August 15, 2011

What image would the NYT use to illustrate the op-ed "Stop Coddling the Super-Rich" by Warren Buffet?

Try to guess before you look? Here at Meadhouse, we're still laughing at this silly black-and-white drawing. Laughing at. Not with. Use your first idea: What would represent coddling and what would represent the super-rich? Now, put those things together in one image.

227 comments:

1 – 200 of 227   Newer›   Newest»
Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

why doesn't that corporate raider just send in $10 billion. He has made his $$$ by scooping up small sucessful family business for cheap as they have to liquidate to pay Uncle Sugar at the death of the business founder.

AJ Lynch said...

I guessed the Monopoly Game Man but his hat is rounded on top.

To: Warren Buffett

Why don't you just write a big check to Uncle Sam if that is how you feel? And at your next billionaire cocktail party, take that hat and pass it around.

Saint Croix said...

A big fat baby? No, a big fat cat baby. A big fat kitten?

wv: dingfug

DADvocate said...

Why don't you just write a big check to Uncle Sam if that is how you feel?

Ditto. Signing a check takes a lot less time than writing a stupid op-ed.

Jay said...

So Buffet stole the little monopoly guy's hat to illustrate his point?

Meanie!

X said...

OK, I was close. I imagined a baby wearing a top hat and a monocle.

The Crack Emcee said...

I'd prefer the first one here.

They look happy.

John said...

Does this mean I will have to get my top hat out of mothballs?

Speaking of coddling the super rich, how much tax does Buffett pay? Does he voluntarily pay more than his team of accountants say he must?

If not, he should shut up.

He has arranged his life to minimize his taxes. As all of us not only can but should.

Pretty much all of his wealth is in Berkshire-Hathaway. B-H pays corporate income tax but as a matter of policy has never no dividends. This means that shareholders, including Buffett, pay no income tax on their share of the profits.

Buffett set it up this way saying that he felt that B-H could better invest the money than individual shareholders.

So he pays tax on his salary from B-H, I think around $200,000/yr. He pays tax on any other monies he receives. He does not pay any personal tax on B-H's considerable earnings.

I have zero problem with this. But he should not complain about others either.

I pay every cent I am legally liable for. I expect Buffett to do the same and assume he does. I do not pay more and do not expect Buffett to do so either.

John Henry

AJ Lynch said...

I was wrong about the Monopoly Man's hat being rounded on top.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well, Mr. Buffet....

What is stopping you from writing a big fat assed check to the government if you feel so bad?

How about you don't use all the tax loopholes to cut your "TAXABLE" income down to the level that it is?

If you feel so bad, pay taxes on ALL of your income instead of just a teeny portion.

Take back your gigantic tax write off from the charitable deductions you got from giving your money to another billionaire who also is taking huge tax deductions.... Gates Foundation.

Fucking hypocrite.

AJ Lynch said...

John Henry:

You live in Puerto Rico right? I heard their residents did not have to pay federal income tax. Is that correct?

Timothy said...

I don't understand... is the person receiving Communion (as in church)? Is the top hat supposed to be the Host?

Is there some kind of religious commentary going on here? (I didn't read the article because I'm not really interested).

John said...

BTW: Words matter.

Do we want to tax high earners or do we want to tax the rich?

There is some overlap but they are not the same thing. In the US we tax income but not, generally, wealth. The main exception would be property taxes.

Buffett is very wealthy/rich. I think around $50 billion or so.

He is not very high income. I think his annual income is under $1mm/yr.

John Henry

Scott M said...

I'm guessing Monopoly is still played by their readers? I'm betting the under 30 crowd wouldn't get it.

chickenlittle said...

Have you seen the cover of the latest New Yorker?

Quayle said...

Blast the super-rich - taxing them won't do squat.

Its the covetous willfully-idle poor that need their butts kicked.

Curious George said...

Hmmm...I guess a tophat in two loving cupped hands. Let me go check.

Winner!

Oh, and fuck you Warren Buffet.

Joshua said...

Wow. They also use this to illustrate the GM & Chrysler bailout? http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/861/30041066.JPG

Paul Zrimsek said...

No wonder the super-rich are doing so well. The giant hands of government keep handing them free top hats!

John said...

Also, re "Words Matter" (Especially to those of us who have no agenda in the morning)

Everyone talks about "raising taxes". What they really mean is raising "tax rates"

The assumption always seems to be that raising tax rates will increase tax revenues. That is at the very least debatable.

It is probably, in my opinion, that raising tax rates will reduce overall tax revenues.

If the goal is to increase the amount of money the govt receives (tax revenues) past experience shows that reduced tax rates may be the way to achieve this.


John Henry

Paddy O said...

Why is legislating economic morality okay but not sexual morality?

Paddy O said...

Also, I won't be happy until government takes away their monocle too!

Quayle said...

No, no! The New York Times is trying to say that everyone on welfare should get a free top hat.

traditionalguy said...

To Obama the stupid Marxist and his believers the only purpose in life is to destroy the concept of Private Property.

They decree that all property is on loan until the Emperor needs it back, by direct taxes or by Regulations forbidding its private use.

What is so ironic is that Mao's boys managed to figure out how it works best over in China and have gone back to a market based capital scheme using incentive to own private property.

Scott M said...

Why is legislating economic morality okay but not sexual morality?

Excellent question. What two consenting adults do with their own money shouldn't be the government's business.

Patrick said...

the picture I was thinking of, in all honesty was John Kerry.

As for the substance: Send it in Warren, send it in.

Paul Zrimsek said...

In addition to their shameful lack of spats, the super-rich are letting America down by failing to carry around bags of money with big dollar signs on them.

John said...

AJ Lynch,

Yes, residents of Puerto Rico do not pay federal income tax on income earned in Puerto Rico.

I do pay federal income tax on income earned outside of PR.

I also pay all SS taxes. Since I am self-employed that is about 15.6%. When I had employees I paid all federal employee taxes.

I pay PR state income tax at a rate that is probably higher than combined federal and state income tax for most of you.

John Henry

m stone said...

I expected to see a bloated domestic cat...as in fat cat.

Apologies to felines everywhere who have more common sense than Buffet. Yes, write a check to Feds, Warren, and keep your mouth shut about it.

dbp said...

Without looking, I would guess Mr. Moneybags from Monopoly.

Joe said...

He does raise the question of why we cap social security. Moreover, why not tax all dividends as income? And require you do FICA and Medicare withholding on it (I believe in 2013, medicare witholding will be done on dividends.)

Either do that or means test social security and medicare.

anon2 said...

How can such a successful investor be so innumerate. The average income of the top 1% in 2007 was $1.8M, and the presently pay 28% of federal taxes and have an effective federal tax rate of 30%. This raised $750b. Our deficit is $1600B. To cut the deficit in half by keeping rates for 99% of the people where they are now, you would have to increase the effective federal tax rate on the richest 1% to 60% (this excludes state level taxes). If he just wants to return to 1970's level tax distributions, then we are talking about taking the top rate to almost 40% and increasing tax revenue by a whopping $250B.

This is the left's version of balancing the budget by cutting food stamps and eliminating wastefraudandabuse. Balancing the budget will require painful cuts and large across the board tax increases. The sooner we do so, the more gently we can phase in these changes. The unwillingness of Congress to do so is utterly irresponsible, and jerks like Buffet are their enablers.

Mark O said...

I'm profoundly interested in the theory of shared sacrifice. If the rich, super rich and too rich pay more, what do those who are now paying no tax pay as their fair share? Are they deemed to have paid? Constructive taxing?

