TCS Daily


Buffetting the Death Tax

By James R. Harrigan - June 28, 2006 12:00 AM

While no political thinker worth his salt underestimates the importance of private property, Machiavelli cut to the heart of the matter most succinctly. A prince, he wrote, "must not touch the property of others, because men sooner forget the killing of a father than the loss of their patrimony."

James Madison's analysis, while a bit more high-minded, amounts to nearly the same thing. He asserted in Federalist 10 that "The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate" will always lead to divergent interests within society. Men will, he held, invariably exhibit different abilities and inclinations. Some will be smarter, more industrious, even luckier than others, and in a condition of general equality these differences will lead inexorably to economic inequality. Government must be up to the task of protecting the gains of the few against the many if need be. Indeed, he said, "The protection of these faculties is the first object of government."

And few have been more protected than Warren Buffett. He is without question the most successful investor of the second half of the 20th century, and he is poised to become one of the greatest philanthropists of all time with his pledge of more than $37 billion to various charities, most notably the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

While the gift makes Buffett look like the capitalist with a heart of gold, the timing of his announcement might have more to do with recent legislative machinations over the estate tax, not to mention his apparent faith in social engineering. The House, after all, sent an estate tax reduction bill to the Senate on Friday. By Monday Buffett was monopolizing the air waves with his divestiture. The terms of the legislative debate, if there was even to be a debate in the Senate, have been indelibly redefined by the so-called "Oracle of Omaha."

Coincidence? Not likely.

The estate tax, or death tax as it is more commonly known, was targeted for extinction in the first round of President Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and has long been an object of Republican scorn. Continued resistance in the Senate has made repeal impossible, but an impending election cycle has put the issue back into play. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist asked for and received a watered-down bill, a bill which passed the House in a 269-156 vote and has a fighting chance at getting the 60 votes needed to conduct business in the Senate. If the bill becomes law, estates worth up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples would escape taxation entirely beginning in 2010. After the exemptions, estates worth up to $25 million would be subject to rates equal to those on capital gains, rates which are now 15% but are scheduled to increase to 20% in 2011. The remainder of estates which exceed the $25 million limit would be taxed at 30% until the capital gains rate hike in 2011, at which point they would be taxed at 40%. Some estimates hold that the number of estates subject to the tax will decrease from 30,000, which was the number for 2004, the last year for which data is available, to only 5,100 when the law takes full effect in 2011.

In the press conference announcing his gift to the Gates Foundation, Buffett addressed the tax explicitly. "It's a very equitable tax," he said, urging Congress to maintain the status quo. "It's in keeping with the idea of equality of opportunity in this country, not giving incredible head starts to certain people who were very selective about the womb from which they emerged."

Like all good nanny-state proponents, Buffett would use tax policy as a blunt-force tool to achieve his social preferences while simultaneously closing the door on dissenting views. The real problem, after all, isn't that Buffett is disposing of his assets according to his own wishes, it is that he would deny others the same level of self-determination given half a chance.

When asked how his children took the news of his impending liquidation, Buffett said, "My kids were elated when I told them. They knew my views on inherited wealth and shared them. I believe in equality of opportunity...They should not inherit my position in society..." Warren Buffett's position in society is not up for grabs though, and he knows as much. The only thing that his children could have inherited was the accumulated result of a lifetime of impressive work. And why shouldn't this be an option? How is wealth given to a foundation qualitatively different from wealth given to sons and daughters? In a 2001 New York Times interview Buffett offered his answer, saying, "We have come closer to a true meritocracy than anywhere else around the world. You have mobility so people with talents can be put to the best use. Without the estate tax, you in effect will have an aristocracy of wealth, which means you pass down the ability to command the resources of the nation based on heredity rather than merit."

But the "resources of the nation" are not at issue; and this was no slip of the tongue. Private resources are at issue, and they have been taxed already -- multiple times in many cases. Also on display is his raw paternalism. Someone might inform Mr. Buffett that "people with talents" are not "put to the best use" in a free society. They choose their own paths, just as he has always done. And in a free society the purpose of taxes is to raise revenue, not remake society in the image of an enlightened investor.

