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Dr. Strangelove visits Congress, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the ‘fiscal cliff’

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From page A8 | December 10, 2012 |

Before we get into the “fiscal cliff” stuff I reference above, I’d like to mention that 38 Republican senators voted last week to reject a United Nations treaty that would ban discrimination against people with disabilities.

This treaty was first negotiated and signed by Republican President George W. Bush and has been signed by 153 other countries. I would like the right-wingers who frequent the Daily Republic blog to explain why it was rejected. If we get good answers, we can discuss that here, next week.

I write these Daily Republic columns a few days in advance, so the so-called “fiscal cliff” may be old news by now, but the last I heard, President Barack Obama wanted to avert the “cliff” by raising personal income tax a few percentage points on income above $250,000, while the Republicans were in favor of increasing revenue by cutting income tax deductions.

While the Republican plan is remarkably similar to the Romney/Ryan plan in its complete lack of detail, in order to generate the amount of money claimed, their plan would have to eliminate tax deductions on items that would never pass Congress, like mortgage interest, state taxes and charitable giving, all adversely affecting the poor and middle classes.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the Republican plan “magic beans and fairy dust.”

As we edge ever closer to that imaginary “cliff,” politicians and the media are milking the imaginary drama for all it’s worth. You can lower your seasonal stress with the knowledge that nothing really bad will happen. These tax cuts and spending cuts are the same thing that congresses have been debating from their inception and if there is no agreement, we will revert back to Clinton-era tax rates.

That might not be so bad; we had a good economy under Bill Clinton and he actually balanced the federal budget. With higher taxes, the “job-creators” will be more motivated to expand their businesses and employ more. Locally, a Fairfield family with income around $50,000 would pay about $2,000 a year more in taxes, but for true fiscal conservatives, falling off the “cliff” would be like the best Christmas present, ever.

This “cliff” thing will most likely fade into history in one of two ways: Congress kicks the can down the road with a stop-gap measure halting the automatic spending cuts and tax increases with both sides agreeing to examine the problem later, and this time they really, really mean it. Or, the “cliff” happens on schedule and the next Congress, which will be seated in January with fewer right-wing extremists, enacts retroactive legislation to modify its severity.

There may be another economic downturn if a fix isn’t in place by early 2013, but there shouldn’t be any U.S. credit rating drop like the last time the nation faced an artificial budget crisis. I’m fairly sure there will be an agreement because there will come a point where it will be painfully obvious to even the most misinformed Fox viewer that the Republicans are once again damaging our economy and are perfectly willing to let 99 percent of us suffer for the exclusive benefit of the top 1 percent. In the end, all the Democrats have to do is wait for 2013 and then propose a tax cut for 99 percent of us. Would Republicans vote against that?

So relax, Fairfield. All we innocent bystanders can do is sit back and enjoy the show, comforted by the knowledge our world will not end on New Year’s Day. According to the Mayan calendar, it’ll be gone Dec. 21.

Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at mikirch@comcast.net.

Mike Kirchubel

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Discussion | 71 comments

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 10, 2012 - 6:21 am

    Mike, you can't seriously believe an additional $2,000 per year in taxes for Fairfielders making $50,000 a year could be a good thing? Apparently there is a little 1percenter in you. That $167 a month is huge to low income earners at this point in time.

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 10, 2012 - 8:42 am

    The sentence was in two parts: First I said that for Fairfielders earning $50,000, the tax bite would be about $2,000, then I said, "but for true fiscal conservatives, falling off the “cliff” would be like the best Christmas present, ever." The Christmas present was for the fiscal conservatives, not for average Fairfielders. By the way, you are a fiscal conservative, aren't you? Also, you are calliing those making $50,000 "low income earners," doesn't that make you a 1 percenter?

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 10, 2012 - 11:28 am

    Mike, I'll take your word regarding intent of the statement. Yes, I am a fiscal conservative but hardly part of the 1%. Much closer to that $50,000 a year.

