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  1. #276
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    The death tax has also been DISASTROUS to family farms (a huge percentage of which are valued well in excess of $1M), forcing them to sell out to raise the cash to pay that tax and again, favoring corporate conglomerate 'mega-farms'.
    This argument about family farms being "killed" by the "Death" tax is a red herring that politicians have glommed onto for its emotional appeal.

    Of the 440 taxable family farm and business estates in 2004, two out of five paid an average rate of only 1.6 percent.

    Neil Harl, an Iowa State University economist whose tax advice has made him a household name among Midwest farmers, said he had searched far and wide but had never found a farm lost because of estate taxes. "It's a myth," he said.

    Even one of the leading advocates for repeal of estate taxes, the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it could not cite a single example of a farm lost because of estate taxes.

    In Iowa, the average farm has a net worth of $1.2 million. Loyd A. Brown, president of Hertz Farm Management in Nevada, Iowa, which runs more than 400 farms in 10 states, said none of his firm's clients nor anyone he knew was facing problems because of the estate tax.

    In fact, the overwhelming majority of beneficiaries are the heirs of people who made their fortunes through their businesses and investments in securities and real estate.

    What is more, a farm couple can pass $4.1 million untaxed, so long as the heirs continue farming for 10 years.
    The Estate Tax serves a purpose both to generate revenue for the Federal Government (and all of us who benefit from the government;s activities - that is, all of us) and also to prevent the perpetuation of wealth among the already wealthy by avoiding taxation. Bear in mind that the estate tax applies only to estates valued at $3.5 million for an individual and $7 million for a couple. Even beyond these numbers, there are many allowances that can be applied to shield large portions of an estate from taxation and virtually no one pays the high end figure allowed by the IRS. The real average paid by those owing estate taxes at all is 17 percent.

    For 2009, only 5500 estates in the entire country actually ended up paying estate taxes at all. Nearly half of that was paid by the richest 1 in 1000 people. In 2009, estates with farm and business assets making up at least half of gross estate and totaling $5 million or less represented just 1.9 percent of all estate tax returns.

    I think there has been a lot of misrepresentation concerning this tax and it has succeeded in convincing the average household that it not only impacts them (which is probably doesn't if they are not among the richest people in the nation) but that it is also hurting good hardworking people (like farmers - also not true) and is a plague on society. I disagree. I think this tax issue will impact very few of us here, the farm issue is a non-issue and that people with this much money in assets could stand to pay more to the common good.

    IMHO...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  2. #277
    Don't forget that, even without a death tax, there is still income tax to be dealt with. We learned that the expensive and hard way when we inherited my mother's estate. Even though we had estimated the tax before payout, we fell short and I wrote a BIG check to the state and feds. Ouch!

  3. #278
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    What is more, a farm couple can pass $4.1 million untaxed, so long as the heirs continue farming for 10 years.
    This is pre-2010. This exemption does not exist anymore. Hence the issue.

    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    The Estate Tax serves a purpose both to generate revenue for the Federal Government (and all of us who benefit from the government;s activities - that is, all of us) and also to prevent the perpetuation of wealth among the already wealthy by avoiding taxation
    How are they avoiding taxation? That money was already taxed when it was earned.

    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    I think this tax issue will impact very few of us here, the farm issue is a non-issue and that people with this much money in assets could stand to pay more to the common good.
    Which is why they are losing the battle. You honestly believe that money that has already been taxed, deserves to be taxed again at 55%? I don't have a chance in hell of ever making that much money, but if by some freak of the time/place continuum I do - I will pay taxes on my earnings/lotto winnings/theft and enjoy it. I should be able to give whatever I choose to my children because it was already taxed. Sure take a small chunk to help pay for my good fortune (5-15% seems fair), but half?! Really? How is this even something that is considered?


    I have my issues with the Billionaires, but I don't fault them for their success. The Estate Tax is far too progressive. The billionaires already are taxed out of their minds (sure they can "afford it"), should they pay 40% of their income in life (24-28% or so after tax sheltering) and then have the money they have left get taxed again at 55%? I just don't see the logic in that. You are not serving a purpose other than to get more money from those who have it.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  4. #279
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Thus, like that dippy federal telephone tax that was recently dumped (it was set up to help pay the debts of the Spanish-American War), its original purpose was long ago consigned to the history books.
    Considering that we are at war, I don't see a problem with the tax as a temporary measure to pay for it. After that, I'm up to rescinding it and/or revision.


