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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Ranchers, farmers brace for 'death tax' impact

    Rancher Kevin Kester works dawn to dusk, drives a 12-year-old pick-up truck and earns less than a typical bureaucrat in Washington D.C., yet the federal government considers him rich enough to pay the estate tax -- also known as the "death tax."

    And with that tax set to soar at the beginning of 2013 without some kind of intervention from Congress, farmers and ranchers like Kester are waiting anxiously.

    "There is no way financially my kids can pay what the IRS is going to demand from them nine months after death and keep this ranch intact for their generation and future generations," said Kester, of the Bear Valley Ranch in Central California.

    Two decades ago, Kester paid the IRS $2 million when he inherited a 22,000-acre cattle ranch from his grandfather. Come January, the tax burden on his children will be more than $13 million.

    For supporters of a high estate tax, which is imposed on somebody's estate after death, Kester is the kind of person they rarely mention. He doesn't own a mansion. He's not the CEO of a multi-national. But because of his line of work, he owns a lot of property that would be subject to a lot of tax.

    "Our number one goal is to repeal the estate tax, to get rid of it, not have it for every generation, when I die and my kids die and so on," he told Fox News. "For everyone to have to re-purchase the ranch or farm over and over for each generation, that's inherently unjust. So what we're doing is asking our politicians to understand that and repeal the estate tax."

    That, however, is unlikely. Currently, the federal government taxes estates worth $5 million dollars and up at 35 percent. When the Bush-era tax rates expire in January, rates increase to 55 percent on estates of $1 million or more. While some Republicans want to eliminate the death tax entirely, President Obama has proposed a 45 percent rate on estates of $3.5 million and up.

    "The idea behind the estate tax is to prevent the very wealthy among us from accumulating vast fortunes that they can pass along to the next generation," said Patrick Lester, director of Federal Fiscal Policy with the progressive think tank -- OMB Watch. "The poster child for the estate tax is Paris Hilton -- the celebrity and hotel heiress. That's who this is targeted at, not ordinary Americans."

    But according to the American Farm Bureau, up to 97 percent of American farms and ranches will be subject to an estate tax where the exemption is set at $1 million. At that rate, the federal government will pocket $40 billion in 2013 and up to $86 million in 2021. That contrasts with just $12 billion this year.

    Many Democrats argue the tax promotes equality among classes, especially in capital gains -- or stocks passed from one generation to another. Since stocks are only taxed when they are sold, the government can't profit from long-term investments without the estate tax.

    "Very large portions of very wealthy estates are tied up in stocks and they have never been taxed," said Lester. "The estate tax is one of the ways we make sure the wealthy pay a little bit more as an overall share of their wealth and income compared to low-income individuals."

    Many Republicans argue the opposite. Because the estate tax falls on assets, they say it hampers investment by reducing incentives to save and invest. A pending estate tax could become a disincentive to invest in an otherwise viable business, forcing older people to liquidate or shift resources out of an ongoing business and into a trust or tax-free investment.

    "We're not millionaires in the terms of making a million dollars a year," said Kester who lives in a modest home and whose family -- not outsiders or a corporation -- runs his ranch. "I have a half-a-million dollars in soil."

    Kester can't spend it, without selling land. But by selling the land, each year the ranch would become less viable.

    The estate tax dates back to 1916 when then-President Woodrow Wilson imposed the tax of 1 to 10 percent on the wealthy because World War I reduced federal government revenues. Under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the tax rose to 77 percent, as Congress tried to prevent wealth from becoming concentrated among a few powerful and super-rich families.

    Ironically, many nations historically more concerned with class and wealth -- namely Russia and China -- have since abandoned their estate taxes.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Wear the fox hat... Filthy 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voivod View Post
    "The estate tax is one of the ways we make sure the wealthy pay a little bit more as an overall share of their wealth and income compared to low-income individuals."

    Ironically, many nations historically more concerned with class and wealth -- namely Russia and China -- have since abandoned their estate taxes.
    Those two statements.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:23 PM
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    The whole idea of this tax just pisses me off. So someone works their whole life to build vast amounts of money to give to their kids, but the government then decides that they don't like that idea, so they claim half of the money---money that was already taxed repeatedly the first time?

    It's complete bullshit. If someone sacrifices everything so their kids can live like Paris Hilton, it's not the federal government's role to come in and tell them "no." It's just punishing people for no reason other than pure jealousy.

    "You have more and I don't, so we're going to make sure you don't have more."

    Yay America.

    It's bad enough that ranchers and farmers get screwed, but even hotel heiresses shouldn't be singled out as being bad people not deserving of the money. That's making a scathing judgment of character and punishing them for it, which is not something the federal government...or any government for that matter...should be doing.

    This whole bullshit of redistributing wealth, "spreading the wealth around," or other "fair share" crap just makes me sick. Those that rail against the wealthy as being greedy are greedy themselves; they are showing they aren't happy with what they have, so they get vindictive with anyone that has what they really want.

    Grow a sack and work for it yourself.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Amen.

    My understanding is that they are going to make farm property exempt if the property is passed along to the heirs AND they work it as a farm.

    But anything about the 2013 tax code is pure conjecture at this point.
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  5. #5
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    Being successful is now being frowned upon by a great many Americans and our Government.

    I have the same job that my father had and I make less money than he did to do the same job, and I work more days a month for that money. It's my belief that we are the first generation to not have as good as a lifestyle as our parents. Scary to think how our children will live they hit 40.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Yes, our children as a whole will not inherit a better country for the first time in our country's history.

    Congratulations to us all!
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  7. #7
    Good Enough
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    Anyone who believes dying is a taxable event is morally bankrupt.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    Yes, our children as a whole will not inherit a better country for the first time in our country's history.

    Congratulations to us all!

    The illegal immigrant's child disagrees... ;-)
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I truly believe there is a large portion of society that just believes the government is entitled to anything of ours and can make us do whatever they want to do. I'd bet if the government wanted to tax 100% and dole out what they felt we needed, most of this country would go for it.

    I live where Roy Rogers and Dale Evans retired and eventually die. When they did, basically everything had to be liquidated (side note: most of the instruments were not until later. Got to play some of Roy's instruments when this happened, as the guitarist for Roy Jr.'s band was a teacher at the music store I worked at. Very, very cool.). Anyway, basically, to pay the tax bill, a bunch of stuff said bye bye. Just seems so sad.

    I remember Steinbrenner died during its moratorium. If he hadn't, the family likely would have had to sell the Yankees to pay the bill. Jerry Buss, the Lakers owner, is prepaying his death tax just so his family won't have to sell the team when he dies.

    And people think this is just.

 

 

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