If not viewed as "a fair share" but simply as "spreading the wealth around" it make perfect, if illegal, sense.

Lincolntf said...

I pictured the monocled Monopoly guy in a baby carriage. Maybe it's on one of the cards?

edutcher said...

That picture shows that the Left really hasn't had an original idea since 1932.

Today, you'd show a corporate jet cuddled in the loving arms of Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm.

PS Buffet may be a great investor, but he's a terrible hypocrite. He's got all his money safely locked up from the tax man.

Quayle said...

Bank error not in your favor. Pay $2.5 trillion.

Scott M said...

If the rich, super rich and too rich pay more, what do those who are now paying no tax pay as their fair share? Are they deemed to have paid?

Racist.

RichardS said...

Buffett loves the estate tax, too.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/12/warren_buffett_robber_baron.html

Scott M said...

How about the famous Elian Gonzales picture with the jackboot with the sub-machine gun and the closet? Put Uncle Sam's face on the aunt and the Monopoly Man in place of Elian.

Of course, there would be some contention over who's face should go on the agent's. Just a donkey to cover all of them?

Ron said...

Maybe there should be a coddled "nest egg"

Rialby said...

Why does Warren take the tax deductions he takes to get him to the tax rate he complains about? WHY HASN'T ANYONE ASKED HIM THAT QUESTION?

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

He's heavily invested in financials, like Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and US Bankcorp that were directly bailed out with TARP. His insurance companies were indirectly bailed out when the prices of the stocks and bonds they held were buoyed both by the Federal Reserve's actions to stop the run on money market funds that caused the commercial paper market to freeze as well as the bailout of AIG. Had AIG been allowed to fail, the liquidation of its vast securities portfolio would have depressed the asset prices of all securities.

He should be taxed alot because he profited handsomely from the politicians generosity with taxpayer funds. I say stick it to him in a big way.

Rialby said...

From the Gates Foundation website:

Q: Do Bill, Melinda, and Warren get tax breaks for their donations to the foundation?

A. Many individuals enjoy tax benefits as a result of making charitable contributions. The amount of tax savings received depends on both the size of the charitable contributions and the person's annual income.

Bill, Melinda, and Warren have been exceptionally generous in making contributions to the foundation, donating sums much larger than their annual incomes. As a result, the tax savings they receive from these contributions represent a very small percentage of the contributions.

From 1994 to 2006, Bill and Melinda gave the foundation more than $26 billion. Those donations resulted in a tax savings of less than 8.3 percent of the contributions they made over that time.

In 2006, Warren made the first payment on his historic gift to the foundation and claimed no tax benefit from this contribution.

Rialby said...

Fucking hypocrites.

ricpic said...

Buffet is trying to arrange it so that the rich never make that jump into super-rich territory, his territory.

ic said...

Warren Buffet? Beneficiary of TARP and Stimulus Buffet? S&P Downgraded Buffet?

Rialby said...

ricpic... absolutely correct. The wealthiest among us LOVE to use their power to shut the gate on competition. Bill Gates has been doing it for years as has Buffett.

bagoh20 said...

Buffet isn't being hypocritical.

Buffet knows the government could never spend HIS money smarter than HE does, but he's sure that other rich people are not as smart as him and they should have THEIR money spent better by the government.

Is there anyone of any political persuasion that thinks the government can spend their money better than they would themselves?

Is there anyone who doubts that if the government gave the most successful people in the country a chunk of the tax revenue, that those people would make better use of it than the congress and their bureaucrats.

That's called a tax cut. Imagine if all the stimulus money was given to the 1 million most successful people in the country to spend.

Would then result in more jobs or less than the stimulus accomplished?

dbp said...

Buffet doesn't want his taxes raised. He wants the taxes of other rich people raised.

As has been ably pointed out by others here; Buffet can easily pay more if he chooses to. Further evidence of his hypocrisy is that when it comes to donating money, he would rather give it to charitable foundations than the US Government. Buffet has given billions to the Gates foundation, not so much (voluntarily) to Uncle Sam.

Buffet knows, as well as any sane person, that foundations and charities get far more bang for a buck than the feds do.

John said...

Re charitable donations:

Yes, Gates and others get a tax break from giving to charitable organizations.

The tax break? A deduction from taxable income.

Overall? If they were interested in keeping money in their pockets, they would be better off not donating and paying the tax.

Assume $1mm income and a 30% tax rate.

After paying tax cash on hand would be $700m

Now assume they gave $100m to charity and deducted it.

They would pay 30% on $900m or $270m.

The end result would be that they would have $630m in cash.

So are they better off taxwise or cashwise taking the deduction or not?

That is quite the "loophole" that leaves you with less cash than if you didn't use it.

BTW: I hope that none of you who are complaining about this make use of the mortgage interest "loophole"

I favor a flat tax with no deductions. A fairly low interest rate but starting at a low income level so everyone has some skin in the game.

John Henry

Tom said...

Warren Buffet is total bleep. He pays such little taxes because he's and his legion of lawyers and accountants have done what they can to shelter his income.

Arranging to have his fortune avoid estate taxes says how much he distrusts the government to spend his money.

rcocean said...

I often forget how wealthy Althouse commentators are until they all start the "Don't tax the rich - that's commie talk" meme.

John said...

Re flat tax:

Not a fairly low interest rate. A fairly low tax rate.

John Henry

AJ Lynch said...

I bet Buffett would support a one-time wealth tax where the govt takes 75% of his wealth that exceeds let's say $50 Million [snark]?

Afterall, I am sure Buffett agreed with Pres Obama when Obama asked, "after a certain point, how much money do you need?"

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I thought of the Monopoly guy, so the tophat was close. Let's get real, however.

the aggregate income of the highest 400 had soared to $90.9 billion

Washington could tax that income at 100% and the federal deficit would still be more than $1.5 Trillion.

This is not a revenue problem. It is a SPENDING problem. We could return to FY'05 spending levels and the federal budget would be in balance TODAY. Was 2005 all that bad?

Spending exploded beginning in January 2007, and the entire increase in the federal debt is matched by the increase in federal spending that began when Democrats took both houses of Congress.

$90 billion isn't gonna fix that.

ALH said...

It's as if the Monopoly guy and All-State insurance merged and created a new business logo.

bagoh20 said...

"In 2006, Warren made the first payment on his historic gift to the foundation and claimed no tax benefit from this contribution."

I doubt that's true. Any tax benefit he does not take advantage of leaves him with less money to donate as he sees fit. If the claim is true, then why wouldn't he just give all the money to the government and let them spend it. Why donate to anyone other than the wise government?

Scott M said...

This is not a revenue problem. It is a SPENDING problem. We could return to FY'05 spending levels and the federal budget would be in balance TODAY. Was 2005 all that bad?

Assuming that's true, combine it with ending Iraq/Afghanistan and you're in surplus territory.

J said...

What would represent coddling and what would represent the super-rich?


Like, say Sarah Squirrel-Tooth in her kneepads kneeling before Mike Bloomzburg. Heh. Or instantiate any number of GOP-TP coddlers for Sarah.

roesch-voltaire said...

Bland illustration to top an op-ed, but I wonder why his opinion which cuts to the quick when he points out that lower tax rates have only resulted in lower job creation-- upsets so many folks on this blog. As he points out you can be super rich, and pay more in taxes, and that taxes have never kept him or others from investing so what is the problem.

Lost My Cookies said...

Matt Damon having his diaper changed by Keith Olbermann?

Alex said...

J never fails to amuse with his vulgarity.

AJ Lynch said...

