Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sen. John Kerry Skips Town on Sails Tax

Boston Herald -- "Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, Rhode Island, instead of in Nantucket, MA, where the senator summers. Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25% sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000."

HT: Matt B.

34 Comments:

At 7/24/2010 11:11 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I wonder if Kerry's tax advisor is Charles Rangel?

 
At 7/24/2010 12:07 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

does anyone else fear we are reaching the saturation point on desensitization to issues like this?

i mean, how many times can you get outraged in a year? you get a bit worn out at some point and finally, when they trot out yet another hypocrite, all you can muster is a sort of shrug and the thought "typical".

it's a bit like getting carried down the beach by the tide, looking up, and realizing you can't find your towel. we have allowed this moral drift and "do as i say, not as i do" doublespeak to go so far that it's difficult to even remember expecting politicians to be honest or honorable or even consistent.

sad state of affairs.

 
At 7/24/2010 12:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well apparently there's an update to this Kerry story courtesy of the Boston Herald: John Kerry will pay if ‘taxes are owed’

'Sources said Isabel - with its Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million. That means Kerry would owe approximately $437,500 to his cash-strapped home state. Nantucket, his summer playground, would be due annual excise taxes of about $70,000'...

 
At 7/24/2010 2:18 PM, Blogger James said...

Check out Peter Schweizer’s “Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy” available at Amazon. It is full of this kind of hypocrisy.

 
At 7/24/2010 3:02 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

This reminds of hypocrites saying we have to cut the federal deficit, and then we go and give out an $800 million contract in Afghanistan to a private company just to maintain a police station for 10 years.

Fro the LA Times--

A federal auditor complained in a report that the buildings constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Afghan national police represent an "outrageous waste of taxpayer money." He said the problems are representative of a "regular negative pattern" in overly complex construction in the country.

"Why in the world are we continuing to construct facilities all over Afghanistan that we know, and the Afghans know, they will not be able to sustain once we hand the facilities over?" asked Arnold Fields, the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction.

The project in Kandahar, called the Joint Regional Afghan Security Forces Compound, cost about $45 million.

U.S. officials in Afghanistan acknowledged to the auditor that Afghans don't have the money or technical expertise to run the compound on their own. As a result, they are planning to have the complex and other buildings in the country operated over the next 10 years by independent contractors — under agreements they expect to be worth about $800 million."

Oh, $800 million.

This actually proves two very conservative principles: The tragedy of the commons, and weak ownership is poison.

The tragedy is no one owns the federal military, and it is paid for not from private purse but by taxpayers and lenders. So, money is spent without slightest thought of expense.

Weak ownership (excellently expounded upon by Redleaf/Vigilante in their book "Panic") also applies. No one, and everyone, owns the military. It is communism--with all the foibles and self-destruction that system engenders.

Despite very profound conservative principles here, and the heavy hand on taxpayers' wallets, I can assure you the Republican Party will never issue even a small peep about this $800 million contract.

Gee, I wonder why? Kickbacks? Campaign donations? Money being spent in key districts?

Hey, the real issue is John Kerry's sailboat.

 
At 7/24/2010 8:43 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Oh, how did I know One Note Benji would feel compelled to change the subject since one of his beloved Democrats is being exposed as a hypocrite? He just can't help himself.

 
At 7/24/2010 9:48 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Is this what the Democrats mean when they lecture us about "paying our fair share"?

And Afghanistan is so last year. Hillary says that "somebody" in Pakistan knows where the boogieman is. They are Obama's next police state - since he isn't bringing the troops home.

 
At 7/25/2010 1:14 AM, Blogger Cabodog said...

Just a reminder that it's our duty to pay the least amount of taxes possible. This applies to John Kerry as well.

Best to just starve the beast.

 
At 7/25/2010 2:51 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Just a reminder that it's our duty to pay the least amount of taxes possible"...

Amen!

In Joe Biden's bizzaro world its obvious that Kerry is not patriotic...

 
At 7/25/2010 9:22 AM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

Did Kerry do something illegal? Did he do something wrong? Why can't he keep his boat moored in Newport, if he wants to? Also, I assume Kerry has nothing to do with the tax policies of Rhode Island.

And did Kerry ever say that people are obligated to structure their affairs so as to pay the maximum amount of taxes possible? And where does this kind of "reasoning" end? Should Kerry not use the capital gains rate for his stock transactions and the like? Should he not take advantage of the home mortgage interest deduction? What a bunch of crap!

