back to article Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

Michael Dell, the 39th richest man in the world, has shocked observers by speaking out against a higher marginal tax rate on people earning more than $10m. During a panel interview at Davos, the festival for the elite rich white men of the world, Dell literally laughed off the idea of raising taxes. Earlier this week, rising- …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    When you are filthy rich you can set up a charity and then benefit from it - like paying for a portrait and then "donating" it to your golf club...

    The fact is that the wealthy get far more from society's benefits than the poor do ... if you are poor and someone breaks into your house what happens? You're told to talk to your insurance company but if you are rich and someone breaks into your garden then the police will surround the area, put up helicopters and stop every passerby looking for the intruder ...

    1. BillG Silver badge
      Devil

      Rich Tax Paradox

      The inherent problem with raising taxes on the rich is that they can legally move enough of the business and the income overseas by just opening a business in Freedonia or somewhere, so in the end the local government can't tax it. Why do you think so many politicians have bank accounts in the Cayman Islands?

      Tax the rich too high, it goes overseas. Tax the rich too low, the tax income drops.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Rich Tax Paradox

        The inherent problem with raising taxes on the rich is that they can legally move enough of the business and the income overseas by just opening a business in Freedonia or somewhere, so in the end the local government can't tax it.

        If you are a US citizen Uncle Sam will demand tax from you no matter where in the world you live.

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Rich Tax Paradox

          "If you are a US citizen Uncle Sam will demand tax from you no matter where in the world you live."

          Sure, if they KNOW about the income. Or you remain a citizen of the US.

          You misunderestimate the extent to which some folk will go to avoid giving their money to folk who think invading iraq was a good idea.

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Rich Tax Paradox

            The Swiss banks recently caused a bit of a ruckus by sharing depositor information with the IRS.

            A lot of US citizens who thought they were out of the reach of the IRS found out differently.

            The 70% tax on the rich is fine with me. And up the corporate tax rate as well.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Rich Tax Paradox

              "The 70% tax on the rich is fine with me. And up the corporate tax rate as well."

              until it kills your job, and future opportunities for a different one. think "the previous 8 years before Trump"

              Think of it this way: why only SEVENTY PERCENT? Why not ONE HUNDRED PERCENT?

              You know that could only happen once. THEN all income earners will simply STOP EARNING because it would be FUTILE. They'll find "some other way" to get their income. And 70% taxation (let alone, 100% taxation) means that it justifies ONE HELL OF A LOT of effort!

              John F. Kennedy once spoke to the Economic Club of New York in 1962 regarding high marginal tax rates, which at THAT time were as high as 90% for "certain income" [as I recall]. The purpose of THOSE tax rates were literally to STIFLE the U.S. economy so post-WW2 Europe could "catch up" after all of the war damage, and came with a boatload of 'loopholes' that 'the rich' could use to 'shelter' their income from high taxation [practically NONE of which still exist today]. But I digress...

              JFK said " This can be the most important step we could take to prevent another recession. That is the right kind of a tax cut, both for your family budget and the national budget, resulting from a permanent basic reform and reduction in our rate structure, a creative tax cut creating more jobs and income and eventually more revenue. Every dollar released from taxation that is spent or invested will help create a new job and a new salary. And these new jobs and new salaries can create other jobs and other salaries."

              So JFK was _FOR_ tax CUTS, and *NOT* tax INCREASES! He is probably the LAST Demo[n,c][R,r]at to do so. And JFK was _RIGHT_ about that!

              So if tax CUTS stimulate the economy [as evidenced by the last 2 years], why do YOU want to RAISE taxes on corporations and high income earners? because they ARE NOT *YOU* ???

              Envy. Pure *ENVY*. That's why!

              1. sisk Silver badge

                Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                "the previous 8 years before Trump"

                You mean the massive downward trend in the unemployment rate following the spike caused by the 2008 crash that started a few months into Obama's Presidency and continues today?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                  Funny people need more economic and Political education....

                  1. sisk Silver badge

                    Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                    Not really. The unemployment rate started climbing from 4.5% in March 2007, peaked at 10% in October 2009, and has been on a downward trend ever since. These facts are very easily verifiable.

                    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                      WTF?

                      Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                      lies, damn lies, and statistics. Most of Obaka's "unemployment" numbers were being 'cooked' to exclude those who had (literally) STOPPED LOOKING FOR WORK.

                      Also many positions became part time in lieu of full time so that employers wouldn't have to scrape up non-existent funds for Obaka-"Care", especially in places like restaurants that hire most of their people at or near 'minimum wage'. Increases in THAT have caused businesses to close, or put surcharges on standard menu items, and so on.

                      Yeah, and so on, and on, and on. THAT kind of socialistic activity (under Obaka) nearly KILLED the U.S. economy, which has more than just recovered since Trump took office. Try ACTUAL WAGE IMPROVEMENT for starters, and not some mandated minimum wage crap. THAT is the best indicator yet. Recent statistics have been published showing there are more jobs available than people to filll them. That _NEVER_ happened under Obaka.

                      So yeah you can use lies, damn lies, and statistics to skew the numbers to fit your model, by excluding information that more importantly shows how "your numbers" really don't tell the whole story...

                      1. sisk Silver badge

                        Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                        Show me a reliable source for that and I might believe it. But despite looking for one for years now I've never seen any source for the claim that Obama's unemployment numbers were fudged that couldn't be traced back to a politician or a political commentator.

                        And, for the record, the GDP was also on an overall upward trend during Obama's Presidency. It had a couple dips, but was still upward.

                        Numbers don't lie. Political commentators do.

                        Also, for the record, I didn't like Obama and I don't like Trump. Of the two Obama was by far the better President and still piss poor at the job. In fact we've not had a decent President - or even a candidate I thought might be a decent President - since....well, before I hit voting age 20 years ago and maybe before I was born.

                      2. sisk Silver badge

                        Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                        I'll also point out that if Obama had been cooking the numbers and Trump wasn't then we would have seen a spike in unemployment numbers just after Trump took office. Such a spike is absent. Instead we see the steady declining trend in unemployment numbers that's been going on since 2009 continuing without so much as a hiccup.

                        So either the numbers were not cooked by Obama or Trump is cooking them in the exact same way.

                  2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                    Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                    Funny people need more economic and Political education....

                    Alas, so do people who are not funny.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                      No since they don't have the time to look up from their phones....

              2. BGatez

                Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                Tax cuts stimulated US economy? Ummm, nope. Stimulated stock buy backs which (temporarily) stimulated the stock market, benefiting wealthy shareholders and corporate officers paid in stock.

              3. FrozenShamrock

                Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                As noted in the article the tax rate was higher in the 1950 during a time of good economic growth and, tellingly, a much smaller wealth gap than we see today. As I read once on these pages: "Civilization is expensive, deal with it." Mike Dell may very well be spending a lot of money through his foundation. All of which is tax deductible for him and he decides who is worthy instead of elected representatives of the people. I have no information indicating his foundation does this; but, it has been well documented that some such organizations are tax shells which only benefit the founder and not society, such as Trumps "charitable" foundation which was recently shut down in NY. Society as a whole paid for the foundation which made successful business possible: rule of law, safety, public infrastructure, etc. Why do you think Dell started his business in the US and not El Salvador?

