Friday, September 19, 2008

Hockey Moms and Patriotic Taxes

IN 1997, we created a silly character called Antoine DuFleur, who was the enforcer on a pro hockey team. The enforcer is the guy who is a dirty player who creams the other teams best players, often with cheap shots, like cross-checking or an errant elbow. Anyway, over the course of Antoine's career, he was slammed so many times by the opposing team, he kind of lost his head. And started becoming very effeminate, and was later called the Paisley checker, for his outrageous outfits. And it got worse, when he retired, he became the Poet Laureate of the NHL - a position he felt was sanctioned by the commissioner, but in fact was a creation of his own mushy brain. Anyway... we thought he might actually be one of the first - Hockey Moms... so somehow, this made the clip timely. Check it out - it is really really weird, and pretty dang funny too. Go Antoine DuFleur - with a reading of his amazing poem, Goosey Goosey.

Also of interest, is some background of my family's history. A long time ago (January 1954), my grandfather, Babba and his company, Stearns Magnetic was sued by the commissioner of the I.R.S. It seems he and his dad, the only shareholders of the small Wisconsin manufacturing company, had a special dividend that spun off a patent he had to the shareholders. They valued the dividend fairly, and paid the tax on the gain. BUT... it seems, due to the war, this proved to be a very shrewd move, and allowed him and his father to keep a lot more money after taxes, than if he had done nothing. Oddly enough at the time, it was deemed that it was patriotic to pay more taxes, and this was basically the argument of the IRS (and Joe Biden too I guess). That my Grandfather and his dad should be paying more in taxes, and that the special dividend, though perfectly legal and above board, resulted in a lower tax bill - and this was just wrong. Here's the case at the 7th District court (i think it went to the 10th district court ultimately). In any event, the outcome of the case changed the tax mentality of the people, and in many ways, helped to create the tax advisor industry, which seeks to structure your affairs in a way to minimize taxation. (like deducting your mortgage for instance). The outcome basically stated - it is not a crime to structure your financial affairs in a way that reduces your tax burden, as long as you us legal ways to reduce your tax bill. Thanks Babba! By the way, he also shared with me, that if he had lost, he would have been wiped out, and in fact spent a ton of money to attorneys to win the case.