Damn these freeloading billionaires!

So Warren called billionaires freeloaders because they paid around 3.2% of their total worth as tax this year while the rest paid 7.2% of their wealth. I think it is f***king stupid that he used % of total worth to say that billionaires are "Freeloaders".

But I might be the one that is stupid. Let me know if I am.

Thanks.

Comments (112)

Feb 1, 2019

I think the point is thats not how the system was designed to work.. The way marginal rates work is that the wealthier are supposed to pay a higher marginal rate on each incremental $ amount above a bracket.

Billionaires haven't made their wealth through income though, they have through equity, and capital gains are taxed less. That will probably change at some point, but I hope if it does it just affects the mega rich. Would have huge negative consequences on the markets as well as middle class retirement..

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Feb 1, 2019

Absolutely. Correct me if I'm wrong but is it fair to tax bezos for his gigantic stake in AMZN? Its not like the man can actively liquidate his equity and use it at this point.

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Feb 1, 2019

I agree, you absolutely cannot tax someone until they liquidate. Would be ridiculous if a CEO had to sell down to pay taxes on an equity position.

Feb 1, 2019

I mean, property taxes are based on the value of an asset that can't be easily liquidated, and that's far more punitive to the average person that to Jeff Bezos having to liquidate some of his stock.

Feb 4, 2019

Nah, that's exactly how the system was designed to work... If it was so bad/wrong a course correction would have taken place by now. The people who have the most juice seem to be satisfied with how it is...

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Feb 1, 2019

The tax system is structured well, lower capital gains promotes investment, something that is important if the general human tendency is to procrastinate. The tax bracket system gives a little bit of the socialist aspect Warren yearns for. If it aint broke, dont fix it. Dont make policies based on the outliers.

Screw the government, its really easy for them to think the problem is low taxes. The problem is always exterior to oneself. The government sucks at anything it tries to do, the best thing we could do is work to privatize the government.

I guess the real problem is Warren is a politician and she says things that appeal to the people, the people are stupid and they like it when Warren says things like the billionaires are freeloading... most people dont have a business mind, they dont know how to generate wealth, they dont know that entrepreneurialism is the foundation of the comforts they enjoy, we should buy everyone a trip to Venezuala and let them see what happens when the entrepreneurial foundations are destroyed. That might be the best use of taxpayer money I have heard in a long time.

rant over

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Funniest
Feb 1, 2019
REPESailor2020:

we should buy everyone a trip to Venezuala and let them see what happens when the entrepreneurial foundations are destroyed. That might be the best use of taxpayer money I have heard in a long time.

Wherever you are, can you hear me clapping?

Feb 1, 2019

bravo

Feb 1, 2019

.

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Feb 2, 2019

Elizabeth Warren, not Warren Buffett....

Feb 1, 2019

Amen. Most people think anyone who's mastered wealth-generation is already a crook or cheating them in some way. They even rail against Howard Schultz, a man who was literally once quite poor, and think he's some robber baron snob. It's absolutely ridiculous.

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Feb 4, 2019
REPESailor2020:

Screw the government, its really easy for them to think the problem is low taxes. The problem is always exterior to oneself. The government sucks at anything it tries to do, the best thing we could do is work to privatize the government.

Wow. Really? Nevermind the merits of everything else you said, this one comment discredits your credibility. Let's just step back, turn our brains on for a minute, and contemplate "Does government do anything well?"

Let's see

  • When a hurricane/tornado/fire/flood rips through your community and destroys your home (that you commendably worked so hard for), does a private company write a check, irregardless of insurance exclusions or any other 'barrier' to claim?** The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)** provides support to disaster victims.
  • When you're traveling abroad, and you need assistance ASAP, Consulates provide the full weight and support of the US government.
  • That road you drove to work, went to the store, went to check on your grandmother, ETC, the government built that road.
  • Did you eat any fresh produce or meat lately? The USDA inspected that food, providing some certainty from a credible authority that you're not going to end up in a grave after some nasty foodborne illness.
  • Did you go to a public school growing up? The government does a great job educating and it's one of the reasons why this country is so powerful and leads in innovation.
  • Have you ever communicated with someone, by internet, cable, or radio? Guess what, the government is really good at promoting the development of communications technology through subsidies, research, and assets of the government. Let's not even get into other technologies (GPS, MRI) developed by way of the military or other government programs like NASA.
  • Public safety - let me not even waste the energy here. America the Free? Hello? It's not "Private Defense Contractor, LLC, America the Free (however, only if you paid your monthly membership fee to stay free and protected)"

