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December 6, 2001
9:43 AM   Subscribe

What would you do if you had a multi-million dollar trust fund and the knowledge that you would one day inherit a billion dollar empire?
Lots of coke and champagne apparently. Then, of course, you'd build a website to show everyone how much fun being sickeningly rich is.
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger (53 comments total)

 
It's too bad they have faces like a cat's ass.
posted by o2b at 9:47 AM on December 6, 2001


...and they just scream out that they are the ultimate in high maintenance, eh? Guh. Give me a frizzy-haired redheaded lass from the bad side of town any day over these two succubi.
posted by UncleFes at 9:52 AM on December 6, 2001


No, o2b, I think you missed the point of the site. They're 'beautiful', 'fun-loving', 'wild party girls'.
I mean, they must be, right, they said they are enough...
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2001


their design is shit, and they're as annoying as jane clubgirl but with more money. hey: at least they don't go to raves with glowsticks. (though i'm sure they hop up on ex whenever chance affords them.)
posted by moz at 9:56 AM on December 6, 2001


Lots of coke and champagne apparently.

This just makes me sick. Sick!








With jealousy.
posted by Karl at 9:57 AM on December 6, 2001


Surely you people don't actually believe they put this site together, do you?
posted by ljromanoff at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2001


I picked up a valuable fashion tip from the Hiltons: Lead the eye away from your face by wearing a sheer dress so that everyone stares at your nipples.

P.S. If they are so fabulously wealthy, why are they using free URL redirection instead of buying their own domain? Probably means it's not their site.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:09 AM on December 6, 2001


" Lead the eye away from your face"

How can you stop looking at the face when she's got all that eye shadow on. It looks like she dipped her eyelid in the chocolate fondue bowl
posted by Outlawyr at 10:28 AM on December 6, 2001


ljromanoff is right, guys. No matter how rich and insane they are, I doubt they refer to themselves in the third person. At least I hope.
posted by Doug at 10:28 AM on December 6, 2001


Further evidence of the quintessential fairness of the estate tax. It's bad enough a couple of Caligula-like coke whores can run around like this, but to do it on mummy and daddy's dime, knowing that much of those millions and billions won't ever be taxed- well, that's just sickening.
posted by hincandenza at 10:30 AM on December 6, 2001


Outlawyr: I just assumed she was the victim of a cruel "ink on the eyepieces of the binoculars" prank.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:32 AM on December 6, 2001


Got, the ugliness in (some of) this thread is depressing. hincandenza: at least they're not "fat fucks," eh?
posted by rodii at 10:38 AM on December 6, 2001


Further evidence of the quintessential fairness of the estate tax. It's bad enough a couple of Caligula-like coke whores can run around like this, but to do it on mummy and daddy's dime, knowing that much of those millions and billions won't ever be taxed- well, that's just sickening.

It was taxed when 'mummy and daddy' made it. Put your love of income confiscation back in your pocket.
posted by ljromanoff at 10:41 AM on December 6, 2001


I agree, ljromanoff - it looks like a "fan" site. The site uses words like "they" a lot (not "we"), and asks "Anyone wishing to contribute some scans or other tid-bits would be most welcomed". The About page lookes like it was takes straight from a magazine article.
posted by jazon at 11:06 AM on December 6, 2001


ljr: Yeah. It was taxed a little bit when Mommy and Daddy made it. Though I'd call the odds better than even that I paid at least twice as much in federal taxes per dollar of income last year than Mommy and Daddy did. Probably much, much more, as I (a member of America's maligned middle class, and someone who actually produces useful work for my money) don't have access to tax havens and offshore accounts and criminally "creative" accountants.

So put your love of avarice itself back in your pocket, and we'll call it even.

</hijack>
posted by Vetinari at 11:09 AM on December 6, 2001


ljr: You only come out for the Hilton's thread? (Yeah, joking.) And of course it's a fan site. Anyway, no society should encourage extremely cospicuous flaunting of wealth and waste. Capitalism also works properly when people reinvest their money and show some restraint, instead of spending it on parties, mounds of coke, etc. (See: John Locke, Adam Smith, Max Weber, etc.) If government shouldn't do anything about it, through tax structures or otherwise, what do you suggest should be done? Not a rhetorical question.
posted by raysmj at 11:09 AM on December 6, 2001


Actually, I don't think American society does encourage this kind of behaviour. Even among the upper crust the Hilton Sisters are looked down upon for their less-than-subtle ways. They seem to be primarily friends with the Hollywood crowd, who see them as just another spectacle in an unreal universe.
posted by cell divide at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2001


the perfect gift for the girls who have everything: herpes.

i'm sure some fancy club-scene, hollywood-types have some to share.
posted by donkeysuck at 11:37 AM on December 6, 2001


Just an aside... a friend at work is actually dating one of the hiltons (a first cousin to Paris)... and he has gone to a lot of "family" functions... his comment is that those two are looked upon as black sheep by the entire family... they are never invited, they just show up at functions....

nH
posted by niteHawk at 11:48 AM on December 6, 2001


Reading the topic I thought it was about Athina Roussel
posted by riffola at 11:58 AM on December 6, 2001


"It was taxed when 'mummy and daddy' made it. Put your love of income confiscation back in your pocket."

ljr: This is either deliberately deceptive, or unintentionally naive, and since I've never thought of you as naive...