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  • StRDecember 10, 2012 - 7:35 am

    wwwinfowarscom......On the LIVE Sunday, December 9 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex will show that Republicans had always intended to wave the white flag and increase massive taxes that can then be transferred to mega banks. He'll also break down the total takeover of America and what to expect it to look like, the imminent military intervention in Syria with chemical weapons as the pretext, the latest countdown to 2012 hoax that has people from around the world scared out of their minds and also research that coconut oil may prevent Alzheimer's disease. We'll also cover other major news and take your calls. Tune in from 4PM to 6PM Central Standard Time.

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  • Today Monday on....December 10, 2012 - 9:05 am

    wwwinfowarscom.......On the Monday, December 10 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex covers war in the Middle East as the EU and the Obama administration move the final hurdles out of the way and move toward an all-out invasion of Syria under the pretense of making the region safe from the threat of chemical weapons. Alex also covers the rapid deterioration of the economy in the United States as food stamp use skyrockets and employment rates stagnate. On today’s show, Alex talks with the former governor of Minnesota and host of truTV's “Conspiracy Theory,” Jesse Ventura.

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  • Michael are you there?December 10, 2012 - 9:12 am

    Ask me what I want for Christmas...OK?

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 10, 2012 - 9:17 am

    What do you want for Christmas?

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  • StRDecember 10, 2012 - 9:22 am

    You on an extra BOUNCY mattress BABY!.......................Now reply back with the first thing that popped into your mind. (This is a lesson on how to flirt with significant others)

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  • mike KirchubelDecember 10, 2012 - 9:28 am

    What's a "mattress baby?"

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  • Pitiful you be, you DO NEED helpDecember 10, 2012 - 9:42 am

    baby refers to your beloved. When in the AF drinking with the guys at the bars, I would hear more complaints from guys about not getting "any". From a female point of view upon questioning them, I would often find it was because they were being complete insensitive jerks to their wives. So this is just a general lesson for some people out there. OK so you ask your wife to ask you what you want for Xmas, say the above, check her response but do not press the issue at the moment. Have ready a bud vase with a single pretty flower in it, give it to her and then see that it gets placed in the bedroom. The idea being that every time she sees the flower, she hopefully will think...My husband desires me. Basically do not be jerks guys and put a little romantic effort into it. (I am not saying this applies specifically to you Mike, I just needed someone to play along for the moment) For all we know maybe the world as we know it really is ending, so we all might as well have some fun while we still can.

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  • Guns N' Roses-Welcome to the JungleDecember 10, 2012 - 12:00 pm

    ******http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWXRintPmGQ

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  • Mind of an MKUltra KillerDecember 10, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    ********http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSep7JBmCxk

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  • New Game.....December 10, 2012 - 3:17 pm

    You have to say what your favorite/most memorable childhood Christmas gift was. Mine was a Bonnie Bride doll....my Mother who I did not see but maybe 1 or 2 days every other month made lots of doll clothes for it. She even made a Red Velvet dress, I had never seen velvet before.See *******http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khr-kELIJx4*****Tony Wade, this could be a column, peoples favorite Xmas present.

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  • Tom ChalkDecember 10, 2012 - 8:18 pm

    "Magic beans and fairy dust?" Who the flip is Jay Carney? Does he speak for Obama? Are those Obama's chosen descriptors of the GOP offer? Who quotes Jay Carney? Oh, that's right--Kirchubel does. Well, if Jay Carney says so........

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  • The SugarJarDecember 10, 2012 - 8:42 pm

    Mr. Chalk, when you say "Who the flip is Jay Carney?" are you saying you didn't read he is the White House Press Secretary, theoretically and when convenient delivering the President's message. Or that you don't find Mr. Kirchubel's method convincing, or?