 
At 7/25/2010 10:10 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

ruddy-

it's not about legal, it's about feasible. i doubt kerry broke the law (though he certainly flouted its intent).

the issue to my mind comes down more to that of pushing to raise taxes you know you will not have to pay. the extremely wealthy can afford to play the game and live a tax optimized life. they can pay someone to see to it. sure, it's legal, but is it honorable to do so while simultaneously saying the rich need to pay more taxes and advocating laws that, in reality, the rich will circumvent and that will fall most heavily on the upper middle class?

kerry is already wealth far beyond any reasonable need in his lifetime, so pull up the drawbridge and keep anyone else from getting rich too seems to be the policy. you see the same behavior from lots of limousine liberals. i find it despicable.

these are the same guys with incredibly convoluted holdings designed to circumvent the inheritance tax they advocate increasing.

i have enormous respect for those like the rockefellers and bill gates and warren buffet who, rather than advocating that MY treasure be spent on social programs have ponied up their own.

in like vein, i support the nature conservancy who raises money and uses it to buy land and put it into conservation, but dislike the sierra club, who uses their money to lobby government to take mine either trough tax or regulation.

but kerry is a rank hypocrite. he seeks to spend the wealth of others where he will not spend his own. his wife is a billionaire, yet he tells us to be patriotic and pay taxes while avoiding them himself. he's actually gone so far as to claim that the yacht was not kept in RI for tax purposes, which seems a awfully questionable claim.

 
At 7/25/2010 1:47 PM, Blogger Paul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/25/2010 1:49 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Paul said...
"And did Kerry ever say that people are obligated to structure their affairs so as to pay the maximum amount of taxes possible?"


Pretty much. At least you and me. Him, not so much.

You really don't see the hypocrisy of Ol' Horseface?

 
At 7/25/2010 3:51 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

Paul, I listened to Kerry on your link, and nowhere does he say that anyone is obligated to structure their affairs in such a way that taxes are maximized.

What he was saying was that certain tax cuts were not targetted to spur investment in the USA. That is a totally different issue. So, no, I'm actually not seeing any "hypocracy" here.

 
At 7/25/2010 4:13 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

"it's not about legal, it's about feasible. i doubt kerry broke the law (though he certainly flouted its intent)."

Sorry, but no. If Kerry complied with the tax laws in Mass and RI that's all there is to it. The "intent of the law" is what people say when they want someone else to do something that they not legally required to do.

"the issue to my mind comes down more to that of pushing to raise taxes you know you will not have to pay. the extremely wealthy can afford to play the game and live a tax optimized life. they can pay someone to see to it. sure, it's legal, but is it honorable to do so while simultaneously saying the rich need to pay more taxes and advocating laws that, in reality, the rich will circumvent and that will fall most heavily on the upper middle class?"

Again, Kerry has no say in what the tax laws in RI are. And only very limited say in what they are in Mass. He may well advocate for Federal tax increases in the US Senate. So what? Does that mean he should tie his boat up in the place where it means it will cost him an extra half million dollars in State taxes? Anyway, there is no fancy loophole here. Any boat owner can do the same thing. RI chooses not to tax this activity; Mass does. Yeah, and?

"kerry is already wealth far beyond any reasonable need in his lifetime, so pull up the drawbridge and keep anyone else from getting rich too seems to be the policy. you see the same behavior from lots of limousine liberals. i find it despicable."

 
At 7/25/2010 4:13 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

That's fine if that's what you believe. But it still has nothing to do with whether he should pay taxes on his boat or not.

"these are the same guys with incredibly convoluted holdings designed to circumvent the inheritance tax they advocate increasing."

Still not sure what this has to do with boat taxes in various New England States.

"i have enormous respect for those like the rockefellers and bill gates and warren buffet who, rather than advocating that MY treasure be spent on social programs have ponied up their own."

That's nice. Although, if you look closely, you will probably find a lot of wealth transferrence taking place under the guise of many of these foundations and such. As for the Rockefellers in particular, don't you think they use the same "convoluted" set ups as you claim Kerry uses? Do you think they put all their money in Foundations ?

"in like vein, i support the nature conservancy who raises money and uses it to buy land and put it into conservation, but dislike the sierra club, who uses their money to lobby government to take mine either trough tax or regulation."

That's nice too. But again, irrelevant.

"but kerry is a rank hypocrite. he seeks to spend the wealth of others where he will not spend his own. his wife is a billionaire, yet he tells us to be patriotic and pay taxes while avoiding them himself."

Does Kerry not pay taxes?

"Kerry reported a total 2003 income of $395,338. His total federal tax bill was $90,575. He had $27,277 of that withheld from his paychecks and paid the rest, $63,298, with his tax return."