    The 'Fair Tax' proposal is essentially an all-encompassing sales tax on all retail-level sales of services and new goods (used goods would be exempt on the assumption that they will have already been taxed), including food, retail rents, clothing, medical care, etc, with a monthly rebate equal to the tax rate times the poverty level. Thus, spending up to the poverty level would be exempt from taxation and if you spend below the poverty level, you'll have an effective negative tax rate - rewarding saving, investing, hard work and thrift.
    I'd imagine this would severely reduce the amount of taxes collected, reduce paperwork for individuals and certainly affect the bottom line for corporations/small businesses. This unavoidable tax (which I presume would be higher than the current sales tax) would hit all companies. Currently, small businesses can take advantage of various tax exemptions, deductions and credits for purchasing, marketing, employees. Without an income tax, they can't take advantage of those.

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    The billionaires already are taxed out of their minds (sure they can "afford it"), should they pay 40% of their income in life (24-28% or so after tax sheltering)...
    The highest bracket is 35%, soon to be 38%. The marginal percentage is in the range you cited, I believe. Also, most billionaires are not receiving that level of income, they are receiving the wealth via Capital Gains which is taxed at a flat 15%, lower than much of middle class has their income taxed. I believe Warren Buffett was quoted recently as saying that his marginal tax rate of all income earned was 17% which was lower than what his secretary making $60k/yr was taxed. http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.co...my-fair-share/
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #280
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    This is pre-2010. This exemption does not exist anymore. Hence the issue.
    Well, for 2010, there is no estate tax at all, so...The most recent reference I found for this exemption was in 2009. When was it revoked? Its worth mentioning that even without this exemption, the cap is at $3.5 million. But I would like to know when and if it was revoked.

    The Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center estimates that fewer than 110 small-farm estates in the entire nation would likely face the tax in 2011 if Congress reinstated the tax at its 2009 levels, as President Obama has proposed. Moreover, estate tax opponents have not been able to produce a single case in which a family farm had to be sold to pay the tax, even before the 2001 tax law began phasing down the tax significantly.
    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    How are they avoiding taxation? That money was already taxed when it was earned.
    It was taxed when it was earned, but we are talking about parents passing on the money to their children. The people receiving the funds did not earn it, they are inheriting it. They take taxes out of my salary as well. So, should I not pay sales tax when I buy things? Because that money was already taxed? Generally, its the transaction that is taxed - you paying for goods at the store, your employer paying money for your time worked, etc. Giving money in excess of $3.5 million to your kids after you die is also considered a transaction and that is part of the rationale for taxing it.

    They are not taxing the original earner twice. They are taxing the non-earner who is inheriting the LARGE sum of $3.5 million or more an average of 17 percent (see below).

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    You honestly believe that money that has already been taxed, deserves to be taxed again at 55%?
    Firstly, I don't view the issue of the money "already having been taxed" as a valid argument. Secondly, as I stated in my earlier post, this large percentage is what is listed as the maximum allowable by law. In reality, those that pay the estate tax pay an average of 17 percent - much more like the 15 percent you mentioned as seeming "fair."

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    The Estate Tax is far too progressive. The billionaires already are taxed out of their minds (sure they can "afford it"), should they pay 40% of their income in life (24-28% or so after tax sheltering) and then have the money they have left get taxed again at 55%? I just don't see the logic in that. You are not serving a purpose other than to get more money from those who have it.
    Again, the rate is more like 17 percent in practice. The logic relates at least in part to attempts even as far back as this country's founding to address the tremendous income disparity we experience. With such a small percentage (2 percent) having such a large percentage of the money in our economy, it takes very little effort, in the absence of an estate tax, to prevent this small elite from amassing more and more wealth. Because, afterall, a small rate of return on 20 million dollars is an enormous sum, whereas that same rate on $20,000 is not nearly as much.