              4. notachance

                Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                "Envy" is the call of the person that has lost the argument.

                Business wants to hire educated and healthy people. Education and heath care do not grow on trees, pay the tax. It's got nothing to do with envy and everything to do with society. You know, that thing you live in.

            2. Swarthy Silver badge
              Alert

              Re: Rich Tax Paradox

              The 70% tax on the rich is fine with me. And up the corporate tax rate as well.
              Better yet, set the corporate tax rate as a function of turnover vs. median (not mean) employee salary. The lower the median salary compared to turnover, the higher the tax rate. If you want to lower your tax bill, pay your employees better.

              If you want to shaft your employees, then prepare to get shafted by the Gov't.

              1. unscarred

                Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                I know where you're coming from with this, but we kinda have that already.

                Corporation taxes are paid on *profits*, which already includes employee salaries. Any company can reduce their tax bill by increasing their employees' salaries.

                In fact, paying based on median (or any average) salary would be an incentive to pay the fat cats at the top even more, because that would shift the median upwards, thereby reducing the tax bill. Raises for the people at the bottom would have the same effect, but guess which one is more likely?

                So why do companies pay based on profit? Simple, profit after tax is where money paid to shareholders comes from.

                The problem comes where multinational companies use complicated structures, including intercompany loans, to optimise profit so it looks like it's being made in the lowest tax jurisdictions - for Europ that's frequently Ireland, Luxembourg, or the UK.

                1. Swarthy Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: Rich Tax Paradox

                  What I was proposing is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike what we currently have.

                  I specified turnover rather than profit so that those complicated structures to obfuscate profits would no longer apply; and I specified median (sort the numbers, and grab the one in the middle), as opposed to mean (add all and divide by the count), so that to shaft the low-end employees, they would need to add more high-paying jobs, not just give the fat cats a raise. I was tempted to suggest that it should be evaluated on the mode (most frequently occurring number), but that could be a later change, once they have figured out how to game the median system.

          2. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: Rich Tax Paradox

            The only reason they might not have liked invading iraq was that that was tax cut money to them.

          3. Eecahmap

            Re: Rich Tax Paradox

            "misunderestimate". tee hee.

        2. Lost In Clouds of Data
          Holmes

          Re: Rich Tax Paradox

          Not totally accurate. Uncle Sam will demand you submit a tax return every year and pay him any difference between any reprocial tax authority and himself.

          In truth this can go from sweet FA to a shit tonne, depending on his generosity and the ability of the requisite accountants to position the cash of their US Citizen clients in the most tax "efficient" way possible.

          Now if you don't live in a jurisdiction that has a treaty with kind Uncle Sam then yes, there is a risk that you'll end up being raped and pillaged by both (or more) tax authorities.

          There's a reason why we've heard of more than a few US Nationals telling Uncle Sam to go fuck himself. Hell, even 'Green Card' holders are on the hook for something like 10 years of reporting and potential double taxation.

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Rich Tax Paradox

        "Tax the rich too high, it goes overseas"

        And yet, as mentioned in the article, tax rates in the US have been even higher than 70% on top earners, and somehow there's still some rich people left there. What's changed?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Rich Tax Paradox

          @phuzz

          back in the 1950's when the highest marginal tax rate EVAR was legislated, it was to SLOW DOWN the U.S. economy and allow war-torn Europe to 'catch up'.

          However, these uber-high tax rates included "loopholes" and "tax shelters" that were literally designed to 'encourage' investment into them so that the money wouldn't be "just taken away".

          So what has changed? The loopholes are *GONE*, that's what!

          1. thegroucho

            Re: Rich Tax Paradox

            sources, and I mean real ones, not alt-right opinions, facts please

        2. mikeymac

          Re: Rich Tax Paradox

          Plus, nobody paid 70% tax rate. Everyone forgets to mention that. The practical high-water mark was ~%42.

          https://taxfoundation.org/taxes-rich-1950-not-high/

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      The super rich tend not to use the NHS in the UK nor do they normally put their kids through state schools.

      But they do pay a lot of salaries and a lot of VAT etc.

      So by all means let’s drive them away and have zilch instead.

      1. thegroucho

        Indeed, all those private A&E departments in all the private hospitals in UK ...

        How many health insurance policies in UK contain cover for cancer treatment for example?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          How many health insurance policies in UK contain cover for cancer treatment for example?

          The NHS doesn't. At best, it gives you a lottery ticket. In my experience, it strings you along with promises until the cancer has spread and it's too late to operate.

          You don't have to be super-rich to pay £20k for a cancer operation. But if you believe the NHS promises to do it for free next week, then you're unlikely to pay that £20k. So perhaps it is only the genuinely rich and those who already have experience of NHS promises who will survive.

          1. pmb00cs

            Having been rather unfortunately afflicted with a condition that I could not afford to get treated privately, and that at times put my life at imminent risk, I cannot sing the praises of the NHS enough. My condition was not nearly as bad as cancer, and yet I was treated promptly enough once diagnosed, and when my health deteriorated due to the condition to the point that I was in need of emergency treatment it was freely, and immediately, available.

            I am not now burdened with a crushing debt, and I did not need to be vastly wealthy to be seen. How is the NHS not a great thing that the UK should be rightly proud of?

            The only problem with the NHS, and one that is outside of it's control, is that successive governments have been desperately trying to kill it in favour of a system of health insurance and private medical care more akin to the rather dysfunctional system the US seems to be obsessed with keeping.

            1. gbshore

              Glad you are ok but there are PLENTY of examples of the British system not working... actually your story is the minority ...sonome can see why YOU think it’s fine... it’s not... US system takes care of Asll... even those who can’t afford to pay... BY LAW...

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                "Glad you are ok but [unsupported claims, ridiculous factual errors, and gibberish]"

                Well, that was a telling counter. Definitely a step up from incoherent screaming and throwing of feces. But I'd suggest you wait until you learn to use language and can formulate an argument before you try again.

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              @pmb00cs

              "My condition was not nearly as bad as cancer, and yet I was treated promptly enough once diagnosed, and when my health deteriorated due to the condition to the point that I was in need of emergency treatment it was freely, and immediately, available."

              I am glad the NHS was good enough to save your life. Unfortunately the NHS nearly killed my gran a few times if not for our family paying attention, would have left my dad to die had it not been for private healthcare (and got grumpy when he could get surgery next week vs their 'meet a consultant in a month to discuss surgery'), and generally have shown themselves unwilling to deal with problems.

              "successive governments have been desperately trying to kill it in favour of a system of health insurance and private medical care more akin to the rather dysfunctional system the US seems to be obsessed with keeping."

              You do know that the NHS is so vastly wonderful that almost nobody else implements it? That it scores pretty badly except for free at the point of use, but demands an increase in budget on average above the countries level of growth! And a good portion of Europe also use an insurance system.

              1. BigSLitleP

                Re: @pmb00cs

                Actually every western government except the US has its own version of the NHS. It has saved millions of lives and doesn't care if you are wealthy and poor. It is quite possibly the greatest thing we brits have ever invented. The fact that people like you and the tories are trying to replace it with private health is disgusting.