Buffett often claims that he believes in equality of opportunity. Without the ability to enjoy the spoils of success, though, equality of opportunity is a meaningless term. The means by which one can enjoy the fruits of his own labors is a decidedly personal matter, and the "pursuit of happiness," to borrow a phrase, is invariably a self-defined endeavor. Neither Warren Buffett nor the United States Congress can change this by fiat, no matter how well-intentioned.

Warren Buffett can dispose of his own property any way that he wants, but nothing gives him the right to interfere with others as they do the same. He should be lauded for his gift, and if others choose to follow his lead, that is their prerogative. If they choose to follow their own path, he should respectfully withhold comment.

Madison would have said as much. He also would have advised the Senate to ignore Buffett's grandstanding and follow the House's lead. In a perfect world the death tax would be eliminated entirely and immediately, but in a perfect world 41 Senators, aided, abetted, and goaded by Warren Buffett would not have the ability to stifle the popular will. Passing the compromise tax cut now will make eliminating the tax easier later, and it will strike a blow against would-be social engineers, both public and private. It's hard to say which of these two eventualities would have a more salutary effect over the long term.

James R. Harrigan is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

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55 Comments

Founding Fathers and their intentions
The Founding Fathers definitely did not want to encourage any dynasties of wealthy families, hence the estate tax. Check the historical writings on it.
And not a single family farm can be found that has been lost to this tax yet the lame right talks as if it is true and the lame supporters believe it.. Proof of the poor state of education in this country.
I am always amazed that the same people that promote the so-called 'work ethic' do not want the children of the rich to work at all in the normal sense of the term. The supporters usually don't want to work either. George Bush Jr. has never even had a single job yet many in the working class act as if he is one of them. Proof of his ability to hire the best propagandists.
Buffett is 100% right, it is the wealthy that owe the country the most.
Look forward to the fall elections, that will tell us what the people think.

Great article
An excellent essay on the most important argument for repealing the estate tax, which is not the good of society, but the nature of freedom and of just government.

"David1," your only potentially good point is your claim about the Founders' views on taxing estates. But it's no good unless you can give us hard evidence, like a couple of direct quotes with the citations.

To say that opponents of the estate tax "do not want the children of the rich to work" is childish mind-reading.
I'm sure most of them want no such thing.

You seem to fall into the liberal trap of thinking that if society permits something, it necessarily approves of it.
Professor Harrigan's main point is that if you truly respect private property, you have to put that first, and your personal druthers second. This has become more and more difficult in a society propagandized by statism, but it is a discipline essential among the citizenry if they are to remain free.

Please! Protect Paris Hilton & her friends
They want estate tax repeal. How can you reject the appeal of the neediest, just because Congress has to increase the debit ceiling every 6 months or so? Isn't it importance to protect Paris' estate?

David, Let me put this nicely. You are a partisan dolt.
First of all there was no federal estate tax with the founding fathers. Federal taxes not based upon "apportionment or enumeration" were constitutionally proscribed until the passage of the income tax amendment in 1913. It wasn't until after the enactment of the income tax that the estate tax was passed, it was done so when early tax planners discovered that one could control income taxes by controlling the timing of taxable events that there was a desire to tax accumulated wealth.

As for your venom about Bush, he may have inhereited his wealth, but that makes him no different from gulfstream liberals like Kennedy and Kerry. At least Bush's family earned his money in oil, which despite current liberal dogma, is still more honorable than the seed of the Kennedy wealth, contraband and securities fraud.

Check the record FDR appinted Joe P. to be the first SEC commisioner because he wanted a thief to catch thieves.

Hey Gullible, Before you preach on taxes, learn some basic accounting.
A DEBT is something owed by one party to another, A DEBIT is an accounting entry in double-entry bookkeeping.