    Its not that I think the rich need to be put in their place or made to feel bad or otherwise knocked down to size. Truly, I believe that the point at which one has to pay estate tax is so high that the people who pay it (especially when various exemptions and other allowances are taken into account) really are not hurt significantly by it.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #281
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Well, for 2010, there is no estate tax at all, so...The most recent reference I found for this exemption was in 2009. When was it revoked? Its worth mentioning that even without this exemption, the cap is at $3.5 million. But I would like to know when and if it was revoked.
    http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/J...lEstateTax.htm

    The 1997 Act also included a special deduction for farmers and other small business owners that will come back into effect should the current law be allowed to expire at the end of 2010. This provision allows for the deduction of the first $675,000 of value for qualified family-owned businesses. The deduction is in addition to the basic exemption and any benefits from special-use valuation. However, the total amount excludable under this provision and the basic exemption is limited to $1.3 million.
    It isn't going to kill the family farm, but it is going to hurt them and their ability to survive. If you know any farmers, it isn't exactly easy to survive today.


    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    It was taxed when it was earned, but we are talking about parents passing on the money to their children. The people receiving the funds did not earn it, they are inheriting it. They take taxes out of my salary as well. So, should I not pay sales tax when I buy things? Because that money was already taxed? Generally, its the transaction that is taxed - you paying for goods at the store, your employer paying money for your time worked, etc. Giving money in excess of $3.5 million to your kids after you die is also considered a transaction and that is part of the rationale for taxing it.

    They are not taxing the original earner twice. They are taxing the non-earner who is inheriting the LARGE sum of $3.5 million or more an average of 17 percent (see below).
    I agree with you on the sales tax argument, but not on the "they are not taxing the original earner twice" argument. That money is already taxed. It doesn't matter that it was given to someone else. Every transaction of money shouldn't be taxed. Take your percentage originally, then let it go. If we can't manage with the taxes we take in, deal with it that way. Taxing income twice is not the solution. I agree with you though that a sale tax is a double tax. That is why we should look at one tax on everything - maybe call it a Fair Tax


    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Firstly, I don't view the issue of the money "already having been taxed" as a valid argument. Secondly, as I stated in my earlier post, this large percentage is what is listed as the maximum allowable by law. In reality, those that pay the estate tax pay an average of 17 percent - much more like the 15 percent you mentioned as seeming "fair."
    What you don't take into account is the cost of getting your estate to be viewed as below the threshold. Making 55% look like 17% is not only costly, but extremely difficult. I also find it to be extremely frustrating that people have to find creative ways to hide their money from being taxed. It is now second nature to do this. Accountants know all the "tricks".


    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    The logic relates at least in part to attempts even as far back as this country's founding to address the tremendous income disparity we experience. With such a small percentage (2 percent) having such a large percentage of the money in our economy, it takes very little effort, in the absence of an estate tax, to prevent this small elite from amassing more and more wealth. Because, afterall, a small rate of return on 20 million dollars is an enormous sum, whereas that same rate on $20,000 is not nearly as much.

    Its not that I think the rich need to be put in their place or made to feel bad or otherwise knocked down to size. Truly, I believe that the point at which one has to pay estate tax is so high that the people who pay it (especially when various exemptions and other allowances are taken into account) really are not hurt significantly by it.
    I guess this is just where we agree to disagree. I don't think that just because 2% of the population has either A.) Succeed enough in life to have a large estate, or B.) Been lucky enough to be part of a family who has had a member succeed enough to have a large estate; that we should grab their money. The economics of $20m and $20k are huge - I get that. But that isn't really what the issue is. If you want to change the capital gains tax fine. Make that rate equal to the rate of income. If you make $90k a year in capital gains you pay 35%. Seems pretty fair to me. Taxes shouldn't be so complicated. You make this much a year - you pay this percentage. Done and done. Our system is flawed, and the Estate Tax is just a cog in the broken wheel.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  7. #282
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    In this article, it states:

    The value of property for Federal estate tax purposes is generally the fair market value on the date of the property owner’s death. However, if certain conditions are satisfied, the estate’s real property that is used solely for farming or another closely held business may be valued at the property’s value as a farm or business rather than at its fair market value.
    and goes on to say that in 2009 one can use the special-use valuation to reduce the overall value of an operating farm up to $1 million. Add that to the $3.5 million threshold and you now can have a farm with a market value of up to $4.5 million and still not pay estate taxes.