                If you want a system as broken as the US, go live there. Stop trying to destroy our country.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @pmb00cs

                  @BigSLitleP

                  "Actually every western government except the US has its own version of the NHS"

                  I think your seriously stretching what the NHS is if you think the other western COUNTRIES have their own version of our piss take. Have you ever wondered why we always look down on the US healthcare? Its because when looking for one that is worse it is basically it. And their healthcare is only worse than ours in respect of great costs.

                  "It has saved millions of lives"

                  As has most healthcare systems. Also other health care systems seem to have a better records of saving lives too.

                  "It is quite possibly the greatest thing we brits have ever invented"

                  All hail the institution? That really isnt copied.

                  "The fact that people like you and the tories are trying to replace it with private health is disgusting."

                  Those sick Europeans with their private health. What sick bastards having good healthcare and paying insurance to get it!

                  "If you want a system as broken as the US, go live there. Stop trying to destroy our country."

                  Ahhh the looking down on the US! There it is! Grow up.

          2. Korev Silver badge

            "You don't have to be super-rich to pay £20k for a cancer operation."

            £20K is about a person on the average salary's income after tax, NI and pension contributions. To most in the UK, 20K is pretty much unaffordable.

        2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

          Quote

          How many health insurance policies in UK contain cover for cancer treatment for example?

          Dunno, but I do know they charge a hefty surcharge for pre-existing conditions such as heart disease....

          I'd save my money and take my chances on the NHS... it might be crap but 1 week from diagnoses to having a madman hack my chest open was'nt bad.. and it wasn't even what they term an emergency case...

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            How many health insurance policies in UK contain cover for cancer treatment for example?

            I don't know. But as we are talking about the super-rich they can afford to underwrite their own insurance or pay directly for their own treatment.

          2. Warm Braw Silver badge

            pre-existing conditions

            That is, of course, the key difference between public health care and private health care. You can get affordable private health insurance provided you are not ill, but as soon as you actually need it not only does the price go up (reflecting the risk) but you can also no longer shop around for cover because other insurers will not cover a pre-existing condition. This is great for insurers, but not so good for prospective patients.

            The most effective way to provide insurance is to spread the risk over the the largest possible population, which is precisely what public health care does. Not sure why the proponents of the free market seem to be the least familiar with the basics of economics.

            1. gosseyn0

              Spot on!

            2. JulieM Silver badge

              They are entirely familiar with the basics of economics. They are just averse to sharing what they think is "their" money with the people who helped them get it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                That's Occasional-Cortex/Obama logic. Of course it's their money. And those people who "helped them get it"? They were compensated for their labor by being paid. Amazing, huh?!

                If I open a book shop, stock it, and get it ready to open, then, hire two people to work in my shop, they are not entitled to two-thirds of what the shop makes. They are entitled to what I have agreed to pay them. No more, no less. You can whine all day with your long list of "what-ifs", but, that is the bottom line.

        3. Steve 114

          All of the major policies cover cancer. That's why they get so expensive as you grow older.

          1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Fortunately not from first hand experience, but close enough. For prostate cancer for certain, and many other types of cancer I believe the advice in the UK is get treatment on the NHS. Even if you have private insurance, they will advise this as you will get a better depth of care and better specialists.

            1. AMBxx Silver badge

              You choose whether or not to have cancer treatment when you take out the policy.

              I have cover from WPA that includes cancer. I chose not to include dentistry or eyes - my choice.

              The NHS is very good at some things, ok at other, and dreadful on a few things (cancer especially).

              Anecdotes about 'my care was wonderful' or 'my care was awful' don't help. At some point, we'll hopefully be able to discuss what the NHS should or shouldn't be doing and improve things. Sadly that moment is a long way away

              1. tiggity Silver badge

                NHS is not bad on cancer treatment - but often dismal on diagnosing it early enough, that's thought to be key reason for poor UK cancer survival rates: Obviously the later a cancer is diagnosed, the less likely treatment will be (a lot more likely to succeed if cancer is confined to a tiny area and amenable to surgery, radiotherapy etc. compared to it having metastasized (spread around the body) and chemo being the only option left)

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "How many health insurance policies in UK contain cover for cancer treatment for example?"

          You are equating health insurance policies not covering some treatments with the treatments not being available privately (at least in the UK). Harley St offers pretty much any treatment possible - if it's not available in the UK, they will provide a way of getting you to where the treatment is offered and ensure you are looked after for as long as you need. It may not be cheap or effective, but that's a different criteria to the one being discussed.

      2. JimBlueMK

        Super rich don't pay salaries either

        Your salary whereever you work is paid by the people who provide the input to the business. That is normally customers or taxpayes. Their cash provides the demand that generates a job. The super rich simply sit there and rake off the bulk of the profit or like Philip Green, borrow a few million and then take a £400 million dividend out of the business.

        Now think of this model the other way around - ordinary people are given more cash which they then spend to create demand thus increasing the number of jobs. Therefore providing more money at the bottom is a far better for growth than having lots of super rich people.

        Super rich people provide some of the capital to create businesses but there are other sources of that capital, Governments can provide it, co-operatives can provide it, senior managers can do the same or even a bank. You do not need super rich people they are often just people who look to cream off much more than they ever input.

        1. Dig

          Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

          Ahh the true socialist/Marxist view. The one that has worked precisely nowhere ever.

          Just giving the people more more devalue the money, this cause inflation meaning the products that were made affordable by giving people more money become more expensive. Meanwhile there is no need to work because you get given the money regardless of work put in No incentive to become an entrepreneur when all money you get is re-distributed to those who did not take the risk. Who runs the businesses then, the government, well history has shown that doesn't really work.

          I'm not saying that the sytem can't have tweaks here and there but swinging tax hikes definitely don't work.

          1. phuzz Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

            "but swinging tax hikes definitely don't work."

            Except that tax rates in the US used to be even higher than 70% and they worked just fine then.

            If you're going make an argument, try to pick something that's not explicitly disproved in the very article you're commenting on.

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

              "tax rates in the US used to be even higher than 70% and they worked just fine then."

              No. they did NOT. JFK knew this back in 1962 and before things got bad during HIS presidency, he insisted on TAX CUTS (which were later passed, after his death, creating an economic growth period in the mid 1960's).

              Further, they came with a ship-load of LOOPHOLES and TAX SHELTER opportunities to "encourage" people to invest in less profitable stuff that the gummint wanted investment in [for whatever reason]. So for good or ill, rich people used those loopholes and shelters to avoid the taxation. And NEARLY ALL of them are GONE.

              One that remains (for good or ill), "charitable deductions", is typically exploited by people like GEORGE SOROS to fund his political influence all over the USA ('media matters' and 'moveonorg' and whatnot). So taxpayers are LITERALLY paying for HIS politics...

              1. Someone Else Silver badge
                Megaphone

                Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

                Obviously, bombastic bob is not a software developer (or, at least, not a good one). If he were, he'd understand the DRY principle....

              2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

                Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

                @ bombastic bob

                "One that remains (for good or ill), "charitable deductions", is typically exploited by people like GEORGE SOROS to fund his political influence all over the USA ('media matters' and 'moveonorg' and whatnot). So taxpayers are LITERALLY paying for HIS politics..."