I lost my family farm
I do not know what records you are checking but my sister and I lost our family farm when our father died at age 57 in 1997. He always planned to incorporate the farm but we just never got around to it. When he died suddenly we had to sell the 200 acre farm to a developer to pay the idiotic State and Federal death taxes. It almost makes me sick to drive past the dozens of townhomes and McMansions that now occupy the stream and fields where I used to fish and raise beef cattle.

We were never rich -- few farmers are -- but we did love the land and we used far less chemicals on the soil than the new owners dump on their lawns to kill insects and weeds.

I trust all of you who hate the rich are happy that the land is being put to a "better" use now.

death and taxes
Good article, but I think that Buffett and some of the above commentators are dead wrong tho. Buffet and other rich guys have already paid taxes, sometimes at several stages along the way. So if what's left after the predatroy governments have stolen what they can get, then they shouldn't further insult us by stealing more after we're dead. You should be able to leave your property to anyone you like; even you cat. Re the spoilt brats of the rich. So what if they spend a lot on wine, women and song, and maybe even just blow the rest. If they squander it all, that means that someone else then has it. On the other hand, if they're clever, some of them invest properly, start new industries etc. also no harm. But I realize that liberals prefer the government to have the money for entitlements, pork barreling, subsidies, welfare etc.

Don't lose any sleep about lost opportunities
Had your Dad incorporated, it still would've likely had no effect on the ultimate disposition. You might've been able to negotiate a complicated instument called a "life annuity", but having incorporated, you'd still face the illiquidity that is the major problem with closely held corporations.

Notice all the death tax proponents make their living from investments in publicly traded firms where their emotional attachment ends with the last 8-K filed with the SEC.

Its funny how the left hates the ultra rich and discounts everything they say, until they think that they are friends.

In their blind envy, they don't realize Ol' Buffer isn't giving anything away-he's buying control.

Its time to get rid of these stupid pontificating foundations that do little more than screw up society at the expense of real charities.



"Withholding comment"
"He should be lauded for his gift, and if others choose to follow his lead, that is their prerogative. If they choose to follow their own path, he should respectfully withhold comment."


Of course he should be lauded, but nobody should ever withhold comment and never respectfully.

Buffet should not urge government to steal from the dead, but that is not the same as withholding comment.

If anybody use their monoy or time or anything else in a way that i disprove of, I'm certainly going to comment on it. But I will not use force against those i disprove of.

I belive "respectfully withholding comment" is a liberal idea which i disprove of. ;-)

Not Giving Anything- Buying Attention and Control.
Buffett didn't obtain his fortune without being shrewd and acquisitive-that having been said, we should always wonder why somebody would give something away. The first clue is the highly public nature. If Buffett was really interested in divesting his fortune so as to protect his kids from the spoiling effects of unearned wealth, he's do so quietly and without an "agenda".

As it is, it was "look at me, look at me" and it went to minions ready to do his bidding. Buffet just wants a place in controlling society along with the Fords, Pews and Sloans.

I don't mind him running corporations, if he owns it, its his-his investment skill however doesn't mean the tax code should be set up to allow him to buy posthumous influence.

Its not about lost opportunities
Its not about lost opportunity -- its about a love for the land and a love to see physical results from individual effort. Most people in today's society work as part of a team inside an office building and never (or seldom) see any change caused by their efforts. A farmer can turn raw dirt and a few seeds into food for hundreds of people. He can watch life being created and see the immediate change caused by his labor. No -- it is not about lost opportunity -- it is about the loss of an independent way of life.

Its not about lost opportunities
You misunderstand. I agree with you. What I meant was that you seemed to imply that if your father had incorporated, that in of itself, might have allowed you to continue ownership. The "opportunity" I referred to was incorporation. Perhaps a better term would have been clearer.

Re read my original post about the super rich and their lack of emotional attachment to their assets.

The estate tax is cruel and ineffective. It raises insignificant revenues but allows Buffetts to exercise post mortem control on society, while employing thousands of lawyers, planners and accountants in the socially useless pursuit of tax minimization strategies.