RCocean: the reluctance hereabouts to increase taxes is more about refusing to give more dope [money] to a dope addict [the fed govt]. Why do you favor uncapping FICA and Medicare taxes when they have squandered the 15% we give them now? Will they suddenly adopt good financial habits such as doing a budget once a year?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I often forget how wealthy Althouse commentators are until they all start the "Don't tax the rich - that's commie talk" meme.

They've got us both ways. If we're rich, they can criticize us for pushing our own self-interest. If we're not rich, they can criticize us for, uhh, whatever the fuck rcocean is criticizing us for.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"In 2006, Warren made the first payment on his historic gift to the foundation and claimed no tax benefit from this contribution."

In that year, perhaps

However, the contribution drastically reduces his future estate tax liability.

He is a hypocrite.

I hope that none of you who are complaining about this make use of the mortgage interest "loophole"

I use ever single tax break that I can, because I resent that while we work our butts off and pay taxes, there are the majority of people out there who are welfare suck ups and get all the benefits without paying any of the freight.

Incorporated, so we can be mini Buffets and take all the write offs and exemptions that we can and pay the least amount of taxes that we can.

To do otherwise is just stupid.

I favor a flat tax with no deductions. A fairly low interest rate but starting at a low income level so everyone has some skin in the game.

I do too. This is what 'broadening the tax base' is all about. EVERYONE needs to pay some income tax. EVERYONE, even if it is just 5% of income.

J said...

The govt. should return to authentic GOP tax rates on the wealthy/upper brackets, like Nixon-era--70% across the board.

The US could then afford foreign wars, drones, and supercarriers.

J said...

Uh oh...vull-gar. Vulgar is Sarah Klondike mistaking Paul Revere's ride (and the complexity of.... the lantern code) for a Harley rally

jimspice said...

Is there a photo out there of Mr. Pennybags of Monopoly fame enjoying a reacharound?

virgil xenophon said...

All are on target, but ricpic & Rialby cap it. Gates, Buffet, et al are ALL about pulling up the draw-bridge behind them. To hell with the people financially trying to get from A to B. "I've got mine, JACK!"

Clyde said...

I'm disappointed in them. I was expecting the Monopoly games Mr. Moneybags, wearing a diaper and with a pacifier in his mouth instead of a cigar...

Life in the Fifties said...

Warren Buffett has a personal wealth increasing stake in Big Government. Higher death taxes require investors to buy expensive insurance products. And his Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) is BH's core business.

Der Hahn said...

What bagoh2o and dbp said - living proof EVERYBODY thinks the other guy needs to pay more taxes.

AJ Lynch said...

I did not know BH owned GEICO and their dumb TV ads- it's another reason for me to not like Buffett. And one of the dumbest big shots I ever worked with was from GEICO.

Titus said...

The NYTimes has done quite a few UnAmerican things in my day and age but this has got to take the cake.

Speaking of Cake, why not Marie Antoinette eating cake?

I am outraged.

Clouds and Tits, Forever!

Scott M said...

living proof EVERYBODY thinks the other guy needs to pay more taxes

Is that like the ancient axiom that states somewhere, somehow, there's a guy tired of screwing Megan Fox?

Freder Frederson said...

Why on earth is Buffet a hypocrite? Can't he criticize tax policy unless he pays more income tax than he owes?

That's just silly. Althouse was and is a big Walker supporter and apparently supports cuts to the Wisconsin budget. Did she voluntarily cut her own salary and increase her medical and pension contributions before the mandated cuts took place? She whines about having to take a furlough day, but has she refused to take it.

Is there anyone of any political persuasion that thinks the government can spend their money better than they would themselves

You mean you can run your own water treatment plant and build your own roads not to mention maintain an army.

I am impressed!

Freder Frederson said...

However, the contribution drastically reduces his future estate tax liability.

Huh? Are you really a financial consultant, just resoundingly stupid or patently dishonest? I think it is the latter because you have already claimed you don't know how a progressive income tax works and I don't believe anyone is that stupid.

How does current contributions reduce his estate tax liability? (and of course it is not his, but his heirs' estate tax liability, he will be dead when the estate tax kicks in)

If your answer is that because he will have less money to pass on to his heirs, then that is just a ridiculous argument.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You mean you can run your own water treatment plant and build your own roads not to mention maintain an army.

I am impressed!


Impressing idiots is easy.

vw: weary

Seriously. Weary of the retarded arguments from the left that completely miss the point.

Henry said...

My guess of Paris Hilton with a pacifier was way off.

Freder Frederson said...

And his Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) is BH's core business.

While GEICO originally started out tailoring products for government employees, since 1973 it has insured the general public, long before it was acquired by BH.

If Buffet had a controlling interest in USAA, you might have a point, but the GEICO smear doesn't fly.

Chip Ahoy said...

I did not read the article by Warren Buffet because he does not put his money where his mouth is and both are considerable.

What does he do with the excess money that he doesn't know what to do with? He turns it over to the Gates Foundation who does know what to do with it. And that turns out to be Africa where like Oprah they have decided they get a lot more bang for the buck, and not the US government where it disappears, it's effect completely unnoticed.

Frankns said...

What a laughable old con-artist Warren is. Got too much money ... give it away. Nobody's compelling you to keep it. Nobody SHOULD compel you to give it away. Nothing prevents you from acting on your principles.

Freder Frederson said...

Weary of the retarded arguments from the left that completely miss the point.

The point is made here constantly that there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently and better by private parties. This is patently absurd. Fire fighting, national defense, the highway system and air traffic control are all functions that private industry could not do better.

Scott M said...

but the GEICO smear doesn't fly

Yeah. Their commercials are NOT stupid.

Scott M said...

The point is made here constantly that there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently and better by private parties.

Wrong. When you use a word like "nothing" you've gone over into absolutism and you know that's not accurate. More true would be "most" while also maintaining that government is trying to do too "much" now, can't afford it, and what it IS doing, it's not doing very well.

If you keep painting with big brushes, you're going to fuck up all that intricate trimwork.

J said...

So according to Dust Bunnyism, a Larry Ellison...and/or Hugh Hefner, both of whom never attended college, have a few hundred million and should not pay taxes, because they earned it the old fashioned way, but Educator X--...Schmuckowski--with an advanced degree, knows multivariable calculus, et al makes 50 grand year, if that, and is facing a layoff. The justice of Teabuggerism.

--A better idea for re-distribution--mandatory chess tournaments with the wealthy--when any citizen defeats a Warren Buffett or Ellison or Gates, etc---they got to pay you a few million.

Henry said...

You mean you can run your own water treatment plant and build your own roads not to mention maintain an army.

You need better examples, Freder. These are things that private corporations do with no trouble at all.

Think Disneyworld.

Or JA Ranch.

clint said...

I was thinking of a golden egg, cooked in the old fashion called "coddling", and presented in a proper egg dish.

Paul Zrimsek said...

These are things that private corporations do with no trouble at all.

More to the point, they're things we've had all along-- so whatever Buffett's precious tax increases are going to pay for, it isn't those.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

The point is made here constantly that there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently and better by private parties. This is patently absurd. Fire fighting, national defense, the highway system and air traffic control are all functions that private industry could not do better

Nice try, flawed argument…. there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently versus Fire fighting, national defense, the highway system and air traffic control are all functions that private industry could not do better. You change your terms in mid-argument…a logical no-no…first you argue EFFICIENCY and then you conclude on EFFECTIVENESS.

