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DireWolfSpirit

U.S. Politics: Attaquer son cul orange!

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Ay-up. What this country really needs to get on track is a billionaire spoiler running for the Dem nomination for POTUS.  Why doesn't he run like the rethug HE IS.  Or an Indie?  But Nooooo.  He wants to be a Dem.  Why in hell does he want to be a Dem, other than  to be a spoiler to make bedbug win again.  Bloomberg.  He's got no balls.  He won't run for the rethug nom, but the Dem.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2019/11/07/billionaire-and-ex-new-york-city-mayor-michael-bloomberg-is-taking-steps-to-run-for-president-months-after-saying-he-would-not-run/

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

Actually we should be very afraid that he does do this, thereby creating the platform by which he gets elected Uber Führer forever, because, there is great progress being made on longevity treatments, and you bet that's where his money is sitting.

 

Get out of here. The man has a horrible diet, never sleeps and thinks exercise kills you faster. Longevity doesn’t sound like what’s at play.

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How does the plan propose to aggressively reduce billionaires fortunes without forcing them to sell their controlling shares in the companies they created? If you need to pay tens of billions of dollars in taxes over a handful of years, the only way to generate the cash to do that is to sell off your shares. Meaning you lose control of your company.

Seems unworkable.

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Ya -- how scared have the billionaire ruling class gotten by the standing of Warren and Biden in the polls ....

Frackin' coward Bloomberg -- if you're so scared run as what you are, run in the primaries against the bedbug.

He won't take votes from Warren or Sanders -- but he sure will from Biden and from that billionaire Facebook slave selling Zuckerberg protegy, Buttigieg.

Can we say the billionaires are truly distorting the electoral process yet, boyz and girlz?

 

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13 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

How does the plan propose to aggressively reduce billionaires fortunes without forcing them to sell their controlling shares in the companies they created? If you need to pay tens of billions of dollars in taxes over a handful of years, the only way to generate the cash to do that is to sell off your shares. Meaning you lose control of your company.

Seems unworkable.

Dude if you are a billionaire you should kick up your feet and enjoy life or do what you love for free. No human being needs that much money. One could argue these people are actually displaying an advanced form of hording. 

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6 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Dude if you are a billionaire you should kick up your feet and enjoy life or do what you love for free. No human being needs that much money. One could argue these people are actually displaying an advanced form of hording. 

Take a guy like Elon Musk. He is worth about $25bn. But all of that sits in his shareholding of Tesla and SpaceX. He is cash poor, other than loans he has taken out with his shares as security.

He is able to drive those two companies according to his vision only because of his large shareholding.

If he has to sell the bulk of those shares, he no longer has control over the companies and they will be at the mercy of outside shareholders.

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30 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

How does the plan propose to aggressively reduce billionaires fortunes without forcing them to sell their controlling shares in the companies they created? If you need to pay tens of billions of dollars in taxes over a handful of years, the only way to generate the cash to do that is to sell off your shares. Meaning you lose control of your company.

Seems unworkable.

That is the big issue I have with a wealth tax as described.  I've never seen a solution to it. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, etc. are not Scrooge McDuck. There is not a literal giant vault full of money that they practice their breaststroke in. Much of that wealth is paper wealth and can fluctuate by tens and hundreds of millions in a single day due to the vagaries of the markets. I believe Musk has seen his holdings rise or fall as much as $1 billion in a day. And a lot of that paper wealth is tied up in stocks that also provide some say in the future of a company. Buffett has a 30% voting stake in Berkshire Hathaway, and who's to say he shouldn't have it?

And we can't just say, "Well, dividends!" as if that liquidity covers these taxes. Buffett is, IIRC, the only solo-billionaire (at least in the U.S.) who earns more than $1 billion in dividend income (the Waltons of Walmart infamy earn over $3 billion from dividends), so that form of liquidity wouldn't cover it. He'd have to either dig into other forms of liquidity (like cash holdings) or he'd have to start selling assets. 

16 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Dude if you are a billionaire you should kick up your feet and enjoy life or do what you love for free.

If what you love is running a company that you founded, but you are forced to sell away your ownership of that company, you will no longer be running that company. This is an absurd situation but it's right at the very structure of society that ownership and capital are tightly entwined. It's nothing that can be solved with glib jests.

 

That said, by my very rough calculations, even if Warren's taxes were retroactively introduced, someone like Elon Musk would be worth ... say $19 billion instead of $22 billion. I'm not sure that's a signfiicant enough problem for Musk that he wouldn't be able to realize those dreams of his (assuming they are achievable) despite FNR's concerns. His loss of control over his company would probably be a bigger issue.

