the place to your heirs for the same agricultural purposes as you acquired it without being taxed to the point of being forced to sell it.

    I had a conversation with a rancher a while ago in which he brought up the topic of “property rights”- I nearly broke out laughing.

    Here’s another little morsel of bullshit from these dickheads:

    Further, the exemption level is scheduled to rise to $3.5 million ($7 million for a couple) in 2009 under current law.

    What they’re not telling you is what’s going to happen to the estate tax in 2010.

    It returns to baseline.

    Look for lots of deaths by “natural causes” in ‘09.

  16. juandos Comment by juandos UNITED STATES

    Speaking of, “morsel of bullshit from these dickheads” (good one Moriarty) thank your lucky stars you aren’t living in King county (the area in and around Seattle) in Washinton state: Pacific Legal Foundation today served King County Executive Officer Ron Sims, the Metropolitan King County Council and King County with a lawsuit intended to invalidate the county’s recently adopted—and highly controversial—“65/10 rule.” The county ordinance, passed in the middle of the night last October, requires rural property owners in King County to set aside 50 to 65% of their property in a permanent state of “natural vegetation,” and prohibits building structures or improvements such as a home, barn, driveway, or outbuildings on more than 10% of their land.

  17. Unregistered Comment by Steve1776 UNITED STATES

    LC Moriarty,

    I’m not a lawyer, but have you thought about forming a trust that would own the farm and would not be able to sell it? Since a trust is a legal “person” under the law and does not die the farm could remain in perpetuity.

    That’s how the rich do it. That’s why the Kennedy money has lasted generations.

  18. RobertHuntingdon Comment by RobertHuntingdon

    Hmm… if a trust is a legal “person” under the law, then can it vote?

    Maybe the dhimmicrats weren’t stealing the elections with dead people after all. Maybe they were using trust funds instead!

    :lol:

    RH

  19. Stephen Macklin Comment by Stephen Macklin UNITED STATES

    It’s time to kill the death tax once and for all.

    And just for fun let’s take out the Income Robbing Slimebags while we’re at it.

  20. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    What they’re not telling you is what’s going to happen to the estate tax in 2010.

    It returns to baseline.

    Look for lots of deaths by “natural causes” in ‘09.

    Close, but no cigar. The Exemption Equivalent Unified Credit rises to 3.5 Million per person in 2009. In 2010, it becomes unlimited, or as we in the estate planning field some times say, 2010 will be the “Throw Momma From the Train” year. As for it returning to baseline in 2011, my response would be “Baseline for which year?” If your answer is 2002 or 2003, when the Ex. Equ. UC was 1.0 million per person, then you are correct.

  21. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™ UNITED STATES

    We’ve got 1 acre lots selling for over $50,000 in the unincorporated part of our county at the moment. Figure the Death Tax on a 500 or 1,000 acre family farm/ranch that butts up against a development where the land is going for $200,000-$300,000 per…

  22. Unregistered Comment by dasbow UNITED STATES

    I’m sick of this tax being referred to as the ‘Death Tax’. Let’s call it what it really is - Grave Robbing.

  23. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952 UNITED STATES

    What these tax lovers always fail to mention is the idea that many heirs are forced to sell the land to pay the taxes…..not use it as was hoped. A heartbreaking form of robbery.

  24. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    There are all sorts of pros and cons to the estate tax. Since I know how few people are actually affected by it, at least at the federal level, I general object to it being characterized as a “death tax.” My old wills professor referred to it as a “sucker tax”, because for the most part, only suckers paid it. I do recognize that there are significant exceptions to the rule, the most prominant being “the family farm” and “the family business”. Even the attorneys I know who favor some sort of estate tax agree that these are two instances where the system is broken. The primary hit in the family farm scenario is that the IRS will typically not accept the valuation of the farmland as farmland, due to the expansion of suburbs, cities, and towns, which make the land far more valuable if used for purposes other than farming. The response has been section 2032A of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides for valuation at something other than the “highest and best use” standard that would otherwise be imposed. It also imposes restrictions, such as the continued use of the property as farm land for a period of years by the heirs, and a substantial recapture tax if it is not used as such for that period of years. That is the extent of my knowledge on the subject, and I think it reflects continued poor choices and long-term policy decisions on the part of Congress, but I don’t make the law.