Those that defend it do so with no financial acumen, just doctrinaire leftist justifications masking the base emotion of envy.


So Paris and her friends have top priority
And the rest of us ordinary folks will have to make up the budget deficit. You do understand what a deficit is?

He's dead, Jim
Extremist libertarians say all taxation is theft. Believers in the social contract understand that "laws are established among men", including taxes. What better time to tax someone than when he's (or she's) not going to miss it.

The estate tax, like other progressive taxes, also serves the social good of reducing wealth differences among people. This principle was championed by that ultimate communist leftist, Jesus.

"The estate tax, or death tax as it is more commonly known", Well, here's the Republican noise machine at work. Some focus group guru found that people would sooner be against a "death tax" than an "estate tax". Remember when they tried to rename "private accounts" (of social security) "personal accounts" and claimed that only Democrats called the accounts "private" even though they themselves had introduced the term and had been using it happily the week before. 1984 is passed, but not forgotten.

No, you have top priority in remedial education
First of all, you aren't "ordinary", you are extraordinarily ignorant of basic fiscal concepts, as demonstrated by your misuse of "debit".

If you want to know what a deficit is, just ask, don't posture. A (government) deficit occurs when the government spends in excess of its money. We have had federal government deficits for decades along with your cherished estate tax. Therefore the existence of an estate tax has no effect on eliminating a deficit.

Small businesses, family farms, and those who love the death tax
Why do those who mourn the passing family farms, and rally against the impact of WalMart on small businesses, love the death tax so much?

Don't they realize the passing of smaller, family owned businesses is driven in part by this punative goverment money grab?

He's blind and insane, Jim.
The estate tax, like other progressive taxes, also serves the social good of reducing wealth differences among people. This principle was championed by that ultimate communist leftist, Jesus.

You say reducing wealth differences is a social good. Then sell everything you own, including your computer. What you really want is SOMEBODY ELSE to give it up, not you.

As for your blasphemy, Christ enjoined one man to give up everything he owned because he was looking for an easy recipe for salvation. However, when asked directly about taxes, Christ deferred comment, saying "render unto Caesar..". Christ repeatedly invoked voluntary charity, not government confiscation. That kind of crap may sell at National Council of Churches conventions, but not with anybody with a brain.

The fact that someone works hard all their lives, means they owe you something?
And people wonder why the left is called an envy based system.

typical envy based posting.
...

protecting the kids?`
At the same time he was giving all this money to the Gates Foundation, Buffet also set up a couple of foundations and named his kids to run them. With hefty salaries for their efforts.

Why do you want to steal from his kids?
There is no such thing as a social contract.

Funny thing
Buffet loves the death tax, but he just hid most of his money from it.

Another example of a liberal wanting us to do as he says, but not as he does?

So much for his concerns about easy money
You get the feeling the Orifice of Omaha's charity is a little like Capone serving soup during the depression?

Yes, I typed "debit" instead of deficit
I'm aware of the difference. The point about continuing to cut taxes while carrying on a nearly $10 billion a month war stands.

Nice Try
But you typed "debit" instead of "debt". You can't keep track of what you write.

You have no point. If somebody doesn't keep pumping trillions into the War on Poverty (our most expensive war with the most casualties), you'll scream. Whatever you think about the war, the amount spent there is a drop in an ocean of federalk spending on ineffective or counterproductive liberal programs that ironically GWB loves.

Gully-BULL
A budget deficit is something that is paid back by allowing people to keep their money and help them grow the economy.

Us "ordinary folks" can do just fine if allowed to keep our money and do with it as we please. The estate tax hurts small business owners and those of us who wish to leave some security for our children after we die.

During Reagan's years as President I remember the screams that the deficit he was running up to build our military would be paid for by our children's children. Well, it didn't work out that way did it? It will be the same with the current deficit which has already been calculated down many times. But hey, don't let truth get in the way of your argument.

