December 12, 2012

"I find this quite shabby... All that just to avoid paying tax."

Gerard Depardieu moves to Belgium.
Belgian residents do not pay wealth tax, which in France applies to individuals with assets above 1.3m euros (£1m; $1.7m), starting at a rate of 0.25%. Nor do they pay capital gains tax on share sales.

Next year, the top rate of income tax in France is due to become 75% on earnings above 1m euros. It is currently 50% in Belgium.

111 comments:

rehajm said...

People respond to incentives.

EDH said...

Gerard Depardieu has looked shabby for years.

Where the hell has this guy been?

edutcher said...

It's called voting with your feet.

Coming to a Blue State near you.

Seeing Red said...

We won't know US migration patterns anymore, the fed is stopping that information.

Mitchell the Bat said...

The solution is to place a giant inflatable rat in front of Mr Depardieu's house.

Joaquin said...

People relocating for financial reasons! I'm shocked!!!

YoungHegelian said...

Gerard, screw Belgium! It's gonna come apart at the seams. Head to Quebec if you wanna save some bucks & still parlez-vous le frogtalk.

And, yes, the man looks like he got hit by a bus.

Pogo said...

France should just do what the Chinese and German and Russian socialists did: seize their assets.

That'll learn 'em.

Although, you can only do it once, then the rich are gone, and no new riches are generated.

The pie gets smaller and smaller with each passing year, and the fights for what's left get quite vicious.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a malevolent sponge and grifter. His philosophy now controls France, and much of the US. It is simply: Envy.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd be more worried for Belgium. It's one of the low countries, after all, and when Depardieu moves there, it might sink below sea level and thereby flood.

TMink said...

People respond to punishments as well.

Imagine that!

Quelle suprise!

Trey

traditionalguy said...

So stealing his own stuff back from the majority vote to steal his stuff from him makes him the thief in the night.

Brainwashing applies here. Since the imaginary fantasy won the vote 51% to 49% he must hand his money over!

bpm4532 said...

Nah,

* taxes don't matter.
* people don't anticipate or change their behavior because of taxes!
* companies didn't anticipate Obama's election months before it started to occur and drain liquidity out of the system to store up cash triggering the housing crisis.
* Regulations imposed by government are totally costless to the individual or company.

And I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Good for him. Good for all the people and businesses who hide money off shore too. What is shabby are the tax codes.

cdw said...

In Canada, folks avoid taxation by going all cash for reno's, car repairs, cash payment for rounds of golf. The government has assessed the underground economy is as large as the taxes collected from the national sales tax. Go figure.

SteveR said...

Some fat guy with a fat pension needs to kick his ass.

Strelnikov said...

Well, they better stand by for a lot more "shabbiness". Always amazing to me how the governing class view any action designed to thwart their goal of owning us like serfs as somehow beneath them. We're about to learn the same lesson here.

Paul said...

Yes quite shabby... of the government to try to take as much as the possibly can from people..

But then the voters know that 'Democracy' is just another word for MOB RULE if there are no basic constitutional rights for each individual.

The mob just decided to take everything from the rich thinking the rich will just keep on working as hard as ever to build business, industry, jobs, etc... and ignore the fact that they are being ripped off for all that effort by the lazy, corrupt, inept, and greedy.

Going Galt is becoming a valid option for those that work hard.

ricpic said...

Don't be shabby, give all to our loving parent, the state. Then, knowing that you've given all, you can be a happy slave. After all, it's only FAIR.

Colonel Angus said...

It says how bad it is when a country with a 50% top tax rate is the preferable place to live.

hawkeyedjb said...

Interesting note from the article: "Depardieu's departure... is seen as less damaging to the government as his political views are known to be on the right"

So, it's not the tax money but the attitude that's important?

kcom said...

I guess it's equally shabby for women to avoid walking through dark alleys. All that just to avoid getting raped. Who do they think they are?

jacksonjay said...

The Oracle of Omaha will need to explain this to the rest of us simpletons! Maybe tax policies do change behavior!

I see that Burkshire banked a healthy (pre-2013) dividend from the WaPo! Again, more "splaining to do"! I wonder if Warren gave any back-channel advice to any of his companies about paying those dividends early?

dbp said...

"French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has described the decision of film star Gerard Depardieu to move to Belgium to avoid higher taxes as "shabby"."