  25. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    I’m not a lawyer, but have you thought about forming a trust that would own the farm and would not be able to sell it? Since a trust is a legal “person” under the law and does not die the farm could remain in perpetuity.

    I think you would have a little problem with a less-well known “gift” from Congress and the Internal Revenue Service: The Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax. In a nutshell, this taxes the distribution of wealth to any generation not directly below the generation that earned it. My understanding is that this was an attempt to close the loopholes exploited through the use of “dynasty trusts” like the ones benefiting the Swimmer and other “old-money” families. I have yet to tangle with an estate plan that triggered a problem with it, so I really don’t have a lot of practical experience in dealing with them.

  26. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    I’m sick of this tax being referred to as the ‘Death Tax’. Let’s call it what it really is - Grave Robbing.

    When earning my LL.M. in tax law, I attended a debate between Bill Gates, Sr. (For those of you outside the NW, that means BIG legal clout) and Mark Garvey, who is also a BIG name in the local legal scene. They were discussing the pros and cons of the estate tax. I think about it a lot. I have no doubt that it works unjust results in the case of family farms and many small family owned businesses. However, do we want to abolish altogether a tax that prevents wholesale transfers of wealth to generations that did absolutely nothing to earn it? Isn’t that the kind of thing that creates aristocracies? I’m not talking about Mom and Dad leaving behind a half-million or million dollar estate. I’m talking about people who amass estates in the tens or hundreds of millions, or even billions. Even with a modest estate tax at 2009 levels, do little Johnny and Susie really need the 50 million dollars, or will 33 million be enough? The other thing to consider is that the fortunes are sometimes the result of the original largess of Uncle Sam. Sr. stated (so no, I don’t know where exactly he got his information) that Uncle Sam is the biggest venture capitalist there is. If you benefitted from his initial investment, is it really so objectionable to pay it back with interest at a later date? (not that I’m saying that is what Uncle actually does with the money-that’s a separate issue.)

    I’m not in favor of the bad examples other LCs have illustrated on this thread, so y’all can aim the flames elsewhere. But consider this. Many here have mentioned in the past that this country owes you nothing but the chance to pursue happiness. Why should this country owe you the opportunity to leave a mountain of money that the next five generations of your descendants can live off of without raising a pinkie finger in effort. Maybe your great-grandson is a spoiled ne’er do well that you would just as soon kick around the block as support for the rest of your life. Do you think previous generations of Kennedys would actually proud of the Swimmer? Give me a break. Let me be clear. I am not talking about Mom or Dad or Grandpa, or Great-Aunt Hattie leaving you a little something. I don’t know too many RATIONAL people who would object to it. I am talking about the transfer of wealth that creates defacto royalty. It does not benefit the country, and on some level, strikes me as anti-democratic. Sr. referred to it as the “unearned windfall tax”, and putting aside the special problems it creates for family farms, which represent a minority of those affected by it, and the effect on family businesses, which help to generate it in the first place, I think Sr.’s description is far more accurate and truthful than the characterization of it as the Death Tax. Unless the deceased was sitting on an estate worth several million dollars and failed to do adequate estate planning, then in MOST cases, the tax man cometh not when someone croaks, and calling it the Death Tax is unnecessarily dramatic.

  27. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    juandos:

    *spit* Ron *spit* Sims? The poster child for dhimicrap stupidity? Thanks. Like I needed another reminder of a tool who wields influence in this state far beyond the confines of the county stupid enough to keep re-electing him.

  28. Unregistered Comment by IB LC Lady Heather GLOR UNITED STATES

    BiS,

    As a ordinary ‘murican–

    What I earn and accumulate in my lifetime is MY money, not the government’s.

    What if I want a nice nest egg for my child, and his children, so that may not have to struggle to make ends meet, like I have had to do? That is not wrong, nor is it greed.

  29. Unregistered Comment by IB LC Lady Heather GLOR UNITED STATES

    And that money I accumulate during my lifetime, has already been taxed!

    I can see a capital gains tax for the increase in property value, but the government should not get more than that upon the property owner’s death.

  30. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™ UNITED STATES

    BisW, I don’t give a flying fuck if it’s $5 or $5 BILLION. The government has no right to take that money from a family that has earned it. (Whether it’s from farming or fucking, it matters not.) That money (or property) has already been taxed when it was earned.