                Even worse than Soros is Sheldon Adelson. He's worth about 4-1/2 Soroses and spends WAY more on pushing his radical ideology.

                Funny, you never mention him.

                Never.

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

          Super rich don't pay salaries either

          Your salary whereever you work is paid by the people who provide the input to the business. That is normally customers or taxpayes. Their cash provides the demand that generates a job.

          OK, so the super rich person moves himself and his business to another country. Who is paying the salries of the former staff then?

          1. JulieM Silver badge

            Re: Super rich don't pay salaries either

            The existing customers of the business, which carries on just fine without the overhead of having to pay a super-rich person.

      3. katrinab Silver badge

        1. There are aren't any private Accident & Emergency Wards (Emergency Rooms for US readers)

        2. They employ people who were educated at state schools and benefit from their education.

        1. nijam

          > They employ people who were educated at state schools and benefit from their education

          You may be happy with a doctor whose education was exclusively at state schools; but I believe you're in a minority.

          To go beyond A-level, a typical medical degree in the UK leaves the doctor encumbered with between £50,000 and £100,000 of debt.

          1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Why do you think...

            We import so many of our doctors...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why do you think...

              Because the government limits that numbers that are allowed to attend medical schools each year. Just why the fuck do you think coming through the state system would mean poor quality clinicians any more than if they had come from public schools?

          2. DavCrav Silver badge

            "You may be happy with a doctor whose education was exclusively at state schools; but I believe you're in a minority."

            I was educated exclusively at state schools, and I think I can correctly diagnose you to suffer from being a cunt.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            These days, anyone my age or older will not have had to pay fees, and will have potentially been eligible for a grant to study on top of that. This will apply to the majority of consultants who will treat you that are UK trained straight from A-level.

          4. katrinab Silver badge

            They = rich people who own companies and employ people, not necessarily the NHS.

            Also, the best schools for exam results are state-run grammar schools, not private schools.

            1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

              Faulty misspelling

              Ma'am, you have misspellt the word 'grammar' wrongly. We can't have that. Couldn't you have at least put in a few misplaced commas [1] to make it look authentic? I despair about the youth of today etc. etc.

              [1] e.g. commas'

              1. katrinab Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Faulty misspelling

                Oxford Dictionary agrees with my spelling

                https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/grammar

                For people who are that way inclined, the Cambridge Dictionary also agrees

                https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/grammar

                Even Merriam Webster agrees

                https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/grammar

                though I don't consider them to be an authoritative source.

                1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

                  Re: Faulty misspelling

                  I said that your misspelling was wrong. I meant the double-negative in the sense of negation rather than that of intensity.

                  Your initial post stood out on the grounds that you spelled the word 'grammar' correctly.

          5. Swarthy Silver badge

            "between £50,000 and £100,000 of debt" for a doctor?!

            Damn, that's about what getting a Bachelor's will leave you with in the US.

      4. Barry Mahon

        Aha, "drive them away" to where?

        If we didn't have handy corners and atolls with no rules we could, and should, have a global tax system.

        That way, we could avoid the nonsense of of foundations, false tax 'residency' etc., etc.

        I imagine that, if there was a balanced global system then the likes of Dell (and he is not the worst, by a LONG way) would not have the opportunity, and maybe not the interest, in hiding money.

        We might need a better way of controlling how 'national' money is spent, to ensure a fair system, now there is an objective to look for.

        I always wonder what the super rich do with all the money, after all they can only eat three meals a day, like many of us.....

      5. codejunky Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        @werdsmith

        Really dont know how you got downvoted for that comment. Who are these people who want less tax money for the public services?

      6. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        The super rich effectively do use the NHS, even if they're paying health insurance.

        As soon as a condition is particularly serious, it'll be escalated to a consultant doing private practice. Typically a consultant that also does NHS work, and was trained on the NHS. They may well be treated in an NHS hospital, although they might have their own room.

    3. TheMeerkat

      Envy driven anti-rich sentiment is not a very good personality trait.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Why are you assuming the driver is envy, rather than a recognition that high levels of inequality are bad for society? Could it be that you are blindly parroting the stock ad hominem used for decades in right-wing media owned by billionaires?

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      "When you are filthy rich you can set up a charity and then benefit from it - like paying for a portrait and then "donating" it to your golf club..."

      Or setting up a PAC and "donating" to your favorite candidates and/or causes (ones that benefit you PERSONALLY, *right* Mr. Soros???)

      The super-rich ALREADY have their money. Taxing their income WILL! NOT! MAKE! A! DIFFERENCE! [they'll shift it into something else, like capital gains or charities or a trust or whatever, thus being EXEMPT]

      What a 'marginal' tax rate does is tax those who are *TRYING* *TO* ***BECOME*** *THE* *RICH*!!!

      In other words, it's a "keep the RIFF RAFF in their place" tax. It's a STUMBLING BLOCK for small business and entrepreneurs and professionals. THESE are the people who DRIVE THE ENGINE of innovation, new job creation, and TECHNOLOGY.

      So, you want to put a TAX in place to HOLD BACK those who make society GROW? That's REALLY FORNICATING STUPID!!!

      That socialist [insert profanity here] congressman from New York City needs to GET A FEELING CLUE. *MARXISM* *FAILS* *EVERY* *TIME* *IT* *IS* *TRIED* !!!

      "from those according to their means, to those according to their needs". Except for those MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. She obviously did NOT read 'Animal Farm' in high school. Or maybe she *did*, and wants to become "one of the elite" to CONTROL EVERYONE ELSE???

      When it comes to people like THAT, Orwell was an OPTIMIST. Reality could be FAR WORSE than his dystopian novels. And icon, obvious.

      note: I say 'congressMAN' because the suffix 'man' is a generic for either a man OR a woman. I realize that [insert profane version of her name], the congressman from New York City, is a woman, and ALSO that she'd be VERY irritated being called 'congressman'. So yeah, I did it DELIBERATELY, and it's GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT. Phhhttthhhhhh.

      1. Tom 35 Silver badge

        If you have more then 10 million to tax

        You are ALREADY rich. That's more money then the vast majority of people will see in their entire life.

        Wa, wa, wa Marxism, bla bla ba.

        No one is talking about marxism except the rich and the fools that think they are going to magically become rich and minute now.

      2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

        *MARXISM* *FAILS* *EVERY* *TIME* *IT* *IS* *TRIED*

        Could we have a 'frothing at the mouth' icon please?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution to Dell's problem

    "I feel much more comfortable with our ability as a private foundation to allocate those funds than I do giving them to the government."

    Easy peasy then. Give enough away each year to fall below the threshold for the higher tax. Charitable contributions are fully deductible.

    Oh wait - you want your cash pile to grow to infinity. $28B isn't enough.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

      If I was lucky enough to have $11m in the bank I would certainly not want the IRS demanding that I hand over $700k to them for every $1m I earn. Then again I live in the UK where we know what it is like to have the state urinate on our heads from a great height and then reassure us that it is raining.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

        "If I was lucky enough to have $11m in the bank I would certainly not want the IRS demanding that I hand over $700k to them for every $1m I earn."

        Why would you having 11m in the back affect your top rate income tax?

