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2020 Presidential & Congressional Elections


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#81 baw1064

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 08:49 PM

 D. C. Sessions, on 28 January 2019 - 02:18 PM, said:


doing away with discrete brackets altogether -- Ask Me How!

The tax rate on the Nth dollar of income is (1.6*ln(N^2) - 8)%

(or something like that...)
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#82 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 09:42 PM

 baw1064, on 28 January 2019 - 08:49 PM, said:

The tax rate on the Nth dollar of income is (1.6*ln(N^2) - 8)%

(or something like that...)

Well, there's no point in squaring before taking the logarithm, but ... sort of.

How about taking the log of income (or income adjusted by wealth or whatever) and then using it as the x axis of a hyperbola with 0% on the left arm and 70% on the right arm with the apex set depending on fiscal requirements.

That's it. Bottom line, it's asymptotic to zero at low incomes and asymptotic to 70% at high ones, log scale, and transitioning between the arms as needed. Really rich is always 70%.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
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"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#83 baw1064

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 10:12 PM

Yeah, oops on squaring before the logarithm!

(For you TRSers who aren't total math geeks ln(x^2) = 2*ln(x) so yeah, my bad!)

I'd like to see more transcendental functions applied to the tax code.

The other thing I think there should absolutely be a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting is a "delta function" (where one dollar of extra income causes a drastic worsening of one's financial condition, usually by a strict dollar limit for e.g. Medicaid, ACA subsidies, etc.
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#84 LFC

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 10:44 PM

 D. C. Sessions, on 28 January 2019 - 02:18 PM, said:

Depends on how it's arranged.
  • Start by moving some of the brackets to higher income (or doing away with discrete brackets altogether -- Ask Me How!) while raising the top rates to more than make up for it.
  • Institute a carbon tax earmarked to a per capita refundable tax credit.
  • Quote Ronald Reagan on getting rid of the preferential treatment of capital income.
  • Treat inheritance as ordinary income, with (let's be reasonable) a distribution over several years.
  • Add a wealth tax, except start lower.
  • Get rid of the stupid mortgage deduction, again tied to compensating reduction in the lower income ranges so short of the seriously wealthy it's revenue neutral at worst.
She does have a point, where the actual tax revenues are stacked too much against the slightly-less-than-desperately poor.

As JackD noted I need to hear that from her, not from you. You could say the same about Sanders; "if he just proposed this..." But he didn't so he was a non-starter for me.

I pretty much agree with your list. FYI #2 is temporary since it will help drive down carbon usage, thus driving down the tax revenue. #4 is the Canadian system where all assets at death are treated as if they were sold and a basic tax return is filed (though not triggered for assets passing to the surviving spouse). That makes so much more sense to me than our current estate tax system. And the last one will take a long time to phase in to prevent a massive instant revaluation in the real estate market. Maybe something like cutting the deduction by 5% a year for 20 years.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#85 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 01:47 PM

 baw1064, on 28 January 2019 - 10:12 PM, said:

The other thing I think there should absolutely be a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting is a "delta function"

The very idea of those discontinuities in the tax code just makes me Kronecker.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#86 LFC

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 03:30 PM

The former Starbucks CEO is stirring up trouble. Great. Liz Warren is having none of it.

Quote

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took a shot Tuesday at former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s chances of mounting a serious presidential campaign, the latest salvo in a budding feud between the progressive senator and her potential 2020 rival.

“We have a billionaire who says he wants to jump into the race and the first issue he’s raised is ‘no new taxes on billionaires.’ Let’s see where that goes,” she replied derisively when TPM asked if she was worried Schultz could play a spoiler role in the 2020 presidential election.

The swipe followed a public back-and-forth between Warren and Schultz, who is toying with an independent run for president that has alarmed many Democrats who worry he could give President Trump an easier path to reelection by siphoning votes from the Democratic nominee.