Government isn't perfect, just like your waistline/your smile/your whatever isn't perfect (or mine), but I'm sick and tired of people ignorantly saying government does nothing or sucks at whatever it does.

It's easy to complain and spread opinions that don't reflect reality. Let's all try to do less of that.

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Feb 4, 2019

At what cost?

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Feb 5, 2019

I like to ask people what the safest form of transportation is, followed by what the most regulated form of transportation is.

Feb 5, 2019

Reminds me of my favorite quote from the west wing

If link doesn't work look up "The West Wing, Sam Seaborn on Taxing the Rich"

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Feb 5, 2019
FinancelsWacc:

Reminds me of my favorite quote from the west wing

If link doesn't work look up "The West Wing, Sam Seaborn on Taxing the Rich"

It's too bad third way democrats are as far from the norm on the left as possible anymore

Feb 7, 2019

The mathematical fact is that the percentage of taxes payed by the ultra wealthy has been more or less consistent since the 60s, not impacted by wild swings in the top marginal rate.

This strongly suggests that the issue is the complexity of tax codes and the way in which it favors those with the money to hire the best tax lawyers, NOT with the on-paper rate.

Feb 7, 2019
REPESailor2020:

The tax system is structured well, lower capital gains promotes investment, something that is important if the general human tendency is to procrastinate. The tax bracket system gives a little bit of the socialist aspect Warren yearns for. If it aint broke, dont fix it. Dont make policies based on the outliers.

Screw the government, its really easy for them to think the problem is low taxes. The problem is always exterior to oneself. The government sucks at anything it tries to do, the best thing we could do is work to privatize the government.

I guess the real problem is Warren is a politician and she says things that appeal to the people, the people are stupid and they like it when Warren says things like the billionaires are freeloading... most people dont have a business mind, they dont know how to generate wealth, they dont know that entrepreneurialism is the foundation of the comforts they enjoy, we should buy everyone a trip to Venezuala and let them see what happens when the entrepreneurial foundations are destroyed. That might be the best use of taxpayer money I have heard in a long time.

rant over

Spot on. The challenge is people want to blame others for everything except to look inwards which is a problem that is prevalent everywhere in the world. Indians will complain they can't find jobs and housing is expensive...well no shit Sherlock you have 1 Billion + people because in that society they are obsessed with having sons so they keeping busting kids out not realizing that raising kids is expensive. Combine this with backward practices and generally lunacy and you get the shit hole known as India (and before anyone says India is making strides blah blah blah if that's the case why are so many of them trying to come to the US, Canada, etc?)

Give free shit to people and they will act like they deserve it and earned it. We're getting to the point that France was during the revolution and continues to be today with there "We hate rich people!" attitude.

Fix yourself, your family, etc and then go bitch about shit. You have great examples of immigrants coming here and making something of them and you got people born in this fucking country who say they don't have a fair shot in life?

Give me a motherfucking break...

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Feb 8, 2019

Hmmm.... I generally agree with the essence of everything you said but drastically disagree with your view on India. I'm not sure if your view is biased, prejudiced, or just uninformed but hopefully I can change it.

The plain fact is that India is the way that it is because of massive amounts of corruption that pervades all levels of the society (from the lowest level of police officers happy to take $0.20 bribes to governors of states that are secret billionaires) and a bureaucratic system that feeds on that corruption in a vicious cycle. The highest levels of business essentially mimic a crony capitalist state where billionaires can default and go bankrupt with billions of loans owed to Indian banks (state-owned banks so defaults affect regular people) and yet retain their net worth (look up Vijay Mallya and Anil Ambani.)