I have been working for one of the premier estate planning attorneys in Seattle for the past four years. We handle both U.S. and international estates - generally in the $2M to $30M range. I can say with perfect confidence that if a person with more than $5 million in assets (the vast amount of estates subject to the estate tax fall into this category) has allowed the bulk of those assets to be taxed during his or her lifetime, that person is a moron.

There are legitimate arguments that can be raised against the estate tax, and I would completely agree that the tax was in desperate need of renovation. (I would have supported raising the exclusion limit from its current $1M to somewhere between $5M and $10M, for example.) However, the "double-taxation" argument is NOT one of those legitimate arguments.
posted by edlark at 1:02 PM on December 6, 2001


i'm not ashamed to admit it, i LOVE the hilton sisters! this photo was my desktop image for months and months, it's just perfect!
posted by palegirl at 1:20 PM on December 6, 2001


See? They're social deconstructionists. Making the point that obscene wealth is still obscene whether or not you project a façade of normality.

Either that or they're silly slut ho bags who've topped off their skull cavities with Coke and Leo's manbutter.

What do I care? Taking a couple minutes out of my day to talk shit about these two caricatures is amusing sport.
posted by rocketpup at 1:28 PM on December 6, 2001


So put your love of avarice itself back in your pocket, and we'll call it even

Not one thing I wrote suggests that I love avarice, or that I find anything about the darling Hilton girls admirable. Please check your assumptions.

ljr: You only come out for the Hilton's thread?

I know it's sacrilege, but I do have a non-MeFi life, too.

If government shouldn't do anything about it, through tax structures or otherwise, what do you suggest should be done?

I recommend nothing. The Hiltons' millions are theirs to do with as they wish. If they squander them all on designer dresses and designer drugs, that their own problem and they will have to accept the consequences. I don't believe in using taxation as a tool for social architecture.

I can say with perfect confidence that if a person with more than $5 million in assets (the vast amount of estates subject to the estate tax fall into this category) has allowed the bulk of those assets to be taxed during his or her lifetime, that person is a moron.

I have no idea what the elder Hiltons did re: tax shelters, nor do I particularly care. You're probably right that they hid as much as they could from the IRS. Regardless, the fact that the government left them some loopholes while earning their money does not justify the government taxing it later when they merely move it from one family member to another. Someone who contributes wealth to another person should not have to pay a tax penalty for his act of charity, whether it be through bequeathment or a simple gift.

Unless of course, you think the guy who returned MacGuire's 62nd home run ball should have been taxed $150,000 for his trouble.
posted by ljromanoff at 2:09 PM on December 6, 2001


hey: at least they don't go to raves with glowsticks.

Wtf is that supposed to mean?
posted by brittney at 2:20 PM on December 6, 2001


probably : RAVERS ARE LAME.
posted by Satapher at 2:41 PM on December 6, 2001


Every been beamed by some twit swing his/her glowsticks on a string? At least they make handy garrotes.
posted by rocketpup at 2:43 PM on December 6, 2001


ljr: Um, the last paragraph in the article reads as follows: Tuesday, however, the IRS announced that folks need not worry, it wouldn't seek to collect taxes from the person who got the 62nd home run ball and gave it to McGwire. And the point was moot after the McGwire's 62nd blast was recovered by a member of the Cardinal's ground crew.

They probably wouldn't have taxed a fan under any circumstances. Why? It's called "administrative discretion," which I'm quite sure upper-level officials (and lower-level ones too) at the IRS have. They would have been slammed so hard they wouldn't have done so anyway. What happened here is, some bored editor sent a reporter, or the reporter dredged up the story on a slow day. The only guy quoted is a "spokesman." What a red herring.
posted by raysmj at 2:48 PM on December 6, 2001


lbj: Regardless, the fact that the government left them some loopholes while earning their money does not justify the government taxing it later when they merely move it from one family member to another.

