Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Clinton's Estate Taxes...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

It is one thing to advocate for an estate tax to keep the nation from eventually (possibly) being heavily influenced by inherited wealth as the Clinton's have done. Apparently it is quite another to actually pay them, at least for Bill and Hillary. They are taking full advantage of financial strategies that benefit the top 1 percent of the nation. You know, those individuals that liberals love to hate. Well, when it seems politically expedient to do so.

Don't get me wrong, personally the death tax rubs me the wrong. But really, wouldn't it make sense for those advocating hefty estate taxes to at least opt out of the very benefits you have politically and publicly been against? I mean if you're wanting to be a leader shouldn't you set an example? Somehow do as I say, not as I do just doesn't cut it. Or at least it shouldn't.

Bloomberg - Bill and Hillary Clinton have long supported an estate tax to prevent the U.S. from being dominated by inherited wealth. That doesn’t mean they want to pay it.

To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth. These moves, common among multimillionaires, will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death.

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.

“The goal is really be thoughtful and try to build up the nontaxable estate, and that’s really what this is,” Sloan said. “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

The Clintons’ finances are receiving attention as Hillary Clinton tours the country promoting her book, “Hard Choices.” She said in an interview on ABC television that the couple was “dead broke” and in debt when they left the White House in early 2001. After being criticized for her comments, she told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she understood the financial struggles of Americans.

I won't judge their integrity on this but...

Read the full story BELOW THE FOLD

Via: Memeorandum


  1. Whether they have money or not, shield it from taxes or not, if they work to keep and/or strengthen the estate tax, the country will be better for it.


    1. The country will only be better if the estate tax is entirely eliminated. It is based in jealousy and avarice, and, like any tax designed for social engineering or forcing "morality", it has no place in public policy.

      My views on the Clintons' personal actions, however, are not colored by my views on the destructive, greedy and redundant taxes they favor.

  2. I disagree jmj, unequivocally. AND, I do find it just a bit peculiar that such people of the people ( with tongue cheek) as the Clintons find not character to follow their "convictions."

    It reminds me of the hypocricy of the 20th century Bolsheviks and Communist movement/regime in Russia and elsewhere.

    But nevermind the principle of integrity, it really is, after all only about politics and playing the gullible so as to secure power and control. The age old struggle and what's good for me but not for thee.

    I suppose, for the true believer, none of this matters. It remains about the struggle of classes.

  3. Certainly for the masses any way, and Hillary and Bill know this all too well.

  4. There are two Americas. The 1% and the rest of us. And we the people allowed it. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    1. So the people in second 1% and the bottom 1% are both in the "rest of us" category? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.......What you have to realize here, Shaw, is that when the variability within groups is greater than the variability between groups, you're probably not going to get a significant finding and so goes your whole theory.

  5. Yes, yes, but what about Bill and Hillary, and the issue of integrity?

    I won't be supporting Hillary for President so I can ask and respond to these sort of things.

    1. I would have a bigger problem with it if what they were doing was illegal. I'm not sure that taking advantage of legal loopholes while advocating to close them is such a big deal for the Clintons or anyone. What we have to do is close them, not criticize the people who use them.

  6. IIRC, Romney took advantage of every loophole available to him and his hundreds of millions of dollars. Didn't Warren Buffet tell us that those loopholes for multi-millionaires and billionaires allow them to pay less taxes than his secretary?

    When the people who save lots of their millions though tax loopholes and schemes make the laws that allow them to legally scam the system, we will NEVER see anything change.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't believe Romney held the same position as the Clinton duo profess to hold.

      Personally I think estate taxes are bogus. Tax the money when it is earned at a reasonable rate and tax the growth on investments and savings when it is taken, in other words tax on unearned income. But it should be reasonable, not the level the Clinton duo would allegedly put in place.

      What we need is a complete tax code overhaul, putting in place a simplified code with three tax brackets and elimination of exemptions, deductions, and loopholes.

      Thanks for the proof read wd. Misspellings corrected. Oh, and how are those sock puppets doing?

