Elon Musk says he will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year, more than any American...

Wizriz

Posts: 12   +2
Please see my edit as you do in fact pay taxes on increased assesment of property. At this point no matter what you say will change my mind as to the need to tax billionaires that use stock as a tax haven.
Now you are mixing up income / capital gains tax with property tax. Property tax is a tax levied by some local governments. It is not based on income, but based purely on the whole value of the real estate you own (not on the gain) - and it is a much lower rate than income tax (if it was too high it would force people to sell their homes to pay the tax).
I'm not trying to change your mind, I'm just trying to point out that is not a straightforward as you make out. You have not explained, for example, what should happen if Tesla's stock were to drop by 90% due to a competitor successfully overtaking team as market leader, or someone inventing a better battery. This scenario is not far fetched, it has happened before. What should the tax man do then? Give Elon a tax rebate?
The real issue here is that entrpreneur billionaires are really not as wealthy as the press makes out. They have an asset that is superficially given a $ value by a market - but it is not really worth anything other than control over the company's future. They do sometimes sell stock (those loans need to be serviced!) and when they do sell stock they do pay taxes like everyone else. Ditto when they exercise options. But they can never convert all their shares into cash. And the companies they run provide jobs which generate all kinds of indirect taxes. To tax them based on the value of their company would force them to sell stock to pay the tax - thereby eroding their control over their company over time. How is that fair, or a good idea?
Bottom line is: your idea that stock is used as a tax haven is completely misplaced.
 

Gabriel Pike

Posts: 286   +79
Now you are mixing up income / capital gains tax with property tax. Property tax is a tax levied by some local governments. It is not based on income, but based purely on the whole value of the real estate you own (not on the gain) - and it is a much lower rate than income tax (if it was too high it would force people to sell their homes to pay the tax).
I'm not trying to change your mind, I'm just trying to point out that is not a straightforward as you make out. You have not explained, for example, what should happen if Tesla's stock were to drop by 90% due to a competitor successfully overtaking team as market leader, or someone inventing a better battery. This scenario is not far fetched, it has happened before. What should the tax man do then? Give Elon a tax rebate?
The real issue here is that entrpreneur billionaires are really not as wealthy as the press makes out. They have an asset that is superficially given a $ value by a market - but it is not really worth anything other than control over the company's future. They do sometimes sell stock (those loans need to be serviced!) and when they do sell stock they do pay taxes like everyone else. Ditto when they exercise options. But they can never convert all their shares into cash. And the companies they run provide jobs which generate all kinds of indirect taxes. To tax them based on the value of their company would force them to sell stock to pay the tax - thereby eroding their control over their company over time. How is that fair, or a good idea?
Bottom line is: your idea that stock is used as a tax haven is completely misplaced.
I do not see this as true. Long-term capital gains tax rates are zero, 15 percent and 20 percent, depending on your income. Federal tax brackets on wages go from 10 percent for the lowest earner to 37 percent for the highest. Short-term capital gains taxes on stocks held for less than a year are tied to your federal tax bracket. The wealthy also look to manage those capital gains and losses to their tax advantage. Nobody is asking them to convert all of their assets to cash however there should be more contributed than what is currently done under US tax laws. In the past few years the tax rate has actually been decreased for people in the higher brackets. So I still do not see it your way. Sorry, not sorry.
 

Wizriz

Posts: 12   +2
I do not see this as true. Long-term capital gains tax rates are zero, 15 percent and 20 percent, depending on your income. Federal tax brackets on wages go from 10 percent for the lowest earner to 37 percent for the highest. Short-term capital gains taxes on stocks held for less than a year are tied to your federal tax bracket. The wealthy also look to manage those capital gains and losses to their tax advantage. Nobody is asking them to convert all of their assets to cash however there should be more contributed than what is currently done under US tax laws. In the past few years the tax rate has actually been decreased for people in the higher brackets. So I still do not see it your way. Sorry, not sorry.
If you are arguing that capital gains tax rates should be higher then we are in agreement! Capital gains should be taxed the same way as wages. My issue is purely with taxing unrealised gains.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,527   +7,370
Musk as an inidividual from Musk's numerous companies makes it abundantly clear that this discussion is way over your head.
Musk is responsible for the direction his companies take with regard to product development. Must has the responsibility of securing these funds. So why on earth should I need to separate him from his companies? The cold hard facts are, since Musk takes credit for all the progress and any achievements made. why on earth would there be any necessity to separate the man from his self made mythology. Any time a camera is in front of him, he IS Tesla, he IS Space-X,

And anytime he's selling his trash merch like the, "Not a Flamethrower", he is boring. Sorry, I meant "The Boring Company". How many times have you seem any other executive from any of his companies take the stage?.