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  • Tom ChalkDecember 10, 2012 - 9:04 pm

    TSJ: Fully aware of Carney's title and role in Obama's administration. I found it amusing that a "Jay Carney" could characterize the GOP offer as he did. Therefore, my comment: "Who the flip is Jay Carney?" He is a condescending buffoon INMHO. Much like his predecessor. They get their attitude from Obama, however. Does that clear it up for you?

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  • Tom ChalkDecember 10, 2012 - 9:09 pm

    IMHO.

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  • The SugarJarDecember 10, 2012 - 10:05 pm

    Thank you Mr. Chalk. I am not as familiar with your style as I am some of the others, I don't know you like rlw895, and I don't like jumping to conclusions. So yes, that clears it up for me.

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  • rlw895December 11, 2012 - 12:59 am

    Sugar, you're going to have to reveal yourself to me sometime.

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  • StRDecember 10, 2012 - 10:11 pm

    The treaty was negotiated and first signed under former President George W. Bush and signed again by Obama in 2009. At least 153 other countries have signed it......Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) argued the treaty would infringe on U.S. sovereignty, an argument echoed by other opponents....... “This unelected bureaucratic body would pass recommendations that would be forced upon the United States if we were a signatory,” he said......Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Lee said he was concerned that U.N. committee recommendations “often fall well beyond the treaty’s goals.”....... “I and many of my constituents who homeschool or send their children to religious schools have justifiable doubt that a foreign body based in Geneva, Switzerland, should be deciding what is best for a child at home in Utah,” Lee said.......Here again we see no differnce at the very top between Mr Bush and Mr Obama giving over U.S. sovereignty to a One World/New World Global Government. Whatever happened to G.Washington's adivice to stay out of Foreign entanglments?

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  • rlw895December 11, 2012 - 12:52 am

    "Republicans are once again...willing to let 99 percent of us suffer for the exclusive benefit of the top 1 percent." That's the crux of the matter, though I would say it's 98% and 2% in this case. The only justification Republicans can muster is the top 2% are "job creators." Well, they might be, along with many others, but giving them an income tax break will not cause them to create more jobs. Giving such stimulus money to suppliers does not cause them to supply more. Only more demand does that. So the way to create more jobs is to put more money in the hands of the demand creators, which in this case is by far represented by the 98%. The only way I can interpret the Republicans' dogged support for tax cuts for high income and wealth (e.g., abolishing the estate tax) is they are now more the party of money than ever before, and they are more loyal to those who have the money than they are to their country. I suppose it is inevitable that in a two party system, one party will eventually sell out, or be bought out, by the wealthy, while the other party, while hardly pure, becomes the refuge for those who see what's happening. We held it off for a long time, but it's upon us now. The response in the last election was encouraging. But is it too little, too late? And if not, what's next? For better or worse, it's wherever the Obama administration can lead us.

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 11, 2012 - 11:06 am

    RLW, I think it is rather crude of you to ask Sugar to reveal herself to you. Also, your: "I suppose it is inevitable that in a two party system, one party will eventually sell out, or be bought out, by the wealthy,..." is more historical fact than a fear for the future. The Republicans sold out years ago and are exclusively the party of wealth. The little side-shows we see about abortion, gays, and guns are merely to trick the poor into voting for the rich.

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  • rlw895December 11, 2012 - 11:56 am

    Mike: Ha! That's entirely up to Sugar;-)! For all I know, she's my wife! (But I don't think so.) As for the rest, you and I know that, but I am trying to reach people who are on the edge of seeing it. There is a lot of literature written about the social "wedge" issues used to "wedge" people away from their economic interests. A good read is "What's the Matter with Kansas?" by Thomas Frank. People won't get it, probably, if they rely on electronic media alone, even if it's not Fox. And if it is Fox, they are really going to be in the dark. Intervention by loved ones may be necessary;-).