    3. I am more offended by the very bad policy they favor (part of the less-than-1% who rule clobbering the rest of us), than I am by using legal means to avoid their already taxed wealth from being pillaged a second time.

      From HuffPo, from 2000 to 2006:

      "The Clintons paid $33,783,507 in federal taxes - 31% of their adjusted gross income. According to the most recent data available from the IRS, in 2005 taxpayers earning $10,000,000 or more paid on average 20.8% of their adjusted gross income in taxes."

      That's a massive amount. I am guessing that this might be an amount that RN considers to be taxed "when it is earned at a reasonable rate "

      The Feds have already profited handsomely. Enough is enough. No need for ghoulish and redundant death taxes on people's property.

    4. Three tax brackets leave the poor paying too much and the rich not enough. We need more tax brackets. Also, the Founders opposed the rise of an aristocracy that comes about as a result of inherited wealth. When you say this idea is "bogus" you're referring to an idea of the Founders... you know, the "classical Liberals" you believe (mostly?) agree with you politically.

    5. Well Dervish I agree 3 tax brackets is insufficient. Therefor I have rethought and returned to my long held position we should have a flat tax. No deductions, no exemptions, no loopholes, no relief via favored status or charitable deductions etcetera.

      But let me clarify just a bit seeing as how this is the first time in eons that you have left a comment worthy of publishing. Much appreciated as well I must add.

      1) Individuals earning less than 1.75% of the poverty level should pay nothing in federal taxes. Using 2014 federal poverty guidelines that would be $20,423 per anum in reported income. For a married couple (either same or opposite sex) the number would be $27,528 per anum, for a family (married) with one child $34, 632 per anum, for a family (married) with two children $41, 738. (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm)

      Note: Above based on total gross gross income. No deductions or exemptions, loopholes etcetera.

      All income beyond the cited levels above taxed at 12.5% So the single individual taxpayer earning $25,000 per her pays $2,500 in federal taxes. For the wealthy individual or family 1%'er hauling in $125,000,000 from all sources a rip roaring $15,625,000. To bad for him/her no more loopholes etc.

      Now let us turn to the wealthy corporation that earns a whooping $500,000,000 in after expenses profit taxed at 30%. It gets to pay a lowly $150,000,000 in federal extortion taxes.

      Betcha our tax revenues would balloon, deficits could disappear, and we could more effectively service our national debt. Especially if we turn to focusing on effective alternative energy, reduce reliance on the MIC and continual wars, investing in technology and education wisely, etc.

      Thank for you comment wd, and I'm sure you'll forgive any "word salad" that may have got tossed in due to my haste to respond to your fine comment.

    6. A couple of questions, RN.

      1. For individuals, why not start the tax on the amount above your poverty limit? For example, the single person who has a gross income $1 over the poverty limit, will suddenly have to pay over $2000 in taxes which actually moves him back below your poverty limit.

      2. Why give businesses deductions when you do not give people deductions? People pay on gross income, why not businesses. After all, as a former presidential candidate said, "corporations are people".

      As a side note, I believe you mean 1.75 times the poverty level, not 1.75%.

    7. Yeah Jerry, 175% or in calculation - value x 1.75. Call it my 'mathematical word salad."

      Your first point, it would simply be the way it was.

      As to your second, I do not believe it productive to tax the money companies, small or large, have to have to spend for legitimate business expense to operate their businesses.

      But hey, the nation is going to continue to have a screwed up loophole infested tax code, the class warfare will continue, the same sh*t will still be being talked about when I'm ashes, humans will continue to make the same mistakes over again (more than once), and there will always be wd's and koch families around to set the faithful straight in their partisan thinking.

      Bout sums dat one up. Time for the afternoon cocktail.

    8. RN: Seems worth a try. Those who irrationally hold onto sacred cows will dismiss such discussions and compromise in a knee-jerk fashion.

    9. I dismiss such discussion regarding the elimination of deductions and a flat tax not in a knee-jerk fashion, but because I believe the tax code is a useful tool to encourage behavior that is economically beneficial to the nation (in regards to deductions) and (in regards to a flat tax), I'm a strong believer in progressive taxation because, as Robert Reich points out, "the flat tax is a fraud. It raises taxes on the poor and lowers them on the rich". For some... that's EXACTLY why they advocate for it. For others... I have an idea, but I'll let RN speak for himself if he wishes to address that issue.

