Stephen Michael Kellat

Stephen Michael Kellat at

» Karl Fogel:

“I'd love to know what rates -- approximate is fine -- count as "confiscatory" to you. I would certainly grant that confiscatory taxation is theoretically possible, but I wouldn't describe any of the tax plans I've seen as being that.

Or maybe an easier way to ask it would be: what is it about, say, Warren's tax plans that makes them confiscatory? The mere fact that the rates are higher? Or is it the steeper progressiveness ("progressiveness" in the technical tax rate sense, not the political sense, of course)? In other words, is it the slope of the curve, or is it where the curve sits in absolute terms, or some combination of both?

I never look for a nominee whom I agree with on everthing: that will never exist. When the alternative is Trump, even if I had voted Republican all my life I would vote for any of the current Democratic candidates. Once you get to the general election, you're expressing a relative preference between two outcomes. If A is better than B, then vote for A. The question of whether A is better or worse than some theoretical option Q that isn't on the ballot shouldn't affect that decision, I would think.”

Anything over the historical maximum income tax rate of 70% is confiscatory.

Elizabeth Warren is proposing partial expropriation with very harsh capital controls in her "wealth tax". Wealth as she defines it doesn't meant the definition of income in the current version of Internal Revenue Code section 61. The expatriation portion of her proposed wealth tax is simply outright theft. A very real risk is that this measure may turn out like "Alternative Minimum Tax" which initially was only intended to impact 155 high-income households but over time hit several million taxpayers. I might not be too rich today but the historical example of the Alternative Minimum Tax shows that that could easiyl be changed.

Can there be two very bad choices on the ballot in November 2020? Yes. Fortunately many things can hopefully change in 13 months.