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View Diary: The rich really did get richer, while the rest of us ... didn't (74 comments)

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  •  Of course the government can seize wealth! Pshaw. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, JesseCW

    All you have to do is tax it. And there is plenty of it to tax.

    •  Federal government can't tax wealth (0+ / 0-)

      without apportioning it among the States.  The 16th Amendment was necessary for a federal income tax to be constitutional. That's a transactional tax -- it's a tax triggered by the transaction of money going from one person to another.  You'd need to pass a similar constitutional amendment for a federal wealth tax (i.e. a tax on property, including money, that someone has accumulated over the years).

      Just as an example, if someone has $10 million in the bank at on January 1, 2013, you can tax the income they get from  that $10 million (like the interest) in 2013.  You can't tax the $10 million.  

      •  At some point, all property changes hands. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's all you have to do. At that point, you tax. And depending on how you structure it, you can make it less taxing or more taxing depending on how and when it changes hands.

        •  That's an income tax. (0+ / 0-)

          And the Buffet Rule, which says that at certain income levels, the federal government takes 1/3 of all money that "changes hands" (regardless if it's earned income, capital gains income, or whatever) raises only about $4 billion a year over the next decade.  

          Even if you raised that up to taking half of all money that changes hands, you are talking about maybe $6 or $7 billion a year.

          My point is fine, go ahead pass the Buffet Rule or something like it.  It's little more than a symbolic gesture, because it doesn't raise enough money to actually DO anything much about the systematic problem.  

          •  Not at all. (2+ / 0-)
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            JesseCW, DrCoyle65

            We could impose a financial transactions tax. The United States imposed this tax on stock sales for 50 years. The minor tax that we collect now, the Section 31 fee, is .0034 and applies only to stocks. We could up and expand that to all sorts of things, especially derivatives. Right now, the SEC expects to levy a total of $845 million bucks of Section 31 fees on a total of $24.4 trillion worth of transactions. That's just for 2013. We could easily get that fee up to .1%, expand it beyond equities to include bonds and derivatives, and collect a trillion in the first year.

            Hello balanced budget.

            •  What's more, we can ramp the estate tax (0+ / 0-)

              up massively, and start destroying the various "estate planning" stunts used to avoid it.

              Only two things in life are certain, and that's why they ought to go together.

              "Paid Activist" is an oxymoron.

              by JesseCW on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:59:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I should add, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that opponents of a tenth of a percent transactions tax argue that transactions would move offshore and then prove noncollectable. Bullshit. Almost all financial transactions these days occur electronically, making them extremely easy to collect. Furthermore, firms that do business in the U.S. or operate on U.S. securities, indices or derivatives can deemed "American" and then enforced appropriately. And criminal, not civil, penalties will ensure that U.S. nationals comply or face prison. Nor would it be difficult to use American power to get a treaty to make extradition of evaders easier.

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