And there's a dichotemy here for those who pillory the rich - supposedly the USA is the land of the free where you can get super rich, and where you CAN hand down hundreds of millions to your kids, and the state SHOULD butt out of it.
So why do people then complain when this actually happens??
You cannot have it both ways - restrict people from earning mega bucks, claim to want less government, and then complain when that results in this sort of thing happening.
Also of course it may be that 2009 was an exceptional year due to eth losses incured in 208:
And that data demonstrates that many of the ultrarich can and do reduce their tax liability to very low levels, even zero. Besides the six who paid no federal income tax, the I.R.S. reported that 27 paid from zero to 10 percent of their adjusted gross incomes and another 89 paid between 10 and 15 percent, which is close to the 13.9 percent rate that Mr. Romney disclosed that he paid in 2010. (At the other end of the spectrum, 82 paid 30 to 35 percent. None paid more than 35 percent.) So more than a quarter of the people earning an average of over $200 million in 2009 paid less than 15 percent of their adjusted gross income in taxes.
How do they do it?
The data show that the ultrarich typically pay low tax rates every year, but 2009 was a special case. In 2008, people with large stock portfolios and other less liquid assets were disproportionately hit with large losses on paper. One of the oddities of the tax code is that capital gains taxes are discretionary, since they must be paid only when gains are realized. And they can be offset by losses. The silver lining in a bad year like 2008 for wealthy people is that they can “harvest” losses by selling assets, then use those losses to offset any gains. They can also carry forward the losses to offset gains in future years.
New York Times
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 12-8-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-8-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: more crappy typing