        1. Jim Mitchell
          Flame

          Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

          It is 2018 and it is amazing that so many people subject to them do not understand how the US Federal income tax actually works. Even the basics, like marginal tax brackets People in the UK can be given some leeway, even though their taxation of us colonists is given as one of the root causes of our messy breakup.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

            Astounding how clueless people are about the tax system, no wonder it is so easy for the rich to game it to their whims and get enough of the underclass to go against their own interests.

            The top rate was 70% when Reagan took office, and many tax shelters and other schemes had been added to the code over the years to benefit various types of income, so only the unlucky rich who fell through the cracks and didn't quality for any of those dodges actually paid that rate.

            Unlike Trump, Reagan actually did tax REFORM, not just cuts. The top rate was cut dramatically, but almost all those dodges were cut out of the code as well (many new ones were added since, of course) so many rich people ended up paying much more than they had been at 70%. With Trump's cut, the rates were cut but none of the dodges and schemes rich people have added to the code over the years were removed, so not one rich person is paying more than they did before, unlike with Reagan.

            1. thegroucho

              Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

              Indeed.

              Or like the fans of certain president (who cut the taxes with intention to help the rich, not everyone) who keep blindly think he works in heir best interest.

              Unless of course your name is Thiel, Koch, et al.

              1. fishman

                Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                Actually Koch didn't support Trump in 2016 and has stated that they won't support him in 2020.

            2. Wellyboot Silver badge

              Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

              Only 70% you were spoiled - Our top rate was 83% at the start of 1979.

              1. Dog Eatdog

                Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                Actually the UK's top rate was 98% on "unearned income" (meaning investment income) because that attracted a 15% surcharge.

                1. Tim99 Silver badge

                  Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                  Yes, in my lifetime, the top rate of (“earned”) Income Tax was 19/6 in the £ (97.5%).

                  1. VikiAi Silver badge

                    Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                    Weren't the Beatles, at one point, paying more tax than income they were earning?

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                      Yes, George was inspired to write a song about it, you can find it on Revolver.

                      The Rolling Stones simply left to domicile in France.

                      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

                        Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                        Yup.

                        And when France tried the same supertax thing ~7 years ago, a lot of rich French people became rich nonFrench people. For example, the actor Gérard Depardieu.

          2. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

            >>>taxation of us colonists<<< At the time all you were asking for was a few MPs.

            I'd like to make amends, will you allow us to send 650 MPs over to you immediately (as a gift, no charge, no tax)

            1. port

              Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

              That's actually a solid plan. We'll send you the US House and Senate. Send over the MPs... Considering neither know the other country's laws... they'll get just about exactly the same amount of work done.

              1. JimBlueMK

                Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

                Considering the current impasses in both governments around issues - you wouldn't notice the difference if we swapped representatives they would still be shouting at each other and no legislation would get voted through.

            2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

              If we're doing a representative swap

              I put dibs on AOC for Australia. In a few months we'll have a mob of unemployed wannabee trumps with ministerial experience. Free to anyone who'll give them a good (or preferably not so good) home. Pity there are no prison hulks left. There's that whole convict thing we owe the UK for. Not that that would be fair. We're pretty happy with the people you sent like this bloke and especially this one.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

          Devil's advocate time:

          Let's call it £11 million rather than $, so sat in an account paying 1% interest would bring in £110,000, minus the first £1000 which is non taxable leaves £109,000. This could push you into a conceivable higher tax bracket, of let's say 70%, and in such circumstances leave you paying 70% on £108,999.

        3. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

          "If I was lucky enough to have $11m in the bank I would certainly not want the IRS demanding that I hand over $700k to them for every $1m I earn."

          Why would you having 11m in the back affect your top rate income tax?

          And if your hypothetical wealth were income, do you understand the difference between marginal and flat rates?

        4. scrubber
          Boffin

          Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

          AC: "Why would you having 11m in the back affect your top rate income tax?"

          It doesn't. But maybe it should....

      2. thegroucho

        Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

        Sorry, did you say IRS or HMRC?

        Or are you referring to US government wanting to tax you on your foreign income?

        Ergo if that's the case, you meant the US government pissing on you ...

      3. JimBlueMK

        Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

        The proposal was to tax only the money above the $10 million threshold at 70%. So you still have $10.3 million in the bank. Now tell me what you think you might be missing in your life that you really need now that $700K has gone?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

          As I understand it, the proposed tax was on annual income above $10m. You'd need a lot more in the bank than "just" $10m to incur that tax since only the interest is income. Added to all other taxable income you may have too, but no, it's nothing to do with your savings.

          1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

            Dumb example anyway, as most of the Billionaires are billionaires on paper. They may have quite a few million$ lying around, but most of the wealth is in shares.

          2. Eecahmap

            Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

            Elizabeth Warren wants an annual wealth tax (again marginal, not flat) of 2% on wealth over $50M and 1% on wealth over $1B.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

          Enough hookers and cocaine to properly adorn his second yacht, of course.

      4. Someone Else Silver badge
        Boffin

        @macjules -- Re: Simple solution to Dell's problem

        Doubt you will ever get $11MM in the bank, simply because you don't understand the concept of marginal tax rates.

        If yer gonna ever have that kind of money, you sorta gotta know how the rules of the game work.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. cirby

      They're only partly deductible.

      Even if you give a million bucks to charity, you can only deduct up to 60% at best.

      1. Sloppy Crapmonster

        I can't tell if you typed that without irony.

  4. gerardrg

    Dell's point was he considered his organization more capable of allocating funds.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Yes, to things that he cares about. That's the problem with taxation of course, it gets spent on stuff you don't care about (which may be invading Iraq, poor black people, the long term unemployed, family planning, whatever).

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Well

      it stands to reason people who are good at getting all the money will be great at giving it away. I mean it's exactly the same thing but in reverse gear.

      What do you mean psychopaths?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ocasio is nuts

    And the perceived gain in tax dollars won't go far enough to make a mouse fart in the barn. It's crazy to think that just taking everything from the few wealthy is somehow magically going to make up any kind of difference for the millions of the other 99,99%.

    What is never really discussed is the outlandish pay inequity all over (rich v poor; male v female, black v white v hispanic (or any other group)).

    The fact that Ocasio is a sworn socialist of the Meduro camp (yeah, that kind - and look what great shape they're in) is not a winning argument at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ocasio is nuts

      Comrade, have you ever lived (as opposed to visited for a few weeks) in socialist/communist country?

      I have, for quite a few years and have seen the difference.

      I appreciate you might dislike Ms. Cortez, but it's a knee-jerk reaction trying to compare her with Maduro.

    2. Diogenes

      Re: Ocasio is nuts

      Cant find the analysis now, but if the US were to seize every dollar and asset of every billionaire, it would fund the country for something like 30 days

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ocasio is nuts

        Sources?

        Don't tell me it's some obscure alt-right blog.

        The US federal budget according to Wikipedia is circa $3.6 trillion - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_United_States_federal_budget

        Bezos, Gates, Buffett and Zuckerberg are approximately worth $365 billions.

        If my calculator isn't broken or I'm mistyping this is 37 days to run US just based on the net worth of these 4 alone, not 'every billionaire'.