"in 2002, he reportedly had an income of $144,091. He paid $29,946 in federal taxes, $7,286 in Massachusetts state taxes, and gave $18,600 to charity."

"1997, Kerry reportedly had a taxable income of $217,338 and gave $21,795 to charity. In 1996, according to the Boston Globe, Kerry had a taxable income of $143,795 and paid $31,328 in federal taxes and $8,235 in Massachusetts state taxes. He donated $14,325 to charity."

http://old.nationalreview.com/york/york200404140841.asp

http://old.nationalreview.com/york/york200403220840.asp


It seems to me he does. And gives to charity too.

"he's actually gone so far as to claim that the yacht was not kept in RI for tax purposes, which seems a awfully questionable claim."

The boat was designed in Newport, which is where upkeep was done on it too. And, in any event Kerry has agreed to pay any taxes that his activities triggered in Mass. What more do you want?

 
At 7/25/2010 4:14 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

That's fine if that's what you believe. But it still has nothing to do with whether he should pay taxes on his boat or not.

"these are the same guys with incredibly convoluted holdings designed to circumvent the inheritance tax they advocate increasing."

Still not sure what this has to do with boat taxes in various New England States.

"i have enormous respect for those like the rockefellers and bill gates and warren buffet who, rather than advocating that MY treasure be spent on social programs have ponied up their own."

That's nice. Although, if you look closely, you will probably find a lot of wealth transferrence taking place under the guise of many of these foundations and such. As for the Rockefellers in particular, don't you think they use the same "convoluted" set ups as you claim Kerry uses? Do you think they put all their money in Foundations ?

"in like vein, i support the nature conservancy who raises money and uses it to buy land and put it into conservation, but dislike the sierra club, who uses their money to lobby government to take mine either trough tax or regulation."

That's nice too. But again, irrelevant.

"but kerry is a rank hypocrite. he seeks to spend the wealth of others where he will not spend his own. his wife is a billionaire, yet he tells us to be patriotic and pay taxes while avoiding them himself."

Does Kerry not pay taxes?

"Kerry reported a total 2003 income of $395,338. His total federal tax bill was $90,575. He had $27,277 of that withheld from his paychecks and paid the rest, $63,298, with his tax return."

"in 2002, he reportedly had an income of $144,091. He paid $29,946 in federal taxes, $7,286 in Massachusetts state taxes, and gave $18,600 to charity."

"1997, Kerry reportedly had a taxable income of $217,338 and gave $21,795 to charity. In 1996, according to the Boston Globe, Kerry had a taxable income of $143,795 and paid $31,328 in federal taxes and $8,235 in Massachusetts state taxes. He donated $14,325 to charity."

http://old.nationalreview.com/york/york200404140841.asp

http://old.nationalreview.com/york/york200403220840.asp


It seems to me he does. And gives to charity too.

"he's actually gone so far as to claim that the yacht was not kept in RI for tax purposes, which seems a awfully questionable claim."

The boat was designed in Newport, which is where upkeep was done on it too. And, in any event Kerry has agreed to pay any taxes that his activities triggered in Mass. What more do you want?

 
At 7/25/2010 4:20 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

I don't think it is hypocricy for a liberal to not enjoy paying taxes, and to seek to pay as little taxes as possible. Liberals believe that taxes are necessary. They don't say they are fun. Other than Oliver Wendall Holmes, I don't know of anyone who stated affirmatively that he liked to pay taxes.

There is nothing even inconsistent here.

I think that there should be user fees at State parks to pay for their upkeep. Does that mean I actually want to pay them when I use the State park? Of course not.

Many Federal parks and the like charge an entrance fee. But on certain days (like Public Lands day!), the fee is waived. Well, on those days, I don't feel like I am doing anything wrong by using the Federal park without paying. Even though I feel the fees are a good idea.

Same deal here. Kerry advocates for what many here to believe to be excessive taxes. But why does that mean he would or should pay more taxes than he legally owes?

It doesn't. It's a bunch of ad hominem crap.

 
At 7/25/2010 4:46 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Kerry advocates for what many here to believe to be excessive taxes. But why does that mean he would or should pay more taxes than he legally owes?"

Kerry, like most Democrats, has spent his career decrying the type of evasive tactics he employs here. It's not complicated.

 
At 7/25/2010 5:02 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

"Kerry, like most Democrats, has spent his career decrying the type of evasive tactics he employs here. It's not complicated."

