• Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-16-2018, 12:04 PM
    Andrew Johnson wasn't convicted by the Senate, so he didn't go anywhere, except back to the White House.
    24 replies | 350 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-09-2018, 01:15 PM
    I think you should save one ticket for yourself, go to the venue, and ask the Clintons why Juanita Broaddrick shouldn't be believed.
    13 replies | 315 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-05-2018, 07:10 AM
    The Constitution is supreme. But some entity has to determine how it applies to a given situation. The same can be said for statutes, regulations, court rules, or common law rules -- how do they apply in a particular case? Whatever body makes these determinations will from time to time be accused of trying to be "supreme" to the constitution, statute, regulation, court rule, or common law rule under consideration if the result is something the accuser doesn't agree with. I'm old enough to remember when the Brown v. Board of Education case was handed down in in 1954, after which the Court was accused of violating the Constitution by interfering with a purely local matter (racial segregation in public schools) and "Impeach Earl Warren" signs sprouted up throughout the South (never mind that the decision was unanimous). But as long as there are ways to overturn unpopular SCOTUS decisions the Court won't be in a position to entrench itself as the authority of last resort.
    23 replies | 1369 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-03-2018, 12:43 PM
    Well, according to Dannno Fred Trump (a very rich man) paid a boatload of taxes, so Leona was wrong. And playing the tax lottery ("The IRS can't audit everyone, so you might not get caught.") is also not advisable.
    31 replies | 571 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-03-2018, 12:27 PM
    Tax fraud is never an advisable strategy. Remember Leona Helmsley?
    31 replies | 571 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-03-2018, 12:16 PM
    It's pretty clear that Trump's father used legitimate valuation discount techniques to minimize the estate and gift taxes payable. But the NYT article also says that his father paid above-market prices for repairs and renovations on his properties to a company owned by his children. These payments would constitute indirect taxable gifts to his children, but were apparently never reported as such.
    31 replies | 571 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-03-2018, 12:11 PM
    Of course he paid taxes; that wasn't the point. The issue was whether he paid taxes on the entire $1 billion, which was your original question.
    31 replies | 571 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-03-2018, 10:33 AM
    It's doubtful that he bore the burden of property taxes, as most commercial real estate leases are on a triple-net basis where the lessee pays the real property taxes. Moreover, the holdings were likely held in passthrough entities such as limited partnerships, which pay no federal income tax. The point is that it's wrong to assume that someone dying with a $1 billion estate has already paid taxes on the $1 billion.
    31 replies | 571 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    10-03-2018, 10:17 AM
    Not necessarily. In fact, it's extremely doubtful that he did, given that the bulk of his wealth consisted of real estate the improvements on which were depreciated during his lifetime. The appreciation in value of his holdings was never subject to income tax, and since they received a stepped-up tax basis at his death, it never will be.
    31 replies | 571 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    09-29-2018, 04:44 PM
    Article III grants the "judicial power" of the United States to the federal courts. Judicial power obviously includes the power to determine the law applicable to a particular case. It follows that in cases involving constitutional issues, the courts must determine how the Constitution applies. Judicial review was clearly contemplated by the Founders: This doesn't make the Supreme Court the most powerful branch. If the people don't like a SCOTUS decision on a constitutional matter, they can amend the Constitution to override the Court, which has occurred three times (Amendments Nos. 11, 13-15, and 16). Congress can limit SCOTUS's appellate jurisdiction, and it controls the Court's budget. It and the President could increase the number of Justices and appoint ones that would overturn an unpopular decision (this hasn't happened, although FDR tried).
    23 replies | 1369 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    09-28-2018, 01:15 PM
    It's not fake. That's just what Trump said about Ford around 45 minutes ago. See https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/09/28/trump-ford-testimony-compelling-sot-nr-vpx.cnn beginning at the :28 mark.
    210 replies | 4984 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    09-27-2018, 07:09 AM
    Paxton, who is currently facing state criminal charges involving securities fraud, needs to read Justice Robert H. Jackson's majority opinion in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943), arguably the most beautifully written opinion in the history of the Supreme Court and certainly the most libertarian. The opinion struck down a West Virginia law mandating that public school students recite the Pledge. Ironically, the decision was handed down not only in the middle of World War II when patriotic feeling was at it height, but also on Flag Day.
    19 replies | 442 view(s)
  • Sonny Tufts's Avatar
    09-25-2018, 12:57 PM
    That would include women, whose lack of rights you deem irrelevant. How obtuse can you be? Your ignorance of history is astonishing. Aside from their lack of the franchise, married women had no property rights -- husbands had the legal right to control their wives' property; wives couldn't enter into contracts or bring suit in their own names without their husbands' consent. Well, they did have one right we don't have today: the legal right to own another human being.
    45 replies | 1839 view(s)
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We have long had death and taxes as the two standards of inevitability. But there are those who believe that death is the preferable of the two. "At least," as one man said, "there's one advantage about death; it doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
Erwin N. Griswold

Taxes: Of life's two certainties, the only one for which you can get an automatic extension.
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