*Sigh* No, I am not endorsing Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primaries. I have too many other people I want to hear from, like Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro, and Sherrod Brown. But I can still listen to the early birds, and chime in when I notice something.
Elizabeth Warren, and her fellow quick starter, Kamala Harris, learned something from Trump. When you come out early with something, you can control the news cycle. Warren quickly came out with her proposed “wealth tax,” and along with Harris’s eliminate private insurance company healthcare, is dominating cycle after cycle. And as a result can feast on the blowback.
And mmm-dogies is there blowback! I’m not so much talking about the silk boxer twins, Bloomberg and Schultz, having a collective aneurysm about Warren actually daring to come after all of their shiny trinkets and toys. She is igniting right wing exploding heads in a way we haven’t seen since AOC’s last tweet.
The basics are simple. If you reside in the hallowed halls of the top 0.01%, making more than $50 million a year, then fuggedaboud that piddly “income tax” shit. No, for you guys and gals, if you own it, and it’s not green paper, it’s fair game.Republican politicians, totally owned and indebted to the same 0.01^, are laying on their fainting couches, wrist over a fevered brow, and lowing like a herd of Wisconsin Herefords. They darkly foretell the death of American capitalism, and moan that no western democracy has sunk to the dishonor of a “wealth tax.”
OK, I’ll take their word for it. As lifeless as I may be, I have not yet degenerated to the level where I spend all day Googling the tax structures of Belgium and Lichtenstein. But lucky for my lazy ass, I don’t have to go trolling around on the other side of the pond to look for wealth taxes. I can stay at my table and look right here.
What do you think that the inheritance tax is? It doesn’t just look at cash on hand, it assigns a valuation to every physical asset of an estate, and taxes it. Most people never think about the estate tax, since it only applies to estates of a size that are far beyond the realistic bounds of shit kickers like you and me. But every American homeowner already pays a wealth tax, just not to the US government. Waddaya think your real estate taxes are? Your home isn’t disposable income, yet the state assigns a value to it, and slaps a tax on it. Warren’s “wealth tax” is nothing more than your already existing real estate taxes writ large.
The real reason that the Republicans and their rich shitpoke donors are having coronary kittens over Warren’s new plan is that it isn’t an income tax. If it were income based, the caviar snorters wouldn’t even rouse from their Godiva comas. Income taxes are no-brainers. When the new tax is passed, it’s either written in such a way that it takes advantage of already written loopholes, or new loopholes are created to take the sting out of it. One thing you can say about the US tax code for rich shitpokes, it has more holes than a Swiss cheese factory.
The thing that is giving Republicans and their Daddy Warbucks backers night terrors is that this would be an entirely new breed of cat as far as taxes are concerned. It would be a virgin bill, not subject to the wonderfully excessive givebacks from existing US tax law. And the people writing it will not be looking to dilute it with all kinds of random givebacks to keep the Romney’s of the world from having to wax their Rolls at home instead of letting the car wash kid do it. This would be a law with one explicit purpose, to honestly gauge, and then tax the accumulated wealth of the subject. Without deference, or subservience to special interest loopholes. In other words, the one thing that rich shitpokes fear more than anything else, a fair deal.
The squeals of this wallow full of muddy porkers can be heard all the way to Copenhagen. But, but but! How can you fairly value these personal items. DUH! The IRS doesn’t have to do that, silly. Because the rich shitpokes already have. If somebody has a Renoir in the breakfast nook, you can bet your ass they’ve had it valued to every last penny they can shake down from the insurance company if it’s ever stolen or destroyed. The same thing for the Maserati, and the gold plated Cuisinart too. Rich people didn’t get rich by taking the risk of throwing any of that rich away on the vagaries of blind chance or cruel fate. Every penny is already accounted for, I can assure you.
Likewise, every penny worth that is parked offshore is meticulously documented, so the rich shitpoke in question knows exactly what he has, where it is, and how to access it if needed. All of those documents can be required by the new law. If Donald Trump can drag out a pile of paper the height of Herve Villechaize to account for his corporate assets, the whole damn bunch of them can do the same for their personal swag.
The most obvious bait-and-switch would be to hide personal assets as corporate assets. This is not that hard to discern. If the corporate assets list a Picasso, then the damn thing had better be hanging in the lobby of the corporate headquarters, and not next to the Renoir in the breakfast nook at home. The yacht can remain on the corporate books, but it can’t be moored on private property, and an annual, detailed log book must be presented, showing the dates, times, and names of those who took the yacht out, along with a detailed explanation of the purpose of the cruise, and any relevant receipts.
The real beauty of the plan is its enforced compliance monitoring. As outlined by Warren, the new law would only cover about 47,000 people. Last time I checked, Lake in the Hills Illinois is larger than that. There would be a team of dedicated IRS agents that would each be assigned a roster, and rotate through them, ensuring accuracy and compliance. I believe I also heard something about more frequent auditing of all returns from the top 0.01% to ensure compliance.
This is the real reason that the Republicans and uber slobs at the top of the food chain are having such a drastic reaction. Because Elizabeth Warren with her wealth tax, and Kamala Harris with her ditch the insurance companies Medicare-for-all plan have found the soft underbelly of excessive wealth in this country. Both realized that the existing structures that govern tax policy and health insurance are too riddled with holes to be able to properly reform to the benefit of the greater good. Therefore, they’re advocating simply pitching the existing structures, and creating bran new frameworks, tailored to get the desired results, and not to satisfy the wealthy and powerful. They have had the sudden realization that this will be a brand new game. And if they can’t rig the game, then they’re fucked.
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