Plus, a reader asks about the great reset.
I'm not sure Julie's objection to the tax basis step-up issue is correct. It's conflating two separate problems: how much you owe in taxes, and when you owe them. If you had a property that was purchased for $25k, when the owner died and passed it a descendant it was worth $500k, and then five years later the descendant sells it for $550k, the descendant will pay taxes on $50k of gains. The $475k vanishes into the abyss of the tax basis step up. A separate question is when the taxes are paid. A proposal that says only the person inheriting the property I referenced above would owe taxes on $525k of gains if they sell (sale price - original purchase price) should not implicate the ability of someone to inherit property even that has massively increased in value, as there's no immediate tax bill (only on sale). On the other hand, a modification to the code that also makes taxes immediately payable on sale would create that problem, but to my current understanding (having not seen exact text of the bill), the Democrats are currently proposing the former, not the latter. So to that end, I'm not sure what Julie's objection is: you wouldn't pay taxes unless you sell, so unless the plan was to sell anyways, this is unchanged from the current treatment. It just means when you eventually sell, you are taxed in full on the gains from time of purchase, regardless of who purchased or when it occurred.
I don’t normally pay much attention to military matters or leaders, but today’s newsletter prompted me to read James Fallows on the same topic. It was interesting for more insight into the Chinese perspective.
> the allegation that he told a Chinese military general he would give them a heads up about an impending strike, something that is so over-the-top and out of this world I was struggling to believe it until Milley declined to deny it. That alone is enough for him to go.
I don't get this reaction. If Gen. Milley can get a strategic benefit today, at the cost of saying some words about what he *might* do in the future, that seems like a fine trade. If war had broken out between China and the US (God forbid), would he have been under any pressure to keep that promise? Of course not. And everyone in the room on both sides surely understood that at the time. Conversations between potential military enemies don't work like conversations between civilian politicians. "You said you weren't going to vote for the bill and then you voted for it" is a serious accusation with real reputational consequences. "You said you were going to call me before you invaded, and then you invaded without calling me" isn't; it just makes the accuser sound foolish.
Thanks Isaac, for the even-handed approach to this Milley/Trump topic.
I don't believe for a minute Trump was or is "unhinged".
Had he been so, he would have ordered the launch because a madman will take the most drastic measures.
Re General Miley: I think it’s worth pointing out that he didn’t tell General Li about a coming attack. Rather, he told him that he *would* do so. Miley would have deserved the most scathing criticism that has come his way, if he actually kept such a promise.
I think Milley was gambling on the likelihood that he would not be put into the position where he would have to either keep that promise or break it. Only he (if anyone) can say what he would have done then. I can imagine him deciding to defer such a decision to the moment of necessity. I can also imagine him counting on the likelihood of an order for an attack, from Trump, being found in some way to be an illegal order, thus not to be obeyed.
Resign for trying to prevent a person in the U.S. presidency who has the emotional intelligence of a 12-year old and has control of the nuclear codes from starting a nuclear war with China? I think Gen. Milley should be awarded the Medal of Honor for trying to protect us.