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    I agree with you on the sales tax argument, but not on the "they are not taxing the original earner twice" argument. That money is already taxed. It doesn't matter that it was given to someone else. Every transaction of money shouldn't be taxed. Take your percentage originally, then let it go. If we can't manage with the taxes we take in, deal with it that way. Taxing income twice is not the solution. I agree with you though that a sale tax is a double tax. That is why we should look at one tax on everything - maybe call it a Fair Tax
    Personally, I don't agree with the Fair Tax approach as I believe it is regressive and hurts working people. But I think that is another discussion. What concerns me in the not-taxing-twice argument is that it can quickly be taken to its logical (or illogical) extreme. If you allow money to pass from one generation to the next untaxed because it was "already taxed," what kind of precedent does that set for other transactions or transfers of money form one party to another? What about my company? I paid taxes when I sold my widgets, so why should my employees also have to pay taxes on the salaries I give them? Heck, the dollar bill I am holding was at one point part of a taxed transaction, so why should I have to pay any taxes when spending it? How do you make these distinctions? It all seems pretty messy to me...

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    What you don't take into account is the cost of getting your estate to be viewed as below the threshold. Making 55% look like 17% is not only costly, but extremely difficult. I also find it to be extremely frustrating that people have to find creative ways to hide their money from being taxed. It is now second nature to do this. Accountants know all the "tricks".
    I think there is more to the parsing of the assets to reduce the overall tax paid than just "tricks." A big part of the issue is determining the NATURE of the assets one is inheriting as not all types of wealth are treated equal. Stocks and bonds, versus real estate versus cars and boats versus 401(k)s and so on. Part of the process of determining the estate value and therefore what should be taxed is examining the nature of all of these assets. To inherit two cars (depreciating assets) and a house (real property) is not the same as inheriting $1 million in cash (even if the estimated value is the same) and so the IRS has set up different rates accordingly.

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    I guess this is just where we agree to disagree. I don't think that just because 2% of the population has either A.) Succeed enough in life to have a large estate, or B.) Been lucky enough to be part of a family who has had a member succeed enough to have a large estate; that we should grab their money. The economics of $20m and $20k are huge - I get that. But that isn't really what the issue is. If you want to change the capital gains tax fine. Make that rate equal to the rate of income. If you make $90k a year in capital gains you pay 35%. Seems pretty fair to me. Taxes shouldn't be so complicated. You make this much a year - you pay this percentage. Done and done. Our system is flawed, and the Estate Tax is just a cog in the broken wheel.
    I agree that we disagree on this I would just say that, as with my above comment, the way that different people get their income (from their job, from investments, trust funds, etc.) should have some bearing on what taxes are paid and how much (and even when they are paid - tax deferred investments as opposed to annual gross salary for example).
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  8. #283
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    Please consider this article before you vote in Kentucky or Nevada this year.

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/08...ate-contest%2F
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  9. #284
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    California's Proposition 8 just got struck down with a 136 page ruling. Its either near iron clad as a ruling or a lot of drivel. We shall see!

    GOOD JOB JUDGE!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  10. #285
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia View post
    California's Proposition 8 just got struck down with a 136 page ruling. Its either near iron clad as a ruling or a lot of drivel. We shall see!
    You can read the Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law on the case here:

    Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al, Case No. C 09-2292 VRW, US District Court for the Northern District of California, presided over and authored by Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker.

    Gay marriage will not be allowed to resume, however, despite the ruling, until Judge Walker hears arguments whether his order should or should not be suspended while the defendants pursue an appeal to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected. Written arguments about suspension of the order are due August 6. If Judge Walker decides to suspend his order, it could still be several months to years before marriage licenses are again issued to homosexual couples in California.

