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post #5671 of 8748
I disagree with the assumption that dividing by all households is meaningless.

It is a different metric for sure, but not that different from saying X% of Americans die in car accidents every year vs X% of Americans who die, die in car accidents.

The latter tells me if I am more likely to die in a car accident than something else. The former tells me is I actually have to worry about it in the grand scheme of things.

Also, I have single decimal rounding turned on in excel, so whichever number you pick, the answer is 0.0%...
post #5672 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

I disagree with the assumption that dividing by all households is meaningless.

If we're trying to make a conclusion about what percent of households the estate tax will impact would not the proper measure be:

# of estates taxed in a year / # of all estates in a year?

For possible impact:

# of all households with net worth large enough to trigger the estate tax / # of all households
post #5673 of 8748
But what about all of the people like me who don't have an estate worth taxing and don't plan on dying anytime soon? (And don't plan on inheriting from a giant estate) We are interested voters as well.

Maybe one day I will have that much estate.... But I don't belong in either one of those denominators.

All of those metrics are meaningful. Your metric might be better for the ideas you are thinking about (I mean a better idea, not simply a better result), but i am not sure why you would come out so strongly against the meaningfulness of the other metric.

Especially when both are zero.
post #5674 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

But what about all of the people like me who don't have an estate worth taxing and don't plan on dying anytime soon? (And don't plan on inheriting from a giant estate) We are interested voters as well.

Maybe one day I will have that much estate.... But I don't belong in either one of those denominators.

All of those metrics are meaningful. Your metric might be better for the ideas you are thinking about (I mean a better idea, not simply a better result), but i am not sure why you would come out so strongly against the meaningfulness of the other metric.

Especially when both are zero.

But you do and you will. You are currently part of "all households" and will one day, sadly, be part of "# of estates in a year."

And to repeat, the metric I'm not finding useful is:

# of estates taxed in a single year / # of all current households.
post #5675 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

I disagree with the assumption that dividing by all households is meaningless.

It is a different metric for sure, but not that different from saying X% of Americans die in car accidents every year vs X% of Americans who die, die in car accidents.

The latter tells me if I am more likely to die in a car accident than something else. The former tells me is I actually have to worry about it in the grand scheme of things.

Also, I have single decimal rounding turned on in excel, so whichever number you pick, the answer is 0.0%...

 

OTC, stop complicating history with complicated math.

 

In seriousness, I understand how that metric can be valuable, but I think it isn't valuable because it is a bit of a tyranny of the majority "Oh look, only 0.000000000000000000001%* of people are affected.  That's not me, so we can free crap from them."

 

*Obviously I had to write the number out because the average voter wouldn't understand 1x10-21

post #5676 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

But what about all of the people like me who don't have an estate worth taxing and don't plan on dying anytime soon? (And don't plan on inheriting from a giant estate) We are interested voters as well.

My FIL was trying to convince us to move from Maryland to VA (despite working in MD). His first point was that the estate taxes are lower in VA. I can't figure out why I'm supposed to care about that in my 30s with no kids.


A lot of people make estate tax an issue because they mistakenly think it applies to them. It's a matter of principle for a few, I suppose, but seems like it should be a non-issue for the vast, vast majority of people.
post #5677 of 8748
While I completely agree the estate tax effectively hits 0% of households, first they came for those that paid estate taxes, and I said nothing...
post #5678 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

While I completely agree the estate tax effectively hits 0% of households, first they came for those that paid estate taxes, and I said nothing...


Then they came for the brown people and I said, hey, at least they aren't increasing my estate taxes that I don't pay.

 

:D

post #5679 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

While I completely agree the estate tax effectively hits 0% of households, first they came for those that paid estate taxes, and I said nothing...

 

Well, that's my point with my above post.  When you make a denominator total households or individuals you can make a lot of numbers look trivially small and the average voter goes "that doesn't affect anyone, and $100m (or whatever the expected revenue is) is a lot of money!"  We should do that!

post #5680 of 8748
This made me lol
http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/studio-notes-on-the-2016-presidential-election-screenplay
post #5681 of 8748
I guess you could laugh at the New Yorker for publishing it.
post #5682 of 8748

My wife starts reading this to me. I ask what is it the onion? No, no she says its the New Yorker . Oh bullshit I say,no way. She reads a bit more . Oh wait, never mind .

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-threatens-to-skip-remaining-debates-if-hillary-is-there

post #5683 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencycle View Post

Well, that's my point with my above post.  When you make a denominator total households or individuals you can make a lot of numbers look trivially small and the average voter goes "that doesn't affect anyone, and $100m (or whatever the expected revenue is) is a lot of money!"  We should do that!

But it is trivial. If effectively 0% of all households in the US are going to be affected by an estate tax yet raise a non trivial amount of tax revenue why is this a contentious issue at all.

If we were talking about arsenic poisoning and people were scaremongering that apples are dangerous you would use the ratio of people that died due to apple seeds to people that died. The low ratio would show how dumb it is to even worry about dying from arsenic poisoning from apples when you're more likely to die by heart attack or stroke. Of the proposals to raise taxes it's not the estate tax that's going to reduce post tax income for the middle or upper middle class...

The obvious trap is that some hope to eventually get to a position where they have to pay an estate tax but the vast vast majority of people won't. This is special flower mentality.
post #5684 of 8748
Quote:
Originally Posted by indesertum View Post


But it is trivial. If effectively 0% of all households in the US are going to be affected by an estate tax yet raise a non trivial amount of tax revenue why is this a contentious issue at all.

If we were talking about arsenic poisoning terrorism and people were scaremongering that apples skittles are dangerous you would use the ratio of people that died due to apple seeds those damned skittles to people that died. The low ratio would show how dumb it is to even worry about dying from arsenic poisoning terrorism from skittles when you're more likely to die by heart attack or stroke. Of the proposals to raise taxes it's not the estate tax that's going to reduce post tax income for the middle or upper middle class...

The obvious trap is that some hope to eventually get to a position where they have to pay an estate tax but the vast vast majority of people won't. This is special flower mentality.

Making more topical.

post #5685 of 8748
Does anyone remember the 90% proposed on bonuses for execs in the bailed out banks? Bill of Attainder. One of the uses of a bill of attainder is to deny an individual, or group of similar individuals, the right to pass on to their heirs the property they have accumulated. Seems to me such a narrowly targeted estate tax borders on this. I mean, hard to get much more towards the individual level of legislation than effectively 0%, right?

Personally, I say 50% on all estates. Gotta have some skin in the game. Of course, the truly rich have trust funds, family foundations (hello Clinton Foundation!) and other mechanisms to shelter vast sums from the tax man.
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