No one, except Rothbardian Anarcho-Capitalists that non-governmental entities could fight wars both better AND more efficiently. Nor does anyone here, but a Rothbardian argue that anyone but GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE fighting wars. All-in-all a cheap debating point Freder.

I might argue that a private fire fighting company COLD fight fires more efficiently and EFFECTIVELY than its government counter-aprt, using FedEx/UPS versus the USPS as an example. Or suggest that vouchers would be preferable to the Public School system. Canada’s ATC is private, BTW. And the hi-way system wouldn’t be better served as a PRIVATE concern than a public one?

Bottom-Line: bad argument. Wars, being an act of violence that touches upon primal emotions is INHERENTLY a societal/government forte. Most anything else is open to public debate, but you need to keep your terms, efficiency versus effectiveness clear and consistent.

jeff said...

"have a few hundred million and should not pay taxes, "

Where did someone say they shouldnt pay taxes? They currently are paying taxes. Paying most of the income tax as a matter of fact. Perhaps you could try a factual argument and say "shouldnt pay even more taxes"

Geoff Matthews said...

The thing is, he doesn't need to write a check. Just voluntarily retire all of the Treasury bills that you have,and call it a day.
Next, shame as many billionaires as you can into doing the same.

The thing is, Buffett makes very little income that is subjected to income tax. His real money comes from investments. If the US decides to discourage investment (particularly from the middle class), we will be far worse off as a nation.

MayBee said...

I'm all for a law that says: Everyone who is as wealthy as Warren Buffett must pay a 50% capital gains tax.

rcocean said...

AJ the obvious solution is to put some cap on overall spending and then raise taxes. Result: Fiscal sanity.

The problem is you have a lot of greed-heads who don't want to pay taxes - period, and a bunch of socialists/liberals who want no limit on spending.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... You mean you can run your own water treatment plant and build your own roads not to mention maintain an army..."

I think the expectation is the government should be more efficent.

We are spending $1.5 trillion more than we were in 2008 yet leftwing ideolouges like you think reducing spending to those levels will be some kind of economic apocalypse.

I call bullshit. The problem with people like you is there is no such thing as bad government spending and we can't pay enough in taxes. A good chunk of Europe is going down the toilet from following your idiotic economics and all you want to do is bring that misery here.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



The Small Pathetic Voice uses a Straw Man…no one argues Hugh should not pay taxes…the argument is that Hugh Heffner should not demand OTHERS pay higher taxes, when all he needs to do is pay more himself. Ditto, Buffett, IF he thinks the “Super-Rich” ought to pay more, all he need do is not give the money to the Gates Foundation and, instead, give it to Obama, to spend.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The point is made here constantly that there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently and better by private parties. This is patently absurd. Fire fighting, national defense, the highway system and air traffic control are all functions that private industry could not do better.

@ Freder. That point has not been made as most of the people who suggest that government shrink also recognize that there are legitimate functions of government.

Limited functions such as National Defense and perhaps a national highway/freeway system.

However, all of the other functions you list, which are not necessarily governmental, can easily be outsourced and done in a more efficient and less expensive manner by private industry.

Warren Buffett is also a hypocrite as revealed by his heavy interests in the life insurance market which is the main way that people can reduce their taxes. Estate planning, business planning and personal financial planning.....insurance is the key tool that I used in my practice.

J said...

Leetle Joe, the Bloomsbergian-stalchek opens it yap...and plays a shofar medley---Ickk leeebe Geld!


No dumbass, the point concerned meritocracy (and many wealthy do argue for flat taxes--.or none)--AND US History (tax rates under Nixon). But that's bit deep for you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... If your answer is that because he will have less money to pass on to his heirs, then that is just a ridiculous argument..."

Ummm...gifting, and charitable trusts are umm.. pretty common tools used in financial planning to reduce estate tax liability, because they...reduce one's estate.

How about you stick to topics you actually know something about unless you like looking like a complete idiot.

X said...

everything Buffett says is so self serving even a caveman can see right through it.

Scott M said...

even a caveman can see right through it.

Racist.

Jay said...

You mean you can run your own water treatment plant and build your own roads not to mention maintain an army.

I am impressed!


I think you should argue against more straw men.

Really, it is fantastic to watch.

Phil 3:14 said...

A facebook friend linked to this article. I replied with this link and this link.

So if the ups and down of the top marginal rate don't appreciable affect federal tax revenue and if taxes proportional to taxable income are already disproportionately higher for the wealthy, how do we judge when we've gotten that ideal place where federal revenue is good and tax rates are "fair"?

Jay said...

Fire fighting, national defense, the highway system and air traffic control are all functions that private industry could not do better.



Um, "the highway system" is a tool for earmarks, inefficiency, and graft.

If you think a private enterprise couldn't do the Big Dig better, you are shamlessly dishonest or stupid.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



The Small Pathetic Voice exhausted its limited ability to argue and falls back onto insult….mayhap it ought to go back to its blog, and write a commentary no one will read, and think on this issue.

Jay said...

The point is made here constantly that there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently and better by private parties.

Who makes this point?

Why don't you provide 3 examples of these people making this "point"?

Saint Croix said...

"Stop Coddling the Super-Rich."

You know what we could do--and it would serve Warren Buffett fucking right--is to make the capital gains tax more progressive.

You could reduce capital gains for the small investor to zero. That would be awesome.

And increase the capital gains for billionaires to 40%.

There you go, Warren. Thanks for the tip.

Phil 3:14 said...

I also said that out of self-interest I'd want to go along with "tax the super-rich" but then

where does it end?

deborah said...

I guessed Humpty-Dumpty.

Jay said...

Why on earth is Buffet a hypocrite?

This isn't a serious question.

J said...

Fuck you, Joe-jo Chandala. Small is your lizard-sized brain



con usura--reform per Dr. Ezra Pound.

Freder Frederson said...

Ummm...gifting, and charitable trusts are umm.. pretty common tools used in financial planning to reduce estate tax liability, because they...reduce one's estate.

Gifting is one thing, but to argue that using charitable trusts reduces your tax liability is patently ridiculous. Are you really trying to argue that Buffet's children will be better off if he leaves a large part of his estate to charity. Wouldn't they rather have 45% of the money rather than see it all go to charity. Setting fire to piles of cash before you die also reduces your estate tax liability, but it doesn't do your heirs any good.

And of course Buffet frequently states that while he is not going to leave his children destitute, they are not going to inherit the bulk of his fortune. So I don't know what you and DBQ are going on about.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So raise taxes on the mega rich but leave them unchanged for 99.7% of taxpayers.

Ok, so how much revenue does that raise? Or is it just for appearances?

John said...

I have built and run a wastewater treatment plant for a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.

I have built and maintained roads for that same plant.

Yes, I can do it considerably cheaper than government.

Some very large proportion, I think in the 70% range, of all homes in the US are protected by volunteer fire departments.

VFDs, even ignoring the salary costs, are considerably cheaper than govt paid fire departments.

And just as effective.

In Britain the lifesaving functions of our Coast Guard have been private for a couple of centuries.

In Britain, lighthouses have been private since the first one was built 6-700 years ago.


The issue is not the cost or efficiency of building and operating them. The issue is how to charge users for them.

John Henry

MayBee said...

If the government can pass a law forcing us to buy health insurance, they can pass a law mandating the purchase of top hats.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...
but to argue that using charitable trusts reduces your tax liability is patently ridiculous


Your ignorance is rather staggering.

A CRT offers flexibility. It can provide an income stream for life, or a term of years, to the donor and also provide significant tax benefits to the donor and the donor’s heirs. It is called a charitable remainder trust because the charity receives the remainder of the asset after the term.