Putting aside the fact that the housing industry in America is somewhat subsidized by quasi-governmental organizations, housing is expensive in India because purchasing a house entails bribes and kickbacks to multiple people on the lower-levels of the real estate industry and then faith that the "house" you are purchasing and that is being developed by someone with access to the cash is real and that the project will not be abandoned leaving you with no recourse. You can look up multiple examples of people whose life savings were stolen from them by those peddling falsified records of land ownership or developers who promise that they'll build you a house and just stop the project leaving you with no recourse. btw - that last example literally happened to Citadel and a host of other funds that invested 500mm in a RE development fund that had a complex scheme that filtered all the money into the pockets of the GP's. Those LP's are finding that they have no recourse. If the most powerful funds in the world can't fight back, the average Indian stands no chance.

That was all to provide context for what I largely disagree about your viewpoint. Even after all that, the average indian living in poverty doesn't really complain all that much. Families have a high emphasis on foregoing consumption for savings and prioritizing education for their kids. India does not provide free elementary or high school education to the populace and tuition costs a significant chunk of the average worker's take-home salary and there is no such thing as Social Security so they still need to save for retirement. The prevailing attitude toward wealthy people in India is aspirational and not focused on redistribution of wealth. Some Indians with little to no formal education, even little elementary or high school education, can (I don't really get this either) name about a dozen CEO's whereas the average American doesn't give a fuck. And again, keep in mind that the inequality in India is staggering. Go to Bombay and you will see Ferrari's on streets next shantytown, slums, and kids who don't have clothes. I've literally seen an impoverished 3 year old kid whose body is riddled with malnutrition on the side of the road eating SHIT.

Interestingly, this is exactly why I agree with the essence of what you are saying. Once you understand the institutionalized and structural impediments to socioeconomic mobility that exist in the majority of the world, it is incredibly hard to sympathize with radical progressives in the United States. There are kids in India born in villages and slums that will barely have access to basic resources like food and clean water never mind a decent education or access to a computer/the Internet. Annoyed that you are Lower middle class and Jeff Bezos/Howard Schult/random billionaire has money you can only dream of? Stop clamoring for their money, pay more attention in school/go to night classes/hustle harder to make a better life for yourself and your family. Want a billion dollars? This is America, who the fuck is stopping you?

Feb 1, 2019

If Warren wasn't rich, he'd be a buffoon.

For whatever reason, because he's rich, we regard him as the Oracle of Omaha.

My theory is he says these things as a preemptive strike against the man (ie I'm not like the rest of these tax cheating richers). Then he openly states he pays as little tax as he legally can. Why not write an extra check or two to help our government out instead of pointing the finger at others who are doing the exact same thing you do.

It was like the time when that loser Kaine got after Pence during the VP debate saying how richers like him take advantage of all of these tax loopholes. Pence retorts back saying, "You mean you don't take advantage of all the tax deductions available to you!?"

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Feb 1, 2019
WolfofWSO:

If Warren wasn't rich, he'd be a buffoon.

For whatever reason, because he's rich, we regard him as the Oracle of Omaha.

My theory is he says these things as a preemptive strike against the man (ie I'm not like the rest of these tax cheating richers). Then he openly states he pays as little tax as he legally can. Why not write an extra check or two to help our government out instead of pointing the finger at others who are doing the exact same thing you do.

It was like the time when that loser Kaine got after Pence during the VP debate saying how richers like him take advantage of all of these tax loopholes. Pence retorts back saying, "You mean you don't take advantage of all the tax deductions available to you!?"

Lmao.. love the irony here.

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Feb 1, 2019
iBankedUp:
WolfofWSO:

If Warren wasn't rich, he'd be a buffoon.

For whatever reason, because he's rich, we regard him as the Oracle of Omaha.

My theory is he says these things as a preemptive strike against the man (ie I'm not like the rest of these tax cheating richers). Then he openly states he pays as little tax as he legally can. Why not write an extra check or two to help our government out instead of pointing the finger at others who are doing the exact same thing you do.