Has he? Any evidence that Kerry has ever said that folks are obligated to pay the most taxes possible in a given situation, even when it is legal to not do so? None has been presented so far on this thread. Perhaps he has advocated that certain "loopholes" be closed, but I doubt he has said that he blames taxpayers for using the loopholes that exist. And, in this case, there is not even a claim that Kerry lobbied or in any worked to get the RI "loophole" enacted--unlike some wealthy folks and their pet loopholes.

And what he did here, assuming it meets the requirements of the law, was not "evasive." Tax avoidance is not the same as tax evasion. One is a crime, the other is smart financial planning. But, somehow, because he is a liberal in favor of higher taxes generally, you think he is obligated to go out of his way to pay more taxes? How is this any more "evasive" than using a legal Federal deduction on income taxes? Is it OK for Kerry to take those?

You're right, it's not complicated. It is a lame attack on a public figure who, as far as I can tell, has done nothing wrong here.

 
At 7/25/2010 5:03 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

"Kerry, like most Democrats, has spent his career decrying the type of evasive tactics he employs here. It's not complicated."

Has he? Any evidence that Kerry has ever said that folks are obligated to pay the most taxes possible in a given situation, even when it is legal to not do so? None has been presented so far on this thread. Perhaps he has advocated that certain "loopholes" be closed, but I doubt he has said that he blames taxpayers for using the loopholes that exist. And, in this case, there is not even a claim that Kerry lobbied or in any worked to get the RI "loophole" enacted--unlike some wealthy folks and their pet loopholes.

And what he did here, assuming it meets the requirements of the law, was not "evasive." Tax avoidance is not the same as tax evasion. One is a crime, the other is smart financial planning. But, somehow, because he is a liberal in favor of higher taxes generally, you think he is obligated to go out of his way to pay more taxes? How is this any more "evasive" than using a legal Federal deduction on income taxes? Is it OK for Kerry to take those?

You're right, it's not complicated. It is a lame attack on a public figure who, as far as I can tell, has done nothing wrong here.

 
At 7/25/2010 5:45 PM, Blogger Paul said...

ruddy,

"Any evidence that Kerry has ever said that folks are obligated to pay the most taxes possible in a given situation, even when it is legal to not do so?

and...

"Tax avoidance is not the same as tax evasion."

“while the average American plays by the rules and pays taxes, some of the biggest corporations avoid paying their fair share.”
~John Kerry on tax havens.

He didn't make any distinctions about yachts.

And I heard him during the '04 campaign blathering in that obnoxious booming voice of his about "Benedict Arnold companies who send jobs overseas" in part to get away from the taxes and regulations liberals like Kerry love to impose. Sure sounds like he thinks they're obligated to stick around, absorb his punishment, and pay up.

Again, as he openly stated in the link, Kerry fervently believes the government is better at spending money than the people who actually earn it, except when it's his own money.

Once more, this ain't complicated, you're just trying to muddy the water.

 
At 7/25/2010 5:47 PM, Blogger Paul said...

and, oh yeah, if there's nothing unseemly about Kerry's yacht tax avoidance then why does he even bother to deny his motives?

Because he knows he looks like a hypocritical douche, that's why.

 
At 7/25/2010 7:35 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

ruddy,

"Any evidence that Kerry has ever said that folks are obligated to pay the most taxes possible in a given situation, even when it is legal to not do so?

and...

"Tax avoidance is not the same as tax evasion."

“while the average American plays by the rules and pays taxes, some of the biggest corporations avoid paying their fair share.”
~John Kerry on tax havens.

Yeah, and? He is here advocating changing the rules. So that they will not be able to avoid the tax at issue, which he sees as unfair. He wants the rule to reflect fairness, as he sees it. How is that the same as saying, or implying, that someone is bad for following existing rules so as to avoid taxes? It's his job as Senator to help formulate tax policy.

"He didn't make any distinctions about yachts."

Which, of course, has nothing to do with it. If Kerry advocated higher taxes on capital gains, would he be a bad man for using the lower rates on his own taxes? Total non sequitor.

"And I heard him during the '04 campaign blathering in that obnoxious booming voice of his about 'Benedict Arnold companies who send jobs overseas' in part to get away from the taxes and regulations liberals like Kerry love to impose. Sure sounds like he thinks they're obligated to stick around, absorb his punishment, and pay up."

Campaing rhetoric and hyperbole aside, it still comes down to the same thing. He is advocating for a change in the law, which is his job.

"Again, as he openly stated in the link, Kerry fervently believes the government is better at spending money than the people who actually earn it, except when it's his own money."

That's not what he said. He was calling for targetted tax cuts to spur domestic employment. Another policy question. He was not surprized, shocked and outraged that companies which recieved tax cuts which were not targetted used them to their advantage. You don't seem to able to understand this basic difference.