A CRT is an irrevocable, tax-exempt trust. Assets, like bonds, mutual funds, stocks or real estate, are transferred into the CRT. The assets provide income to the donor for a specific period of time (i.e., the donor’s lifetime or a term not to exceed 20 years). At the donor’s death or term, the remaining assets will be turned over to the charity.

A CRT can offer great tax benefits if the transferred assets have appreciated and would cause large capital gains taxes on the sale of the transferred asset. But, if the transferred assets go to a charity through a CRT, the trustee may be able to sell the asset with no gift, estate, or capital gains tax consequences for the donor. While the income stream from the asset will generate a taxable liability, the donor can take the charitable income tax deduction.



You can stop talking about this subject now.

Scott M said...

You can stop talking about this subject now.

I'm betting he can't. Who wants in?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



I wonder what it would be like to write on a blog that only one or two folks visited and no one EVER commented on? I bet you come to popular blogs and scream, “I AM…Look at ME!” A whole lot…I bet if you use a pastiche of Splanglish, badly mangled, you get extra, “Look at me” Points. Certainly you’d get some pity and derision, in equal measures.

Again, please note Buffett is talking about INCOME tax and ESTATE TAX, right? His “income” isn’t taxed as income…so higher Income Taxes don’t faze him and he’s giving his Estate away so its moot as to Estate Taxation…so it seems much of this is just silliness and posturing on his part. And it’s funny watching a man whose business is helping clients avoid estate taxes talk about raising them…isn’t he just generating business for himself?

Jay said...

Scott M said...

I'm betting he can't. Who wants in


**RAISES BOTH HANDS**

Dust Bunny Queen said...

but to argue that using charitable trusts reduces your tax liability is patently ridiculous.

The entire purpose of a charitable trust (CRAT CRUT among some choices) IS to reduce estate taxes as well as to reduce current income taxes.

Since you refuse to listen to people who are actually in the business of financial planning and deal (dealt) with this issue on a daily basis as a profession.

Here is a link http://www.investopedia.com/university/estate-planning/estate-planning8.asp#axzz1V7OfInrJ


And YES. Buffett's children can be better off financially when a good portion of the wealth is transferred to a charitable trust.

Now, lets talk about lifetime gifts and the tax treatment of the gift tax. The A/B trust structure for marital trusts and the use of life insurance for estate tax reduction.

Dope.

Freder Frederson said...

Why don't you provide 3 examples of these people making this "point"?

The original post by bagho20 made exactly that point. DBQ and Joe made the same point in just this thread.

And btw, fire fighting was originally a private enterprise. But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists.

John said...

J,

Does educator Schmuckowski have an advanced degree? If so, it is probably a masters in education.

I have one of those, in addition to other non-ed degrees. It is totally content free. It should hardly even count as a degree.

You will learn more of substance attending cosmetology school for 2 semesters.

Do they know multi-variate calculus? Unlikely. Virtually all teachers in the US come out of ed schools. They take ed courses. They know the latest ed fads.

It is the rare teacher that actually studies and has knowledge of their subject.

John Henry

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

And of course Buffet frequently states that while he is not going to leave his children destitute, they are not going to inherit the bulk of his fortune. So I don't know what you and DBQ are going on about

No, I don’t know what Buffett is going on about…he’s NOT leaving much to his heirs, that’s his right, but he seems to want to FORCE others into his choice, and that’s what bothers me about Buffett. If I’m worth 40-plus billion and I want to leave it to my 19 y.o Sweetie Pie, I ought to be able to…and if I want to give it all to Bill and Melinda Gates, that’s my choice, too.

Hoosier Daddy said...

".. Gifting is one thing, but to argue that using charitable trusts reduces your tax liability is patently ridiculous. Are you really trying to argue that Buffet's children will be better off if he leaves a large part of his estate to charity."

No I'm not. I'm arguing his children and the charity will be better off.

"...Wouldn't they rather have 45% of the money rather than see it all go to charity. Setting fire to piles of cash before you die also reduces your estate tax liability, but it doesn't do your heirs any good..."

Well there you have the leftwing mindset at work. Leaving 45% of your estate to a charity rather than to the Federal government id the same as setting it on fire. Then again I might think that leaving a chunk of my estate to the Red Cross or The Heart Association is a better use of my money than funding another idiotioc welfare program.

"...And of course Buffet frequently states that while he is not going to leave his children destitute, they are not going to inherit the bulk of his fortune..."

And that is his choice as its his money. I personally think the government gets more than enough if my money.

"...So I don't know what you and DBQ are going on about..."

No surprise. You have shown that you're not very bright.

Jay said...

The original post by bagho20 made exactly that point.

Um, no, it did not.

Point me to where anyone, one single person, is saying there should be no national military.

Please.

Can't wait to see it.

J said...

You have no arguments, Joe-Jo Chandala. "Ickh lieeber Bloomsberg" does not an argument make, though Ayn Randian sort of human-lizards mistake it as such.

----

Yes, the demopublicans should raise capital gains rates. But they probably won't, until Dems get the House back. Next issue? Or back to Miss Ahouse's bodacious bod.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ and Joe made the same point in just this thread.

Liar.

Where did I say that...."that there is nothing the government does that couldn't be done more efficiently and better by private parties"

I will say there are a lot of things that the government does that I find to have ZERO benefit.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...
DBQ and Joe made the same point in just this thread.



If it weren't for lying, you would simply have nothing to say.

I do rather enjoy watching you beclown yourself regarding estate planning though.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

And btw, fire fighting was originally a private enterprise. But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists

Say Freder did you miss the ARSON in California last fire season…brought on by FIRE FIGHTERS?

Firefighters are becoming a huge burden to localities, due to their expensive pensions. It might be wise to investigate PRIVATE firefighting, again.

garage mahal said...

But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists.

Free markets baby!

Henry said...

Apparently Freder understands context the way he understands tax law.

Freder Frederson said...

Now, lets talk about lifetime gifts and the tax treatment of the gift tax. The A/B trust structure for marital trusts and the use of life insurance for estate tax reduction.

Why on earth would I want to talk about the gift tax. Gifting is entirely different than charitable giving and trying to make them equivalent is completely dishonest.

As for using charitable contributions to "reduce" your estate tax liability escapes me completely if your goal is to pass the maximum amount of money on to your children. If I give a million dollars my children would be $450 K worse off than if I had just sucked it up and left them the million in my will.

What am I missing here?

Scott M said...

And btw, fire fighting was originally a private enterprise. But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists.

But you know what you get when you have a lavish nanny state with cradle-to-grave safety nets?

London. (I would have also accepted arsonists)

CEO-MMP said...

I would like Buffet to be subject to a super rich tax of 98% on all wealth--not income.

Then we'd see if his money truly goes where his mouth is, or if he's just another whiny liberal bitch--which I suspect he is.

Like people who get assaulted and yell "POLICE POLICE" and then when the police come say "well I don't want him arrested".

Oh--wait.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...
What am I missing here?


A coherent thought.

Why don't you just stop?

Really. You have no understanding of the topic, you're not that bright, and you're making an utter fool of yourself.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gifting is entirely different than charitable giving and trying to make them equivalent is completely dishonest.

No it isn't. Gifting is just another way to reduce the Estate Tax liability.

What am I missing here?

Math and the ability to reason

Scott M said...

You get a bunch of arsonists.

This would seem to suggest Orthopaeds should be in the streets with baseball bats, breaking legs with wonton abandon.

Jay said...