    If I have $5 to leave to my kids, that’s my damned right. If I have $5 BILLION dollars to leave to my kids, that’s ALSO my right.

    And the shit about “But that will make charitable giving drop!” is utter bullshit. “Charity” given at the end of a gun isn’t “charity“. It’s called “extortion” in the real world.

    Taking one family’s “unearned money” and redistributing that money to OTHER PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T EARN IT is called “Socialism

    All other extraneous, esoteric arguments are moot.

    F.E.T.E.

  31. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    And the shit about “But that will make charitable giving drop!” is utter bullshit. “Charity” given at the end of a gun isn’t “charity“. It’s called “extortion” in the real world.

    Did I say anything about charitable giving? Flame me on what I discussed, not what I didn’t.

    As for provision for future generations, I was trying to point out that I hve actually thought about pros and cons, and raised some points that I still am nt entirely settled on, rather than the knee-jerk “The Gobmint can piss off when it comes to my right to pass a fortune off to my descendants.” reaction. And lest you think I am a closet socialist, keep in mind that prt of what I do for a living is help people plan around the tax code, m’kay?

    :lol:

  32. B.C., Imperial Torturer™ Comment by B.C., Imperial Torturer™ UNITED STATES

    The “charity” part wasn’t in your discussion. Sorry. Should have made that more clear. It was in that first link that cheapshot911 posted.

    As to “knee-jerk reaction“, I have thought long and hard on this, my friend. Not only have I had friends’ parents sell their farms and ranches, but I have family who sold property because it wouldn’t have been worth it to pass it down.

  33. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    making it insanely expensive to get organic meats because nobody produces it…

    Not that hard where I live. Yes, the subsidies should be ended and farmers allowed to charge what they can get for food.

    I personally, do not like organically grown stuff. I have this thing about bugs in my food.

    Even the simplist should be able to understand. Not the Libs, but those just above them on the food chain.

    I was not aware alge could read, Dick.

  34. Unregistered Comment by tweell UNITED STATES

    When my grandfather died, the main part of the farm was sold. My father and his brothers wanted to keep it in the family, but simply did not have the money to do so. Now two of my uncles are talking to various lawyers and financial planners - they would like to keep the last few hillside acres the way they are, but it doesn’t look like it will happen. Land near Santa Cruz, California, is just too expensive. Grandpa died there in a mudslide, what will happen when that hill is developed is scary to think of.

  35. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    Pacific Legal Foundation today served King County Executive Officer Ron Sims, the Metropolitan King County Council and King County with a lawsuit intended to invalidate the county’s recently adopted—and highly controversial—“65/10 rule.” The county ordinance, passed in the middle of the night last October, requires rural property owners in King County to set aside 50 to 65% of their property in a permanent state of “natural vegetation,” and prohibits building structures or improvements such as a home, barn, driveway, or outbuildings on more than 10% of their land.…

    So your saying Juan, that if I own 3 acres of land. One and a half acres have to be left to the weeds and whatever else decides to grow there. I am only allowed a third of an acre to put a house and driveway on? Not to mention garage, septic system, and other necessary things to live in the modern age.

  36. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy UNITED STATES

    I’m not talking about Mom and Dad leaving behind a half-million or million dollar estate. I’m talking about people who amass estates in the tens or hundreds of millions, or even billions. Even with a modest estate tax at 2009 levels, do little Johnny and Susie really need the 50 million dollars, or will 33 million be enough?

    I think the point here is that this is a question best left to the person leaving the money.

    If I wanted to know the federal governments’ assesment of Johnny & Susie’s needs …. I’m sure I’d have asked.

    The other thing to consider is that the fortunes are sometimes the result of the original largess of Uncle Sam. Sr. stated (so no, I don’t know where exactly he got his information) that Uncle Sam is the biggest venture capitalist there is. If you benefitted from his initial investment, is it really so objectionable to pay it back with interest at a later date?

    Granted, and perhaps in those cases a certain ROI would not be unreasonable. If, on the other hand, I am on my way to leaving something substantial for my daughter without that sort of direct investment on the part of Uncle Sam, I don’t see as he’s entitled to that sort of kick-back.