Ayrault might feel differently if it was his money that was being taken away. Actually, he probably does feel like it is in fact his money that is being taken away.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Self preservation is SO shabby.

William said...

People universally act in their own self interest, but only the left presents their self interest as a form of idealism. Draft dodging is a higher form of patriotism and tax dodging is treasonous.

chrisnavin.com said...

Maybe garage mahal can take a couple of his boys over and 'have a talk.'

William said...

People's self interest doesn't always involve money. Many politicians are more interested in acquiring power than money. I think in a totally equitable society where all wealth was shared equally, ambitious people would compete not for money but for power, and the world would not be a better place because of it.....Buffet is a rich, old man. He probably gets more satisfaction from being known as a philanthropist than from being famous for being rich.

Paddy O said...

The trouble with depending on taxes is that rich people have the ability to make choices.

Poor and middle class people are stuck both paying the taxes and the problems caused when rich people leave and pay no tax at all.

And yes, taxation is absolutely a moral issue, a way of imposing our morality upon others.

Paddy O said...

This seems a gratuitous use of Belgium by Depardieu

Amartel said...

Haha, this word "shabby" evokes a grand dame peering through her lorgnette at inconvenient peasants misbehaving. All this just to keep money that they have earned through grubby little capitalist enterprise. How shabby.

I'm surprised. The French, of all people, should be familiar with "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." (Not really surprised - oblivious tone-deaf collectiveist bureaucrats are not surprising.)

jr565 said...

I suppose this means he won't get as many film rolls. But, congrats to him.
Seriously, even the Beatles, the model of the peace and love all you need is love 60's love mindset knew that the taxman was the bad guy.

jr565 said...

I suppose this means he won't get as many film rolls. But, congrats to him.
Seriously, even the Beatles, the model of the peace and love all you need is love 60's love mindset knew that the taxman was the bad guy.

EMD said...

Putain de merde!

mccullough said...

Johnny Depp is moving back to the U.S. because he's sick of the high taxes in France.

I'm completely in favor of France having high taxes. It's a great social experiment for us to watch.

rehajm said...

I'm completely in favor of France having high taxes. It's a great social experiment for us to watch.

Many of us already know the outcome of this experiment. Others will begin to spend their days inventing ways to deny the results.

Rumpletweezer said...

We need to get a wealth tax here. The John Kerrys and Warren Buffetts would actually have to pay taxes then. And, since we know they are patriotic, they should be happy to do it. This obsession with earned income is silly. Let's go after all the wealth that's already there. What could possibly go wrong?

Clyde said...

bpm4532 said...

...

And I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.


You'd better sell it tout suite, by the end of the year, or you'll pay higher capital gains taxes on your profits.

Forward!


mccullough said...

Rumpletweezer,

Don't you think an estate tax is a pretty good way to do it? Part of the U.S. ethos is to work hard and be self-reliant, so inheriting a lot of money and not having to work hard to make your way strikes me like a type of welfare. And the dead don't need their money anymore.

I've never understood why the Republicans are so against an estate tax. They should strengthen it and get rid of the charitable donation exemption that allows many estates to escape taxation. Buffet and John Kerry's kids will have to make it or marry well on their own.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Don't you think an estate tax is a pretty good way to do it?

Tax you while you live. Tax you for owning things. Tax you for the difference between what you pay for a house payment and what you might have to pay if you were renting. Tax you while you eat, while you drive. Tax you for warming your house. Tax you for shopping for anything. Tax you for breathing so you can support other people you don't know. Tax you for the Spanish American War. Tax you so other people can have free cell phones. Tax you if you move. Tax you if you stand still

And finally, tax you because you died.

Yep. Sounds perfect.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Tax you for NOT buying stuff. Tax you for giving money away. Tax you ....tax you ....tax you.

And tell you what a selfish bastard you are for having stuff that can be taxed.

EMD said...

I've never understood why the Republicans are so against an estate tax.

The money has already been taxed.


Part of the U.S. ethos is to work hard and be self-reliant, so inheriting a lot of money and not having to work hard to make your way strikes me like a type of welfare.

Why do you care so much about these people? It's still policy based on a vague concept known as "fairness."


mccullough said...

DBQ,

You could change the tax code to incentivize work and thrift.