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  • The SugarJarDecember 11, 2012 - 12:29 pm

    Ha Ha Mike & rlw895. I can emphatically reveal that I am NOT rlw895's wife! I have shared a meal with rlw895 years ago through a work committment--we were traveling to a meeting together and stopped in Davis on the way back for an Italian (as I recall) lunch. I'd say we were both a bit introverted and not particularly chatty. I am good with the DR giving rlw895 my email address--or rlw895 can build it through my name here no spaces at rocketmail dot com. I'll know if it is the real rlw895 or not. I'll say hi. Perhaps one of these days Mr. Brooks will have a coffee that we can get a group together for a friendly chat. Happy to do so with anyone who won't use me against me. :)

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  • CD BrooksDecember 11, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    The Sugar Jar, I'd like to get a few folks together for coffee, how about right after the Holidays?

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  • The SugarJarDecember 11, 2012 - 1:00 pm

    Hi CD. sounds good to me. I'll do my best to be there :)

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  • rlw895December 11, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    Am I invited? Then Sugar could reveal herself to me with out exposing herself;-). I've got to watch what I say. That Mike has such a crude mind!

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  • CD BrooksDecember 11, 2012 - 1:52 pm

    rlw895, I would hope you'd come along. I will start working on this and hopefully get it arranged for a time agreeable to all.

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  • rlw895December 11, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    Mike: So, from your research and thinking about it, when would you say the Republicans sold out, if "years ago?" I'm thinking it was with Reagan/Regan. Reagan was the perfect front man, and Regan was perhaps the perfect "back man." Reagan was smart, could deliver lines like no one else, and cared about lots of stuff. But Regan cared about the REAL stuff.

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  • Mike KirchubelDecember 11, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    Try 1860. Read the chapter "Lincoln's two wars" "The National Banking Act" and the post-war monetary acts - all very vile acts.

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  • rlw895December 11, 2012 - 2:39 pm

    Mike: Lincoln wasn't in office until 1861, so you must mean at least a little later. Now, that connection to banking has persisted for the Republicans despite the massive political shifts that occured between then and now? That satisfies my "prime directive" idea, but has everything else been wedge issues since Lincoln? I'm going to have to do my reading assignment and think about that.

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  • StRDecember 12, 2012 - 6:17 pm

    Actually part of the reason the estate tax was put into place was to keep the middle class in the middle class, if you can not pass your achieved wealth on to your heirs, thn as a family you would never to able to ascend to the really wealthy class, thus serving to keep the wealth concentrated at the top. The really wealthy always find a way to avoid such things as estate taxes.

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  • 10 Planks = No Thanks... Note # 3December 12, 2012 - 6:22 pm

    The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are... 1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes. Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership) 2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share". 3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance. Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes. 4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc...). 5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking. 6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State. Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations. 7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read "controlled or subsidized" rather than "owned"… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations. 8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000. 9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country. Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China. 10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production. Americans are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, but are actually "government force-tax-funded schools " Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education" . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like "majority rules", and "pay your fair share". WHERE are the words "fair share" in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is "fair share" even suggested !! The philosophical concept of "fair share" comes from the Communist maxim, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. ... America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC ... Teaching ourselves and others how to "fish" to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be "needy"... Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

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  • Communism/Banker Capitalism both = Illuminati BankersDecember 12, 2012 - 6:49 pm

    Wall Street funded Communists....... Professor Sutton stated, "Western textbooks on Soviet economic development omit any description of the economic and financial aid given to the 1917 Revolution and subsequent economic development by Western Firms and banks." "In the Bolshevik Revolution we have some of the world's richest and most powerful men financing a movement which claims its very existence is based on the concept of stripping of their wealth," declared Allen. "[M]en like the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, Schiffs, Warburgs, Morgans, Harrimans, and Milners."..... Perloff agreed, "Jacob Schiff, the head of Kuhn, Loeb and Co., heavily bankrolled the [Communist] revolution. This was reported by White Russian General Arsine de Goulevitch in his book Czarism and the Revolution." "According to his grandson John," described Allen, "Jacob Schiff ... long-time associate of the Rothschilds, financed the Communist Revolution in Russia to the tune of $20 million." He continued, "According to a report on file with the State Department, his firm, Kuhn Loeb and Co. bankrolled the first five year plan for Stalin," and added, "Schiff's descendents are active in the Council on Foreign Relations today."........ Referring to the emergence of a communist dictatorship which resulted from the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Professor Marrs wrote that they were funded by "Germany and America. ... Their repugnant campaign to purify and cleanse Mother Russia and to seek world domination resulted in ... [millions of] human beings wiped out and brutally purged..." He attested, "Brown Brothers Harriman" helped finance it with "money made possible by it and the affiliated Guaranty Trust Company." Professor Sutton agreed, writing "W. Averell Harriman was a director of Guaranty Trust Company" and "was involved in the Bolshevik Revolution."...........