    Other interesting tidbits: Judge Walker is one of only 2 openly gay federal judges. He was nominated, unsuccessfully, for a federal judicial position in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and then again, this time successfully, in 1989 by President George H. W. Bush. His nominations were fought fiercely by leading Democrats in Congress, especially Nancy Pelosi, because it was felt that he was insensitive to gays and the poor (a feeling based on decisions he advocated while in private practice for the US Olympic Committee against the Gay Games encroaching on the "Olympic" moniker - also quite ironic given his sexual orientation). Judge Walker is known for being unorthodox and libertarian in his rulings. He's also still held in contempt by many in the San Francisco gay community for the aforementioned Gay Games case. I can imagine that contempt is about to end.
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 04 Aug 2010 at 6:17 PM.

  11. #286
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    ..........

    Other interesting tidbits: Judge Walker is one of only 2 openly gay federal judges. He was nominated, unsuccessfully, for a federal judicial position in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, and then again, this time successfully, in 1989 by President George H. W. Bush. His nominations were fought fiercely by leading Democrats in Congress, especially Nancy Pelosi, because it was felt that he was insensitive to gays and the poor (a feeling based on decisions he advocated while in private practice for the US Olympic Committee against the Gay Games encroaching on the "Olympic" moniker - also quite ironic given his sexual orientation). Judge Walker is known for being unorthodox and libertarian in his rulings. He's also still held in contempt by many in the San Francisco gay community for the aforementioned Gay Games case. I can imagine that contempt is about to end.
    The contempt will lessen somewhat.

    This case is incredibly interesting.

    Conservatives will now, finally, after all the many months long of this case, accuse the judge of conflict of interest. Everybody noted how he was openly gay, but did not necessarily make rulings benefiting gay people as noted above.

    Ask yourself, how could the judge be anything BUT unconventional and libertarian leaning? To be a gay, republican judge. A log cabin republican. Rejected by your own party and people you naturally gravitate too.

    Being libertarian in the last election cycle has been the in vogue thing in the GOP. Well, he ruled according to the constitution and his value system, like a good conservative should.

    If you followed the Prop 8 trial, it was amazing. The state refused to defend their own case. They let idiots defend the states position. The defendant side was incompetent. At one point in the trial, the Prop 8 defense told the judge they did not need any evidence at all to defend the case. It was close to a first year pop-warner football kid aged 12 versus two all pro football giants. When your argument is that "our position is self evident, you have to side with us", your in trouble.

    That judge was very wily as well. He asked a large number of questions related to the case in writing and made sure they come up in the transcripts of the trial. They were tough for both sides to answer in fact. Cogent, direct, pointed, and numerous. The plaintifs answered with facts well anchored in science and logic. The defendants..... well, some day when the actually get through midnight and weekend law school...

    The judge new and understood he would be viciously attacked one way or the other. A true case of damned if you do damned if you don't. It will take me a while to read through 136 pages, but I am sure it was well written to stand the tests ahead. We shall see.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  12. #287
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I have been wondering more and more over the past few years about whether or not governments should just simply be getting out of the 'marriage' business entirely, instead just be registering 'domestic partnerships', with whatever rules are needed to address the various issues that would normally come up regarding them (ie, kids, dissolution of a partnership, taxes, death of a participant, etc) and leave actual 'marriage' to churches, temples, covens and so forth,



    Mike

  13. #288
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    I have been wondering more and more over the past few years about whether or not governments should just simply be getting out of the 'marriage' business entirely, instead just be registering 'domestic partnerships', with whatever rules are needed to address the various issues that would normally come up regarding them (ie, kids, dissolution of a partnership, taxes, death of a participant, etc) and leave actual 'marriage' to churches, temples, covens and so forth,



    Mike
    Well said, well said.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  14. #289
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    I have been wondering more and more over the past few years about whether or not governments should just simply be getting out of the 'marriage' business entirely, instead just be registering 'domestic partnerships', with whatever rules are needed to address the various issues that would normally come up regarding them (ie, kids, dissolution of a partnership, taxes, death of a participant, etc) and leave actual 'marriage' to churches, temples, covens and so forth,



