Never underestimate the stupidity and rapacity of governments. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:
California lawmakers appear intent on making the Eagles song Hotel California a reality … at least when it comes to taxes for those who try to flee the state. At the Hotel California, “you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave!” With soaring costs and a massive $24 billion deficit, the state is also facing an exodus of people leaving the state. The solution? Convert the state into a tax Venus flytrap: not only impose a wealth tax on those caught in the state but tax those who try to leave.
The new bill introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Alex Lee would impose an extra annual 1.5% tax on those with a “worldwide net worth” above $1 billion, starting as early as January 2024.
The law has a cynical bait-and-switch provision. The billionaire tax is just meant for the initial packaging and passage. It can therefore be sold as a “billionaire’s tax.” However, in two years, the threshold drops to a worldwide net worth exceeding $50 million. While billionaires would stay at 1.5%, those in the lower tax bracket would be hit by a 1% added rate on worldwide assets.
It also includes the taxation on those who left the state . . . many due to the high taxes. California already has the highest tax burden in the nation. It relies on its top 1% of taxpayers for roughly half of its individual income tax revenue, but continually treats those taxpayers like game in a canned hunt. The result, not surprisingly, is that they are leaving for states like Texas and Florida.
The government is broke and it’s coming after everything, including wealth that’s already been taxed at least once. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
Broke governments are going to be even more unbelievably rapacious than they are now. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:
International Man: President Biden’s Treasury Secretary—and Obama Fed Chair—Janet Yellen recently floated the idea of taxing unrealized capital gains through a “mark-to-market” mechanism.
What is going on here?
Doug Casey: When you tax unrealized capital gains—as they do with foreign stocks in a number of countries, like New Zealand, where it made my life expensive and miserable while I was living there—any stock market assets that you have are marked to market annually. This is a big disincentive to own them because whether you sell the asset or not, you’re going to pay taxes as if you’d sold it.
This is why very few Kiwis own foreign stocks. They’re liable to be taxed on gains, whether or not they sell and actually pocket the gains. I presume that’s what Yellen is talking about. It would make it pointless to buy a stock like Berkshire Hathaway and just hold it for decades to escape capital gains taxes. But the bright side is that if this law was in force, Warren Buffett would no longer be able to whine about the injustice of paying fewer taxes than his secretary.
I question whether the proposal will be enacted, though, simply because it’s so stupidly destructive. It’s clear that Yellen needs to collect on some more six-figure speeches to gain a proper understanding of it and get off that hobby horse.
Posted in Banking, Business, Civil Liberties, Collapse, Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Governments, Taxes
Tagged Marxism, Wealth taxes
They tax you when you earn it and then when you die, and now they want to tax whatever you manage to hold on to during your lifetime every year. From Thor Lihaug at theduran.com:
Over the last two decades, Western economies have been increasingly driven by debt. A significant contributor to the 2008 stock market crash was unsustainable debt. How did we fix the problem? We loaned even more. Since then Western nations have doubled the national debt levels. The Covid crisis makes it even worse. Governmental rescue programs are on rapid escalation with a huge decline in national fiscal income. This will have to be financed by either more loans, taxes or a combination thereof. Who or when to pay for it all, is quite unclear, but there will be no escape for taxpayers. A Wealth Tax (WT) is a recurring hot topic in crises, but a novelty to the UK.
Former US Democrat presidential nominees Elisabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have already suggested a new Wealth Tax on wealthy Americans. Joe Biden’s tax proposals are predicted to increase taxes for households at every income level and make the federal tax code more progressive, but he has to my knowledge rejected proposals for a Wealth Tax. On the other hand, strong forces are pushing him further to the left on the political spectrum and WT is highly supported among left progressives. California Democrats have raised two proposals to raise taxes on the “rich.” Assembly Bill 1253 and 2088 would raise the top tax rates in California – which are already the nation’s highest at 13.3% – even higher with the introduction of a 0,4% Wealth Tax.
In UK the Wealth Tax debate is partially obscured by other political events, as the Brexit debacle. The WT appears to have eluded the interest of most media outlets however, powerful forces are supporting WT. Many political leaders are already expressing clear support. Member of the OMFIF Advisory Board, Brian Reading (former Economic Adviser to UK Prime Minister Edward Heath) states:
“The pandemic makes the case for a British wealth tax undeniable. A wealth tax helps to reduce inequality. It is an economic and moral necessity. The cost of this outbreak should not be left as a future burden solely on those who work, save and invest to create wealth.”
This is an idea that will catch on like wild fire among cash-strapped governments. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
It was about about nine years ago when consulting company BCG first suggested that in a time of out of control spending and soaring debt loads, the only fiscally sustainable “solution” was to implement a wealth tax (see “There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis“).
While the idea was well ahead of its time in 2011, and was quickly shut down in the court of public opinion, several years later none other than the IMF resurrected the idea of a wealth tax, which has only gained momentum in recent months, and despite widespread grassroots pushback, the concept of a “wealth tax” has moved front and center and most recently the chairman of Capital Economics, Roger Bootle, said that the world’s wealthiest could be subjected to higher tax rates as governments scramble to fund spending and repair their economies amid the coronavirus crisis.
Fast forward to today when the ultra-liberal state of California is now ready to take this “socialist” idea from concept to the implementation phase, with the SF Chronicle reporting that a group of CA state lawmakers on Thursday proposed a first-in-the-nation state wealth tax that would hit about 30,400 California residents and raise an estimated $7.5 billion for the general fund.
The proposed tax rate would be 0.4% of net worth (most likely ended up far higher), excluding directly held real estate, that exceeds $30 million for single and joint filers and $15 million for married filing separately.
Oakland Democrat Rob Bonta, who is the lead author of the wealth tax proposal AB2008, justified the wealth expropriation by saying that California is facing a big budget deficit because of the health and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus, and “we can’t simply rely on austerity measures,” to close it. It wasn’t immediately clear why austerity doesn’t work considering that California has never actually tried it, but in any case the Democrat’s proposal was clear: “We must consider revenue generation.”
There was abundant competition among Democrats’ many crazy ideas, but 5 winners emerged. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:
International Man: Elizabeth Warren proposed an annual tax on a person’s wealth. What do you make of this?
Doug Casey: When you tax something, you discourage it. If Elizabeth Warren wants to tax people’s wealth, that’s going to encourage people to hide their wealth. And discourage them from getting wealthy. So, it’s poison from an economic point of view.
But it’s even worse from an ethical or spiritual point of view. It sends a signal that wealth is evil. That it has to be kept under control and limited. That a political priesthood should determine how much is enough and who should get it. It’s especially perverse in that people like Warren act like they have the moral high ground. When in fact, they’re in the moral gutter.
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Posted in Business, Capitalism, Government, History, Horseshit, Law, Media, Politics, race relations, Taxes
Tagged Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Reparations, Wealth taxes