But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists.


Something you couldn't possibly prove.

Using this "logic" however, there should be no private enterprise for anything because people will only act nefariously.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"breaking legs with wonton abandon"

tee hee

too funny.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Free markets baby!


Yes, because the government is always benevolent & wise.

You good little sheep, you.

MayBee said...

And btw, fire fighting was originally a private enterprise. But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists.

You also get a bunch of arsonists when you allow people to insure their businesses against fire.

And when you pay firefighters.

Same exact motivation, right?

I will point out there are private fire fighting contracting firms right now. People in Malibu, for example, might pay to have their homes sprayed with fire retardant when there is a brush fire in the area.

Scott M said...

"breaking legs with wonton abandon"

Arrgh. Swype is a harsh mistress.

Freder Frederson said...

Really. You have no understanding of the topic, you're not that bright, and you're making an utter fool of yourself.

Maybe I'm not, so please explain it to me, I am honestly curious. How does giving to charity increase the amount of money my heirs will receive. It certainly reduces the amount of tax owed, but charitable contributions (assuming that the charity is legitimate and not a vehicle designed to funnel money to a particular person) reduce the amount of money I have to spend (because whatever the tax rate is it has never been more than 100%).

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

One might read the tax-slash meme as Veblenesque--- white trash, small business types in favor of low or no taxes act like they're partying with the Koch bros, though instead of handful of refineries, they run some meth labs or dirt-cheap porno-studio in Marysville or Yuba city, or some shit. Conspicuous consumption, y'all. (thats right DBQ--piss test time)

Sigivald said...

I saw that it was by Warren Buffet, so I just stopped reading.

Well, that and (obviously) it was in the Times.

Buffet has no moral authority on taking money from others, just because he has a lot.

John said: B-H pays corporate income tax but as a matter of policy has never no dividends. This means that shareholders, including Buffett, pay no income tax on their share of the profits.

They pay capital gains tax when they realize the profits by selling B-H shares.

Shareholders can't just take cash from B-H's accounts, after all.

(For that matter, doesn't B-H re-invest its profits, at least to a large extent?)

Freder Frederson said...

Gifting is just another way to reduce the Estate Tax liability.

No, gifting is a way to give money to relatives or friends before you die and therefore have that money deducted from your estate, thus reducing your estate tax liability. With a gift there can be conditions attached to the gift and the beneficiary receives money that he would not receive from the estate because it would otherwise be subject to the estate tax.

When you make a charitable contribution, you are giving money to a third party to do with as they wish. If you gave the money at death, it is still deducted from the estate. So how does giving it before you die lower your estate tax liability? (regardless of the fact that it also reduces the amount of money your children will get)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We can further confuse Freder by discussing gifting to a ILIT (irrevocable life insurance trust) utilizing the Crummy Powers and how it can reduce the gift tax as well as estate tax liability.

Or perhaps a LERP (Life Insurance Retirement Plan) and how to obtain tax free retirement income.

@ Freder.

I don't have the time or space on this comment section to hold a seminar to educate you on estate planning, the tax code system, life insurance, charitable giving etc. If you truly want to know (which I doubt....you just want to argue your talking points) I suggest you start by researching on the WEB (investopedia is pretty basic) or buy a basic book.....written just for you. Estate Planning for Dummies.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My bad LIRP

Chip Ahoy said...

I think of an egg in a pot of very hot but not boiling water.

Freder Frederson said...

DBQ

Why do you continue to switch the subject to gifting when it is charitable donations.

The question is simple and you should have the time to explain simply.

How does giving money to a charity, either during life or in the will, increase the amount of money you can leave to your children. Of course it lowers your estate tax liability, but giving $1 million to the ASPCA doesn't mean that your children magically get an extra million from the estate. In fact, assuming that I cared more about screwing the government than homeless puppies, my kids are out $450,000 because of my abhorrence of the "death tax" (because I could have left them the million rather than the stupid animals and they would have had to pay $550K taxes on it).

Am I wrong?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder you are hung up on how much the kids get. Estate planning is about being able to have a say where ones wealth goes. Some clear thinking people believe that say, the American Heart Association can put better use to the money than Congress. Yes, I know its a radical concept. Some might think giving money to such a charity rather than the government is like setting it on fire.

Maguro said...

This thread is starting to remind me of the time Freder tried to explain how a lightbulb works.

E.M. Davis said...

How about an Auburn breezer?

Scott M said...

This thread is starting to remind me of the time Freder tried to explain how a lightbulb works.

You're right. I lost good money on that one.

William said...

The visible facts of Warren Buffet's life make him out to be a fair and honorable person. He's entitled to advance his opinion, and he makes some fair points. I didn't know that it was possible to trade infex futures in such a way as to qualify for long term capital gains.....Contra Warren, I would make the simple observation that for the past two hundred years the great lurches forward for humanity have been made by those who sincerely wanted to get rich and--on a governmental level--by those who sincerely wished to blow their opponents to kingdom come. The tax rates should allow leeway for the full functioning of greed, and it's probably a good thing for the advancement of surgical techniques and prosthetic devices to be in a state of chronic war.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cubanbob said...

MayBee said...
I'm all for a law that says: Everyone who is as wealthy as Warren Buffett must pay a 50% capital gains tax.

8/15/11 11:38 AM

Spot on. Others also made the same point. At Buffet's level all revenues should be taxed at the top income rate irrespective of the source such as municipal bond interests and have no offsetting credits, allowances or deductions going back to dollar one. That will shut that sanctimonious son-of-a-bitch up. And by the way for the chattering classes, tax non-religeous charities and foundations on their investment incomes and charge them a gross receipt tax on the donations they receive. Why should a multi-billion endowment like Harvard's escape taxation? Or the Ford Foundation? Let's call it the hypocrite's put your money where your mouth is tax.

Freder Frederson said...

Yes, I know its a radical concept. Some might think giving money to such a charity rather than the government is like setting it on fire.

So you are admitting that my point is valid?

The original statement I objected to by DBQ was this:


"However, the contribution drastically reduces his future estate tax liability."

This statement is undoubtedly true, but patently dishonest. In fact, if Buffet wanted to screw the government out of as much money as possible he would hold on to all his money and, in a great last act of defiance, leave it all to a charity in his will. In that way, rather than having his taxable income reduced by the contribution at a tax rate of 17 odd percent (assuming that the vast majority of his income is from Capital gains and not ordinary income), the government would be screwed out of 55% of his money.

I know that DBQ would like to tell me that if someone has a $6 million estate and leaves $1 million to charity there will be no estate tax, but if nothing left to charity the entire estate is subject to the 55% tax ($3.3 million). Too bad for her I have already nailed her for misstating how the progressive income tax, and the estate tax, works, and she knows that this lie will be dismissed out of hand.

All she is left with is trying to switch the subject to gifting and gift taxes, which is an entirely different subject.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

I live near the Carnegie mansion, the Fifth Ave one. It wasn't his prime mansion, but it's fairly elaborate. He was the richest person in the world, and there's no denying he lived well, but I always find it comforting to observe how much better I live than Andrew Carnegie. He had organ music piped into every room of the mansion. I have the world's greatest orchestras at my fingertips. He had to have another mansion to avoid the summer heat in the city. I have an air conditioner. He could afford the best doctors. I can afford antibiotics. And not for any amount of money would I go to see his dentist. In terms of nutrition, entertainment, health, and a long list of other things, I live far better than Andrew Carnegie.....At the end, he gave all his money away, but his greatest contribution to civilization was to provide a reliabe product--steel--at a reasonable price and make a ton of money doing that. He gave his money to various Carnegie foundations that have employed any number of wastrel eggheads over the years. Cheap steel has proven to be far more useful.