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  • Reference for aboveDecember 12, 2012 - 6:54 pm

    ***********http://www.thehiddenevil.com/communists.asp

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  • rlw895December 12, 2012 - 11:17 pm

    10 planks? This is false equivalence on steroids.

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  • rlw895December 12, 2012 - 11:11 pm

    StR: That's an interesting theory; where did you get it? I can't believe it though. It may be true that the rich use their wealth to find ways to avoid taxes. But the estate tax is easy for the middle class because it has high built-in exemptions. The first $10 million for a couple is the present exemption, $5 million for an individual. I think that's pretty high, but it certainly covers everybody we would normally consider middle class. The estate tax is simply irrelevant to them.

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 13, 2012 - 5:56 am

    The bigger question is why should there be an estate tax at all? Those dollars have already been taxed. If there are investments within the estate that have appreciated, then certainly tax is due on value above the original basis. It may also be short-sighted from a net revenue standpoint. Let's say an heir paid $5 million in estate tax after the death of his or her wealthy father. The $5 mil is one time revenue. If instead, that $5 mil were invested future taxes on capital gains, interest earnings etc... could exceed the original amount. Worse case, the heir goes out and blows it all, cities, counties and states make out on sales tax.

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  • rlw895December 14, 2012 - 10:04 am

    Mr.P: You always raise good questions for debate! You could ask the same question (“Why?”) about any tax. One answer is, we need government and government needs money to operate. But that's only half the answer. The other half is why tax a particular way. The general rule is you get less of what you tax and more of what you subsidize (unless the government mitigates in some way). So we spread it out. Following the rule, if we tax inheritances, we would get less inheritances. Unless dynastic wealth is a national priority, the response to that might be “Good!” I dare say most of us think this shouldn’t be a nation of dynastic wealth, though some clearly believe otherwise. Even so, estate taxes are on unearned income to the beneficiary, so at first blush, we would say reducing “unlearning” is not a bad thing, only even more so if it leads to dynastic wealth. But, in fact, we do want farms and other small businesses to be able to be inherited—to “stay in the family.” So we write rules to protect that kind of inheritance. And because “dynastic wealth” is not caused be relatively small inheritances, we exclude the first increments of estates from taxation. Not long ago (2001) that exclusion was $0.675 million for an individual (double for a married couple). Everything above that was taxed at a graduated rate up to 55%. During the eight years of GWB, the Republican prime directive demanded that the estate tax be reduced, if not eliminated, so the exclusion now is $5.12 million and the top rate is 35%. If there is no action to extend the present law, it sunsets with the figures at $1 million and 55%, respectively, next year. To help balance the budget, Obama has proposed raising the estate tax by going to $3.5 million and 45%, lower than it is now, but a far cry from where the estate tax was pre-Bush, or where it will be with no action before 2013. Interestingly, Warren Buffet and some other wealthy Americans have said Obama’s proposal does not go far enough. I characterize such people as more loyal to their country than to their class.

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  • rlw895December 14, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    In my comment above, "unlearning" should be "unearning" near the middle of the comment.

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  • Tom ChalkDecember 13, 2012 - 9:30 am

    RLW: Isn't the death tax set to return to 2001 levels next year? That would be a 1M exemption level with a 55% hit for amounts above that at the higher estate values. Of course, congress could still intervene and change this. Not holding my breath, though. This tax is a national disgrace.