Your class warfare strawman is amusing though. If you are for the repeal of the death tax you are for Paris Hilton. That should be swept up by the Dems real soon. You better patent it.

"Progressive" = Time to watch your wallet
>"What better time to tax someone than when he's (or she's) not going to miss it."

The dead aren't the ones complaining moron. It is the dead guy's family that is forced to sell property, liquidate stocks/bonds, etc. in order to pay an extreme tax rate. Much of the middle class in this country is effected by it.

>"The estate tax, like other progressive taxes, also serves the social good of reducing wealth differences among people."

And Roy doesn't like liberalism associated with Marxism. Here is a good example. You know when you here the word "progressive" you are about to get reamed for the "social good".

>"This principle was championed by that ultimate communist leftist, Jesus."

Not being a christian, this doesn't offend me but since I have read the Bible I understand that what Jesus was talking about was individual charity, not a government seizing property and revenue. As God has supposedly given us free will I would say that our government should give us free will to decide how the money and property we have accumulated over our lives is dispersed.

While we're at it, does Jesus believe that religion is the opiate of the masses? He really doesn't come off as an atheist with all his "son of God" talk and such. Maybe you haven't read the Bible or maybe you're just being a ****.

Your comments on whether or not to call it a "death" or "estate" tax does in no way alter what this tax ultimately is: unfair.

What "trillions"
YOu don't seem to look at the budget.

>mebody doesn't keep pumping trillions into the War on Poverty (our most expensive war with the most casualties), you'll scream.

anti-poverty programs are a small part of the budget now. SS is self-funded and in surplis. We have a $10 billion a year war running off the budget.

> amount spent there is a drop in an ocean of federalk spending on ineffective or counterproductive liberal programs that ironically GWB loves.

this is still not an argument for cutting the estate tax.

True believer stuff
Ah yes, the Laffer curve.

>A budget deficit is something that is paid back by allowing people to keep their money and help them grow the economy.

That's the standard right-wing claim. The reality is much more complicated. But why not do the dance which proves that the Clinton boom and surplus was all due to Reagan?

> Your class warfare strawman is amusing though. If you are for the repeal of the death tax you are for Paris Hilton

The estate tax raises money for government programs in a way that affects a vanishingly small number of persons -- Paris Hilton was one -- who wind up very well off anyway. It's not "class warfare" to point that out, it's simple economics.

Typical stupidity based posting
Mark, get a life.

the real Buffett steps forward
So...Buffett tells us all that we should be happy to give unto the fed what we have earned. If he really believes in this BS why did he give the bulk of his wealth to the most wealthy foundation on Earth? By doing this he has insured that his estate will avoid paying anything on the 37 billion. He has circumvented the system before which he wants the rest of us to prone ourselves---what an a_shole.

hey...
sorry, I should have read your post before I did mine--we said the same thing. What a jerk he is!

By all means...
back up your words with proof.

>"That's the standard right-wing claim. The reality is much more complicated. But why not do the dance which proves that the Clinton boom and surplus was all due to Reagan?"

Don't need to do the dance. The proof was that the deficit came down because Reagan set the stage for growth. What you do not address is the fact that we DID get rid of the deficit and it didn't take future generations. It took the government getting off of the back of business and allowing business to thrive.

Although I am sure such a reality is too complicated for you.

>"The estate tax raises money for government programs in a way that affects a vanishingly small number of persons -- Paris Hilton was one -- who wind up very well off anyway. It's not "class warfare" to point that out, it's simple economics."

You are correct that your concept of economics is simple-minded. Your strawman of the extremely wealthy does not hold up to reality. They can afford it. Those who suffer are those whose money is locked up in businesses and real estate. It destroys family business and stifles growth. So keep stuffing the strawman that the death tax simply sticks it to the evil rich. You are nothing if not amusing.

That makes such good sense!
I mean:

>The proof was that the deficit came down because Reagan set the stage for growth. What you do not address is the fact that we DID get rid of the deficit and it didn't take future generations.