But, as a cultural matter, why should there be such a thing as a trust fund baby? Why not have to make it on your own, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, etc. Most of the Kennedy kids are useless, as are Paris Hilton, and the countless non-famous bums of the wealthy. What is the social value of letting them have so much money they didn't earn and maybe can't earn on their own?

EMD said...

What is the social value of letting them have so much money they didn't earn and maybe can't earn on their own?

Who decides?



mccullough said...

EMD,

WHy are you defending rich people who inherited their money and didn't work for it? We can change the tax code to not punish work and thrift. And we can change it to make sure everyone works and makes it on their own. Let's stop being a country of welfare whiners.

EMD said...

You could change the tax code to incentivize work and thrift.

Wait, who here is in favor of using the tax code for social engineering purposes?

EMD said...

WHy are you defending rich people who inherited their money and didn't work for it?

Why do you give a damn about them?

EMD said...

The tax code, like any law, should be blind.

mccullough said...

EMD,

Who decides what? We've had an estate tax for a long time that varies. Currently it's a $5 million exemption at the federal level and 35% of all wealth after that, but all charitable donations are fully deductible, so someone could give away their whole estate to charity and the estate wouldn't have to pay any gift taxes.

mccullough said...

EMD,

I give a damn because the U.S. should be about individual effort. Let's have a culture of self-reliance again.

EMD said...

WHy are you defending rich people who inherited their money and didn't work for it?

What do you do with Howard Hughes, inheritor extraordinaire?

I mean, he did shit with his money (sometimes incredibly stupid shit), but ... how do you differentiate between him and the Paris Hiltons of the world.

Also, as much as I absolutely loathe to say it, Paris Hilton generates wealth via perfume and fashion sales. Sure, it's just her "brand" attached to the same product engineered and marketed by others, but does she not provide value to those companies?

EMD said...

Who decides what? We've had an estate tax for a long time that varies. Currently it's a $5 million exemption at the federal level and 35% of all wealth after that, but all charitable donations are fully deductible, so someone could give away their whole estate to charity and the estate wouldn't have to pay any gift taxes.


This is why we should eliminate estate taxes. They are fairly arbitrary, and are designed to "punish" the wealthy, but in effect damage small businesses more.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But, as a cultural matter, why should there be such a thing as a trust fund baby?

As a cultural matter, why is it any of your business how people decide to pass on wealth or possessions.

Who is to decide how other people need to live their lives and how much someone is entitled to own.

You? Me? Who.

It. Isn't. Any. Of. Your. Business.

mccullough said...

EMD,

Howard Hughes was brilliant. He would have made money no matter what. That's the point. Wealth should be earned.

mccullough said...

DBQ,

They are dead. They don't need the money anymore, so we're not punishing their success.

And in a representative democracy, our elected officials decide.

Let me ask again. Why don't you favor individual effort and self-reliance for everyone who is physically able to do it as a cultural value in the U.S.?

Colonel Angus said...

Part of the U.S. ethos is to work hard and be self-reliant, so inheriting a lot of money and not having to work hard to make your way strikes me like a type of welfare.

Well if welfare means subsequent generations living off family wealth versus taxpayer money then that's a form of 'welfare' I can support.

I spent the last 25 years building my business and plan on leaving it to my kids when I let lose the mortal coil. Perhaps you can convince me why the Federal government is more entitled to my wealth than my own offspring.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Howard Hughes was brilliant. He would have made money no matter what. That's the point. Wealth should be earned.

So, next you will be telling us just what means of earning wealth are allowed. Paris Hilton's method ....no? Leonardo DiCaprio.....ok? When in reality both are media whores trading their bodies and good looks for money.

Make us a list of who is deserving of keeping the wealth that they have earned and the acceptable methods.

EMD said...

Howard Hughes was brilliant.

You need to read more. Hughes was, mostly, a terrible businessman. He destroyed most of the businesses he created, outside of his aviation pioneering, which was indeed the result of his brilliance.

In a brilliant business move, he leveraged a ton of his venerated Toolco stock to make Hell's Angels, which he re-shot for conversion to sound. Did Hell's Angels ever recoup the massive costs? Probably not.

Republic Pictures, Bell Helicopters, TWA ... Hughes certainly had a reverse midas-touch on those companies.