    Mike
    I've thought that for a loooooong time. I'll be pretty surprised if it happens in my lifetime though (in the US - I could see it happening in some smaller countries, especially in east Asia).
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  15. #290
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    I have been wondering more and more over the past few years about whether or not governments should just simply be getting out of the 'marriage' business entirely, instead just be registering 'domestic partnerships', with whatever rules are needed to address the various issues that would normally come up regarding them (ie, kids, dissolution of a partnership, taxes, death of a participant, etc) and leave actual 'marriage' to churches, temples, covens and so forth,



    Mike
    That's been my take on this whole issue for years. However, I think states still have the right to define their civil union/marriage statutes, even if I don't agree with the outcomes, provided they recognize unions granted in other jurisdictions. That's where the CA law came into the most problems, legally, IMO, in addition to the exclusionary language (rather than a positive law definition of the states marriage policy). Supposedly the original language of the proposition reflected this latter concept, but was changed near the last minute by Jerry Brown. This last minute change, coupled with the AG's backing out of its defense, screams intention for it to not be able to stand, from a strictly legal standpoint (moral arguments aside).

  16. #291
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    That's been my take on this whole issue for years. However, I think states still have the right to define their civil union/marriage statutes, even if I don't agree with the outcomes, provided they recognize unions granted in other jurisdictions.....
    That is the crux of the case. The ruling states that a state does not have a right to create a situation of discrimination without a state interest. That's the point of the constitutional amendments, they cover everyone in all states. In this instance, the judge ruled that the issue at hand was outside of a decision voters can make and was to be decided based on the 14th amendment.

    How could you recognize marriages from other jurisdictions but not from your own jurisdiction?
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  17. #292
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia View post
    How could you recognize marriages from other jurisdictions but not from your own jurisdiction?
    The same way marriages are recognized now. I got married in Oklahoma, but my wife and I live in Texas. Texas recognizes the marriage license from the state we got married in. Some states still require bloodwork, etc., to clear a marriage license. Oklahoma does not. Does this mean, if we move to a jurisdiction that does, we have to reapply for our married status? No. Same thing with gay marriage. If a couple from Connecticut get married there, then move to Texas for a job, school, etc., their married legal status should still be recognized by the state of Texas, even if Texas' marriage statutes do not grant licenses to homosexual couples - Texas was not the one granting the license to start with, and it doesn't require married couples (of any sexual orientation) to get Texas marriage licenses when they move to the state.

  18. #293
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    TO, that works well enough if all 50 states happen to play cricket and choose to recognize those unions, but without any overarching federal authority nothing obligates them to do so. What if Connecticut recognizes same-sex unions and Texas elects not to? If a couple wed in Connecticut moves to Texas would they then be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits if Texas doesn't recognize the union? This is a federal issue. In many ways it wouldn't be all that different than how in 1860 Alabama recognized slavery and Ohio didn't; that issue was settled once and for all a few years later.

  19. #294
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    that issue was settled once and for all a few years later.
    Which is how this is going to end up. Even on a conservative Supreme Court, there is no way legally you can look at this as anything other than a 14th Amendment issue. And if you look at it as such, how on Earth you could deny the same rights is mind boggling.

    I guess if the noble Senator from South Carolina Mr. Graham wants to rewrite the 14th amendment, he could always leave out the equal protection stuff...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  20. #295
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    TO, that works well enough if all 50 states happen to play cricket and choose to recognize those unions, but without any overarching federal authority nothing obligates them to do so. What if Connecticut recognizes same-sex unions and Texas elects not to? If a couple wed in Connecticut moves to Texas would they then be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits if Texas doesn't recognize the union? This is a federal issue. In many ways it wouldn't be all that different than how in 1860 Alabama recognized slavery and Ohio didn't; that issue was settled once and for all a few years later.
    My whole point was that states should still be free to set their own civil union/marriage policies provided that they recognize those granted in other jurisdictions. If a state enacts a law that expressly does not recognize a marriage or civil union granted by another jurisdiction, strike that particular part of the law down - but don't usurp more state authority over such issues by either making it a federal issue, which is a constitutional argument that can be solved easily and still retain states' rights. Not that either side of the debate will settle for this. Instead, gay marriage proponents will settle for nothing less than a Supreme Court decision making gay marriage a civil right (somewhat off-topic, but I find the comparisons to slavery and racism appalling misuse and misunderstanding of both issues - the legal reasoning in its reliance on the 14th Amendment in the Prop 8 case in essence relies on a singular [i.e. no other] motive for the Prop 8 supporters: a desire to signal to homosexuals that they are inferior and that heterosexuals are superior, and that simply is not the case), and traditional marriage defenders will settle for nothing less than something like a Defense of Marriage Act or similar Federal Constitutional amendment.