Let's back up. When Clinton took office, the economy was in a recession. That was one of the reasons he won the election. So you're saying the recession was caused by Clinton before he come into office by suppressing growth, but the Reagan-caused growth took off after Clinton came into office and raised taxes, in consultation with business leaders led by his (brilliant) secretary of the treasury.

Sure. Makes sense to me.

Why
When I can get so much entertainment watching you dance and spin.

the Clinton boom
It's easy to show that the Clinton boom was merely an extension of the Reagan boom. Just look at the charts of economic activity.

It's also easy to show that the recession of the Early Bush the younger years actually started while Clinton was still in office.

Easy to show?? Then show it.
I love the "it's easy to show," without even a gesture of showing.

But any excuse will do for you if the idea is to bash Democrats. And the recession of the first Bush Sr. administrtaon -- Clinton caused that, didn't he?

You really should back up...
and get it right for once.

That particular "recession" started and ended before the election of 92. In fact, it was a minor slow down that was inflated by the media. Also remember that Perot took alot of votes from Bush but that would conflict with your theory so we will simply dismiss that factor right?

>"So you're saying the recession was caused by Clinton before he come into office by suppressing growth,"

I will stop you here since you are so very confused. Once again those Fortunato reading skills are coming to the forefront.

I am saying the recession was started WHILE Clinton was in office, towards the end of his last term, because he suppressed growth. Luckily Bush cut taxes and minimized the impact of the Clinton recession and the effects of 9/11 and that is why our economy is so vibrant today.

The only thing Clinton did for the economy was throw on the brakes. He believed that putting money into people's hands was stupid since they would just waste it. I guess he believed that governments are in business to make money and that is how he ran it.

>"Sure. Makes sense to me."

I doubt economics makes any sense to you at all.

Any excuse will do
You're spoouting that Reagan policies were (basically) responsible for all the good conequences and someone else (Clinton, democrats, whoever) caused all the bad ones. This may be comforting to you, but it's not real world economics, and doesn't match up with the history. And if the eocnomy's so good, why is the deficit so big?

Is it painful to be so confused?
If you could read you would understand that what I am saying is that one President, Reagan, created the incentive to start and grow business by allowing people to create or invest in business as they saw fit. Another President, Clinton, threw the brakes on the economy by greatly increasing taxes and decreasing the ability to start and grow a business.

It has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat. It is the basic understanding that punishing initiative and growth has severe consequences that will eventually manifest.

>"And if the eocnomy's so good, why is the deficit so big?"

Boy. Nothing could prove you know nothing about economics than this statement.

First, the economy and the government are two separate things. They influence each other but are not the same.

Second, in reference to the first point, the government has a deficit. That is because they spend too much money and manage it very badly.

Third, the economy is growing by the month and if we had a Democrat as President you would hear the MSM trumpeting it to the high heavens. Low unemployment, production up, etc. Try to talk it down but it just won't stay down.

Now if you really are concerned about the deficit. Don't be. The deficit has already shrunk by leaps and bounds since the last election and will continue to do so. You see, if the ECONOMY grows then government can collect more in taxes and pay off the DEFICIT.

I hope you are now able to understand the differences between deficit and the economy. You can go back to your Barney program now.

Just google Treasury Dept.
We all know that you won't.

brakes?
The patronizing tone doesn't make your point.

> Another President, Clinton, threw the brakes on the economy by greatly increasing taxes and decreasing the ability to start and grow a business.

and we all say how the economy crashed and burned during the Clinton administration. You're trying to make a general rule that all tax cuts are good and all tax increases are bad. This is simply and flatly false. Your economics is as bad as your chemistry.

As far as the economy goes: it's growing based on two thing: real estate equity and foreign loans. Income inequality is increasing drastically, never a healthy thing.

> The deficit has already shrunk by leaps and bounds since the last election and will continue to do so.

Fingers crossed. Sure it will.

Why not suggest googling "money"
Or "economics?" or "truth?"