Why isn't it justified? Isn't the estate tax then nothing so much as a legal closing of that loophole? If you're arguing that not only should people be free to exploit the loopholes- and I suppose they should be free to exploit them legally if they are there- but that somehow any attempt to close or amend the loopholes along the way is somehow unfair as well- well, that's just not making any sense. edlark is right: you can argue that the rich shouldn't pay taxes at all, but the 'double-dip' argument isn't a valid argument, just a smoke screen. You seem unwilling to own up to this.

Someone who contributes wealth to another person should not have to pay a tax penalty for his act of charity
Wow- then by definition, shouldn't all people who earn any money be free from taxation? I suppose you actually believe that, but regardless: my employer contributes all of my wealth to me- I pay plenty of taxes on that. Or is your definition of "wealth" and "charity" only rich people giving money to their heirs? Maybe we'll see this in pro sports next: Steinbrenner "adopts" the 25 players on his team, thus ensuring the entire Yankee payroll can be written off as a charitable contribution.

Anyway, I want to call you out on a classic LJR maneuver: I say "much of those millions and billions won't ever be taxed". Your initial response was claiming that "it was taxed when 'mummy and daddy' made it" and telling me to "get over my love of income confiscation". Of course, once the reality of estate planning was confirmed by edlark's learned opinion- that much of the Hilton family's estate no doubt hadn't ever been taxed- you quickly shifted gears and claimed only "I have no idea what the elder Hiltons did re: tax shelters, nor do I particularly care. You're probably right that they hid as much as they could from the IRS".

So let's be clear that you essentially admitting you were incorrect to criticize my comment that "much of the millions and billions [of wealthy folks' estates] won't ever be taxed". Or are you going to try to avoid that as well with another artful LJR verbal dodge?
posted by hincandenza at 4:26 PM on December 6, 2001


I know a man who started a novel with ‘the very rich are different from you and me.’ ...

“She said to me, ‘I am American royalty!’”

That's Vanity Fair for, you covering the fabulous side of American royalty.

p.s. Lay off candy ravers.

p.p.s. I don't have a problem with sheer clothing. If the person wearing it can get away with it, more power to um.

p.p.p.s. Paris is a boy's name!
posted by raaka at 4:50 PM on December 6, 2001


Why? It's called "administrative discretion," which I'm quite sure upper-level officials (and lower-level ones too) at the IRS have.

No, it's called public relations. If the IRS applied the gift law uniformly, however, he would have been taxed.

Why isn't it justified? Isn't the estate tax then nothing so much as a legal closing of that loophole?

No it isn't. The estate tax doesn't address where the wealth comes from, only that it exists.

my employer contributes all of my wealth to me

That's not a gift, it's a trade. His money for your services.

Of course, once the reality of estate planning was confirmed by edlark's learned opinion- that much of the Hilton family's estate no doubt hadn't ever been taxed

He didn't confirm it. He doesn't work for them. At best he was making an educated guess.

"much of the millions and billions [of wealthy folks' estates] won't ever be taxed".

In the case of the Hiltons, you don't know that for a fact. Maybe the guy never bothered with any tax shelters. In any event, the opportunity to tax him was when he earned the money.
posted by ljromanoff at 4:52 PM on December 6, 2001


what bugs me is that people seem to automatically hate people who inherit (or stand to inherit) large sums of money from their parents. What are they supposed to do? Give it all away?

Wouldn't you like the chance to have to never work again? Allow the girls the chance to be young (and their amazing good luck that they were born children to the parents they have) and hope that when they settle down they start to use their time and money more constructively.

Jeez people. Jealousy is a curse
posted by jordanbrock at 5:32 PM on December 6, 2001


That's not a gift, it's a trade. His money for your services.
Only the first dollar is in trade. Everything else is a personal gift completely unrelated to the job. Hooked on semantics worked for me!

The estate tax doesn't address where the wealth comes from, only that it exists.
And your point? Don't most taxes not care where the money comes from, only that it's taxed?

He didn't confirm it. He doesn't work for them. At best he was making an educated guess
Hence my phrasing "once the reality of estate planning was confirmed"- suggesting that edlark confirmed the reality of estate planning, not the particular case of the Hilton's. When referring to the particular case of the Hilton's, I used the phrase "learned opinion". Some might even call that another way of saying "educated guess", that giving what edlark has confirmed regarding estate planning that it is highly likely the Hilton's are not morons and therefore much of the estate no doubt hadn't ever been taxed, in the particular case of the Hilton's we have reason to believe they in particular used the same tricks that other wealthy people. There is zero doubt that many, most, wealthy people use these tricks.