The Howard Hughes Medical Center in Miami was nothing more than a tax shelter when Hughes created it. Now, it's a viable first-class operation. But then? It was basically a sham.

The problem is, how does a GOVERNMENT differentiate between the likes of Hughes and the idle Richie Riches, when taxing inheritances?

Colonel Angus said...

As a follow up, inheriting millions doesn't mean living a carefree life. You still have to have work ethic insofar as making sure your money is working for you.

The nation is replete with millionaires who end up penniless because they believed their millions can g a lot farther than it really does.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

They are dead. They don't need the money anymore, so we're not punishing their success.

So, when you die can we have all of your stuff?

Let me ask again. Why don't you favor individual effort and self-reliance for everyone who is physically able to do it as a cultural value in the U.S.?

I do favor that. This is why I oppose extended unemployment benefits, welfare for life and people living off of the taxpayers..

I also favor freedom and the ability to keep what you have earned and the freedom to give it away to anyone you want for any purpose for any reason. If the wealthy want to give it to their children or the homeless cat society. It. Isn't. My. Problem.

Why do you want to pick and choose who gets to be successful and who gets to keep their lifetime earnings? Are you a socialist or just a busybody interfering asshole?

Colonel Angus said...

EMD,

WHy are you defending rich people who inherited their money and didn't work for it?


For starters, its not your money nor the Federal government's. Take a lottery winner for example. What 'work' did the half a billon powerball winner do to deserve their windfall?

EMD said...

An by the way, I respect Hughes a lot — simply because he did build things with money.

Why don't you favor individual effort and self-reliance for everyone who is physically able to do it as a cultural value in the U.S.?

Did I ever say anything to the contrary?

You brought up Paris Hilton, but she creates wealth for herself and others through legitimate business entities. So you're hell-bent on punishing the Hiltons -- for what exactly? Building a hotel empire?

The problem is you're looking for a scapegoat of sorts. For some, it's welfare queens having more children for more handouts. For you, it's rich socialites who haven't labored hard enough in your views.

I refuse to do that.

Laws and (tax) codes should not consider these things.

tim in vermont said...

I keep telling myself "I believe in democracy,I believe in democracy,I believe in democracy..."

Because, as Winston Churchill famously pointed out, it's the worst system except for all the others. It does, however, appear to be a short lived thing, like every other form of government.

Our grandchildren are screwed to relive the nightmares our fathers and grandfathers suffered, I fear. Inflation, a strong man who can make a plan work, and the trains run on time, it is so obvious where this is leading...

EMD said...

Take a lottery winner for example. What 'work' did the half a billon powerball winner do to deserve their windfall?

Did you ever scratch off that silver stuff on the tickets? Sometimes, it makes my wrist sore.

Colonel Angus said...

but all charitable donations are fully deductible, so someone could give away their whole estate to charity and the estate wouldn't have to pay any gift taxes.

Yes and giving ones fortune away to a charity rather than subjecting it to the insatiable gaping maw of the Federal government is such a travesty.

I know its a foreign concept to many but once you strip down spending to the core responsibility of what government should do, we would no longer have a spending problem.

Andy Freeman said...

> What is the social value of letting them have so much money they didn't earn and maybe can't earn on their own?

It's the same as the social value of letting their parents buy expensive houses and cars. It's their money. They choose to give it to their kids.

And, speaking of social value, the social value of giving it to the govt is less than the social value of giving it to Paris Hilton.

Yes, govt does some good things, but the amount that it spends on good is dwarfed by the amount that it spends on evil, not to mention the amount that it simply pisses away.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Paris Hilton didn't earn that money-- so I guess I must have.

Chip S. said...

Suppose it's "unfair" for Paris Hilton to get a huge inheritance, while it's "fair" for Conrad Hilton to leave a big enough pile of his unspent wealth that his heirs and their heirs and their heirs can live a life of luxury.

What then?

How about not taxing income at all, and taxing consumption instead?

Chip Ahoy said...

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Sigivald said...

bpm said: companies didn't anticipate Obama's election months before it started to occur and drain liquidity out of the system to store up cash triggering the housing crisis.

You know, your other points? Not remotely objectionable.

But the "housing crisis" was not caused by Probably Obama Will Win.

At absolute worst, all you can blame President Obama for is being a small part of the catalyst of the bubble finally popping - it was inevitable, and inflated long before he held any public office.