Schultz started the fight, calling Warren’s plan to create a new tax on the capital assets of wealthy households “ridiculous” during a Tuesday morning interview with NPR.

“When I see Elizabeth Warren come out with a ridiculous plan of taxing wealthy people a surtax of 2 percent because it makes a good headline, or sends out a tweet, when she knows for a fact that is not something that’s ever going to be passed, this is what’s wrong. You can’t just attack these things in a punitive way by punishing people,” he said.

Warren, one of Democrats’ top 2020 candidates, fired back on twitter:

Quote

Elizabeth Warren
@ewarren
What's “ridiculous” is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else. The top 0.1%, who'd pay my #UltraMillionaireTax, own about the same wealth as 90% of America. It's time for change.


" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#87 LFC

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 03:53 PM

Surprise, surprise. Schultz's threat to be a spoiler in 2020 is all about his personal taxes.

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Billionaire former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says he can’t run for president as a Democrat because he doesn’t like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to slap a 70-percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million. Schultz revealed Sunday that he’s “seriously considering” running for president as an independent. In an interview with CNBC Monday night, he shed some light on why he feels he would not run as a Democrat: Because he could end up having to argue for massive taxes on the super-rich like himself. “I respect the Democratic Party. I no longer feel affiliated because I don't know their views represent the majority of Americans. I don't think we want a 70 percent income tax in America,” he said. Ocasio-Cortez's idea to tax earnings over $10 million at 70 percent has wide support, according to polls—a recent Hill-HarrisX survey found that 59 percent of voters back it. Schultz went on to say: “The way I’ve come to this decision is, I believe that if I ran as a Democrat, I would have to say things that I know in my heart I do not believe, and I would have to be disingenuous.”

He's a greedy, self-centered, egotistical prick who would burn this nation to the ground over a freshman Congresswoman proposing a tax policy that makes him sad. It's no wonder he'd have no problem with Trump having another 4 years.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#88 baw1064

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 06:18 PM

 D. C. Sessions, on 29 January 2019 - 01:47 PM, said:

The very idea of those discontinuities in the tax code just makes me Kronecker.

I was thinking more Dirac.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” --Dr. Seuss

#89 LFC

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 06:28 PM

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#90 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 07:57 PM

 baw1064, on 29 January 2019 - 06:18 PM, said:

I was thinking more Dirac.

Fair enough -- as long as we're continuing to integrate.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#91 LFC

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 01:12 PM

Tulsi Gabbard (D-Who?) bolted out of the presidential race gate ... and proceeded to step on her shoelaces and perform a nice face plant. If she's this incapable and unprepared for even the basics of a campaign I can't see why she thinks she would make a decent President. It's a far cry from the Obama / Axelrod machine that took out Hillary's horribly run 2008 campaign.

Quote

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) rollout of her presidential campaign has been anything but smooth.

After weeks of fits and starts, she decided to announce her intention to run out of the blue on “The Van Jones Show” — without telling her staff. She has spent most of her early days as a possible candidate apologizing for her homophobic history, has picked a fight with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) back on Capitol Hill and has already drawn a primary challenger for her House seat.

And now, according to Politico, she’s losing her campaign manager, Rania Batrice, and her consulting firm, Revolution Messaging.

Though the campaign hasn’t officially launched yet, the young congresswoman has effectively lost any early momentum in the likely crowded Democratic field.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#92 LFC

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 01:24 PM

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, is already out.

Quote

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explained his decision to sit out the 2020 presidential contest in simple terms — the city, he said, “is where I want to be.”

The challenges in front of him were obvious.

Already overshadowed by the White House run of his fellow California Democrat, Sen. Kamala Harris, the low-key mayor in his second term would have faced a long list of obstacles that would come with trying to manage a city of 4 million while mounting a national campaign in states where he is virtually unknown.

