Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gas Tax 
The gas tax is, of course, regressive. The estate tax which the slash and flood Republicans eliminated is quite the opposite of regressive. While the Paris Hilton tax has sometimes been called the death tax and the double taxation tax it is simply a mechanism to make sure wealth that was never taxed is. For example, Warren Buffet has billions of dollars of assets. The wizard of Kansas pays a humongous tax bill on things that he sells and realizes a profit. He also has billions of dollars in assets that he never paid a penny of taxes on.

Let me repeat that. Warren Buffet, like many other ultra-wealthy, have billions of dollars of assets that they have not paid one penny of income taxes on. When they sell it, if they sell it, they will owe a capital gains tax on it. If they die before they can sell it then their heirs have to pay tax on it through the inheritance tax. Republicans who represent the incredibly wealthy prefer to pay no taxes at all. They prefer to leave the chore of paying taxes to their chauffeurs and maids and the employees of the corporations that made them fabulously wealthy.

If the heirs sell their tax free inheritance they may not pay any taxes on it as well. Selling things will invoke the capital gains tax (except Republicans are trying to repeal that as well). Here is the trick. Capital gains are calculated as the sale price minus the cost basis. So, for example, if you inherited a billion dollars of stock then the tax law question is what will Republicans decide is the cost basis. Will they decide a large inheritance has a zero cost basis (maximizing tax revenue) or will they decide it was the value when it was inherited? Knowing Republicans' greed they will choose the latter. If they do this you can inherit a billion dollars in stock and sell it that day and owe no income tax.

If, for some reason, the Republicans bridle their greed and heirs are charged a capital gains tax on what it cost the deceased then they will have long term capital gains after holding onto the billion dollars in stock for a year. (Unless the Republicans decided that when the long term capital gains clock starts from when the rich uncle acquired it).

How good is the capital gains tax? If your wages were taxed at the same rate as long term capital gains your annual tax bill would by reduced by at least 75% (you would get a bigger savings if that 75% put you in a lower tax bracket.) In other words, Republicans are squealing not only about paying any taxes put they are crying about paying a lower tax rate than you can ever dream of having (unless you are Paris Hilton.)

The debate should be what is the fair way to do taxes on huge amounts of money that has never been taxed? I suggest it is to tax the deceased's estate (over some threshold like $20 million) at the same rate as if he had been paid that in earnings. How do I know that is fair? Republicans will squeal like stuck pigs at the thought of having their capital taxed at the same rate as labor.

In other words, kiddos, it's class warfare and their side is winning.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Will Democrats At Least Get Color TV? 
From Pudentilla at skippy, we see the phrase "American internment camps" and from Blah3 we see this link to Michelle Malkin's hope.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

New Orleans 
The city that care and Bush forgot.

I wish I had made it to Mardi Gras before Bush killed New Orleans. Why in the hell can we spend $400 billion to try and rebuild a country we had no business invading but we can't compensate the 480,000 victims of Katrina? Paying every man, woman and child displaced from New Orleans $100,000 each would still be cheaper than invading Iraq.

As Americans, we have a stake in rebuilding New Orleans but we have no business invading Iraq. Congress and Dunder and Plunder have their priorities screwed up.

Monday, February 20, 2006

As It Turns Out 
The whole Cheney - Whittington shoot out was all part of a bet. Rove bet Cheney that he could get the media to say Republican lawyers have a heart and Cheney bet Rove that he could shoot someone and they would apologize to him.

The bet was declared a draw.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Sen Maria Cant Vote Well... Again 
Sen. Cantwell sided once again with Bush and voted for cloture on the Patriot Bush Fascism Act. There is a Democrat running in this year's Washington State Senate race - Mark Wilson.

Does Cheney Really Need Another Bird To Hunt? 
From the assministration that said 9/11 air was safe to breathe and killed many first responders with that lie comes this news: the bald eagle is going to be taken off of the endangered species list. Lock and load, Deadeye Dick!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

U.N. On Gitmo 
Mr. Bush, tear down these walls.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I Am Flattered 
Thanks to whoever nominated me. I found out from Michael from The Reaction that I have been nominated for a Koufax at Wampum.

Why They Are Called Executive Orders 
A post at Atrios gives me a chance to write a Shorter Deadeye Dick:
I could tell you if I had used that Executive Order but then I would have to shoot you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

So much for the myth of Cheney as the great white hunter. From shotgun safety:
All shots will be taken up, never parallel to the ground or lower.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Anti-Idolitarian Left Here 
I am not a militant atheist but I am a strident agnostic. This has the interesting side effect that I am tolerant of anyone's myths, I mean religion, more so than deeply religious people who are committed to one faith. My religious tolerance does draw the line at human sacrifice which is why I cannot worship George W. Bush the way Republicans do.

Good News Bad News 
First the good news. I have worked with incredibly smart programmers for decades and I can assure you that the NSA cannot develop an infallible system that tracks your every move and thought.

Now for the bad news.

That won't stop them from arresting you and sending you to Gitmo.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Shouldn't Bush Get Impeached For Blowing His Job?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Newsweek Almost Gets It Right 
Via the new paper of record Buzzflash: Newsweek's headline (with corrections by me)
Exclusive: Can the President George "Texecutioner" Bush Order a Killing on U.S. Soil?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Compare and Contrast 
New York Times: Broad Rise in Hiring Last Month
Atrios: Unders Win

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Umm... Fact Check, Please 
Illegal, unwarranted wiretaps after 9/11 according to reportersRepublican talking point stenographers.

The only problem with this press repeated spin is it started pre-9/11.

Cantwell can't vote well again... twice:
Cantwell sided with Bush on the unAmerican Patriot Act once again.
Cantwell sided with Bush on Bush's malignant tax cuts for rich people.

Vote for a Democrat for U.S. Senator to represent Washington State: Mark Wilson.

Worth Repeating 
A comment I left at left i on the news:
Why does Bush have such a low opinion of his judicial appointments? Does he really think any of them would deny him a warrant to eavesdrop on terrorists? A far more plausible reason is he doesn't want a paper trail.

A Wasted Hour 
I saw Paul Bremer talk promoting his "book" (reprint of Republican talking points is a more truthful description). Within the first 5 minutes, without the pressure of debate he lost according to Godwin's law. Yep, Saddam = Hitler.

Saddam tortured Iraqis and had rape rooms and used chemical weapons on Iraqis and there were mass graves for the dead. Bremer was able to say all this without once cracking a smile at the irony of his description of George Bush's... err I mean Saddam's Iraq.

When he blathered on about bin Laden and Iraq, I involuntarily slapped my forehead in reaction to this nonsense. I was sitting in the front row and it visibly startled him.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mr. Popularity Speaks! 
In an attempt to regain some of his lost popularity, awol "...defended the huge profits of Exxon Mobil Corp."

Cindy Sheehan Asks: 
From Buzzflash
I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap! 
W stands for war crimes.

Whaddya Know? 
Maria Cantwell, who can't, well, vote against Bush's pariah Alito has a primary opponent.

I am endorsing Mark Wilson for the Democratic primary in Washington state for US Senate.

Alito Confirmed 
Harriet Miers still awaiting her up or down vote as promised by Republicans.

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