  21. #296
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    gay marriage proponents will settle for nothing less than a Supreme Court decision making gay marriage a civil right
    I respect where you are coming from, but it is a civil rights issue. It is exactly the same as slavery and racism. The marriage portion isn't the important part - it is the ability to have the same benefits and view from legal authorities to make decisions and dealings as a couple. Call it whatever you want - civil unions, marriage, etc. It doesn't matter their reasoning for denying same-sex people from receiving the same benefits, it is still a denial. This is a federal issue.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  22. #297
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    I respect where you are coming from, but it is a civil rights issue. It is exactly the same as slavery and racism. The marriage portion isn't the important part - it is the ability to have the same benefits and view from legal authorities to make decisions and dealings as a couple. Call it whatever you want - civil unions, marriage, etc. It doesn't matter their reasoning for denying same-sex people from receiving the same benefits, it is still a denial. This is a federal issue.
    I'm not disagreeing with you, Hink, on the main point, but I don't think anyone on the prop 8 side is opposed to "civil unions" being recognized or benefits for those domestic partnerships, etc. I think the LGBT community recognizes that as well. This is really two things IMO: States Rights vs. Federal Govt. and the question of moral equality (is it really equal if gay marriage is not called marriage but a civil union?). That's my opinion. So the comparison to slavery is apt on that point; it really has to be decided by the nation as a whole, and by public opinion. That will take more than courts, and more than a little while.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  23. #298
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Here is an excerpt from Judge Walker's ruling. I think this states the issue very eloquently for me. I do personally think this should be addressed at the federal level (in the same way that we would not leave interracial marriage restrictions to the states) but I am skeptical that the current court would hear the case if it made it there (from here it will likely go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the SC, though they are not required to hear the case - they can throw it back to the state).

    Here it is:

    "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

    "Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives."
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  24. #299
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    I respect where you are coming from, but it is a civil rights issue. It is exactly the same as slavery and racism. The marriage portion isn't the important part - it is the ability to have the same benefits and view from legal authorities to make decisions and dealings as a couple. Call it whatever you want - civil unions, marriage, etc. It doesn't matter their reasoning for denying same-sex people from receiving the same benefits, it is still a denial. This is a federal issue.
    I understand the desire for this to be a federal issue based on political and moral opinions. However, it is a federal issue, legally, only as it relates to how states use their authority. In other words it is a federal issue if a state makes it a federal issue. It is NOT a federal issue, legally speaking, only due to its perceived importance.

    The Prop 8 case is a federal issue based on the language of the Prop, as I mentioned earlier (negative, exclusionary, etc), not because of the nature of gay marriage itself. If Prop 8 does go to the SCOTUS and is struck down, it will not not have a legal bearing on most other state marriage statutes because of this exclusionary differentiation in its actual language. The moral arguments and rationale, even within the arguments constructed by Judge Walker in his ruling (I'm about halfway through his 136-page decision), seem to support this (as a state-specific issue) so far. If the language of the Prop had not been exclusionary, many of the findings of fact (or at least in the first 2 of the 3 which I have read) become moot points.

    Also, on a side note, the legal counsel and subsequent defense strategy for the Prop 8 proponents is/was awful. It's no wonder court blogs have predicted the outcome for months (even in the conservative arena)... I guess it shouldn't have been so surprising upon reading it, given the nature of the Prop 8 ads back in 2008. It seems like the cultural conservatives in CA are even crazier than those in TX.

  25. #300
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I have thought about it more and maybe it is likened more to inter-racial marriages. Should that be a state issue? Should they only be allowed civil unions?

    Loving v. Virginia was not a states right issue - it was a federal issue.

    Great quote from the Supreme Court ruling...
    Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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