Unless Obama and the Demonrats go the full-blown Marxist-Leninist way of confiscating private property, abolishing private ownership, and slaughtering “the rich,” those with socialist dreams of “equalizing” wealth will always be thwarted by “the rich” moving one step ahead of you.
That’s what “the rich” in America are doing.
In the wake of the reelection of Barack “you-didn’t-build-that” Obama to four more years of reducing America to further wreck and ruin, “the rich” are dumping their assets in anticipation of harsh taxes to come.
Robert Frank reports for CNBC, Nov. 12, 2012, that worried about the “fiscal cliff” (tax cuts expire and spending cuts are set to go into effect at the end of 2012) and expecting an increase in capital gains and dividend taxes, many of America’s rich are unloading stocks, businesses and homes before the end of the year.
Here are the anticipated tax hikes:
- If the Bush-era tax cuts expire, taxes on capital gains would revert back to its previous rate of 20% from its current 15%. Another 5% may be added from Obamacare levies and changes in itemized deductions, bringing the rate to 25% for many high earners.
- Taxes on dividends could go from 15% to over 43%.
- The estate tax could go from 35% on estates worth more than $5 million to 55% on estates over $1 million.
As a result, the wealthy are taking a close look at all of their assets to see what could or should be sold off now to avoid potentially higher taxes next year.
They are dumping the following assets:
- Stocks: The most noticeable sell-off has been in stocks. Wealth advisors say that with capital-gains taxes potentially going from 15% to 25%, and other possible increases in the dividend tax, estate tax and other taxes, many clients are selling now to save millions in taxes, or selling them and buying them back again to create a higher basis (and thus a lower tax bill later). Since the wealthiest one percent of U.S. households control more than half of the stocks in the United States, their selling and buying can have strong ripple effects on the market.
- Private businesses: Owners of private businesses are also pressing to sell their companies to get ahead of a possible tax hike. But selling a business is not easy. So the businesses most likely to take advantage of lower taxes are small businesses that may have been in the process of selling and can push to close before Jan. 1. If an entrepreneur, for instance, sells a company for $100 million, they could pay $10 million less in taxes than if they sold in 2013. For example, by selling his Star Wars company to Disney this year for $4 billion, George Lucas potentially saved hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.
- Mansions: Brokers say some recent multi-million-dollar sales in Florida, New York and California were partly driven by sellers who were anxious to sell before the end of 2012.
So what are the effects of the rich dumping their assets?
Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center said the direct impact of all this front-loading is hard to determine, since there are so many other factors in the economy, but here are some likely results:
- A rise in wealthy sellers could put pressure on asset prices and stocks, at least in the short term, which could depress asset values. Translated this means the value or prices of stocks and real estate would go down.
- The government’s tax revenues not only would be more volatile and unpredictable, there would also be less-than-expected revenues during the first year or two of the tax increase. In 1986, for example, the capital gains tax rate was 20% but was schedule to go up to 28% in 1987 as part of President Ronald Reagan’s tax overhaul. In 1986, capital gains collections soared to $52 billion – twice the amount as 1985. But the following year, when the higher rate kicked in, capital gains fell by 50%.
Moral lesson: “The rich” are not stupid. After all, they didn’t become “rich” by being stupid. So “the rich” will exercise their free will by doing what is in their best interest to offset the screws government is planning. America’s “rich” are reacting to the 2012 election debacle by selling their assets of stocks, real estate, and even businesses. And if pushed further, they will do what the French rich are doing — leave America for some greener pasture entirely.