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  • rlw895December 13, 2012 - 11:22 pm

    Tom: If you're going to call it the "death tax" we can't have a reasonable discussion. Mr.P: Why do we tax anything? The fact that the government needs money only answers half the question. HOW and WHAT we tax (or don't tax) is the other half. Estates are generally unearned income to the recipients, and I think are perceived, with some limits, as fair game for taxation, given alternatives sources of revenue.

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 14, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    rlw, I get that we need government and some level of taxation. Staying on task with the inheritance tax, I still haven't heard a good reason for taxing money that's already been taxed. It's simply an onerous way of raising revenue. The fact we need governemnt doesn't mean a larger government. The arguments for the tax all seem hollow and rife with rationalization to me. In Tom's defense, calling a a Death Tax, while not the most accurate label, is certainly not an unfair term considering it is triggered by death. It's also an effective term in expressing one's displeasure with the tax.

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  • Yes, Very Funny Evil PeopleDecember 14, 2012 - 11:06 pm

    Probably another inside joke for the Illuminati Bankers, in that it further illustrates that -- "The only sure thing in life is DEATH und TAXES".

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  • rlw895December 15, 2012 - 1:34 am

    Mr.P: You seem to be fixated on multiple taxation. Sure, some, not necessary all, of the money in an estate may have been taxed, if you mean it’s what’s left after the recipient pays some sort of tax. But that money has not been taxed ever before as it passes to beneficiaries of the estate where it ultimately finds itself. When money moves from person to person, it sometimes gets taxed. It happens all the time. If you object to a tax just for that reason, that it’s being taxed “again,” you must be opposed to just about all taxes. Would you rather not have an estate tax and have higher income taxes or sales taxes on everybody? My point is the estate tax is the best tax because it’s the most progressive tax and it’s on unearned income to boot. I really don’t understand the outrage. If the estate tax is having the ill effects that are often cited, then I agree there should be provisions for that. But you know what? As soon as we provide those provisions, wealthy people with the smartest lawyers money can buy figure out how to exploit those provisions to shelter their estates. So the provisions have to get complicated not to have such unintended consequences. We get a complicated tax code, not because we like complication, but because we have to deal with the shysters among us. As for “death tax,” I like to use language precisely, and argue on that basis. Death is not being taxed, period. Calling the estate tax the death tax introduces a threshold issue I insist on resolving before going further, that’s all. If I were arguing with Mike on whether Fox News issues false news, I would insist he not enter the fray calling Fox some name that requires me to accept the premise before we begin. But I’m not arguing with Mike, or about that. It’s not a matter of false equivalence. It’s a matter of hypocrisy. I would be a hypocrite if I used such terms and then insisted others not use them on me. But I’m not Mike and it’s not for me to defend Mike, just myself. All I ask of myself is to be true to myself and try to explain it to others, maybe to make a little bit of the world a better place. That’s just about all any of us can do.

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 15, 2012 - 7:30 am

    rlw, I've tried to reply 3 times and it tells me it's duplicate comments but nothing appears. Not sure what's going on. Glen? Maybe they will appear in triplicate later!

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  • rlw895December 15, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    Mr.P: I had the same problem, but finally got through. I had to make at least one small change each time to avoid the identical post error.

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  • SavetheRepublicDecember 15, 2012 - 7:54 pm

    After the original comment is rejected it sometimes works to preface the comment with a character such as ***************no space and then your original comment. For example....***************Mr. P is a hot dog, ooops I mean a hot dude.

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  • rlw895December 14, 2012 - 10:12 am

    Tom: If you insist on calling the estate tax "the death tax," I'm not going to go further than talk about words and definitions. According to Wikipedia, an estate or inheritance tax is “an excise tax levied on the right to pass property at death.”