Bob Ellison said...

Yeah, EMD, as Colonel and DBQ are showing, you're getting tangled up in the lefty web. Simplify, simplify.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, upon re-reading, I think you, EMD, are ahead of the arguments. Maybe too concise to catch on first read. Sorry!

Calypso Facto said...

I've never understood why the Republicans are so against an estate tax.

Wherein mcculough buys into the liberal manifesto: Self-serving gov't, under the guise of seeking unattainable "fairness", decides how much of their own property citizens get to keep.

Marshal said...

However, according to the prime minister: "Paying a tax is an act of solidarity, a patriotic act."

Socialism and fascism are really never far apart. Socialism is such an obvious economic disaster you have to create an emotional tie or it will be rejected out of hand. And what better than some faux nationalism?

mccullough said...

Folks,

We're $16 trillion in debt, with $1 trillion deficits, and have many of our fellow citizens with shitty work ethics.

Given this, it makes more sense to tax dead people than people who work hard for a living. Let's have a socially productive society.

mccullough said...

Calypso,

There are going to be taxes no matter what.

I'm the first one here who would happily get rid of Social Security, Medicare, the 70 federal means-tested programs, student aid, and the sports teams at the military academies. But that's not going to happen.

So it's either tax the shit out of people who work for a living or tax the shit out of the dead.

EMD said...

more sense to tax dead people than people who work hard for a living.

Most of the dead people worked hard for a living. The message you send to the offspring is: Don't bother ... we're going to just take it from you and your children.

EMD said...

Also, there's not enough dead folks to go around.

Taxes aren't the solution. Growth is the only solution.

Your notions have nothing to do with growth.

Calypso Facto said...

If more taxes were a foregone conclusion, I'd agree with you mccullough. And as someone with a plebian bent, I see the attraction of eat-the-rich sloganeering.

But I think that kind of unprincipled populism is how we got into this mess in the first place, and I'm not ready to give up on staying focused on reduced gov't growth and spending as the real solution.

mccullough said...

EMD,

A $5 million estate exemption is incentive enough for people to leave something behind.

If we could put all means-tested programs on a lifetime limit of 5 years, like we do for TANF, would you agree to a 75% estate tax (with no charitable deductions) for all estates with more than $5 million?



mccullough said...

Calypso,

Paul Ryan and John Boehner voted for Medicare Part D and NCLB. They are the "leaders" of the Republicans in Congress.

The Republicans don't want to cut anything. They wanted to repeal Obamacare but not Medicare Part D. They want to keep spending on the military and entangling in endless wars.

I gave up on Republicans a long time ago (I gave up on Dems before that). There are a few good ones, but not many.

I'm not into eat the rich. I'm into rewarding hard work and taxing those who are dead because they don't need it anymore. Hell, a lot of the "rich" are going to be very successful anyway. Romney didn't need his old man's money. And our kids won't need ours. It's good for people to be self reliant.

Rusty said...

EMD said...
Also, there's not enough dead folks to go around.

Taxes aren't the solution. Growth is the only solution.

Your notions have nothing to do with growth.


That right there should be written in stone.

rehajm said...

Taxes aren't the solution. Growth is the only solution.

Your notions have nothing to do with growth.


This. The tax man gets roughly the same % of the economy no matter who is taxed or what the tax rates are. However, who is taxed and how much they're taxed matter a great deal to the size of the economy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So it's either tax the shit out of people who work for a living or tax the shit out of the dead.

OR....the option that never seems to occur to the liberals.....STOP SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY ON CRAP WE DON'T WANT OR NEED.

STOP GIVING ALL THE FREE CANDY TO THE WELFARE SLUGS AND LEECHES.

Just. Stop.

Gourmandise said...

This reminds me of another article I read recently:

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/lumiere-frances-trouble-with-money/?hpw

Amartel said...

Thanks for taking the opportunity to road-test your "tax the dead" ploy.
It's been thoroughly unpersuasive.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

A $5 million estate exemption is incentive enough for people to leave something behind.

The exemption goes to 1 million next year and the tax goes to 55%.

Many people who bought houses in the 1960's have homes that are worth more than 1 million through inflation of property values. Should they have to sell the family home to pay taxes. Just because they were smart or lucky enough to buy in a nice area, they should be stripped of their belongings.