It was like the time when that loser Kaine got after Pence during the VP debate saying how richers like him take advantage of all of these tax loopholes. Pence retorts back saying, "You mean you don't take advantage of all the tax deductions available to you!?"

Lmao.. love the irony here.

He may come off as an 'aw-shucks' mouth breathing midwesterner, but he's no dummy when it comes to playing the political game.

https://money.cnn.com/2013/03/04/news/economy/buff...
If he's so up in arms about this this inequity, then why not be the bigger man and pay the same rate as your secretary and staff. Don't blame the tax system.

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Feb 1, 2019

OP is referring to Elizabeth Warren, not Warren Buffet.

Feb 1, 2019

Whoops, my bad.
I'm just use to the rinse and repeat out of that fool regarding how unfair taxes are due to the richers using loopholes.

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Feb 1, 2019

On the one hand, it shouldn't surprise me that this type of posturing gets more prominent in this part of the election cycle. Soak the rich is an easy card to play if you're trying to gain traction with the left in advance of primary season. Once certain Democrats move to the head of the primary pack, they'll have to moderate to stand a chance in the general election.

On the other hand, I struggle with why socialist messaging seems more popular than now than it has been in decades. Unemployment literally can't go much lower, and wages have actually started to reflect that. Just seems like an odd climate for this much discontent with capitalism.

Feb 1, 2019

It's more so that purchasing power has gone down. For instance, a construction worker back in 1960 could feed his entire family, buy a decent house, and send his kids to college (partially paying) without a problem. Today, he needs to make 2.5x of what he makes now to do all of those things.

Instead of excess taxation, we should do a couple of things. One, allocate money away from the military budget to provide free college/healthcare. We'd still be able to outspend the next 3 countries combined on military (so not compromising our safety in any way), and have a lot more mobility & safety net. Two, and this is more controversial, but gov. could control housing prices, and then later transportation (as autonomous vehicles hit the road and become more of a utility service). This way, yes, you're screwing housing a bit (transportation will almost certainly become a utility, and I could care less about Uber/Lyft's profits), but helping Americans afford these things. The three biggest expenses, are housing, transportation, and food. If you can control the first two, you're golden. Just my two cents

For the record, I'm hardcore capitalist. I just think these are some small compromises we can make to have a sustainable America over the next century.

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Feb 1, 2019

Fine point about purchasing power, income inequality, disappearing middle class, etc. Though I'm still a bit puzzled that these issues have moved to the forefront now when they've been true for quite some time.

And you won't get any argument from me on reduced military spending. Our military is a Federal jobs program about geopolitical influence, not safety. And that influence is a terrible return on a massive investment.

The rest of your proposed solutions, however, make me want to die just so I can roll over in my grave. College, healthcare and transportation are all disasters in this country because of existing government intervention, not because there's not enough. College tuition has soared because of government subsidy. Rent control has been shown over and over to exacerbate affordability issues, not mitigate them. Americans waste countless hours and billions in productivity every year because there's no means or incentive to innovate our transit systems.

hedgehog9:

For the record, I'm hardcore capitalist.

Narrator: "He isn't."

Feb 2, 2019
hedgehog9:

It's more so that purchasing power has gone down. For instance, a construction worker back in 1960 could feed his entire family, buy a decent house, and send his kids to college (partially paying) without a problem. Today, he needs to make 2.5x of what he makes now to do all of those things.

Instead of excess taxation, we should do a couple of things. One, allocate money away from the military budget to provide free college/healthcare. We'd still be able to outspend the next 3 countries combined on military (so not compromising our safety in any way), and have a lot more mobility & safety net. Two, and this is more controversial, but gov. could control housing prices, and then later transportation (as autonomous vehicles hit the road and become more of a utility service). This way, yes, you're screwing housing a bit (transportation will almost certainly become a utility, and I could care less about Uber/Lyft's profits), but helping Americans afford these things. The three biggest expenses, are housing, transportation, and food. If you can control the first two, you're golden. Just my two cents

For the record, I'm hardcore capitalist. I just think these are some small compromises we can make to have a sustainable America over the next century.