Freder Frederson said...

The entire purpose of a charitable trust (CRAT CRUT among some choices) IS to reduce estate taxes as well as to reduce current income taxes.

But Buffet already acknowledged that he has not claimed the deduction for his current taxes.

And my point is not that charitable giving reduces estate taxes (of course it does) but that it if your aim is to leave the maximum amount to your children, charitable giving is not the way to go.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, please! Warren Buffett ALWAYS SAYS THIS! I've seen him dragging out this line, before.

Of course, now you got Mitt Romney saying "corporations are just people." Ho Hum. And, Hi Diddley Do.

Carol_Herman said...

You know, Charlie Munger has only one eye. That's why Warren Buffett is the "front man" for that team.

J said...

In other words, billionaires generally make more money via establishing foundations and charitynomics than by paying taxes as ordinary citizens. The Andrew Carnegie school of Fraud, graft, and Embezzlement.

Phil 3:14 said...

But you know what happens when you make fire fighting a for profit business? You get a bunch of arsonists.

Or Teachers would poorly educate their pupils.......


Hmmmm

Freder Frederson said...

You don't get charitable deductions after you are dead.

When did they repeal Internal Revenue Code:Sec. 2055?

You must think I am really stupid and can't google something as simple as "charitable deductions estate tax"

cubanbob said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have spent a boatload of money on tax and estate attorneys and accountants to attempt to accomplish what you stated. I hope the snarky commenters actually read and learn for once. The system is gamed which is why Buffet prattles his nonsense. If one adds up the amount spent on the lawyers, accountants and the insurance policies over the lifetime of the individual dedicated to preserving the estate for their heirs it is usually pretty close to the estate tax itself. Its sort of like paying for a home in cash or over time with a mortgage. For most of the estates subject to inheritance taxes, the estates are big enough to have to pay a chunk of change but not big enough to pay it off in full and have any real remaining value. So you pay it on the installment plan while you are alive and have earnings to use to pay for what is in essence a prepaid tax.

Scott M said...

J said

In other words, billionaires generally make more money via establishing foundations and charitynomics than by paying taxes as ordinary citizens. The Andrew Carnegie school of Fraud, graft, and Embezzlement.

Very few billionaires can bench as much as you can, Jolly, so chances are you could beat the shit out of each one of them.

Chuck66 said...

I don't get it. I mean, I understand what image they are trying to convey, but I don't get it. A top hat...a piece of clothing that was popular 120 years ago.

Paddy O said...

I asked earlier in the thread, but I'll ask it again.

What gives Buffet the right to tell other people how they should use their money?

How is mandating economic morality different than mandating sexual morality?

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

This statement is undoubtedly true, but patently dishonest


You have descended paast the point of parody.

Jay said...

Freder Frederson said...

You must think I am really stupid and can't google something as simple as "charitable deductions estate tax"



Oh, I know you're really stupid. Google away, which doesn't mean you can comprehend what you're reading.

Chuck66 said...

Warren Buffet has the best estate planners in the business. It's easy to call for the gov't to confiscate other peoples money when you already have your kids set up to be billionaires.

When my great uncle died, he left a 1,000 arce farm, and his only estate planning was to will his estate to his 14 nieces and nephews. The government took 50% of his assets upon his death.

I don't recall the government being there working his farm ever.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So you are admitting that my point is valid?
Quite frankly, I never quite figured what your point was.

The original statement I objected to by DBQ was this:

"However, the contribution drastically reduces his future estate tax liability."

This statement is undoubtedly true, but patently dishonest.


There isn’t anything dishonest about it whatsoever. All she claimed is that the charitable contribution reduces his estate tax liability. If there is dishonesty involved, it’s from you who falsely attributed a motive (getting more money for your kids) behind charitable contributions.

In fact, if Buffet wanted to screw the government out of as much money as possible he would hold on to all his money and, in a great last act of defiance, leave it all to a charity in his will. In that way, rather than having his taxable income reduced by the contribution at a tax rate of 17 odd percent (assuming that the vast majority of his income is from Capital gains and not ordinary income), the government would be screwed out of 55% of his money.

Actually only 35%. But yes, he could probably do that if he wished. Again, not seeing what kind of point you are trying to make.

I know that DBQ would like to tell me that if someone has a $6 million estate and leaves $1 million to charity there will be no estate tax, but if nothing left to charity the entire estate is subject to the 55% tax ($3.3 million). Too bad for her I have already nailed her for misstating how the progressive income tax, and the estate tax, works, and she knows that this lie will be dismissed out of hand.

Um…the current law exempts individual estates of $5 or less from estate tax, and the current max rate is 35%. Also, I believe only the amount over $5 million would be subject to estate tax.

All she is left with is trying to switch the subject to gifting and gift taxes, which is an entirely different subject.

As I mentioned before, estate planning utilizes multiple tools, not just gifting, or just CRTs. Savvy estate planners utilize multiple ways to reduce tax liabilities. This seems to be a difficult concept for you to grasp. DBQ simply pointed out the charity reduced his estate tax liability and you are the one who created the strawman of ‘how does this leave more money to his childrens’. Before you accuse people of dishonesty, at least try being a bit truthful yourself.

Freder Frederson said...

There isn’t anything dishonest about it whatsoever.

Actually there is. If I have $10 million dollars and contribute $1 million to charity, my estate will have a value of $9 million when I die. If I have a $10 million estate and I leave $1 million to a charity in my will, my taxable estate is still $9 million (for simplicity sake I am ignoring all the other deductions available under the estate tax). Whether I made the contribution before my death or in my will does not affect the taxable estate at all.

Freeman Hunt said...

What would represent coddling

A mom.

and what would represent the super-rich?

The Monopoly man.

Now, put those things together in one image.

A mommy holding the Monopoly Man.

Close enough!

Alex said...

Freder - what's more dishonest is Democrat politicians promising to soak the rich to give welfare state benefits to the people who vote for them. I don't begrudge wealthy people who use any loophole to evade taxation. To me they're performing their moral duty.

Kirk Parker said...

ATC???? Ha ha ha! Hey, everyone: Freder said "air traffic control"! LOL! What a hoser...

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Actually there is. If I have $10 million dollars and contribute $1 million to charity, my estate will have a value of $9 million when I die. If I have a $10 million estate and I leave $1 million to a charity in my will, my taxable estate is still $9 million (for simplicity sake I am ignoring all the other deductions available under the estate tax). Whether I made the contribution before my death or in my will does not affect the taxable estate at all

I believe you’re missing the point, hard to believe…the point being made is that there are ways to reduce your Estate Tax obligation, that may or may not reduce your estate. You convert it from YOUR estate into some OTHER legal entity. Plus the point being made that you can give the Federal 35%-55% of your estate, OR you can find a way to donate that to a charity or eleemosynary organization…whioch do you think will more effectively use the money to: reduce poverty, improve education, make sure that canaries are well-treated, or whatever project or projects YOU feel are worthwhile, as compared to what the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT feels is worthwhile.

Chip S. said...

As far as I can tell, Freder is referring to this statement by DBQ:

And YES. Buffett's children can be better off financially when a good portion of the wealth is transferred to a charitable trust..

That is a stronger claim than simply that Buffett's estate taxes are lowered by this donation. I have not seen an explanation of how this might happen, but perhaps I am just dense.

