Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    Berkshire Hathaway has not paid a dividend in 52 years. Buffett's long-term capital gains rate is 20%, well above the effective tax rate for $100,000 income.
    Yet if you give appreciated stock to charity (even if its a charity that you or your friends are in charge of) your rate becomes zero.
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    #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merner521 View Post
    Yet if you give appreciated stock to charity (even if its a charity that you or your friends are in charge of) your rate becomes zero.
    The result is that the U.S. leads the world in charitable donations as a percentage of GDP, almost double second place. That is bad because ... what?
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    #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigh View Post
    If you look at effective tax rates since 2000, the rate in the US has gone down for every income level under each presidency with the one exception of the effective rate for the highest income level under the Obama administration....

    Anyway, I agree that loopholes are intentional, but don't really think all loopholes are for the greater good. It would be a lot simpler and effective to adjust upper marginal rates and close several loopholes than some of the pie in the sky proposals currently out there.
    Just before 2000, the top marginal rates also went up while both the first George Bush and Clinton were President.

    Right now, if you add the state & local income tax to the federal income tax, the top bracket in high tax places like NYC is close to 50%. Do you really think it is good policy for the government ever to take more than half of someone’s income?

    As to closing “loopholes,” the 2017 Tax Act did close a few in exchange for the lower tax rates - most notably capping the deducting for property tax and state & local income tax to the consternation of many NJ homeowners with our sky high property taxes.
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    #24
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    Not saying its necessarily bad. Its a huge loophole though. A smaller, but still generous loophole is the estate tax exemption that allows the moderately weathly to step up cost basis for appreciated assets that are passed go heirs. True that not all 0.1%ers give large sums to charity, but you can also dodge the capital gains tax simply by not selling your stocks.
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    #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    The result is that the U.S. leads the world in charitable donations as a percentage of GDP, almost double second place. That is bad because ... what?
    There are many people who think it could be bad. Here is one example.

    https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2...racy-rob-reich
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    #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    The result is that the U.S. leads the world in charitable donations as a percentage of GDP, almost double second place. That is bad because ... what?
    The US also leads developed countries in having the highest poverty rate. The US economic and political environment is such that charity is needed more than in other developed countries.

    There's less of a need for scholarship foundations where public universities are free* or very cheap. There's less of a need for health-care charities where universal health care is free or cheap. There's less of a need for other forms of charitable assistance to the poor where a smaller percentage of the population is poor.

    And that's without getting into the so-called charitable contributions which are more self-serving than anything, like donating money to the same church you attend, where 95% of the money goes to paying the pastors and maintaining the building. Or a multimillion dollar donation to a college's athletic department so you can get your name on a building.


    *OK, it's not really free, it's paid for by taxpayers yada yada.
    Last edited by 18.99s; 12-06-2019 at 12:08 AM.
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    #27
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    I'm glad I went to University while it was still affordable (and dare I say more based on education than money). Strapping kids with huge debt right out of the gate isn't good for anyone.
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    #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigh View Post
    I'm glad I went to University while it was still affordable (and dare I say more based on education than money).
    So am I. When I was in college in the early 1990s, at a state school but paying the out-of-state rate (I was on a student visa), the total annual cost of tuition, room and board was under $10K if you chose one of the less expensive dorms. For in-state students, under $7K. Ivy League was under $25K all-in without any aid. Now people have to pay over $30K for Tweedledum State.
    Last edited by 18.99s; 12-06-2019 at 01:01 PM.
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    #29
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    I was a bit earlier. My initial state school tuition was $90 per semester. People freaked when it went to $300. Even back then I argued it was a good deal.

    Just heard a report on CNBC that only 3 countries have a lower income tax then the US: Chile, Ireland, and Mexico.
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    #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigh View Post
    Just heard a report on CNBC that only 3 countries have a lower income tax then the US: Chile, Ireland, and Mexico.
    That's completely false as stated.

    Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cayman Islands, Brunei, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Monaco and the UAE have no income tax at all.
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