Believe it or not, this may be the most idiotic and economically illiterate post in the history of WSO. It's so stupid on so many levels that I can't even believe it...

My God...

Feb 8, 2019

"Hardcore"? More like milktoast. If you were hardcore you would be an anarco-capitalist.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Feb 5, 2019
HighlyClevered:

On the other hand, I struggle with why socialist messaging seems more popular than now than it has been in decades. Unemployment literally can't go much lower, and wages have actually started to reflect that. Just seems like an odd climate for this much discontent with capitalism.

It's not dollars and cents. It's the chase of a meaningful life. People believe that socialism is the natural order, ie social ownership of the nation's assets, taking power away from "the establishment" and "the rich". It's deeper than just simply "Trump is owning the dems and everybody else".

But, I feel like the long-term implications are missed on these people. In theory, social ownership makes sense. In practical terms, people love someone to take leadership and do the hardwork for them, as most love following someone. Inevitably, someone or some tiny minority will rise to control more power than what we see in the country right now. And depending on what that group looks like, the consequences could be far worse, as we're talking about centralizing an immense amount of power, wealth, and assets, which would give far reaching control to every aspect of our lives.

And there's no reason to believe that comfort with centralization over a period of a decade to a few, would allow us to realize when we need to stand on the right side of authority, vs allowing comfort with centralized power to become a dictator. I think it'll be a bad precdent.

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Feb 1, 2019

Why shouldn't the ultra rich pay the same share of their total wealth as everybody else does?

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Feb 1, 2019

I'm pretty sure this is theaccountingmajor's alt account.

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Feb 1, 2019

WB is a polygamist. Maybe he can add Elizabeth Warren to his portfolio.

Feb 1, 2019

My guy WB doesn't like crazy cunts.

Cash and cash equivalents: $138,311
Financial instruments and other inventory positions owned: $448,166

Feb 1, 2019
HighlyLeveredCat:

My guy WB doesn't like crazy cunts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Buffett

Feb 1, 2019

delete.

Feb 1, 2019

Bravo. We have to get spending under control as a country and set priorities.

Everyone should play this "balance the budget" game: "Debtfixer"

Feb 1, 2019

Capital goes to where it's treated best, as does labor. Striking the right balance between tax rates and citizen benefits is arguably one of the most important questions in optimization today (what is the right mix?). I don't think there's an easy fix, but tax rates on the wealthy can probably rise another 5-10% (total, combo of cap gains plus income tax) and on the corporate side, can rise another 2-4%. However, this wouldn't be enough to pay down the deficit or fund real investment.

I'm currently in Jamie Dimons camp when it comes to tax rates. I'd be willing to pay higher income taxes in exchange for lower corporate tax rates. At the same time, I really want competent leadership and a robust system. Partisanship and the current state of intellectual neglect is not making me confident in government. At the same time, I do get that long term growth is driven by factors that need to be targeted and not enough resources are being spent to advance those determinants of growth.

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Feb 1, 2019

Delete

Feb 1, 2019

Great essay, but missed the point. Social programs, such as payments to the poor, increase economic activity and provide a stabilizing mechanism during economic troughs. In addition, funding public schools (education spending) and healthcare increases productivity. Money spent is money earned--this spending feeds back into EPS and interest payments on debt.

I totally agree with you in that the programs need to be more effectively managed. This is where representation is key. I personally don't feel represented in congress-- most congresspeople come from a legal background and are fixated on a specific ideology.

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Feb 1, 2019

The reason why America is such a great country and thus benefits the world positively is because of the entrepreneurial spirit. If you start trying to tax capital as opposed to income, we're in big trouble and you'll see living standards across the world drop.

These idiots won't know what they're voting into office. I think most people don't actually realise how wealth is created and the fact that Jeff Bezos is a billionaire has all benefited us (through more jobs as well as better selection of product).

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Feb 1, 2019

I'm all about smart money.