    And while there is, of course, the arguement to be made for Uncle Sam’s indirect largesse - well, I’m quite certain that my Grandfather, Father & I have personally bled enough to cover that marker.

    - MuscleDaddy

  37. Xystus Comment by Xystus

    However, do we want to abolish altogether a tax that prevents wholesale transfers of wealth to generations that did absolutely nothing to earn it? Isn’t that the kind of thing that creates aristocracies?

    Nope. Hereditary aristocracies held lands under feudal tenure.

  38. Unregistered Comment by LC & IB Hujonwi UNITED STATES

    My family had to sell a chunck of land in Nebraska to pay the death tax to keep the rest…
    Hate it.

  39. Unregistered Comment by Neighseighr

    So looks like we’ve all bought into the “family farmer’s kids must sell land to pay evil death tax” fable. Does anyone have any stats on the breakdown of actual estate tax paid correlated to the size of the estate? In other words, does anyone have any facts that help define the amount of hardship that the estate tax places on the non-super rich? Given the rapidly diminishing number of small farms, I wonder whether this has any bearing whatsoever on the discussion. Most small farms are being sold for development and the kids gladly pocket the millions (and so they should). If some of these kids have to share some of their proceeds with the government, I kind of have a hard time feeling too bad for them. Perhaps there are a few cases (so few that advocates for eliminating the death tax have had a hard time coming up with any examples) where kids want to continue farming the land and can’t because of the estate tax bill.

    The real rationale for eliminating the death tax is that folks would like to eliminate as many taxes as possible and why not start here. If you’re not in the 1% - 2% of the population that pay the tax, one would think that it’s an ideological thing, not a self-interested thing. Otherwise, why would anyone care whether or not the Paris Hiltons of the world have to pay some millions out of their pile of millions to the government?

    Bottom line: I’d prefer hearing that the tax should go because it’s bad policy, not because it’s unfair to the 93 (or 1,100 or whatever) kids that might be impacted by it over the next n years.

  40. RRRoark Comment by RRRoark UNITED STATES

    I do estate planning. You can pay the insurance companies to pay your taxes. PPPPPP. (prior planning prevents piss-poor performance) But why should you have to? The point is that taxes have already been paid once on most of most estate values. Why does anyone favor double-taxation? Envy? Who cares what the Hiltons have? The heirs will spend it. It isn’t exactly stuffed in a mattress somewhere (although that might serve as an anti-inflationary factor).

    The problem with the tax, in my mind, is first, the double taxation, and second the tax on unrealized gains. When the property (the farm or family business) is transfered at death the basis (taxable value) should not be increased. There should be no gain recognised until that property is sold, then the capital gains that are realized should be calculated from the original basis figure. Example: Gramps bought a farm in 1907 for $500 and it is handed down through bequests in wills (I don’t care whether it is family or not) until 2007 when the current owner sells the property for $500000 to a developer. That is when you tax it for a $499500 capital gain.

  41. Trooper THX1138 Comment by Trooper THX1138 UNITED STATES

    Neighseigher, it’s not so much an “ideological” thing as it is a simple extension of principles many conservatives tend to have past the effects to oneself. If you haven’t noticed, one of the things that gets on our nerves is the mentality of “one law for me, another for thee.” So if I don’t want to pay estate taxes, (leaving aside whether I will or not) why should we make others? Same applies to, well, just about everything. Kinda that whole “Do unto others” thing.

  42. Unregistered Comment by Neighseighr

    Isn’t the real question: how should government get the money needed to do whatever it is we want government to do? Whatever size government we want, it needs money to operate. Let’s assume that the level of government spending does not change, and yes, I recognize that’s kind of an idiotic assumption given the vast increases we’ve experienced over the last few years, but leave it be for the sake of the argument. If we decide for whatever reason to eliminate the tax on estates, that money will still have to come from somewhere else. It’s not a small amount of revenue either, so would be hard to scrape up from other sources.

    The notion that double taxation or taxing unrealized gains is unfair kind of begs the question - how is any form of taxation “fair” or “unfair”. The government is taking my money. Acme Supermarkets would be happy to sell me toothpaste for $2 but charges me $2.10 so the state can get their cut - is that fair? My county has me fork over ungodly amounts of money every year for property taxes - is that fair? Of course, each of my paychecks is sadly reduced by SS, fed and state deduction - is that fair?