        Try again.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Ocasio is nuts

          Thats a vote winner, everyone else gets a 10% tax cut for the year! think of the economic boost

        2. Balding Greybeard

          Re: Ocasio is nuts

          Uhhm, income tax is on income, not worth.

          Me thinks you need to select different data for your analysis.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Ocasio is nuts

            "Uhhm, income tax is on income, not worth."

            Yes. It puts a ROADBLOCK for those trying to *BECOME* rich. You know, like us 'riff raff' in the middle and upper middle class, "the rich" do not WANT *us* in their 'rich boy' club, and neither do their puppet politicians. "The Rich" already _HAVE_ their wealth. And they'll just DEFER income, shift it around, etc. for as long as it takes to avoid heavy taxation. A decent accountant would cost LESS than the tax bill. So guess where the money will go?

            And a BIG THUMBS UP for saying it, despite the obvious socialism bias in some of the comments.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ocasio is nuts

          I can't make my mind up if you are deliberately intellectually dishonest, uneducated, or too stupid to understand the difference between lifetime wealth and annual income.

          They do not earn $365bn per year. So if you basically do a Russian Revolution style bonfire of the wealthy, sure, it'll be a pary for a year. Maybe even two years. And then _everybody_ will just outright starve because the intersectionality pushing retards with delusions of competence will take over everything and wreck it. There are multiple precedents for all this for those literate enough to read some history books.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ocasio is nuts

            Maybe you should try reading in context and try critical thinking instead of calling people stupid and illiterate.

            The article is about taxation as opposed to communist uprising and the comment was based on the previous comment/brain-fart of some illiterate and stupid (your words) right wing prick.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Ocasio is nuts

        bombastic bob, where is your screed about lies, damn lies, etc.?

  6. User McUser

    Also England

    The UK had a marginal tax rate of 95% in the 60s.

    The Beatles even wrote a song about it - Taxman - which has the line "One for you, Nineteen for me"

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Also England

      Blighty has had much higher marginal tax rates than that, once you include things like:

      - "national insurance" - being more than half the total income tax paid for a person employed and on average income.

      - loss of tax allowances for the above-average-paid: various bands at about £45k and £100k, for example.

      - loss of means-tested benefits at the bottom end.

      My effective tax rate as recently as 2003 was about 270%. I don't know how near to that you could get today.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Also England

        "national insurance" - being more than half the total income tax paid for a person employed and on average income.

        Eh, what? NI is 12% of earnings above £160somthing per week An average income worker is in no way paying more than half their income on NI.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Also England

          ""national insurance" - being more than half the total income tax paid for a person employed and on average income.

          Eh, what? NI is 12% of earnings above £160somthing per week An average income worker is in no way paying more than half their income on NI."

          It's true that it makes no sense if you don't actually read all of the words. He said that NI is more than half the rate of income tax. At 12% versus 20%, and with a much lower threshold, this is definitely true.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Also England

            "It's true that it makes no sense if you don't actually read all of the words.

            You're right, I mis-read it as a portion of wage, not portion of income tax.

            He said that NI is more than half the rate of income tax. At 12% versus 20%, and with a much lower threshold, this is definitely true."

            Average wage is £528 per week.

            Current tax free allowance is £228 per week, so 20% income tax on £300 is £60

            Current NI threshold is £162, so 12% NI contribution on £366 is £44

            Did I get something wrong? Looks like I did, but I'm not sure what.

            Also, from OP "for a person employed and on average income."

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Also England

              "Did I get something wrong?"

              60/44 > 0.5.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Also England

                "60/44 > 0.5."

                Do'h! OK. I'm still in "half of income" brainfart mode.

                1. DavCrav Silver badge

                  Re: Also England

                  No problem. It was my office hour anyway, so I'm supposed to be answering people's maths questions.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Also England

      Beatles lyrics for 'Tax Man': "One for you, Nineteen for me"

      yeah, John Lennon may have also been a closet fan of Ronald Reagan in 1980, or so at least SOME information dictates [the source may not be reliable though, so this is a 'for what it's worth' at best].

      In any case, once he BECAME "the rich" he obviously did not like this kind of wealth confiscation for the purpose of keeping the NON-rich "in their place". If he earns money, he should keep it, regardless of how much money he earns. I agree 100%.

      I wonder if he came to the USA for tax reasons...

      It's sorta like you never understand business fully until you are the one who signs the FRONT of the checks.,. and has to write apology letters to debtors and vendors because you had to make payroll, instead. And the highest earning person on the payroll is 'not you'.

  7. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Death to Taxes

    She proposed a marginal 70 per cent tax on earnings above $10m

    Pfffft. Get real, Alexandria. It won't make any difference. Led by American conglomerates, none of the top 1000 companies are paying their right amount of taxes anyway. (And you want INDIVIDUALS to pay higher tax bracket?)

    It is a well known secret that large multi-national companies hire top accounting law firms to find a way to skirt tax law (Double Dutch Irish Sandwich) and this scheme is still cheaper than paying taxes.

    Sure, government around the world are just beginning to clamp down, however, for how long before another E&Y or PWC find another loophole?

    Look at what China and (Kingdom of) Saudi Arabia is doing now.

    In KSA, the super-rich Saudi Arabian are "invited" to stay in the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh while the government goes through their "books".

    China is worst. Several well-known business people, politicians, actors/actresses (one is Fan BingBing) have "disappeared" while having been audited. And no, they're not staying at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing. Not even close. And no, there is no appeal, there is no "deal" & the option is simple: Pay up or else. (While world government can only watch in envy.)

    Anything (corporations) and anyone (individual) can pay 35% income tax as long as they pay their taxes correctly (and not because of some deal or loophole).

  8. The Nazz Silver badge

    Hypothetical exercise.

    1) Share the total wealth of all of the USA equally between every single citizen/resident/illegal there is, say 350-400million of 'em. Whatever it is.

    2) Reform all economic structures, eg equal pay for men, women, minorities etc so that everyone has equal income. Equal health facilities, treatments. etc. So that everyone is truly equal.

    How long do you think it would take until we see a vast spread re-emerge, billionaires at the top end and the poor with ringworm at the low end? And at every point inbetween?

    I'd happily wager less than 7 days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hypothetical exercise.

      What's your point exactly?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hypothetical exercise.

        I believe the point is that you can't substitute competence with money gifts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hypothetical exercise.

      You would lose, however only due to your estimate.

      What you describe is pretty much what happened after the break up of the USSR. People were tricked, exploited, conned, cajoled, threatened, injured, into handing over their shares. i.e. those who ended up with money money gain it via illegal practices.

      Given that is how the rich mostly gain their money it isn't surprising they would reacquire it in the same fashion.

  9. Mycho Silver badge

    It won't be 70%

    Let's be clear here, if she was aiming for 50% (which is quite plausible) she could either open with a demand for 50% and get shot down, or open with a demand for 70% and "begrudgingly" lower it to her real target of 50% which her political opponents would paint as a victory for them.

    That's how politics is done these days.

    1. jason 7

      Re: It won't be 70%

      Yep always bump up what you want by 20% at least so you can 'compromise' and still get what you want.

      I always used to do it with budgets.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: It won't be 70%

      That's how politics is done these days.

      That's how politics has always been done. These days we rarely chop the loser's hands off as well (eg Marc Antony v Cicero).