Your not a tough audience.
A person like you can get entertainment pouring urine back and forth from one jar to another. In fact, that's why you seem to be doing.

deficit
The deficit has dropped by almost half in the last two years. As a percentage of GDP, it's dropping even faster.

If Jesus was progressive, how come he gave more than he took?
Jesus gave more to man than he took and called for others to do the same outside of every social contract and as a service to God (Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, give unto God what is God's). In contrast, progressives preach that giving unto Caesar is the same as giving unto God, for Caesar is really doing God's work when he takes from the rich and gives to the poor.

Notice, however, that Jesus never used violent force or law to acquire the wealth he gave to the poor. Rather, he applied the rational force of his message of voluntary giving as a service to God. In contrast, progressives preach giving to the poor yet want nothing to do with voluntary giving. Rather, they want to apply the force of law to make people give. See the difference, LiberalGoodman?

If Jesus was a progressive, why didn't he use force to redistribute wealth to the poor? Indeed, see Matthew 4:8-10, then ask yourself, "Why did Jesus turn down the opportunity to politically remake the world in his own supposedly progressive image?", for every progressive would have taken satan up on his offer. Then see the Lord's prayer (... thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven), and ask yourself, "Can the state force people to do God's will?"

Finally, I browsed the posts regarding deficits and debits. In one sense, they're the same thing. Law distributes scarce and valuable things. Politics is a competition for the power to write the laws that distribute scarce and valuable things. The law abhores moral arguments while politics relies almost exclusively on them.

Given this background, laws enabling deficit spending distribute tomorrow's wealth to today's recipients of state largess. This means that those who haven't been born or don't vote yet are going to pick up the tab for today's fiscal degeneracy.

But our greed does not stop there. No, we want the state to seize their inheritance as well, making it that much more difficult for them to pay off our public profligacy. This kind of greed is par for the political course, which is why I find it comical when those who know nothing about Jesus ascribe political ideologies to him. Any serious student of Christ knows that the kingdom of God can't be reached via political paths.

Folks such as LiberalGoodman deserve exactly the kind of state and society they get, regardless of whose lot of crooks has won the latest political competition.

More patronizing tones
>"and we all say how the economy crashed and burned during the Clinton administration. You're trying to make a general rule that all tax cuts are good and all tax increases are bad. This is simply and flatly false. Your economics is as bad as your chemistry."

The economy didn't "crash and burn" dummy. The recession started in Clinton's last term and was softened by timely tax cuts that helped people keep some of their money. If you have more money to spend and invest that helps the economy.

So yes, tax cuts good, tax increases bad. Take a look at what high taxes have done for the Europeans. Combine that with their over-regulation and the picture is not pretty.

You like to say things are false (except AGW) but you never have anything besides your opinion to back you up.

Oh, and as always, you throw out the same tired insult about chemistry. I find this funny since I have never had to change my login name to hide my shame. I stand by my words and admit my errors and you, quite obviously, cannot. I suppose lack of maturity can be added to your list of shortcomings.

If you want to be productive in this debate, prove this statement:

>"As far as the economy goes: it's growing based on two thing: real estate equity and foreign loans. Income inequality is increasing drastically, never a healthy thing."

If you can't, shut up.

When stupid is all he has...
why try to that away with facts? Fortunato doesn't require such things to make a bold statement.

Are you serious?
I audited welfare programs for years. I know more about great society waste, ineffectiveness and inefficiency than you ever will-because you have neither the capacity, information or inclination to seriously examine the shibboleths and sophistries you fancy as erudition.

And the answer is yes, we have spent TRILLIONS, the fact that you can't find the data on a federal government website makes you stupid, not skeptical.

As for your opinion on cutting taxes, I doubt any argument would ever change your mind. You are simply an envious, bitter person who can't figure out how to make a buck, so you'll STEAL it and call it a "Progressive Agenda". You sir are a walking argument for an economic literacy test as a precondition of voting.



more than that
progressives use govt to force other people to give.
They rarely give of themselves.

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