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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for September, 2016

Hillary’s Estate Tax Plan

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

She wants to redistribute everybody’s wealth (except Hillary’s, of course).

EAGLE RISING
9/23/16
Written by Phillip Hodges

Hillary released her tax plan Thursday, in which she details how she would tax estates. For the largest estates – worth $500 million and more – she favors taxing them at 65% when they’re passed on from the deceased owner to the next generation. That’s why they call it the death tax. Politicians will tax anything, because they believe they own everything. From Fox Business:

The Clinton campaign changed its previous plan — which called for a 45% top rate — by adding three new tax brackets: a 50% rate that would apply to estates over $10 million per person, a 55% rate that starts at $50 million per person and that top rate, which would affect only those with assets exceeding $500 million for a single person and $1 billion for married couples.

The 65% estate-tax rate would be the highest since 1981 and marks one of the most enormous tax-policy gulfs between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, who would repeal the tax.

Neither of their proposals stands much chance of succeeding in a divided Congress where Republicans control the House and Democrats can block action in the Senate. The current top rate of 40% was set as part of a bipartisan compromise in January 2013, and the first $5.45 million per person is exempt from tax.

Last year, Republicans attempted to eliminate the death tax on estates worth $11 million and more, a plan that was criticized by the Obama administration, because it would have affected only the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers.

It’s true that eliminating estate taxes solely on big inheritances would only affect a small minority of people. But that doesn’t mean those people don’t need tax cuts. In truth, there shouldn’t even be a death tax at all, no matter how big the inheritance is. People should be allowed to transfer 100% of their inheritance to their kids without the government interfering and trying to grab what they can in the process.

The reality is, the government “didn’t build that.” Very likely, those wealthy people who had built up their wealth over the years worked hard from their youth so that they could pass on that financial security to their family. The government had nothing to do with helping to build up that wealth. In fact, in many cases, wealth was built in spite of government being there hindering and disincentivizing savings through hefty taxation.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com

Krauthammer on the “New” Trump

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

This is an interesting article by Charles Krauthammer who apparently prefers Trump to Clinton. Apparently, even brilliant individuals do not understand that either as President will be destructive to the USA. Nothing either says can be believed. Both are psychologically damanged and dangerous. Dr. Krauthammer is a psychiatrist! Can’t he see that! Don’t indicate that anything either one says or does should be lauded.

Hillary Sharpens, Trump Softens. He’s Rising, She’s Falling
By Charles Krauthammer
September 16, 2016, 7:14 am

WASHINGTON — If you are the status quo candidate in a change election in which the national mood is sour and two-thirds of the electorate think the country is on the wrong track, what do you do? Attack. Relentlessly. Paint your opponent as extremist, volatile, clueless, unfit, dangerous. Indeed, Hillary Clinton’s latest national ad, featuring major Republican politicians echoing that indictment of Donald Trump, ends thus: “Unfit. Dangerous. Even for Republicans.”

That was the theme of Clinton’s famous open “alt-right” speech and of much of her $100 million worth of ads.

Problem is, it’s not working.

Over the last month, Trump’s new team, led by Kellyanne Conway, has worked single-mindedly to blunt that line of attack on the theory that if he can just cross the threshold of acceptability, he wins. In an act of brazen rebranding, they set out to endow him with stature and empathy.

Stature was acquired in Mexico whose president inexplicably gave Trump the opportunity to stand on the world stage with a national leader and more than hold his own. It’s the same stature booster Sen. Barack Obama pulled off when he stood with the French president at a news conference in Paris in 2008.

That was part one: Trump the statesman. Part two: the kinder gentler Trump.

Nervy. Can you really repackage the boasting, bullying, bombastic, insulting, insensitive Trump into a mellow and caring version? With two months to go? In a digital age in which every past outrage is preserved on imperishable video?

Turns out, yes. How? Deflect and deny — and pretend it never happened. Where are they now — the birtherism, the deportation force, the scorn for teleprompters, the mocking of candidates who take outside money? Down the memory hole.

Orwell was wrong. You don’t need repression. You need only the sensory overload of an age of numbingly ephemeral social media. In this surreal election season, there is no past.

Clinton ads keep showing actual Trump sound bites meant to shock. Yet her numbers are dropping, his rising.

How? Trump never goes on the defensive. He merely creates new Trumps. Hence:

(1) The African-American blitz. It’s a new pose and the novelty shows. Trump is not very familiar with the language. He occasionally slips, for example, into referring to “the blacks.” And his argument that African-Americans inhabit a living hell and therefore have nothing to lose by voting for him hovers somewhere between condescension and insult.

But, as every living commentator has noted, the foray into African-American precincts was not aimed at winning black votes but at countering Trump’s general image as the bigoted candidate of white people.

Result? A curious dynamic in which Clinton keeps upping the accusatory ante just as Trump keeps softening his tone — until she finds herself way over the top, landing in a basket of deplorables, a phrase that will haunt her until Election Day. (Politics 101: Never attack the voter.)

(2) The immigration wobble. A week of nonstop word salad about illegal immigration left everyone confused about what Trump really believes. Genius. The only message to emerge from the rhetorical fog is that he is done talking about deportation and/or legalization. The very discussion is off the table until years down the road.

Case closed. Toxic issue detoxified.

Again, that’s not going to win him the Hispanic vote. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to soften his image in the Philadelphia suburbs, pundit shorthand for white college-educated women that Republicans have to win (and where Trump trails Romney 2012 by 10 points). Which brings us to:

(3) The blockbuster childcare proposal. Unveiled Tuesday, it is liberalism at its best, Big Government at its biggest: tax deductions, tax rebates (i.e. cash), and a federal mandate of six weeks of paid maternity leave. The biggest entitlement since, well, Obamacare.

But wait. Didn’t Trump’s acolytes assure us that he spoke for those betrayed by the sold-out, elitist, GOP establishment that for years refused to stand up to Obama’s overweening mandates, Big Government profligacy and budget-busting entitlements?

No matter. That was yesterday. There is no past. Nor a future — at least for Ivanka-care. It would never get through the GOP House.

Nor is it meant to. It is meant to signal what George H. W. Bush once memorably read off a cue card. “Message: I care.”

And where do you think Trump gave this dish-the-Whigs cradle-to-college entitlement speech? Why, the Philadelphia suburbs!

Can’t get more transparent than that. Or shameless. Or brilliant.

And it’s working.


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