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: It won't be 70%

        It would be an excellent example if we both compromised and agreed to call it a normal part of politics.

  10. STOP_FORTH

    Wrong worm

    I believe AOC has clarified that she meant hookworm. I'm sure ringworm isn't that great either.

  11. Balding Greybeard

    Income Tax - Smincome Tax

    Ain’t gonna do much. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez needs a better soak the rich plan.

    The bulk of Mike’s worth was attained thru capital gains, increasing income taxes on people like him is laughable cause it won’t budge the needle much.

    If she wants to gin up more tax revenue, she needs to find another way to do it. Perhaps tinkering with the cap-gains tax might do the trick. It was reduced to zero in the last tax law update. Okay the rich pay 20% gains tax and jamokes like me pay nothing.

    But a tinker that takes gains and loses annually could be a better way to go.

    Tax coders just need to be wary of unintended consequences. The last time the US imposed a luxury tax, the rich stopped buying yachts, putting yacht builders out of work.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

      If those yacht builders were truly "enterprising" they'd find other markets. And under a more just system being laid off wouldn't be a traumatic experience. But I suppose it's important to keep the workers afraid.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

      Not buying yachts would surely give them more capital to be able create all those jobs they would only do if they had more money, offsetting the loss.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

        Are you stupid or are you pretending in order to make a (terrible) point?

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

          "Are you stupid or are you pretending in order to make a (terrible) point?"

          I think he's pointing out claiming that low taxes encourage rich people to make more jobs in their companies is, to put it in blunt terms, complete bullshit.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

            And he would be right. But nobody has ever argued that ever.

            The argument is that if you don't allow people to profit from business, they won't do business. Not that they need money to hire people, but money later is the incentive to hire people now. Otherwise, why bother?

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

              "The argument is that if you don't allow people to profit from business, they won't do business. Not that they need money to hire people, but money later is the incentive to hire people now. Otherwise, why bother?"

              Unless the marginal tax rate is over 100%, you always get more money from working more. The idea that Zuckerberg wouldn't have founded Facebook if the tax rate on earning $10m/year is 70% is insane, because, you know, he'd still be a billionaire. Once the incomes get well above any amount you could need, standard monetary incentives no longer work. The boss of a company will stay that boss even if the tax rate changes.

              Changing marginal tax rates affects people whose disposable incomes are below what they would spend if they had infinite money. Once that person buys anything they want, giving that person more money does not stimulate the economy, whereas taking some from them and handing it to poorer people does.

              You can decide whether it's a moral thing to do, but lowering taxes on the already rich has no significant stimulating effect on the economy (once opportunity cost is taken into account).

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

                Facebook is a bad example because network effects mean that it has to be massive, so constant growth is mandatory.

                But for any normal business, whats the point in putting the effort in growing the business once your salary reaches a 70% marginal rate?

                Most people would say sod that, I'm not working for 30% and work less hours.

                Fine for them, not so fine for the employees or consumers.

                1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                  Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

                  I'm not working for 30% and work less hours.

                  Oh good. That opens up a part-time position for someone who is willing to work and to earn more than they are currently earning.

                  Isn't that how capitalism works? I accept that I could be wrong. I keep getting contradictory messages from capitalists.

                  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

                    If somebody is highly capable ( ie: demonstrated by earning enough that you think they should be punished ) then them working less is bad for society.

                    You can't just give the cleaner more hours to make up for it.

                    Although I'm the idiot here, trying to have an adult conversation with somebody who thinks that "capitalism is, like bad, dude. Totally not chill.".

    3. scarper

      Re: Income Tax - Smincome Tax

      >> The last time the US imposed a luxury tax, the rich stopped buying yachts, putting yacht builders out of work.

      No, actually. The rich stopped buying yachts built in America, putting American yacht builders out of work. Yacht builders elsewhere took up the slack. I really hated Bush for that move.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell And Trump's Economics

    Dell and Trump believe the rich are short of money and should pay less tax otherwise they just give up and everyone is a loser, but the average working person should get less from government because they need to be forced to work harder. It's nothing but the rich looking after themselves.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Dell And Trump's Economics

      It's like that funny story where all the rich go on strike and the world quickly comes to realise that the rich weren't actually doing anything particularly useful in the first place and just keeps going on without them, the lower-downs who were pulling all the actual weight anyway already knowing how to keep the factories and rail yards working without them because that is what they were already doing anyway.

      Annie Round, or something. Atlas Sniffles.

  13. fishman

    State tax

    In the US, you pay federal, state, and (usually) local income taxes. In high tax states like California the state and local tax is as high as 13.3%. If they did do a 70% marginal tax rate it would encourage the wealthy to move to lower tax states. And where the wealthy move, their companies will follow.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: State tax

      Umm. How exactly does moving to a different state help to reduce your federal tax liability?

      To the extent that the wealthy are deterred by CA's tax rates, that effect has already happened. Particularly after Trump cut the deduction for local and state taxes. (A move I don't disapprove of, by the way, even though I believe it was pure spite against blue states on his part.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: State tax

        Yep, CA taxes are sure dissuading hollywood actors, silicon valley CEOs, what's that? they aren't? Oh my mistake in thinking those people were wealthy.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: State tax

          But California is full of really smart wealthy people who pay $millions premium prices beachfront properties in a location riddled with tectonic fault lines.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who gives a crap

    ...how billionaires think to solve the world's problems, they have a solid track record of lacking any real interest in the people they so gleefully exploit. They're morally bankrupt and can not be trusted to represent anything but their self-interest.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Who gives a crap

      And that makes them different from you or me how, exactly?

      The big difference between them and us is that if they think X should be done, they have ways to make it happen. Within limits, of course, but much less limited than us. And that, in a nutshell, is why we should care what they think.

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Who gives a crap

        The difference: We have our faults but most of us aren't not actually psychopaths.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who gives a crap

        The difference is being able to relate to the lives of other people. It isn't always malice towards the poor, but sometimes just not comprehending just how wide the gulf is, and therefore thinking people are poor due to their own actions, otherwise they would be living similar life styles.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Who gives a crap

          If "common people" are so virtuous, then why do so many of us still buy products created by slave labour? Fruit picked or food gathered by people working in inhumane conditions? Meat from intensive farming? Why do they vote for candidates and policies that promise to "protect" their country against immigration from those looking for a better life?

          Maybe you don't. Maybe you're one of the exceptions. But the sheer volume of all these products on sale proves that "common people", as a group, are not particularly given to enlightened reflection about "the people they exploit".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg = Guardian Tech Section

    Reading the comments here on certain articles only reinforces the idea that this place has turned into a poor version of the Guardian.

    It used to be much more fun here before all the changes in the writing and editorial staff.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: El Reg = Guardian Tech Section

      Absolutely.

      What is the point of this?

      Although given that the left have taken over the comments section, perhaps El Reg has gained new readers below legal drinking age. That certainly would explain the newly tailored content.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: El Reg = Guardian Tech Section

      Cant really blame the Reg. The Guardian is reduced to begging for money and has probably gone so far left they have left any sensible person behind. I assume the reg is just scooping these readers up even if it reduces the quality of the articles.

  16. Herby Silver badge

    Other peoples money...

