EppsNet Archive: Taxes

I Don’t Understand What Warren Buffett is Talking About

In an op-ed for the New York Times, Warren Buffett argues that higher taxes won’t keep the super-rich from trying to make money: Suppose that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.” Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist. — A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy – NYTimes.com Really, Warren? It’s an investment, right? It’s not a sure thing. It’s not a giveaway. I’m being asked to put money at risk. That’s the difference between… Read more →

No Surprises in Berkeley

Final election counts are in for Berkeley, CA, the most liberal city in America. Let’s start with the presidential election, where Mitt Romney was able to edge out Jill Stein for second place: Barack Obama, Democrat – 90.3% Mitt Romney, Republican – 4.6% Jill Stein, Green Party – 3.2% California ballot proposition results included: Proposition 30, a measure to increase state income tax rates for the wealthy – 90.7% Yes (passed statewide at 54.6%) Proposition 34, to abolish the death penalty in California – 86% Yes (lost statewide 52% to 48%) Proposition 37, requiring labeling of genetically engineered food – 92.4% Yes (lost statewide 52% to 48%) Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Paul Krugman

America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again. — Paul Krugman I hardly know where to begin with this . . . First of all, what is the relevance of the 1950s as opposed to any other period of American history? America prior to 1913 had no permanent income tax and contrary to left-wing propaganda, it prospered. Why can’t we do that again? Of course we’re all in favor of fairness — right? — but why is it only important that “the rich” pay their “fair share”? I don’t remember ever hearing anyone, certainly not Krugman, use the phrase “pay their fair share” in reference to any group except “the rich.” If you’re concerned about fairness, isn’t it also… Read more →

The Lives of Julia and Paul

David Henderson says — accurately, I think — that Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remarks can be paraphrased as “People who are dependent on government will vote for the candidate who credibly (to them, at least) promises to keep the programs that have created that dependence.” Do you think President Obama disagrees with that? He doesn’t. If you think he does, please see The Life of Julia on the president’s web site. It lays out a “typical” woman’s cradle-to-grave dependence on government assistance and describes how Obama will keep those programs going while Mitt Romney won’t. The most insulting thing about it is that as you read about Obama funding this and Obama funding that, it sounds like he’s doing it all out of his own goddamn pocket. What a prince! There’s no acknowledgement that Obama is taking from some and giving to others, and that all of Julia’s “free” stuff… Read more →

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9

By slashing the income tax rate, effectively, in half, he makes it that much more worthwhile to get up in the morning, take risks, work hard, take chances, and invest in progress. By eliminating the capital gains tax, he rewards investment and ownership and makes it possible for people to move up the economic ladder, not through phony teaser Fannie Mae mortgages, but by smart purchases and skillful investment. . . . Herman Cain would establish America as a beacon for investors, entrepreneurs, inventors, creative business people, and all manner of upwardly mobile, ambitious men and women. He would give the U.S. the lowest personal and corporate tax rates in the world, and the only place where investment earnings are tax free. In the process, he and his plan would kindle decades of robust economic growth. He would make the next few decades a continuation of the American Century. —… Read more →

Education Dollars at Work

My son, a high school senior, says, “Guess what I’m doing in school tomorrow?” I venture a guess: “Learning things.” “No. It’s actually a trick question. I’ve got a free period, then another free period, then a movie.” “I hope I’m getting a tax refund for this nonsense.” Read more →

The Price of Taxing the Rich

Nearly half of California’s income taxes before the recession came from the top 1% of earners: households that took in more than $490,000 a year. High earners, it turns out, have especially volatile incomes—their earnings fell by more than twice as much as the rest of the population’s during the recession. When they crashed, they took California’s finances down with them. — WSJ.com Read more →

Orwell in Wisconsin

On Saturday, February 26th, Americans in all 50 states rallied to show solidarity with the people of Wisconsin, and to save the American Dream. — MoveOn.Org Ha ha — George Orwell couldn’t have said it better! MoveOn.org doesn’t stand with the people of Wisconsin, they stand with the people trying to rip off the people of Wisconsin. Union-elected legislators provide sweet contracts for public-sector unions, who in turn kick back a share of the money to the legislators. Government employees take both sides of the action and the tax-paying fools who pay for everything are not represented at all. That’s the American Dream? Read more →

New Jersey is the Worst Place to Die

The worst place to die is New Jersey with a combined effective estate and inheritance tax rate of 54.1%. Congrats to the Garden State! In second place is Maryland at 50.9%. Good try! — Yahoo! Finance Read more →

Not in My Backyard

James Taranto on press coverage of President Obama’s Backyard chats: What’s most telling about these encounters is the absence of fear on the part of the citizens challenging Obama. In October 2008, in his own Ohio neighborhood, “Joe the Plumber” confronted the future president and objected to his tax-hike plans. Obama revealingly replied that he was eager to “spread the wealth around,” and the media pounced–on Joe. He’s not really a plumber! Joe is his middle name! Who knows how history might have been changed if the media had been as aggressive in investigating Obama’s background? But now, it seems, the lesson of Joe the Plumber has been lost. Citizens feel free to criticize Obama with impunity. The reporters who wrote these stories don’t even mention the names of the critics, much less conduct opposition research against them on Obama’s behalf. Read more →

First They Came . . .