    Unless the goal is a Norquist style government reduction through revenue reduction kind of thing, we can’t just eliminate death tax, we need a replacement revenue stream.

  43. kwongdzu Comment by kwongdzu UNITED STATES

    Blackiswhite: Please do not refer to Ted Kennedy as the “Swimmer”. This is an insult to swimmers. He is, in fact, a “Floater”. Thank you.

  44. kwongdzu Comment by kwongdzu UNITED STATES

    RRRoark: Good points.

  45. Unregistered Comment by tweell

    Ah, taxation. Where can Uncle Slam get the money that Uncle Sam spends and Uncle Sugar gives away?
    The death tax hurts subsequent tax collections by requiring businesses (farms, stores, etc.) to be sold to pay the tax. Example: When my uncles go, their hillside farm and extensive machine shop will be sold. The machine shop currently brings in over 200k per year, and pays taxes on that. Estate-wise, most of the equipment is older and will be sold for scrap, and the business will no longer pay taxes. My brother could run the shop, but we simply cannot pay the projected estate tax, considering that my uncles expect to live longer than 2010.
    If you want to maximize tax revenues (not sure this is a good idea, but if…), then the government should not levy taxes that hurt or destroy businesses (duh), and should keep the percentage so that the economy doesn’t go down the other side of the Laffer curve. Since the reduction in taxes has resulted in a tax revenue increase, I submit that we are already on the wrong side of that curve, and should keep cutting taxes.

  46. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy

    Neighseighr,

    Unless the goal is a Norquist style government reduction through revenue reduction kind of thing, we can’t just eliminate death tax, we need a replacement revenue stream.

    Why does it have to be all or nothing? Federal taxation seems to follow a variation of “supply & demand” - in this case, if we keep supplying the revenue, they’ll keep demanding more.

    Further, even your scenario of “assume the cost doesn’t rise” presupposes/accepts that it actually takes the amount of money they’re spending to get the quantity/quality of government we’re getting - which I don’t believe in the first place.

    “Zero-sum” in the distribution of government ‘revenue streams’ is not actually necessary.

    There’s more than enough pork and funding of non-functioning programs out there - the ending of which would more than make up for any ‘loss’ the federal government would ‘take’ by simply allowing people to leave their stuff to their kids.

    And…well…of course it’s ideological.

    Part of the ideology I subscribe to includes the idea that ‘I’ve paid taxes of this stuff already, and the government shouldn’t be allowed to double-dip on the same stuff just because I die - and especially not so hard that my daughter has to resort to tricky legal manuvers just to be able to keep that stuff after I’ve left it to her.’

    - MuscleDaddy

  47. Unregistered Comment by Neighseighr

    MuscleDaddy,

    You’re forgetting that when the government doesn’t have enough money to fund its non-functioning programs, wars for democracy or whatever the cause of the moment happens to be, it issues a bunch of paper and just borrows what it needs. Eliminating the death tax will certainly not change that and will not in and of itself lead to less waste in government.

    So you don’t want your daughter to do estate planning (i.e., resort to tricky legal maneuvers). Fine. Let’s set up a tax policy such that there would no longer be any need for tax attorneys, accountants etc. to walk us through the mine field. But it must be “fair”, right. Any ideas?

  48. RRRoark Comment by RRRoark UNITED STATES

    Neighseighr,

    http://www.fairtax.org/

    A visible (not like hidden VATs, no way to hide the government bite) consumption tax. Encourages thrift (investment), taxes the bling-bling bought with ill-gotten gains, totally fair (everyone pays the same rate (see prebate for poverty level), encourages ambition (no “if I get a raise, my taxes go up”)

  49. MuscleDaddy Comment by MuscleDaddy

    Obviously, the elimination/lowering of (whichever) taxes alone would not accomplish this (not a moron), but would have to be accompanied by legislation limiting the ability of the government to do such things as “issue a bunch of paper and just borrow what it needs”, in effect forcing the system to ‘live within its means’

    As to ‘fair’ taxing structure…

    Flat taxes on income, purchases & real property. (more prosperity would still = more tax revenue)

    Property/assets that change hands without a sale don’t count.

    …let the games begin.