The last part is just stupid. Any tax, under your theory, means the government thinks it knows how to spend the taxpayers' money better than they do. If you think that actually means something in terms of philosophies of government and so forth, good for you. But it in no way implies that Kerry, as a private individual, is either exempt from the law or public policy, or that he has some special insight, that others lack, when it comes to spending money.

"Once more, this ain't complicated, you're just trying to muddy the water."

Nothing to muddy. It's a cheap shot and you know it.

 
At 7/25/2010 7:41 PM, Blogger ruddyturnstone said...

"and, oh yeah, if there's nothing unseemly about Kerry's yacht tax avoidance then why does he even bother to deny his motives?"

Maybe because the boat actually was designed in Newport? And the firm that designed it is still there? Maybe because Newport actually does have better facilities for servicing and maintaining the boat than Nantucket does? But, OK, maybe for PR purposes too. Big deal. He doesn't want to provide guys like you with ammunition. I don't blame him. And he did say he would pay the tax, if he legally owes it.

"Because he knows he looks like a hypocritical douche, that's why."

Right. So I guess this is not just a sleazy cheap shot. Your words speak volumes.

I know it is useless arguing with someone like you. You're not interested in the facts. Kerry is your politial enemy. That's all you know, and all you think you need to know.

I have made my points. And you have done whatever it is that you do. Now rant away.

 
At 7/25/2010 9:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Did Kerry do something illegal? Did he do something wrong? Why can't he keep his boat moored in Newport, if he wants to? Also, I assume Kerry has nothing to do with the tax policies of Rhode Island"...

Hmmm, I didn't notice anyone saying that Kerry broke the law...

Point the specific comment if you think someone made such a claim...

Nice try in your attempt to drag Kerry around the stumbling block of hypocrisy though...

 
At 7/25/2010 11:08 PM, Blogger fboness said...

Gee Ruddy,

Do you think Kerry even knows you are alive?

 
At 7/25/2010 11:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, if ruddyturnstone is unhappy about the Kerry comments here then he'll just hate what Jules Critten has to say: Lifestyles Of The Rich And Clueless

 
At 7/26/2010 10:57 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Ruddy,

"Any tax, under your theory, means the government thinks it knows how to spend the taxpayers' money better than they do."

It's not my theory, it's John Kerry's theory.

"If Kerry advocated higher taxes on capital gains, would he be a bad man for using the lower rates on his own taxes?"

Well, he'd certainly be an asshole for berating other people who do the same thing.

"How is that the same as saying, or implying, that someone is bad for following existing rules so as to avoid taxes? "

Uh, that is EXACTLY what Kerry is saying in that quote. Read it again. Same thing with his "Benedict Arnolds" demagoguery, unless you believe he thinks Benedict Arnold was a swell guy. It smacks of rank hypocrisy fat cat Kerry goes out of his way to avoid, of all things, yacht taxes.

But maybe if you keep defending him, he'll give you a ride, maybe even let you steer and wear the captain's hat.

 
At 7/26/2010 10:58 AM, Blogger Men with Gloves said...

Two cheers for John Kerry. It is good to know that he is capable of making the right choices with his income and assets. Perhaps it is too much to hope that he and the Bay State learn about how individuals make choices based on taxes.

 
At 7/26/2010 12:12 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Juandos,

That Crittenden article was great. By his own standard Kerry is one of those "Benedict Arnolds" he spent the '04 campaign blathering about.

 
At 7/26/2010 12:21 PM, Blogger Rand said...

Charles Rangel's tax advisor was John F. Kerry.

 
At 7/26/2010 4:51 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I keep my boat in Maryland instead of Virginia for the same reason, but the difference is only a few hundred dollars.

Likewise the Maryland side of the Potomac is heavily developed with Marinas and other activity while the Virginia side is not. Likewise, I beleive that Rhode Isand also enjoys more marine activity and commerce than Massachusetts.

The states made the rules Kerry (and I) just play by them. Or as MJP says, if you want less of something, just tax it.

Nor is Kerry alone, hundreds of yachts left Massachusetts for Rhode isand when the rates shifted in favor of Rhode Island.

Instead of using this as an excuse to beat up on Kerry, I should think it would be reinforcement of your ususal arguments for less government and lower taxes - especially on the rich.

 
At 7/26/2010 11:02 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"By his own standard Kerry is one of those "Benedict Arnolds" he spent the '04 campaign blathering about"...

Yeah Paul but remember, there will always be Christmas in Cambodia...ROFLMAO!

Yeah! Its just not fair that Kerry is being swift boated again!! ROFLMAO!

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home