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  • Tom ChalkDecember 14, 2012 - 4:05 pm

    RLW: In view of the definition you posted, I am surprised that you take umbrage at my characterization of the estate tax as a "death tax." A "tax on the RIGHT to pass property at death." GMAB. Smacks of tyranny if you ask me. Ok. You didn't ask me, but there it is.

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  • rlw895December 14, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    Tom: GMAB right back at you. Yes, the word "death" does appear in the definition, but it's not a death tax.

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  • Tom ChalkDecember 14, 2012 - 5:53 pm

    RLW: Ok. Can we at least agree that it is a tax levied in the event someone who might own certain property and/or monetary wealth DIES? I don't care what it is called, I DISAGREE WITH IT. That's all. Family businesses, family farms, family acreage, etc., all taxed when someone dies. I just don't see how this is justified. How do you justify it?

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  • Time for Tom TerrificDecember 15, 2012 - 12:21 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PgniqcgdFo

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  • rlw895December 15, 2012 - 12:47 am

    Tom: I think I justified the estate tax as well as I can, above.

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 14, 2012 - 6:51 pm

    rlw, to use one of those false equivalences you love so much, calling it a Death Tax is no different than Mike calling Fox News, Faux News. I've never seen you take him to task for that. Am I wrong?

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  • rlw895December 15, 2012 - 2:24 am

    Mr. P (and Tom): I posted this reply in the wrong place above by mistake, and I’ve had a hard time getting it posted in the right place. Here goes (again, revised): Mr. P: You seem to be fixated on multiple taxation. Sure, some (not necessary all, as you point out) of the money in an estate may have been taxed, if you mean by that it’s what’s left after the recipient pays some sort of tax. But that money has not been taxed ever before as it passes to beneficiaries of an estate where it ultimately finds itself. When money moves from person to person, it sometimes gets taxed. It happens all the time. If you object to a tax just for that reason, that it’s being taxed “again,” you must be opposed to just about all taxes on that basis alone. Would you rather not have an estate tax and have higher income taxes or sales taxes on everybody? My point is the estate tax is the best tax because it’s the most progressive tax, and it’s on unearned income to boot. I really don’t understand the outrage. If the estate tax is having the ill effects that are often cited, then I agree there should be provisions for that. But you know what? As soon as we provide those provisions, wealthy people with the smartest lawyers money can buy figure out how to exploit them to shelter their estates. So the provisions have to get complicated to avoid such unintended consequences. We get a complicated tax code, not because we like complication, but because we have to deal with the shysters among us. As for “death tax,” I like to use language precisely, and argue on that basis. Death is not being taxed, period. Calling the estate tax the death tax introduces a threshold issue I insist on resolving before going further, that’s all. If I were arguing with Mike on whether Fox News issues false news, I would insist he not enter the fray calling Fox some name that requires me to accept the premise before we begin. But I’m not arguing with Mike, or about that. It’s not a matter of false equivalence. It’s a matter of hypocrisy. I would be a hypocrite if I used such terms and then insisted others not use them on me. I’m not Mike and it’s not for me to defend Mike, just myself. I try to be true to myself and, when necessary or appropriate, explain that to others. I have this idealistic idea that by sticking to principles, I make the world a better place. That’s just about the best any of us can do.

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  • Mr. PracticalDecember 15, 2012 - 7:25 am

    rlw, all that should occur at death is a final income tax return with the estate liable for any taxes due for that year. All assets should pass free and clear to not only family, but whoever the deseased chooses. As those assets are disposed of the appropriate taxes will be due. The estate tax started as a way to finance wars and was typically repealed when the war ended. It later became a strategu of wealth redistribution. When you say it's the best tax because it's progressive you lose me as I don't share that philosophy and your argument becomes moot. I do agree with you that the tax code has become too complicated and polluted. That's why it needs to be scraped and real reform implemented. Any discussion of marginal tax rates is unacceptable. It's similar to ACA. It's not real reform, it's for the most part insurance regulation and more taxes.