I can think of two ways this might be the case: (1) The asset being donated is appraised at a value well above its true market value, thereby raising the value of the tax deductions taken by enough to more than offset the true value of the donation. (2) The unstated premise of the argument is that the donor's heirs would have made the same charitable donation that the donor did, but the donor's overall estate is larger because of the tax deductions he took during his life.

Do you have something else in mind, DBQ?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually there is. If I have $10 million dollars and contribute $1 million to charity, my estate will have a value of $9 million when I die. If I have a $10 million estate and I leave $1 million to a charity in my will, my taxable estate is still $9 million (for simplicity sake I am ignoring all the other deductions available under the estate tax). Whether I made the contribution before my death or in my will does not affect the taxable estate at all.

Wow. Um your will IS your estate which means if you have $10 million in assets and leave $1 million to a charity in your will, that $1 million would be subject to the estate tax because its being paid out from the estate.

Michael said...

Since I am a millionaireandbillionaire I would like to suggest that we continue to coddle the super-rich and discontinue coddling the poor. As we have seen in England, the poor show no gratitude for what they are given and have come to expect to live as well as I do which is preposterous given how much I work and how little they work. Mr. Buffet is a secular man and like secular men he is finding himself very afraid of the death that advances on him daily, hourly. He is hoping here, at the last, to buy a little exemption from what awaits him by arguing forcefully for the diminishment of his wealth by force when he could, as has been pointed out here on this thread, voluntarily contribute every last penny to the Government if he feels like it.

Or, Warren Buffet could take on the task of subsidizing the daily flights from Ely,Nevada which cost the taxpayers of the U.S. about 4,000 per occupied seat. Go for it Warren, the reaper cometh.

caseym54 said...

So, someone introduce a bill to tax Warren Buffet $10 billion already. Let him sue.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

And YES. Buffett's children can be better off financially when a good portion of the wealth is transferred to a charitable trust..

That is a stronger claim than simply that Buffett's estate taxes are lowered by this donation. I have not seen an explanation of how this might happen, but perhaps I am just dense


Do you think Ted Kennedy WORKED for his money or any of the Kennedy clan? NO, they have a family trust! That’s what made “Uncle Keg..errr Ted” so annoying when he called for higher INCOME taxes…the bulk of his income came from the TRUST, not his salary…

So YES, you CAN make your children’s lives significantly better, over several generations via a trust or other estate plans.

Lastly, the Gates, nor Buffett are leaving their heirs, much….HOWEVER, If they can appoint their heirs to positions of trust and authority within their FOUNDATIONS, they can certainly ensure a well-provided for future, can’t they? Something you don’t see mentioned amongst all this lauding of their “do-goodism.”

Chip S. said...

Um your will IS your estate which means if you have $10 million in assets and leave $1 million to a charity in your will, that $1 million would be subject to the estate tax because its being paid out from the estate.

No, it would not, at least according the the IRS:

What deductions are available to reduce the Estate Tax?

2. Charitable Deduction: If the decedent leaves property to a qualifying charity, it is deductible from the gross estate.

Joanna said...

Steampunks are super-rich?

Scott M said...

the bulk of his income came from the TRUST, not his salary

'splain, please. How is ANY income he receives not taxed as income? I don't pretend to know the in's and out's of estate planning as I'm not currently rich. However, I plan to become so on the backs of fiction characters.

Eric said...

Talk about ham-fisted abuse of the language. When did "coddling" start to mean "not taking something we'd like from someone"?

Scott M said...

Steampunks are super-rich?

No, they are super-ornate.

Bruce Hayden said...

Again, the idea that Buffett would be trying to give more to his kids by giving so much to the Gates' Foundation is a red herring. The problem there is that some people (including at least Bill and Melinda Gates, and possibly Buffett) believe that giving too much money to their kids would not be good for them. That is why, apparently, the Gateses are giving their kids only $10 million or so each. Think the Hilton sisters, and any number of other trust fund babies. Indeed, it is quite common for third, etc., generation wealth to be frivolously wasted, with those who inherited such often turning into decadent wastrels.

I go back and forth between whether the Gateses or Paul Allen, have done more with their billions. Two very different approaches. But, in any case, the Gateses have done far better with their giving than most of us have, in terms of its positive effects on the world. They have approached philanthropy extremely intelligently, and the world is a better place for their giving (though I still am not a Windows fan).

But, Buffett reveals himself as a hypocrite by giving his money to the Gates foundation to manage, and then pushes the rest of us to give our money to the government to spend (and, maybe, possibly, invest a just a little bit of it in our future). If our government were all that good at spending money to advance our country, he would do better to have given it to said government, than to Bill and Melinda Gates to manage. But, he didn't.

Chip S. said...

Do you think Ted Kennedy WORKED for his money or any of the Kennedy clan? NO, they have a family trust!

You apparently haven't read this thread, which is about charitable remainder trusts.

The kind of trust fund you're talking about is altogether different. Here's the relevant tax info, again from the IRS:

a trust or decedent's estate sometimes is referred to as a “passthrough” entity. The beneficiary, and not the trust or decedent's estate, pays income tax on his or her distributive share of income.

bagoh20 said...

"The original post by bagho20 made exactly that point."

No, I asked if anyone thinks the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Obama or the DMV people would spend their hard earned money better than they could.

Maybe you think those people are a lot smarter than you (You should know), but I know they are not smarter than me or most other successful people who pay most of the taxes. Most of these people who you believe are smarter and less corrupt than you, are people who have spent us into unsustainable debt. Now maybe you would do that too, but I wouldn't. Successful people, by definition do not do that.

The left believes it's a smart to take money from the most successful and give it to the least responsible resumes to solve problems as long as they are "clean and articulate".

That's your strategy. Own it. Defend it. Buffet is not, he's just using guilt, as a reason, not sound logic.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

'splain, please. How is ANY income he receives not taxed as income? I don't pretend to know the in's and out's of estate planning as I'm not currently rich. However, I plan to become so on the backs of fiction characters

Uncle Keg’s Family Trust, clips it’s stock coupons this quarter and pays Uncle Keg $250,000 taxed , not as income, but as a Capital Gain, IIRC. Simultaneously, the Good People of America give Uncle Keg $250,000 as his salary, taxed at 35% or IF Obama had his way ~40%. Uncle Keg NETS more from the Family Trust coupon clipping, and the Trust Pay-outs may have been larger than his salary…hence Uncle Keg, could afford to have his INCOME taxed at “J”’s 70% rates, as his “income” only included his Senate salary.

If you want to hurt Kennedy’s tax WEALTH or CAPITAL GAINS….then we’ll see how the Progressive Rich/Responsible Wealth types like it…take about 10% of the Family Trust or hit some Responsible Wealth Goober with a 70% Capital Gains tax rate and I’ll bet suddenly they all become TEA Party members.

Had you spent a ‘ute studying USEFUL things, rather than fanciful things, like the Zombie Apocalypse, you’d know these things….or if you were a Jooo, you know we “people” have a “feel” for this sort of thing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Qualifying charity being the operative word.

Scott M said...

or if you were a Jooo, you know we “people” have a “feel” for this sort of thing.

I need to get me one of those, apparently.

bagoh20 said...

Looks it's pretty simple.

If you were given a million dollars and told you have to give it away to help people in this country and to make the most positive effect you could. Who would you give it to? Congress?

Would you? Is that the best you could come up with? Do you think it will get spent well, just OK, or completely wasted?

Now, who is a liberal?

Chip S. said...

Qualifying charity being the operative word.

I have absolutely no idea what point you're trying to make now.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It was a joke.

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