    It is nice that legislators like to spend other peoples money on their favorite pastime: buying peoples votes. It has worked for many a year, and will probably continue. The problem with others peoples money is that you soon run out of it (I believe a great person is responsible for this quote).

    You see, 70% on incomes above $10M soon becomes incomes above $5m, then because it isn't bringing in enough, it drops to $1M. By then inflation has risen and just about everyone has incomes of $1M or so, and it all goes downhill.

    You see those with incomes or wealth DO something with their money. The list is long, but they don't stash it in Scrooge McDucks's money bin where it does nobody any good. Oh, and they provide jobs as well. I mean somebody has to make the installations of Dell stuff.

    As for government (take your pick) moving money around, there is a gross inefficiency there, and lots of bureaucrats to feed, so not 100% of the taxes we all pay get spent on the things necessary (duh!). Keep it out of their hands and we will all be a bit better off.

    1. Adelio

      Re: Other peoples money...

      If we take your comment to its absurd conclusion we would stop ALL taxes. There easy. Now how do you pay for everything. Roads, police,, healthcare (opps you already have to pay forthat yourself, silly of me).

      Not as easy as you think, unless of course you are advocating a anarchy?

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Other peoples money...

      You are aware that the "slippery slope" is a logical fallacy, not a well formed argument?

      In this case, there is no empirical evidence (that anyone has pointed out, anyway) that tax thresholds tend to work downward in the way you describe. Granted, they will move downward by fiscal drag, but that's a much (much) slower process than you're talking about, reckoning at least half a century to get from $10 million to $1 million.

      I'm also not aware of any evidence that higher marginal tax rates correlate with higher inflation. Perhaps you would like to link to some?

  17. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Eat the rich

    That's all.

  18. Clive Galway

    The problem is not that the highest tax bracket is too low

    The problem is that too many of the highest earners do not pay tax.

    Make the top tax rate 50% (The state getting more than you is frankly ridiculous), but make penalties for avoidance really harsh and start enforcing it - no exceptions, no loopholes and prosecute any accountants who facilitate avoidance.

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge

    World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%

    26 people own more than 3,765,000,000. The number was 43 in 2017. The rich ones get richest, and they dare to ask for more and more.

    Also, from the 26, how many started they life with nothing and from a poor family? None. Wealth is transmitted from generations to generations, continuing the inequality over and over.

    What's the point to own more and more? Does that make you happier? Do you live a better life when you own $ 1,000,000,000 instead of $100,000,000 ?

    1. jason 7

      Re: World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%

      Yep the 'American Dream' that if you work real hard you'll get rich is a great lie pushed by the 1% to keep making them money.

      As you say most of them inherited their wealth and never had to work a day.

  20. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Hyper tax, like a dart.

    Ten percent per billion, per annum. By country of birth. You can have a foundation as well of course. #hesinhiding.

  21. naive

    It is a lost battle anyway, the 1% have it all

    Never in history societies managed a redistribution of wealth without civil war and guilotines.

    With the exception of president Trump, they always bought the US presidency. They still use the power of the media outlets they own to bash president Trump where ever they can, since president Trump could pay for his own campaign and is not a puppet of these people.

    Staff of the big three, KPMG/D&T and E&Y, gets hired by big Tech to setup tax-avoidance schemes and by governments for not trying to fix them.

    Big Tech for example eagerly pays $ 250,000,000 for a tax plan allowing them to funnel billions out of Europe without taxation.

    The French are on it with the gilet jaune protests, although one can be sure the media war against these people will never stop.

    We see where it ends, maybe once again, like in 1789, the French will be an example for the world, liberating them selves of this elite of leeches sucking our societies dry.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: It is a lost battle anyway, the 1% have it all

      I can't believe you're holding up Trump as an exception to that rule.

      Considering the one and only thing he's actually achieved so far was an unfunded tax cut to siphon more money from the poor to the richest...

      As for the gilets jaunes - get back to us when they've published a manifesto that doesn't contradict itself more than once per paragraph.

      1. jason 7

        Re: It is a lost battle anyway, the 1% have it all

        Well the difference is they didn't have to buy him personally. They just had to pay for him to become President.

        They realised that the likes of Jeb Bush etc. all had political reputations and wouldn't sign off half the stuff they put under Trumps sniffy nose.

        So you get in a total political ignoramus, slap his name on any unpopular policy you like and the moron will sign it. Surprised they never really tried it before.

        The next GOP candidate could be a total vegetable.

  22. codejunky Silver badge

    hmm

    How terrible we have so many rich people in the world. And of course more people are being pulled out of actual absolute poverty globally than ever before. And our minimum wages in the developed world put us in the high earning groups. Countries devastated by socialism and communism are finding their lives can easily be improved with trade and free markets.

    It is amazing how success can be so visible and the knowledge of how to attain a better life is so easily available, and yet for some reason idiots want high tax and socialist policy. If she wants to know what high tax achieves she can look at France. Some of their wealthy moved here to the UK to our benefit and for France a loss.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My wife and I set up a foundation about 20 years ago, and we would have contributed

    this is a groundless claim, without any proof, but that venue is not exactly about facts, it's about smoke and mirrors. That said, it would be great to verify his claim, who knows, he might be right (no sarcasm meant).

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: My wife and I set up a foundation about 20 years ago, and we would have contributed

      He said he would have donated.... He never said that he did donate that much.

  24. fpx
    Facepalm

    Expert Opinion

    For an expert opinion on this debate, see this piece by an actual economist: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/05/opinion/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-tax-policy-dance.html, quoting other economists that (Nobel laureate) "Diamond [...] estimated the optimal top tax rate to be 73 percent."

    To everyone who argues that taxing high income does not address the wealth that the rich already have, or that it's futile because the rich will find tax avoidance loopholes anyway -- you are right, of course, but that is a separate debate, and you have to start somewhere. That each single measure to skim and redistribute some wealth has little effect should not be reason to not do anything.

    I find it paradoxical that so many "poor" people fight tooth and nail to lower taxes for the rich. My theory is that people are convinced to be rich eventually, and therefore proactively fight taxes that they think might eventually apply to them.

  25. Someone Else Silver badge

    News flash!

    Rich fatass doesn't think he should pay taxes.

    In other news, sun expected to rise in East tomorrow...film at 11.

  26. Nunyabiznes

    Tax Rate

    The problem isn't the tax rate, it is the ability to legally avoid taxes. Make a flat tax on all income regardless of variety with no exceptions. This applies equally to businesses and individuals. I would prefer 10% of a million vs. 70% of 0.

    The problem with this is that overnight you would add thousands of unemployed to the rolls. In the US, the IRS would be virtually completely unnecessary. Tax accountants, lawyers, most bookkeepers even, would be in the streets.

  27. DeeCee

    70% on above 10mil, 90% on income about 100mil, else there will be a lot of problems. already top few people have more money than bottom 50%, it will go to top few having more than poorest 80~90% in no time if this is allowed to continue, because money makes more money

  28. Marko Philip

    If I have 10 million dollars and the government tried to take 7 millions of them I'll just say "screw it" and take my investment else where..why would I invest in a country that confiscates my hard earned wealth for a bunch of slogans such as "equality" ?

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