    10. While I understand your points as well as your reasoning I simply disagree.

      1) Our tax code is burdensome, riddled with loopholes, deductions, and exemptions that benefit the well to do more than the poor.

      2) Truly poor individuals, I use 175% of the federal poverty guidelines, should pay no federal taxes and 175% for married couples with two children. I would cap it at 2 because if your poor you should be concerned about not having children.

      3) You can reference my preceding comments fo additional info.

      I 'm fine with your and Reich's holding different opinions than my own. In my view they are ill advised. Penalizing success is as counter productive as providing exemptions, loopholes, etc. that only the fabulously wealthy benefit from.

      We shall simply continue to agree to disagree.

    11. #1 is true (we are in agreement on this point). But the solution isn't to throw the baby out with the bathwater. #2 has to do with your preference for the flat tax, a tax that favors the wealthy. You express concern for tax code that favors the wealthy with point #1, but then suggest a plan (the flat tax) that favors them MORE. Robert Reich's opinion is not "ill-advised", it is accurate. Not in RN's opinion, obviously, but I believe it is RN's opinion that is "ill-advised". That said, I guess we're at an impasse and will have to continue to agree to disagree as you say.

    12. I do not consider a rational flat tax that in fact shields the truly poor and working poor from paying any taxes as "throwing the baby out with the bathwater Dervish. Just as I do not believe individuals should be punished for their hard work and success, even if part of it was because the "breaks" fell their way.

      Second, and most germain... I am not wealthy nor have any of my family past or present wealthy. they are middle class, all hard working and honest. So, I sure as hell don't have a stake in as in advocating something that benefits just the wealthy. I advocate it beacaus IMNHO it makes the most sense.

      Lastly, There is common ground to a degree and the numbers and examples I presented (if you read them) are not something I would say has to be etched in stone. However I believe you would take that precise path. Perhaps I am wrong?

      BTW, what to do you advocate the top marginal tax rate should be set at in your desired progressive system of taxation.

    13. RN: Concerning your first paragraph, I agree strongly. I also don't feel it is proper at all to punish anyone like this as if they did anything wrong, without any evidence of wrongdoing or without any due process.

    14. RN: Also, I don't agree with any statement that a flat tax "a tax that favors the wealthy.". Even under the most pure flat tax, without any tilted gradations or exemptions,the wealthy pay a lot more. They are not "favored" at all not by any stretch of the imagination. Thus there is no evidence that you favor any "tax code that favors the wealthy". I applaud you for efforts to find common ground and trying to swim past such invalid claims.

      In fact, it is hard to argue that any tax code favors anyone, as long as a person is paying at least something in taxes. It is not "favor" to have your property forcibly taken away.

    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    16. In regards to the reference to "due process" in the comment above... The following is from the IRS website...

      The U.S. Supreme Court stated in Brushaber v. Union Pacific R.R., 240 U.S. 1, 24 (1916), that "it is ... well settled that [the Fifth Amendment] is not a limitation upon the taxing power conferred upon Congress by the Constitution; in other words, that the Constitution does not conflict with itself by conferring upon the one hand a taxing power, and taking the same power away on the other by limitations of the due process clause.

      By the way, are you arguing against the estate tax, Progressive taxation (which IS our current system), or both? Whichever the case is, the SCOTUS says your "due process" argument is wrong... and the IRS website refers to it as a "tax evasion scheme". Just an FYI.

  7. In a way "wouldn't it make sense for those advocating hefty estate taxes to at least opt out of the very benefits you have politically and publicly been against?" is somewhat comparable to those continually advocating sending troops into combat to 'opt in', carry a pack and rifle and taste life in combat. We are all a bit guilty of hypocrisy, albeit not the common run-of-the-mill hypocrisy built into our polticians.

    1. BB: The troops are already "opt in"

  8. ok....here's the story.... ain't got no politics today...uh uh...just ain't gottem...have a song and a beer



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