When Space-X launched the civilian mission, I watched it intently. Save for the booster recovery, it took me back 50 years to watching NASA launches. The staff were more than competent people performing their duties flawlessly. The best part of it was, Musk was absent. Not a peep out of him. I guess the Falcon booster just had more hot air than he could generate trying to talk over it..

So, "looky here", I'm sure you're absolutely certain you know more than me on this, or any other topic. And I'll never be able to change your mind. Let that be your comfort..

Since it's only semantic snot you're peddling, I'll always be here for you, not buying it. (y) (Y)
 
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captaincranky

Posts: 18,527   +7,370
Why in god's name do people who haven't even taken accounting 101 feel like their opinions on corporate taxes are even remotely useful to anyone?
Before I forget, if anyone wants to proclaim themselves as a multi-billionaire, why shouldn't they be taxed accordingly? I wish I had a Gulfstram G-650, that I could write off as a, "business expense". I'd be like,"damn the torpedoes, jamb those throttles to the stop, I have to catch up with that news crew"..

Here's what the Washington Post has to say about Musk, and it's an opinion a lot more in keeping with mine, than yours.
 
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Wizriz

Posts: 12   +2
Before I forget, if anyone wants to proclaim themselves as a multi-billionaire, why shouldn't they be taxed accordingly? I wish I had a Gulfstram G-650, that I could write off as a, "business expense". I'd be like,"damn the torpedoes, jamb those throttles to the stop, I have to catch up with that news crew"..

Here's what the Washington Post has to say about Musk, and it's an opinion a lot more in keeping with mine, than yours.
Please show us where anyone has "proclaimed themselves as a multi-billionaire". The press is constantly hammering out articles making out that Musk and Bezos are trying to outdo each other as "the world's richest person" when in fact they could not give a toss because they are more preoccupied with getting things done and realizing their respective visions. The income generated by their respective companies is largely re-invested into those companies to help them grow further, and does not go into their pockets.
What does billionaire even mean? Having significant part ownership of a company that is valued at multiple billions of $ does not translate into directly spendable cash. It is just a paper value which could easily drop 90% from one month to the next - and is more valuable in terms of control over the company than individual spending power. To spend on themselves they need to borrow - which means they never own anything and are constantly at risk of bankruptcy should their company share value collapse (which has happened before).
They are taxed just like the rest of us - whenever they actually in receipt of real income - either through wages or capital gains. I am not going to be envious of a global company founder CEO travelling on a private jet - I recognise that they created a company from scratch and do a hard, stressful job, which I could not do. I am happy to be able to claim my rail fare as a business expense when I travel on business, and I see no reason why they should not be able to do the same at the global level at which they operate.
 

Gabriel Pike

Posts: 286   +79
Please show us where anyone has "proclaimed themselves as a multi-billionaire". The press is constantly hammering out articles making out that Musk and Bezos are trying to outdo each other as "the world's richest person" when in fact they could not give a toss because they are more preoccupied with getting things done and realizing their respective visions. The income generated by their respective companies is largely re-invested into those companies to help them grow further, and does not go into their pockets.
What does billionaire even mean? Having significant part ownership of a company that is valued at multiple billions of $ does not translate into directly spendable cash. It is just a paper value which could easily drop 90% from one month to the next - and is more valuable in terms of control over the company than individual spending power. To spend on themselves they need to borrow - which means they never own anything and are constantly at risk of bankruptcy should their company share value collapse (which has happened before).
They are taxed just like the rest of us - whenever they actually in receipt of real income - either through wages or capital gains. I am not going to be envious of a global company founder CEO travelling on a private jet - I recognise that they created a company from scratch and do a hard, stressful job, which I could not do. I am happy to be able to claim my rail fare as a business expense when I travel on business, and I see no reason why they should not be able to do the same at the global level at which they operate.
You sure know how to beat a dead horse. I almost think you are being compensated to defend the billionaires club that do their best not to pay any taxes... Thanks for the lesson that no one asked for and most are predominantly against in this thread...
 

Wizriz

Posts: 12   +2
You sure know how to beat a dead horse. I almost think you are being compensated to defend the billionaires club that do their best not to pay any taxes... Thanks for the lesson that no one asked for and most are predominantly against in this thread...
When you attack the person instead of attacking the argument, it says it all. I don't care what most are predominantly for in this thread, the whole point is try to get people to think about things they may not have thought of.
It is really simple... anyone can start a business, and if they succeed in growing it then they should only be taxed on any realised income that they actually take. If you tax so called "billionaires" on the value of their business then why don't you tax Joe Bloggs on the value of his plumbing business? Do you then offer a tax rebate if that business declines in value? This is the question that Warren constantly fails to address.