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Published on April 8th, 2011 | by Leonard Jackson


Whose Money Is It?

Stack of hundred dollar billsLike most folks, I’ve received several emails lately concerning a 3.8% tax on the profit on the sale of one’s home which is included in the Health Care Abomination that Congress and the Administration slipped under the door on a snowy Christmas Eve in 2010. As Nancy Pelosi so aptly put it “we have to pass this bill so we can find out what’s in it.” We’re now finding out.

As usual I checked my sources the first time I received this message and found it to be true to this extent: it would apply to any profit over $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples) on the sale of their primary residence.

What caused me such displeasure was the way it was explained and conceded in the discussion of its authenticity. In the question was asked: “Does the new health care law impose a 3.8 percent tax on profits from selling your home?” The answer: “No, with very few exceptions. The first $250,000 in profits from the sale of a personal residence won’t be taxed, or the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple. The tax falls on relatively few – those with high incomes from other sources.

I may be splitting hairs here, but it occurred to me that this is a good example of how all these ridiculous laws and government’s intrusions into our lives get accepted. We tend to allow our “leaders” to skim over the details and don’t pay near enough attention to what is being enacted as law and actually will affect our lives for years to come. Let’s look closer at what this seemingly innocuous referendum actually states and what it means.

First point, the answer to the question to FactCheck should be yes.It does impose a tax on some people, whatever the number, with high incomes from other sources Secondly, why is it accepted as fair for someone who has done well, earned a great deal of money and spent it on a huge house should be taxed on the sale of that house when someone who has not done as well, earned less money, bought a lesser house would not be taxed on its sale at all. What’s fair for the goose….

And thirdly, and the most disturbing point; what does the sale of one’s residence and the profit realized have to do with national health care. It was sold to us as self-sustaining. Not on the confiscation of the personal wealth of those who have been able to take advantage of the opportunities our nation has afforded and realized some amount of prosperity.

This explanation, unfortunately, placates too many of us and the complacent attitude we assume has become so prevalent throughout our citizenry concerning our government and our money it is almost now accepted as the norm rather than the exception. How our duly elected (and too often appointed) officials conceive of this relationship has reached the point of total disregard for the will of the people. This must not be allowed to continue.

It’s like it’s not really our money. We just get to keep it for a while until our friends in Washington figure out a way to take it from us with the same “it just applies to a relatively few” answer. How about that “relatively few”? What’s fair about it for them?

This cavalier sentiment has become just part of the mind set for those who have been given the opportunity to serve our nation. I firmly believe that this should be part of the swearing-in ceremony in Washington for all of our new people in Congress: A tattoo on their wrist that they can see every day, assuming they bathe with some regularity, “It Ain’t Your Money.”

About the Author

Leonard Jackson

As I prepare my “reentry” into the e-world of blogging, I am advised that I should provide my prospective audience with a brief biographical résumé covering my life’s work and future aspirations so that I, and my work, can be properly categorized and thus judged in the proper venue. Since I will be joining a new group in just a few short months, it came to my attention that for a quick summary I can cover my life span in 20 year segments that pretty well sum up the route that I took to get to where I am today. In December, the Lord willing, I will become a member of that esteemed group known as Octogenarians. . Now that may be a disturbing, even scary, pigeonhole for some folks to find themselves assigned to, but I’m beginning to realize some real benefits from being maturity advantaged. The first 20 years I grew up, was educated and began my married life and my career. Second period was about 20 years in the cotton business in Memphis, TN. Trading this commodity in the world’s largest inland cotton market. Third period was spent in the municipal bond industry in Memphis, Houston TX Chicago and finally to my present home in Kansas City, MO. The fourth 20 years I served as a registered investment adviser to a number of individual clients which I continue to do in a semi-retired capacity. In addition to all this, over all these years, I have been blessed with a loving wife of sixty years, four children, four grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and a menagerie of grand horses, dogs, cats and a donkey. Providentially, none of these, except of course my patient wife, are still living in the family home. And now the fifth period will be consumed in my new career. For the first time in all the years I have an opportunity to share my opinions with the world. I can truly express my thoughts without regard to any extenuating conditions. I can just say how I feel about any subject. How liberating. Let the blogging begin!!!! By the way – what I do in the next period remains to be seen and depends on how well I do in the fifth period.

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