I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. — Barack Obama, Sept. 12, 2008 There must be some mistake then because I just got an email from our accounting department stating that effective January 1, 2011, over-the-counter drugs will require a doctor’s prescription when an FSA claim for reimbursement is submitted. That doesn’t even make sense. Of course I don’t have a prescription for OTC drugs. Why would I pay a doctor to write me a prescription for something that I can just walk into Walgreen’s and buy it? Hi Doc, I’ve got a terrible cold so I just stopped by to drop a $30 co-pay and get a prescription for some Nyquil. And if I… Read more →

Too Rich to Live?

If Congress doesn’t change the law soon–and many experts think it won’t–the estate tax will come roaring back in 2011. On a $5 million estate, the tax consequence of dying a minute after midnight on Jan. 1, 2011 rather than two minutes earlier could be more than $2 million; on a $15 million estate, the difference could be about $8 million. — Too Rich to Live? – WSJ.com THANK GOD I DON’T HAVE 5 MILLION DOLLARS! I’d be sleeping with my eyes open from now till New Years, lest I meet my demise at the business end of a pillow stuffed in my face by a greedy heir. IT’S KILL OR BE KILLED NOW! Read more →

Twitter: 2009-10-01

IT Workers Being Converted into Teachers: http://bit.ly/BEMVv # RT @Aimee_B_Loved: I try to hide my disappointment when I drop the soap in the shower and nothing happens. But Rubber Ducky sees my shame. # RT @Lileks: Modern-day Sartre: hell is other people's ringtones. # @bjsrestaurants My favorite Deep Dish Pizza is the Great White! in reply to bjsrestaurants # WSJ.com – Group Tied to Obama Urges Tax Increase http://bit.ly/V1s6X #stopthepresses # Read more →

Income Tax Fact of the Day

IRS data shows that in 2007 — the most recent data available — the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act. Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. — The Tax Foundation Read more →

Taxes Make People Nuts

One of the post offices here in Irvine is a best-kept secret . . . it’s off Culver Drive, down a side street and around a corner, basically in a residential area. It’s never busy because, unlike the post office on Sand Canyon, it’s not visible from a major street and most people don’t know it’s there. My wife emailed me at work yesterday morning to say that she went to that post office and tons of cars were lined up to get in, which reminded her that it was April 15. Not to worry though. We mailed our taxes on the 14th — to beat that last-minute rush. Twenty years or so ago, I was living in Hollywood and — on the evening of April 15 — filling up at a gas station just south of the freeway from Union Station. Beyond Union Station on Alameda St. is the… Read more →

Promises, Promises

WASHINGTON — One of President Barack Obama’s campaign pledges on taxes went up in puffs of smoke Wednesday. The largest increase in tobacco taxes took effect despite Obama’s promise not to raise taxes of any kind on families earning under $250,000 or individuals under $200,000. This is one tax that disproportionately affects the poor, who are more likely to smoke than the rich. — Associated Press Read more →

Why Spending Stimulus Plans Fail

Congress doesn’t have its own stash [of money]. Every dollar it injects into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. No new spending power is created. It’s merely redistributed from one group of people to another. — Brian Reidl, The Wall Street Journal As you probably learned in school, we founded this country as a free-market economy and viewed government intervention in the market with the greatest skepticism. The above article is the clearest explanation I’ve seen for why bailouts and “stimulus plans” involving government spending never work. The latest failed companies hoping for a bailout are General Motors and Ford. I hope Henry Ford — a great American like myself, who is currently whirling like a lathe in his Detroit grave — will pardon me for saying so, but these companies are nothing but engines of mass financial destruction. According to the WSJ, GM… Read more →

Thomas Jefferson’s Election Blog

Firstly, I’d like to thank Paul Epps for giving me this space on his web site to express my humble views. He is a real American. What concerns me today is that a candidate for president, Barack Obama, has said that he wants to “spread the wealth around” in America. It was a long time ago, but let me remind those of you who didn’t pay attention in history class that we founded this country as a rebellion against a too-powerful government. We believed in — and fought for — self-reliance and freedom, including the economic freedom to earn a dollar and spend it any way you want to. When someone tells you that he is going to decide how much money you can earn before he starts taking it away from you and giving it to someone else, that man is a scoundrel. And when Americans — the descendants… Read more →

Depression 2.0

Mr. Obama is proposing to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends by a staggering two-thirds, moving the rate up 10 percentage points to 25%, which could curtail investment and business on Wall Street, a backbone of the city’s and state’s economy. — New York Sun OK, let me get this straight . . . the stock market’s dropping, banks are failing from lack of liquidity, no one wants to invest in American companies, and Obama’s solution is to raise the capital gains tax?! In the event of an Obama presidency, I will taking a long position in blankets, canned goods and shotgun shells . . . Read more →

« Previous PageNext Page »