Cyprus, an island most people have forgotten exists, became the center of the world when they put forward a bizarre plan to solve their economic crisis. The leaders of Cyprus proposed a wealth tax that would take funds directly from people’s bank accounts. The plan was abandoned, but the idea behind it still lives on. A recent run-in that we had with the Washington Post shows just how far they are willing to go to foist a bad idea upon us.
The Left has been churning some ideas to change our society, most of which will expand the reach of government. New controls on guns certainly come to mind as one, but there are many others. Some ideas are in their infancy. They want to tax people for each mile they drive, with car meters reporting mileage to the government. They are proposing eliminating the charitable deduction which would make the needy totally dependent on government by killing off the private charities that now aid them. One idea they are floating has been discounted by people as just silly, but European countries are already toying with it. That is to have a tax not just on income, but on wealth. You would have to report your total assets and then pay a percentage of those assets to the government.
Recently we spotted a column in the Washington Post opinion page which seemed like it was advancing this idea so we decided to take a look. The column was written by Ray Madoff, a law professor at Boston College. Ray is a she and no relation to infamous Bernie, but it turns out the column was as fraudulent as was his fund -- so much so that after reading it we had to go to her CV on the Boston College website to see her legal specialty. She wrote about estates and trusts, but from what she wrote you would think her legal specialty was something like Constitutional law. Based on what she wrote, it certainly seemed she had little or no knowledge of estates and trusts or she was just intentionally misleading readers.
The column spoke of how the rich are different from the rest of us because they get money that we don’t get from working. They get money that is not taxed the same way our wages are taxed. Then she goes on to cite some examples:
1. If they are a beneficiary of a trust they can have their mortgage and all other living expenses paid for them - Here she is just intentionally misleading and lacking knowledge. Assets get into a trust from someone’s estate. Those assets were taxed when the money was initially earned and then once again when the taxpayer dies as part of their estate. Usually these trusts don’t distribute the assets. Rather they most often distribute the income from those assets, which is taxed -- once again. There is no free lunch here.