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NY Times Editorial on Changes to Estate Tax
Old 11-07-2010, 07:25 AM   #1
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NY Times Editorial on Changes to Estate Tax

A quote of a portion of an editorial from today's (11/7/10) NY Times:

"Most Democrats have called for restoring the estate tax to its level in 2009, which would exempt 99.8 percent of estates from ever facing the tax. The tax would not kick in until an estate is worth more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), with a rate of 45 percent on property above those levels. The proposal — which could cost $250 billion over 10 years — is more than generous.
Republicans and some Democrats want to raise the exemptions to $5 million ($10 million for couples), and lower the rate to 35 percent. That would be a huge break for mega estates, an unconscionable giveaway (emphais mine) that would cost $130 billion more than the Democrats’ plan over 10 years."

I think we can have a reasonable discussion about what appropriate tax policy is. What I find troubling though, is the language used by the Editorial writer. To claim that a lower tax rate and a higher exemption is a "giveaway" pre-supposes that the money in question belongs to the government (which it does not). The government is not giving anything away--it is just taking less of what was earned (and saved) by those individuals over the course of a lifetime.

The editorial writers could just have easily said, "The higher rates proposed by most Democrats would cost the families of those who worked and saved all of their lives $130 billion more than Republicans' plan over 10 years."
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:42 AM   #2
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This impacts a very small percentage of estates. If the additional revenue can go to funding public pensions or to make college more affordable then my only question is why is someone arguing the issue.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:12 AM   #3
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This impacts a very small percentage of estates. If the additional revenue can go to funding public pensions or to make college more affordable then my only question is why is someone arguing the issue.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
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This impacts a very small percentage of estates. If the additional revenue can go to funding public pensions or to make college more affordable then my only question is why is someone arguing the issue.
Because the people who have to pay for it aren't going to want to pay.

Maybe we should have the people who have pensions or went to college pay more estate taxes.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:21 AM   #5
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This impacts a very small percentage of estates. If the additional revenue can go to funding public pensions or to make college more affordable then my only question is why is someone arguing the issue.
In my mind, the issue involved has nothing to do with the number of people impacted by the proposed policy. The real issue has to do with the perspective one takes on to whom the money belongs.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:33 AM   #6
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In my mind, the issue involved has nothing to do with the number of people impacted by the proposed policy. The real issue has to do with the perspective one takes on to whom the money belongs.

Threre's no deception in raising the estate tax Steve. There is however in the notion that you could do it without budget consequences.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:47 AM   #7
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The estate tax issue is a real concern to me. For this reason I am reluctant to buy any US real estate. No such issue in Canada.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:54 AM   #8
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Threre's no deception in raising the estate tax Steve. There is however in the notion that you could do it without budget consequences.
Well, three points--(1) I have no issue if folks think that raising/lowering the estate tax is the "right" policy. Reasonable people can disagree about a lot of things--certainly one of them would be a "fair", or "appopriate" level of taxation (estate or otherwise). (2) I agree that any policy related to taxation may well have budgetary consequences--it would seem to me that raising the exemptions & tax rates on estates would, all other things being equal, raise the budget deficit. (3) My point, and certainly others may disagree, is that the the editorial writer approaches this from the perspective that government is is giving something away by lowering taxes. I would contend, the government has nothing to give away---the money was not theirs to begin with. I think it would be more sincere if the wirter simply represented it as the government has a need for increased revenue and that, on balance, the "fair". "appropriate" place to get/take it is from individuals with estates over $X.XX.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:00 AM   #9
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Is this in today's paper?
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:12 AM   #10
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Is this in today's paper?
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/op...1.html?_r=1&hp
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:13 AM   #11
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This impacts a very small percentage of estates. If the additional revenue can go to funding public pensions or to make college more affordable then my only question is why is someone arguing the issue.
Because the NYT has to sell newspapers every day whether or not there's something worth writing about...
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:51 AM   #12
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The article argues that tax policies can stimulate demand, a critical component to the recovery, while addressing the near to mid term need for addressing the deficit.

Perhaps there could have been more said about spending cuts further out, but at this point in the recovery, government clearly has a spending role to play.