Edited by Ran

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10 minutes ago, Ran said:

If what you love is running a company that you founded, but you are forced to sell away your ownership of that company, you will no longer be running that company. This is an absurd situation but it's right at the very structure of society that ownership and capital are tightly entwined. It's nothing that can be solved with glib jests.

You could easily still run your company if you wanted. Your personal profits would just be taxed at extreme rates and we'd also have to do away with the type of accounting that allows Bezos to be the richest man in the world despite only earning $80k a year in salary. You'll never convince me that billionaires are a good thing while there's so much suffering in the world. Living in South America completely changed how I view money and that's coming from someone who grew up with some extreme privileges. 

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Regarding the wealth tax and founders of companies, my guess is that taxpayers can use the cost basis of the shares of the stocks, rather than the present value of the shares, for the purpose of the wealth tax calculation.  The cost basis of the shares when a company is initially founded is usually extremely low, so this would effectively allow founders to shield most of their stock from the wealth tax, and should make it relatively easy for them to pay whatever wealth tax they owe with their cash/cash equivalent holdings.

Edited by Mudguard

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36 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Can we say the billionaires are truly distorting the electoral process yet, boyz and girlz?

Yet? It's been more or less official for years now. See this famous study:
https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

19 minutes ago, Ran said:

That is the big issue I have with a wealth tax as described.  I've never seen a solution to it. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, etc. are not Scrooge McDuck. There is not a literal giant vault full of money that they practice their breaststroke in. Much of that wealth is paper wealth and can fluctuate by tens and hundreds of millions in a single day due to the vagaries of the markets.

Gee, it almost sounds as if the markets themselves are the problem...

Edited by Rippounet

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2 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Your personal profits would just be taxed at extreme rates and we'd also have to do away with the type of accounting that allows Bezos to be the richest man in the world despite only earning $80k a year in salary.

He pays capital gains tax on stock sales. He paid $400 million in taxes when he sold $1.8 billion worth of stock. His salary is meaningless because most of his liquidity comes from capital gains  (sales of stocks) and from dividends (he gets about $300 million from AMZ dividends each year). But that's all tied to stocks, and those also represent his influence on his company. He owns something like 16% of Amazon, or at least did -- don't know what the divorce settlement reduced that to. But he's still the single largest shareholder, which means he also has the loudest voice at the company. Which seems only fair.

There are other means of determining how to increase revenue from billionaries, but I suspect the real answer is that you increase corporate taxes and close loopholes, which would have the effect of also reducing the incidences of the ultra-wealthy. Gates even suggests some of the methods of doing that.

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2 minutes ago, Ran said:

 

He pays capital gains tax on stock sales. He paid $400 million in taxes when he sold $1.8 billion worth of stock. His salary is meaningless because most of his liquidity comes from capital gains  (sales of stocks) and from dividends (he gets about $300 million from AMZ dividends each year). But that's all tied to stocks, and those also represent his influence on his company. He owns something like 16% of Amazon, or at least did -- don't know what the divorce settlement reduced that to. But he's still the single largest shareholder, which means he also has the loudest voice at the company. Which seems only fair.

There are other means of determining how to increase revenue from billionaries, but I suspect the real answer is that you increase corporate taxes and close loopholes, which would have the effect of also reducing the incidences of the ultra-wealthy. Gates even suggests some of the methods of doing that.

Then you have the added complexity of growth companies like Tesla and SpaceX (and Amazon in the early years) who pump all their resources into growth and innovation for years or even decades, and run at breakeven or even a loss during this period. Meaning they have no dividend payouts to shareholders at all, while the capital value of the shareprice increases ten or twenty times at the same time.

Meaning the share owner has no cash inflow from the company’s growth in value during this period, even though his capital is now worth twenty times more on paper.

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The wealth tax is an interesting idea, but only in a theoretical sense because it has essentially a zero percent chance of passing in the US.  For the record, I do share some of the same concerns that Free Northman Reborn and Ran have, depending on the implementation of such a wealth tax (i.e. taxation of shares using present value vs. cost basis).

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17 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

 

Gee, it almost sounds as if the markets themselves are the problem...

That's the major issue. The market itself is borked. Extremely wealthy billionaries are a symptom rather than a cause. Soaking billionaries may feel cathartic, but it doesn't really solve the problem which is actually corporate taxation being wildly low in relation to how swiftly they're able to accrue wealth.