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  • Mike kirchubelDecember 15, 2012 - 8:50 pm

    Mr. P, i delight in referring to Fox news as Faux news because it is funny as heck And it gets some folks all rilled up, a double win. i figure that if you want to be misinformed, thats your business. But dont expect the rest of us to go along with the joke,. RLW, i quote kne of your posts in this mondays article, And i refer to you by name, RLW.

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  • rlw895December 15, 2012 - 9:57 pm

    Mike: Hey, quote away! But I’m curious what was so quotable to you. As far as my secret identity, just about everybody who cares and is here much should know who I am by now. I appreciate them keeping the “secret” in their comments, in keeping with the unspoken norms and etiquette of these pages. I keep up the pseudonym for the casual observers and occasional interlopers only.

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  • Mike kirchubelDecember 15, 2012 - 10:41 pm

    It was your response to hanks letter to the editor. The article is about gerrymandering.

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  • Infowars for WednesdayDecember 12, 2012 - 6:10 pm

    wwwinfowarscom...On the Wednesday, December 12 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex covers the latest developments on the US-NATO plot to militarily oust the government of Syria following Obama's official recognition of al-Qaeda mercenaries inside the country. Alex also covers the continued militarization of America as cops donning combat fatigues respond to a mall shooting in Portland, Oregon. On today’s worldwide broadcast, Alex talks with Syrian Girl about the situation in her homeland and Infowars reporter Dan Bidondi files a report.

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  • Today Thursday on....December 13, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    wwwinfowarscom.....On the LIVE Thursday, December 13 edition of the Alex Jones Show, radio host Alex Jones runs down the latest on the escalating Syrian crisis, and also breaks down the Fed's latest “historic” move to quell unemployment by purchasing $45B worth of bonds per month. Alex will also cover the alleged North Korea satellite launch, and the Also on the show, retired neurosurgeon, author and lecturer Dr. Russell L. Blaylock to expand on coconut oil's health benefits, especially as an effective cancer treatment. He'll give expert doctor's perspective analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We'll also cover other major news items and take your calls.

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  • Well, wellDecember 13, 2012 - 9:41 pm

    Somebody ask me what I want for Christmas!

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  • The MisterDecember 13, 2012 - 9:52 pm

    OK Pookey,....What do you want for Christmas?

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  • All I want for Christmas is YouDecember 13, 2012 - 9:54 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn67I6L6sfY

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  • All I want for Christmas is YouDecember 13, 2012 - 10:05 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCpBS6YBE0o

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  • The Miracle of Love (live 1987)December 14, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=481GuSgiyI4&feature=endscreen

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  • Friday on InfowarsDecember 14, 2012 - 11:30 pm

    On the Friday edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex talks about ubiquitous surveillance state “smart” technology as the police state integrates itself into all aspects of our lives. Alex also covers the latest moves against Syria as the U.S. military sends Patriot missile batteries and soldiers to Turkey. On today's show, Alex welcomes back Larry Grathwohl, a FBI informant who was undercover with the Weatherman and subsequently revealed plans by the Marxist terrorist group to kill millions of Americans.

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  • Google these combinationsDecember 15, 2012 - 1:27 am

    Bad One Dennis Miller....Why check these out....John Bolton + illuminati or John Bolton PNAC or Bill Kristol illuminati or Bill Kirstol PNAC or Charles Krauthammer illuminati or Charles Krauthammer PNAC. BUT remember both parties Dem and Rep have illuminati members. Yes things are getting very scary. Literally time to find Jesus people. 911 WAS AN INSIDE JOB. Also these School Shootings are most likely staged MK-Ultra type events so they can trigger gun confiscation.

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  • MichaelDecember 15, 2012 - 8:59 pm

    Ask me what I want for Christmas!

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  • StRDecember 16, 2012 - 9:59 pm

    Better ask me what I want for Christmas or I will make tomorrow a "Make Mike Mad Monday Mister". (If I can get on a computer, which will probably be no) Goodnight

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