The Democratic field is growing crowded with bigger names, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, with more expected to enter the race. Garcetti would have contended with an ominous historical barrier — no mayor has ever won a major party’s presidential nomination. And he would have needed to explain why he should be in the White House with L.A.’s downtown streets lined by homeless encampments and freeway traffic often at a standstill.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#93 LFC

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 04:24 PM

Howard Schultz is looking less and less like a person who believes they have a third way and more like somebody trying to make the Dems lose. He certainly doesn't sound anything like a Democrat (which he supposedly has been all his life) when he throws the word "un-American" around freely to describe anything he doesn't like.

Quote

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz walked back his denunciation of Medicare for all Tuesday night, downgrading his insult from “un-American” to “unaffordable.”


“It’s not that it’s not American,” Schultz told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “It’s unaffordable.”

“What I believe is that every American has the right to affordable health care as a statement,” he added.

Schultz giveth, Schultz taketh away. To replace Medicare for all, he labeled a new thing un-American during the interview: that Dreamers don’t have a pathway to citizenship.

Read more on Schultz’s consistent verbal tic here.


Josh Marshall sees him as doing nothing but caricaturing Democratic positions and then attacking them. He's looking like a master of creating and assaulting strawmen. Basically his entire set of positions so far is just anti-Democrat.

Quote

Basically, Schultz’s whole campaign so far is based on attacking Democratic positions and caricaturing the Democratic party. As far as I can tell, the only position he’s staked out on the other side of the equation is that he’s opposed to building a wall.

This does not seem accidental. People don’t need a lot of explanations for why they should oppose Trump. If you currently support Trump, Howard Schultz is not going to dislodge your support. But there is a non-trivial portion of the electorate that does not like Trump but still doesn’t like progressive economic policy. Schultz is trying to position himself as a safe harbor for those voters. So attacking Trump or his tax cuts or family separations or corruption or all the rest is irrelevant and possibly not helpful.

I should add that I don’t think there’s a lot of room currently for a third party candidate, especially one with generally unpopular positions. So I’m not losing a lot of sleep over the possibility of his running. But given the danger represented by Donald Trump and the fact that Schultz can only help Trump get reelected, we should be clear at the outset that his whole campaign appears to be based on anti-Democrats.


And here his is doing something that one TPM writers views as "eerily familiar" i.e. smelling of a Trumpian tactic.

Quote

In an eerily familiar tactic, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz brought up an anecdote about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), unprompted, while talking about their policy differences.

Schultz said that the Massachusetts senator once asked him for a campaign donation, and he said no.

The Warren campaign did not immediately deny or confirm the story.

While discussing Warren’s tax proposals on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Schultz agreed that he considered Warren a “serious person” before offering the story.

When the “Morning Joe” hosts reacted with surprise, he told them that he didn’t want the country to “be heading to socialism.” He added that she “believes in programs that would lead to a level of socialism in America.”

Telling stories like this, where an opponent appears weak and vulnerable, is a favorite tactic of President Donald Trump. From former Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Trump has reveled in telling anecdotes where his enemies (of the moment) needed something from him.


The more this guy opens the mouth the more I see him as a vain, egotistical billionaire who wants nothing more from government than to have it benefit him personally. I don't see a shred of serious concern about the rest of the nation and its citizens as a whole. He's just another wannabe oligarch.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#94 Traveler

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 08:12 PM

There has been quite a spirited discussion today over at Bloomberg on this topic. It got me to digging up this piece on the guy, which was not encouraging at all. And then I read this link in the TPM article. I was starting to get totally disenchanted with the guy, but there are redeeming qualities. For starters, he made his company and then resurrected it to the powerhouse today. All along, he treated his workers really well. He was no stockholder earnings CEO. That tells me more than anything where a person is coming from. I think he suffers from inexperience and quite a bit of suspicion in every article I have read. But read closely, is there that much there? He sure identifies the problems, and discounts pie in the sky BS the Dems are spouting now. Meanwhile AOC's 70% brigade is shunting Dems off the track at 100 mph. A complete train wreck.