If progressive taxation offends the sensibilities then so be it....it's in the constitution.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:09 AM   #13
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I think we can have a reasonable discussion about what appropriate tax policy is.
The only place once can have a reasonable discussion about tax is at this forum, and only because of active and effective moderation, and then only fir the first day or two. Then it becomes a discussion about something related to taxes, then a discussion about something unrelated to taxes.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:20 AM   #14
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Emphasis added:
Quote:
Originally Posted by keegs View Post
If progressive taxation offends the sensibilities then so be it....it's in the constitution.
Really?
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by stephenandrew View Post
A quote of a portion of an editorial from today's (11/7/10) NY Times:

"Most Democrats have called for restoring the estate tax to its level in 2009, which would exempt 99.8 percent of estates from ever facing the tax. The tax would not kick in until an estate is worth more than $3.5 million ($7 million for couples), with a rate of 45 percent on property above those levels. The proposal — which could cost $250 billion over 10 years — is more than generous.
Republicans and some Democrats want to raise the exemptions to $5 million ($10 million for couples), and lower the rate to 35 percent. That would be a huge break for mega estates, an unconscionable giveaway (emphais mine) that would cost $130 billion more than the Democrats’ plan over 10 years."

I think we can have a reasonable discussion about what appropriate tax policy is. What I find troubling though, is the language used by the Editorial writer. To claim that a lower tax rate and a higher exemption is a "giveaway" pre-supposes that the money in question belongs to the government (which it does not). The government is not giving anything away--it is just taking less of what was earned (and saved) by those individuals over the course of a lifetime.

The editorial writers could just have easily said, "The higher rates proposed by most Democrats would cost the families of those who worked and saved all of their lives $130 billion more than Republicans' plan over 10 years."

Your concern about wording is correct in the way we think.... but incorrect in the way of Washington think... it is based on the paygo system...

IOW, IF you propose a tax cut.... so the people can keep more of THEIR money... you have to either cut some service OR raise taxes from someone else... So if you are in this mindset... any tax cut is 'spending'.. ie, your current laws lists it as income to the gvmt.... so changing that is a giveaway....


NOW... I could argue that if they want to cut taxes by this amount of money.... there might be a better place to cut them... that is the other argument about 'giveaway'.... who should you give tax cuts to


One of the suggestions that I would make is they take away ALL prior exemptions that are in the law... I remember one where there was a special deal cut for the Gallow family (IIRC back in the 80s) that saved them millions in estate taxes... this should not be allowed to happen.. period..
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:39 AM   #16
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If progressive taxation offends the sensibilities then so be it....it's in the constitution.
It is not the progessive nature of the tax code that I find offensive--I tried to articulate my issue with the editorial in the two prior posts. Obviously I need to work on my rhetoric---back to my freshman debate class I guess!!
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #17
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IOW, IF you propose a tax cut.... so the people can keep more of THEIR money... you have to either cut some service OR raise taxes from someone else... So if you are in this mindset... any tax cut is 'spending'.. ie, your current laws lists it as income to the gvmt.... so changing that is a giveaway....
Except this tax, if cut, does not let people keep their money, because they're deceased. It lets other people keep their money.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:45 PM   #18
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This impacts a very small percentage of estates.
That makes it OK?

I could make a long list of crimes that affect very few people, should we decriminalize those crimes?

For 2007,

United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2009

16,929 murders in the United States.

How many people pay the estate tax?

14,700 estates had to pay any estate tax at all.

Murder, estate tax, they only affect a small percentage, it's OK.






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If progressive taxation offends the sensibilities then so be it....it's in the constitution.
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Emphasis added:

Really?
Add me to the list waiting for your reply.

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Old 11-07-2010, 07:47 PM   #19
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Except this tax, if cut, does not let people keep their money, because they're deceased. It lets other people keep their money.
And if they try to distribute it while they are still alive, it gets taxed. So they can't do what they want with their own money.

edit/add: Just want to say that I agree with the OP, the language is insulting.

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #20
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If the additional revenue can go to funding public pensions or to make college more affordable then my only question is why is someone arguing the issue.
So then, you agree with many of us that they shouldn't do it, right? Because it won't help with funding pensions or making college more affordable. It will just get spent.

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If progressive taxation offends the sensibilities then so be it....it's in the constitution.
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Really?
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Add me to the list waiting for your reply.
Me too.
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