With real estate prices skyrocketing in Silicon Valley, some of my friends are deciding to cash in on their homes, grab the extra bucks and take a hike out of town or out of state and live the good life somewhere else with lots of money to spare.
Following the death of a loved one, you may become the recipient of an unexpected parcel of real estate. Yet, with every windfall comes great obligations, so be prepared for the surprises you may encounter when inheriting property.
There has never been a better time to be enormously wealthy in the United States. They have managed to reshape the tax code in their own narrow self-interest and continue to exercise a stranglehold on Congress to prevent any attempts to redress this.
For all of its populist appeal, the corporate income tax is arbitrary and exempting some organizations from paying it is equally arbitrary. Abolishing the corporate tax altogether would supercharge the economy and wouldn't serve any particular set of political interests.
To the extent that this favorable tax treatment facilitates economic expansion, the overall economy is mis-structured. Moving more assets to the wealthy should certainly not be a prerequisite for job development and economic progress.
It's ridiculous that huge corporations or speculators should be able to take advantage of this provision, buying one investment property, flipping it, and then "replacing" it with another, ad infinitum, not paying capital gains taxes on the sales.
The European sovereign debt crisis remains a serious threat, but not because a collapse of Greek, Spanish or Italian debt would infect confidence in U.S. Treasuries. The real issue is that such a crisis would threaten the solvency of many major French and German banks.
If Republicans won't budge on raising tax rates but insist on broadening the base, Democrats should take aim at the biggest tax loophole of all for America's wealthy: the preference for capital gains. Capital gains should be taxed the same as ordinary income.
Is it too much to ask that people making over one million dollars in annual income pay a tax rate comparable to middle income Americans? Why is there one set of rules for millionaires and a different set of rules for the rest of us?
Although tax increases on high-income individuals might reduce their saving, if the revenue generated is devoted to deficit reduction, the resulting increase in public saving is likely to more than offset any reduction in private saving.
Over the last two decades the system has become lopsided so as to leave the 99 percent feeling helpless and hopeless. Meanwhile special interest groups continue to rig the system disproportionately in favor of the 1 percent.
Take the money out of politics, protect Americans right to vote, and make it easier for more Americans to exercise their Constitutional rights -- three issues it's hard to oppose and can help bolster your credentials as a man of the People, Mr. President.
Mitt Romney bears less responsibility for tax rates in this country than any of his challengers. What's more, his economic plan would cost himself many millions more in taxes than he would pay under a President Gingrich (0%).
What should the Democrats be offering as one of their top priorities to deal with the enormous inequities in our tax code? I call for the "flatter tax." I believe all income from whatever source should be taxable.