Somebody has to stake the middle. Has he explicitly run against Dems? Or Dem policies?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#95 JackD

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 08:27 PM

I think you're missing Eisenhower Republicans. They're extinct and probably for good reasons.

#96 pnwguy

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 08:36 PM

I'm curious if there are any conservative Canadian business leaders that would prefer a privately funded healthcare system. Most interviews I've seen of business leaders there think it's insane that a business should be thrust into the middle of handling employee healthcare needs.

It's not like we'd ever have something equivalent to the UK's NHS. Canada is much more of our model, since Medicare is already a single-payer-private-provider system.
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#97 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 09:12 PM

 pnwguy, on 30 January 2019 - 08:36 PM, said:

I'm curious if there are any conservative Canadian business leaders that would prefer a privately funded healthcare system. Most interviews I've seen of business leaders there think it's insane that a business should be thrust into the middle of handling employee healthcare needs.

But if they don't how can they keep the women from using contraceptives (the sluts!)
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#98 LFC

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:20 PM

 Traveler, on 30 January 2019 - 08:12 PM, said:

I think he suffers from inexperience and quite a bit of suspicion in every article I have read. But read closely, is there that much there? He sure identifies the problems, and discounts pie in the sky BS the Dems are spouting now. Meanwhile AOC's 70% brigade is shunting Dems off the track at 100 mph. A complete train wreck.

I read your WaPo link and his dodging real questions on taxes with the pablum of "we need real tax reform" while saying AOC (a freshmen Rep with no actual pull in the party yet) forced him away from the Dems screeches "I want my taxes to stay low" to me. Actually his dodges are nauseatingly vague. After reading that I wouldn't trust this guy to name a Post Office.


 Traveler, on 30 January 2019 - 08:12 PM, said:

Meanwhile AOC's 70% brigade is shunting Dems off the track at 100 mph. A complete train wreck.

As Krugman pointed out it's not only viable but worked before. Would it be 70%? Probably not. Might it be 50% or perhaps 40% with capital gains over a certain limit counted as ordinary income? Maybe. The whole point is that the wealthy aren't paying enough in taxes. I'm not sure I see the opposite position as particularly defensible since the whole tinkle down economics hypothesis has clearly fallen flat on its face. And again assigning AOC as the driving force of the Democrats is more than a little premature. When she creates a caucus with 40-50 votes that stay in lockstep with her then we can talk.


 Traveler, on 30 January 2019 - 08:12 PM, said:

Somebody has to stake the middle. Has he explicitly run against Dems? Or Dem policies?

Has he? Do a nebulous position on taxes and a nebulous position on healthcare pass for staking out the middle these days? I still see this guy as a nothing who hasn't thought about these issues and whose only clarity has been to make sure his taxes don't go up too much.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#99 JackD

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:46 PM

The government needs money in order to do what it needs to do. Where is the money? Problem solved.

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Posted 31 January 2019 - 08:32 AM

As far as Dem "socialist" policies go, that 70% is just a red flag. It doesn't raise that much, and only pisses off conservatives.

As I have said often, it is far more effective to just tax all income equally. Cap gains can easily be indexed. And eliminate resetting basis on inheritances. The taxes on inherited assets are recovered only when asset is sold, not at inheritance. So nobody has to sell the family farm to pay taxes. But when they sell out to a developer, the government gets its chunk. Our family hopes to enjoy the benefits of the current tax structure on both counts, but I don't think it's fair.

So why the hell doesn't any Dem talk about this? This is something we all could agree on, and it hardly nails the middle class. It takes a while to recover the asset appreciation since inheritors often sit on most of their assets (family estate etc). But any financial trades would automatically trigger the gain tax. If anything we could reduce the brackets to make it more palatable.

Has anyone here dug into how much this approach would generate? And is there any reason why this would be a "bad thing"?
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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