Taxing the billionaires more just means more money is allocated towards the government (stupid money).

Let the billionaires make the money dance in the system they know so well and the government will reap more in the long run.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Feb 4, 2019
Isaiah_53_5:

I'm all about smart money.

Taxing the billionaires more just means more money is allocated towards the government (stupid money).

Let the billionaires make the money dance in the system they know so well and the government will reap more in the long run.

70% of rich families lose their wealth in the 2nd generation.

90% of rich families lose their wealth by the 3rd generation.

Feb 5, 2019
The_RE_Dude:
Isaiah_53_5:

I'm all about smart money.

Taxing the billionaires more just means more money is allocated towards the government (stupid money).

Let the billionaires make the money dance in the system they know so well and the government will reap more in the long run.

70% of rich families lose their wealth in the 2nd generation.

90% of rich families lose their wealth by the 3rd generation.

I mentioned billionaires, you mentioned families and generations.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Feb 7, 2019
The_RE_Dude:
Isaiah_53_5:

I'm all about smart money.

Taxing the billionaires more just means more money is allocated towards the government (stupid money).

Let the billionaires make the money dance in the system they know so well and the government will reap more in the long run.

70% of rich families lose their wealth in the 2nd generation.

90% of rich families lose their wealth by the 3rd generation.

So what? Its their money and they can choose to do whatever they want with it even if it means blowing it on hookers and cocaine.

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Feb 2, 2019

Warren is a retard. end of story.

thots and prayers

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Feb 2, 2019

I like how the left-wing of the Democrat party is now saying (or now more loudly saying) that the existence of billionaires is immoral, yet the crux of their financing mechanism is to tax the super wealthy. So, their entire scheme is premised upon the existence of the ultra-wealthy. Color me cynical, but this all leads me to believe that rhetorical hatred for billionaires is simply faux moral justification for their economic/fiscal scheme and not actual moral disagreement.

Feb 4, 2019
real_Skankhunt42:

I like how the left-wing of the Democrat party is now saying (or now more loudly saying) that the existence of billionaires is immoral, yet the crux of their financing mechanism is to tax the super wealthy. So, their entire scheme is premised upon the existence of the ultra-wealthy. Color me cynical, but this all leads me to believe that rhetorical hatred for billionaires is simply faux moral justification for their economic/fiscal scheme and not actual moral disagreement.

An economic scheme advocated by the likes of the 'social-justice-warrior', supreme commander of the allied forces during WW2, President Eisenhower, who intelligently realized that a balanced budget could be achieved by high marginal taxation rates, despite the deplorability of such tax rates.

Feb 10, 2019

So you think for them to be rhetorically consistent, what they actually should be doing is confiscating all wealth above $1 billion?

Feb 5, 2019

Socialism is our cultural Fyre Festival. Billionaires are the models getting sued now for "false advertising"

Feb 5, 2019

Most people are acting as if this conversation needs to be either/or. The wealthy need to get taxed at higher rates AND the government needs to spend tax revenue more efficiently. The current path we're taking will lead (is leading?) to the type of socialism that most of us here are against. I'm frightened of what will eventually (inevitably?) happen if we don't seriously evaluate the current state of our social programs.

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Feb 6, 2019

While Elizabeth Warren probably overstated the case when calling billionaires 'freeloaders', she's tapping into the same populist sentiments that brought Donald Trump to power. There is a clear feeling among the polity that the system is rigged against the interests of the common man. That zeitgeist has encompassed most of the Western liberal world order. Perhaps it stems from fear--fear of automation, fear of outsourcing, fear of increased competition, or scarcity of resources. Or perhaps it's a justifiable response to globalism.

The thing is--free trade and technological innovations have created more jobs than they have destroyed, but both did so unequally. They didn't replace the exact job that was lost in the exact place where it was lost immediately after it was lost. It turns out dislocations from disruptions (technological or otherwise) can last much longer than we might ideally like. I believe that the market would eventually smooth out these dislocations, but there are instances where such dislocations create enough turmoil to topple the system before it has a chance to reach equilibrium.