    - MuscleDaddy

  50. RobertHuntingdon Comment by RobertHuntingdon

    I’ve always thought the flat tax made a thousand times more sense… simply because it’s SIMPLE. The billions the government would (presumably) save in currently wasted IRS budget alone would help a lot. Yes the current tax industry would be severly reduced… but it wouldn’t go away… and something would replace it. I highly doubt the accountants and clerks and such couldn’t find honest jobs elsewhere. The lawyers, on the other hand… (note to retards, that’s a JOKE!)

    RH

  51. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    Let’s set up a tax policy such that there would no longer be any need for tax attorneys

    You want to put someone out of work? Start with your own damn job. I’ll be paying for my education for several years yet.

  52. Unregistered Comment by Neighseighr

    Yeah, I agree that some form of flat tax could be the way to go. It seems like such a good idea and yet has never gathered any momentum. My guess is that it results in more tax being paid by folks at the upper end of the spectrum, who are able to protect much of their income currently. Hence, the resistance to it. Is their analysis that compares tax revenue by income bracket under today’s tax policies and under some form of flat tax?

  53. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    So looks like we’ve all bought into the “family farmer’s kids must sell land to pay evil death tax” fable.

    Its more than just family farms, Neighseighr, the ones who really lose are midsized companies worth several million and employ only a few hundred.

    Most small farms are being sold for development and the kids gladly pocket the millions (and so they should).

    Most of the farmers I know that got out of it did so for one reason, they couldn’t afford to not make money. There is no money in farming if your a small farmer.

    how should government get the money needed to do whatever it is we want government to do? Whatever size government we want, it needs money to operate.

    Therein lies the crux of the problem. Government wants the money to support its bloated programs. Cut the programs that the feds should never have started in the first place and they wont need so much money. They might even be able to go back to being funded by tariffs on trade, kinda like a sales tax.

    It seems like such a good idea and yet has never gathered any momentum.

    Talk to the people running the government tax industry and see if they want a flat tax. Odds are, they won’t. It would mean that their current empires would be drastically cut because they wouldn’t need so many people to wade through the tax bullshit.

    BTW Neighseighr, I would ask, do you consider yourself center-left?

  54. RRRoark Comment by RRRoark UNITED STATES

    In a post here , I quoted a letter from a “financial advisor” to the NYT that agrees that the estate tax is dumb because anyone can avoid it by paying him to structure a plan around it. He never seems to realize that paying him to avoid a tax is in and of itself a tax. These are the people that have a vested interest in the complications of the tax code and it is why we shouldn’t send lawyers to congress.

    Can anyone say with a straight face that the tax code is either fair or even understandable? If it is, how come that 20 to 30 times a year, on a Friday, after 5:00 PM Pacific time the IRS issues a “Ruling” to explain something that should have been written plainly enough to understand in the first place.

    Bumper Sticker of the Year: Eschew Obfuscation

  55. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    Can anyone say with a straight face that the tax code is either fair or even understandable? If it is, how come that 20 to 30 times a year, on a Friday, after 5:00 PM Pacific time the IRS issues a “Ruling” to explain something that should have been written plainly enough to understand in the first place.

    Spend enough time with it, and yes, it does make some sense and is understandable…for the most part.

  56. Unregistered Comment by IB LC Lady Heather GLOR UNITED STATES

    Spend enough time with it, and yes, it does make some sense and is understandable…for the most part

    But you’re a lawyer, BiW, so it would be.

    And I cannot afford an attorney to interpret a lot of tax law for me, so I usually end up forking it out to Uncle Sam. :)

  57. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    But you’re a lawyer, BiW, so it would be.

    Ma’am, I simply answered the question as written. RRRoark asked if “anyone” could say with a straight face, not if “anyone other than an attorney or accountant could say with a straight face…”

  58. RRRoark Comment by RRRoark UNITED STATES

    BlackisWhite,

    “…some sense”, “…for the most part”. How much would you charge to explain Sec 409(e) in a thousand words or less in a letter of FACT not opinion? I would suggest a rate of three years E&O premium at a minimum.

  59. Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur Comment by Blackiswhite, Imperial Agent Provocateur UNITED STATES

    I Can’t say that I have had any occassion to look at 409(e) lately. I recently had to do a very careful analysis of 409(a) to put together a deferred comp plan…it was actually a lot of fun.