I think the obvious steps in the U.S. have a lot more to do with estate taxes,  no longer giving capital gains a very low tax rate, and then shutting down loopholes and sorting out a sane corporate tax policy as a starter. These make more sense than a wealth tax to me. It's also worth noting that most European countries that did have wealth taxes have gotten rid of them because they were having some negative effects and weren't bringing in as much money as they thought they would.

Edited by Ran

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

Can we say the billionaires are truly distorting the electoral process yet, boyz and girlz?

 

53 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Yet? It's been more or less official for years now. See this famous study:

Evidently, despite living in France you are sarcasm and irony impaired, mi collègue . . . .

Get this, Bloomberg's filing his intentions to run, as per legal requirement, in the state of Alabma! 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-president-2020.html

Warren's response, well she has a wealth calculator that tells what They pay in taxes, or rather, what They don't pay:

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/469532-warren-welcomes-bloomberg-into-race-by-sharing-her-calculator-for

In the meantime, the media pretty much, whatever that means, and who cares, etc., are laffing long and hard at him as campaigner, etc.

It would be kinda funny though, seeing bedbug and the bloomy go up against each other on tv for what They call a 'debate.'

 

Edited by Zorral

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

Ay-up. What this country really needs to get on track is a billionaire spoiler running for the Dem nomination for POTUS.  Why doesn't he run like the rethug HE IS.  Or an Indie?  But Nooooo.  He wants to be a Dem.  Why in hell does he want to be a Dem, other than  to be a spoiler to make bedbug win again.  Bloomberg.  He's got no balls.  He won't run for the rethug nom, but the Dem.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2019/11/07/billionaire-and-ex-new-york-city-mayor-michael-bloomberg-is-taking-steps-to-run-for-president-months-after-saying-he-would-not-run/

Umm, he's running in the primary, not third party. By definition he's not a spoiler.

Also, Bloomberg has far more in common with Democrats than Republicans.

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1 minute ago, Fez said:

Umm, he's running in the primary, not third party. By definition he's not a spoiler.

Also, Bloomberg has far more in common with Democrats than Republicans.

Yeah, I don't see the problem with Bloomberg running in the Democratic primary.  If anything, it probably would lessen Biden's chances at winning the nomination and improve Warren and Sanders chances.  I don't think Bloomberg has a realistic chance at winning the nomination, but who knows.  Need to see some new polling data.

That said, if he runs third party, I would have a big problem with that.  

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2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Well, it seems like the Warren-Sanders billionaire tax will kill the Mars dream, since Elon Musk’s fortune is pretty much the only chance of making mankind a multi planetary species in our lifetime.

But I realise most of you couldn’t give two shits about such achievements compared to upping social welfare or getting another student to pay less for a degree in media or gender studies.

Between this and your horror of living among people who look differently from you, you really do pick the stupidest bullshit to get histrionic about.

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23 minutes ago, Ran said:

That's the major issue. The market itself is borked. Extremely wealthy billionaries are a symptom rather than a cause. Soaking billionaries may feel cathartic, but it doesn't really solve the problem which is actually corporate taxation being wildly low in relation to how swiftly they're able to accrue wealth.

I think the obvious steps in the U.S. have a lot more to do with estate taxes and no longer giving capital gains a very low tax rate, as a starter. These make more sense than a wealth tax to me. It's also worth noting that most European countries that did have wealth taxes have gotten rid of them because they were having some negative effects and weren't bringing in as much money as they thought they would.

Agree 100%.
Though since this is the internet I have to point out that the negative effects of wealth taxes tend to be exaggerated, even if you only judge them on their own merits. The billions they generate (3billion€/year in France until Macron intervened) is nothing to scoff at methinks, especially when the benefits of their absence remain to be soundly demonstrated.
Of course, as Piketty never tires of repeating, what is required for any system of truly progressive taxation is a concerted effort on a global scale, something that seems as likely as genetically engineering unicorns for jousting. Yet, the US moving in that direction would obviously be a big deal. Among other things it could conceivably allow higher taxes on capital gains, which should be the actual objective at this point.
It's all a PR battle. In itself the wealth tax is just the tip of the iceberg. If that idea gains traction then even better measures become possible.

11 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Evidently, despite living in France you are sarcasm and irony impaired, mi collègue . . . .

I wasn't actually trying to correct you though, just providing the -most obvious- footnote. ;)

2 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Well, it seems like the Warren-Sanders billionaire tax will kill the Mars dream, since Elon Musk’s fortune is pretty much the only chance of making mankind a multi planetary species in our lifetime.

But I realise most of you couldn’t give two shits about such achievements compared to upping social welfare or getting another student to pay less for a degree in media or gender studies.

Spot on. :P

 

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