Most family farms are worth much more than 1 million. The families will have to sell the farm or ranch to pay the taxes.

Many small businesses and most medium sized businesses are worth more than 1 million dollars. So, because the business owner dies, the rest of the family has to sell the business to pay for the taxes?

You don't really care about the economy or the people who have been left behind. All you want to do is punish those who DID work hard to create wealth or to punish those who were lucky enough to be able to accumulate wealth.

What a little vindictive prick you are. I hope when you die, you either die penniless or better yet die knowing that everything you worked for all of your life is going to be given away without any regard for your wishes and your family will be left penniless.

mccullough said...

DBQ,

Calm down. No one is being vindictive. There aren't many solutions left, so taxing the dead and not punishing the working seems the most sensible left.

My kids won't be penniless. I've given them opportunities and helped instill some values of hard work and self-reliance. They are making the most of their lives.

If you're kids can't cut it, I'm sorry to hear that.





mccullough said...

Amartel,

You're welcome. I'm sorry we don't share the same values of hard work and self-reliance. A lot of Americans are lazy whiners.

mccullough said...

DBQ,

No one is going to cut spending. It's a bi-partisan problem.

Anway, what's the difference between a welfare slug and a trust fund kid that doesn't work? Neither of them is doing anything useful with their lives.

I find it out you would excoriate welfare slugs but not trust fund babies?

It's a matter of luck who your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents are.

What is more important, incentivizing hard work and self reliance or honoring the wishes of the dead?

Marshal said...

mccullough said...

Anway, what's the difference between a welfare slug and a trust fund kid that doesn't work?


This is a bizarre tack you're on. The trust fund kid is wasting his money, the welfare slug wants mine. And the only way that isn't a difference is if the government owns everyone's wealth.

What is more important, incentivizing hard work and self reliance or honoring the wishes of the dead?

And this is wrong too. You're killing the work incentive of the already wealthy but still alive category.

These are terrible arguments, far worse than the policy.

Amartel said...

Yeah! Those dead people are such a bunch of slackers. How convenient that they're dead so we can just confiscate their money which is like totally going to magically solve our problems.

Lazy whiner. You've got a burning urge to take other peoples' money and dead people can't fight back.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Nothing incentivizes hard work quite like telling people they're going to be working to benefit the government, not their own kids.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Dead people may not be able to fight back, but people who can predict that they'll be dead some day certainly can, by passing their money along before they die. Of course death taxes always come with matching gift taxes to prevent this-- but that sort of ruins the pretense that you're only taxing dead people.

EMD said...

Also, the trust fund kid is wasting his money on stuff like cars and yachts, which real people build and sell!






Eric said...

France should just do what the Chinese and German and Russian socialists did: seize their assets.

Yeah... well, the US does that too, kind of. If you renounce your citizenship your owners hit you with a one-time charge on all your assets. I think it's 40%. Apparently that's the part you didn't do.

Plus, you have to pay US income taxes for the next ten years even though you're not technically a citizen any more. I'm not sure how much luck they have enforcing that one, but I wouldn't be surprised if most countries went along with it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...


Anway, what's the difference between a welfare slug and a trust fund kid that doesn't work? Neither of them is doing anything useful with their lives


One is spending money given freely to him/her by family members who earned that money at some time in the past. It is THEIR money.

The other is using money taken by force from those of us who earn that money. Forcible taken from us by the government and transferred against our will to those who haven't earned it. It isn't THEIR money.

Paddy O said...

If you're kids can't cut it, I'm sorry to hear that.

Can I propose a 90% smug tax?

What is interesting, too, is how the arguments for estate tax are entirely based on an assertion of morality and an attempt to shame.

If the proposal was to tax gay people, it wouldn't be more astoundingly based on asserting some common morality and using the power of the state to control the populace.

What's also interesting is the sheer Idealism represented in terms of the State. As though politicians should gain from people's work, but not families.

It's an interesting application of the conversation from the other day. Entirely about individual morality forced on everyone else. Not through persuasion but through state.

It's downright Constantinian.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Depardieu should punch out Ayrault for destroying his livelihood.

Lawyer Mom said...

Costco, WaPo and Buffett took tax-avoiding action this month. Championing higher taxes while avoiding their own is most shabby. How very unpatriotic.

