Diary

Hillary Wants To Raise Top Estate Tax To 65%

Democrats must think death is just somebody’s clever attempt to avoid taxes.

Democratic presidential candidateHillary Clinton would levy a 65% tax on the largest estates and make it harder for wealthy people to pass appreciated assets to their heirs without paying taxes, expanding the list of tax increases she would impose on the top sliver of America’s affluent.

Mrs. Clinton’s plan is “dead on arrival,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R., Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“It will stop family owned businesses—including women and minority-owned businesses—from being passed down to their children and grandchildren,” he said.

The estate tax is “wildly unpopular” with small business owners, said Matt Turkstra, who works on the issue for the National Federation of Independent Business, and “the biggest transfer of wealth is going to be from very, very wealthy people to lawyers.

—The Wall Street Journal

It’s an interesting play this election year. Most Americans are optimistic and confident in themselves. They see themselves moving up the ladder and leaving behind improved circumstances for their children. This proposal begs the question of just who is Hillary trying to appeal to ?  Does she think that the percentage of the population that believes it has no chance to improve itself and is bitter about it, is large enough that it will help her over the line in November ?

It’s also something of a brave move seeing as the Clintons are well known for their own avoidance of the tax system.

Ranging from donating to themselves

Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill deducted $1,042,000 in charitable contributions last year — $1 million of which went to their own family non-profit, the Clinton Family Foundation.

Placing their homes in trust

The Clintons created residence trusts in 2010 and shifted ownership of their New York house into them in 2011, according to federal financial disclosures and local property records.

Among the tax advantages of such trusts is that any appreciation in the house’s value can happen outside their taxable estate. The move could save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, said David Scott Sloan, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston.
And using five Delaware Shell Companies and their billion plus dollar foundation

The Clintons and their family foundation have at least five shell companies registered to the address 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware — which is also home to some 280,000 other companies who use the location to take advantage of the state’s low taxes, limited disclosure requirements, and other business incentives.

Two of the five are tied to Bill and Hillary Clinton specifically. One, WJC, LLC, is used by the former president to collect his consulting fees. The other, ZFS Holdings, LLC, was used by the former secretary of state to process her $5.5 million book advance from Simon & Schuster. Three additional shell companies belong to the Clinton Foundation.

—The Week

None of these strategies are readily available to anyone outside the .1%.  So when Hillary says tax the rich, she means tax people who have managed to better themselves right back into the poverty they climbed out of.