The system itself is under question at the moment. If the people with the most to lose don't proactively get in front of the change that's coming, they're unlikely to relish the reckoning. We have a system that allows massive wealth to accrue to a modicum of people. I'm a direct beneficiary of that system, but most people mostly only feel indirect benefits from that system. In my experience, it's hard to explain second-order effects to people. That's not what they see or understand. It's generally outside their ken.

What most people see is that they pay more per dollar earned in taxes than people much richer than them. That's why Warren's wealth tax proposal (taxing wealth above $50M at 2% per annum and wealth above $1B at 3% per annum) has a 78% approval rating across the electorate with a 55% approval rating among even Republican voters. If you don't think tax policy for the ultra-rich is going to change materially with numbers like that, you're nuts.

If I'm honest, I'd prefer that to a big increase in the upper tax rate on ordinary income. That's what prevents people from ever accruing real wealth. If you tax ordinary income at 70% or more, it's the professional classes (people like the ones reading this website) who get fucked. Our tax code is essentially designed to screw people like me with high incomes and weak tax shields. If I had inherited $50M, I'd legitimately work a great deal less and very easily keep a great deal more of every dollar earned than I currently do. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

I think it makes little sense to the masses as well. The tax code is just so fucking boring that no one wants to talk about it for more than a minute or two. Democrats have never been able to articulate their economic message in soundbites small enough for the average person, but if they stick with the populist message Warren is espousing at the moment, I think they may find their stride. I mean--most people don't know anyone with $50M. What do they care if some people they don't know have to pay an extra tax on the second $50M they own?

I'd love to hear the argument that someone here thinks appeals to the masses to counteract this proposal? Calling it 'dumb' or 'un-American' doesn't seem sufficient to me when the polls favor it so clearly.

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Feb 6, 2019

On an unrelated point, I just saw a side-by-side of Stacey Abrams and Mitch McConnell. I think I may never get an erection again. How do people who look like that get on television?

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Feb 6, 2019

Mitch McConnell is 1000x uglier than Stancey Abrams. Paul Ryan probably ranks high-ish on attractive politicians, as do Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney. Come to think of it, the 2012 election probably featured the most attractive presidential tickets in history - all four of them are decent looking, with Paul Ryan being the ugliest and either Mitt or Barack being the best looking.

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Feb 6, 2019
brotherbear:

If I'm honest, I'd prefer that to a big increase in the upper tax rate on ordinary income. That's what prevents people from ever accruing real wealth. If you tax ordinary income at 70% or more, it's the professional classes (people like the ones reading this website) who get fucked. Our tax code is essentially designed to screw people like me with high incomes and weak tax shields. If I had inherited $50M, I'd legitimately work a great deal less and very easily keep a great deal more of every dollar earned than I currently do. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Couldn't have said it any better. A 70% marginal income tax rate just affects new money. Old money would be happy to have such a tax system. Let's increase the capital gains tax (with exceptions to people below certain income levels/ true retirement accounts/ pensions etc.) and revisit the estate tax (or at least the loopholes people can use to get around it) rather than AOC's ridiculous income tax.

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Feb 6, 2019

Carter and Raegen tried to do this didn't they?

Feb 6, 2019

+1

Also in typical WSO fashion I'm impressed how a well written, articulate, valid point of view got turned into "yeah but btw so and so is ugly af"

Feb 6, 2019

Uh.. he wrote both of those comments.

Feb 7, 2019

It's impossible to get a fair debate on this topic here (on WSO).

Your avg. WSO poster think he/she is destined to become the next Billionaire, and will see fair tax laws as another obstacle between them and their future wealth.

It's like a milder version of republicans enticing dirt poor Americans with the "American dream", telling them that taxes are bad, and will just hinder them from reaching their (pie in the sky) riches - when in reality it's just another trick to get tax-reforms pushed through for their wealthy donors.

Don't they teach students basic probability and statistics anymore?

Feb 7, 2019
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Feb 9, 2019
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Feb 10, 2019
Feb 13, 2019