Real "patriotism" will require capital controls. European countries will use Depardeau and James Blount to make the point.

Our country is next. Recall that only days ago, Hillary declared our country's finances "a matter of national security." Vote with your feet while you still can. That is, if any other country will take you . . .

mccullough said...

DBQ and Paddy O,

So all taxation is unlawful since almost none of us voluntarily pay taxes? All taxation is force, so we should institute a voluntary tax scheme.

We have a massive deficit, massive debt, and a massive entitlement state. We have two parties who got us here with their ridiculous deficit spending. At this point, we can either tax people who work for a living or tax people who are dead.

Paddy O, you can propose a voluntary tax on smugness and a voluntary tax on gays or any other voluntary tax you want.

mccullough said...

Amartel,

I have a burning desire not to run up deficits and debts. The only way to do that is through taxes and lower spending.

I'd hardly call myself lazy or a whiner, but feel free to call me whatever you want.

You are right that dead people can't fight back. That's a very astute observation. Thank you for sharing that. I appreciate it.

William said...

One of the things people work hard for is not just to increase their wealth and status but the ability to pass that wealth and status along to their children. The children of high status families are not just trust fund babies. Some families reach their true flowering in the second, third and even later generations. The people who don't have to worry about making a living or establishing their status can worry about lots of other things. See Roosevelt, FDR or Teddy if you prefer. And, of course, there was Churchill......There's no doubt that the children of the wealthy have a leg up, but there's no reason to believe that, as a class, they are any worse than the rest of us. It's perhaps a good thing that there are some influential people around who never had to sweat too much. Diversity is a good thing, don't you know.

mccullough said...

William,

I do know. And talented people who work hard will succeed, no matter their background.

Unless we're going to have DBQ and Paddy O's voluntary tax system, the issue is since we have to tax people by confiscating their money by force, isn't it better to tax the dead than the hard-working living.

Kirby Olson said...

Depardieu is pro growth. He's growing sideways. He is also stepping to the side so that the sicle doesn't cut his wealth too thin which shows that he retains some Gallic sense for staying phat so he can dance to Gangma Style hut! hut!

William said...

God's gifts, family wealth, and luck are inequitably distributed. It's a fine thing to be born into a rich family, but if I were given my choice of gifts that would be far down on my list of preferences. The only thing I inherited from my parents was a durable back and robust health. As luck would have it, these were better gifts than those bestowed on JFK and his son.....One of the big problems with life is figuring out what to do with it. The children of the poor recognize immediately that the purpose of life is to make money. The children of the wealthy sometimes chase their own tails trying to validate their lives, but quite often they figure out ways to lead useful lives.....At any rate, in the end we're all poor forked creatures and there are advantages in life greater than money.

cubanbob said...

Taxes are for services, what services do the dead receive?

Tax avoidance is unpatriotic but living off other people's taxes is patriotic. The Mayan's might be right, the end looks near.

Interestingly enough there is a rough correlation between those who clamor for more taxes being the ones who pay the least.

Eric said...

Depardieu should punch out Ayrault for destroying his livelihood.

How did that guy have a livelihood to start with? He's got a face made for radio.

mccullough said...

Cubanbob,

Taxes are for services? That's a bit under inclusive. Maybe they should only be for services and only on a voluntary basis but they aren't and haven't been anywhere ever.

Do you have a cite for your rough correlation? Buffet and Gates are the wealthiest US citizens and they are clamoring for higher taxes. So does Soros and he's wealthy, too. Steve Jobs did as well. Let them leave $5 million to their heirs and tax the rest/ They're begging us to do it. Tax them when they die and cut the taxes of people who are alive and working.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Let them leave $5 million to their heirs and tax the rest/ They're begging us to do it.

In my experience, getting other people to accept money from you requires very little in the way of begging.

TMink said...

"I've never understood why the Republicans are so against an estate tax."

I don't know about Republicans, but Conservatives have morals about taxes. We think that there are right and wrong ways to tax. And taxing the dead through an estate tax is right up there with taxing the air through a carbon tax in terms of being a wicked tax.

Tax can be another word for thievery.

I mean, God makes due with 10% from me.

Trey

TMink said...

Currently, if the government confiscated the total earnings of everyone in America who makes $200,000 or more it would fund the government for almost 6 months.

We have a spending problem, not a tax problem. Same for France.

Trey