In the case of the Hiltons, you don't know that for a fact
I know I wasn't talking about the Hilton's in particular when I started my first comment with "Further proof" about the estate tax. We'd definitely stopped talking about the Hilton's in particular the moment you postulated that "it was taxed when 'mummy and daddy' made it". Before you go whining about how I'm putting words in your mouth or making assumptions, the truth is it's a pretty safe inference that you weren't referring to the Hilton's in particular either with your first comment, but to the general issue of inherited wealth and the estate tax.

Yep- another logical 3-card monte from L, Jr...
posted by hincandenza at 6:01 PM on December 6, 2001


Their parents are entirely responsible for their behavior. I'm sure these girls never had to work for anything and were raised with a sense of entitlement. No one can be surprised when you hand a couple young girls millions of dollars and they're irresponsible with it.

If the family thinks they're such "black sheep," the fix is pretty simple ... cut 'em off. It's tough to spend thousands of dollars on champagne and coke when you don't have it to spend. Duh.

And to the person who asked what else the parents should do with the money, "give it away?", yeah, they should. Even Bill and Melinda Gates are doing that - their kids aren't ever going to have to flip burgers, but I also seriously doubt you'll ever see them in the condition these girls are in.
posted by shauna at 7:48 PM on December 6, 2001


...amazing how this thread turned into a estate tax debate. While we're on the subject, is anyone amazed that the Hilton sisters have fans? I mean, they're not fabulously beautiful, like Hollywood celebs, and don't seem to have particularly interesting personalities, only rather lax parents.
posted by Charmian at 8:10 PM on December 6, 2001


In America, anyone who is not dog-day ordinary has fans. Those of you without them can now squeal an ordinary squeal...
posted by Opus Dark at 8:21 PM on December 6, 2001


Charmain, agreed. I think the only honest post here was this one by Karl

This just makes me sick. Sick!

With jealousy.


Sorry, but if I was spectacularly wealthy it would go to my head and there would be a lot of parties and a lot activities that aren't socially beneficial.

I'm curious as to how much these Hiltons have given to various charities and why we've become such puritans about their behavior. Its their bodies and if they become addicts they can more than afford treatment.
posted by skallas at 11:17 PM on December 6, 2001


Actually, skallas, if I became a self-made multi-millionaire, I can pretty much guarantee that I'd go on a few porn-star/stripper/exstacy binges myself. I'm not so much condemning wanton behavior- but I guess the difference is that, in a sense, I would have earned the right to do that (assume my millions were made legally). There's something almost Louis XVI in the obscenity of such incredibly spoiled and pampered people who've done zilch to contribute to society. What shauna said above is true: the parents apparently are disturbed by their wanton behavior, yet apparently haven't considered not giving them money. Essentially, we're looking at girls who may never had to progress emotional much beyond the nipple-centric phase of infancy.
posted by hincandenza at 11:38 PM on December 6, 2001


Sorry, but I'm not in the least bit jealous. Seriously.

Don't get me wrong -- I like money as much as the next person (probably more). But when you're that filthy rich, you can never be sure if someone's being nice to you because they actually like you or because they're sucking up to your millions.

My parents aren't fabulously wealthy, but they do have money. Years ago, when I was in high school, they wrote into their will that until and unless I graduated from college, I wasn't getting a red cent above and beyond the costs associated with my education. They wanted to make sure I didn't fall backasswards into money without the maturity to handle it.

I actually feel sorry for these girls. Eventually they're either going to burn out, or just become caricatures of themselves. Youth doesn't last forever, and money can't buy class or respect -- or strength of character. Mommy and Daddy forgot to teach them that.
posted by shauna at 11:41 PM on December 6, 2001


. Essentially, we're looking at girls who may never had to progress emotional much beyond the nipple-centric phase of infancy.


Good points, but why is it anyone's job to fix these girls? So they're going to burn out. So what? What ever happened to the right to do as you please without hurting others. The money they're "wasting" is going back into the economy and into the blackmarket as well (which is important in my opinion). Talk about strength of character and maturity is completely academic to me. In the real world people live out their lives never leaving the oral phase and its largely accepted as healthy behavior. Consumerism comes to mind.

I think the problem here is that they are wealthy, attractive, and have all the perks and the rest of us aren't. I accept that. Its not like they're out terrorizing regular people, this website is not theirs its a fan's.

What ever happened to live and let live without us becoming a bunch of puritan bastards? Wake me when they commit a crime, though I'm sure the smoking gun will have the photos up before the press can send the story over the wire.

I just don't see the problem. I just see moralizing and people sticking their noses into other people's lives. Its like the Enquirer for those who don't like C-list celebs. I do believe that these girls are a threat to no one but themselves and its not our job to muddle with their choice of lifestyle.
posted by skallas at 12:35 AM on December 7, 2001


I doubt the parents had much to the with the raising of their daughters, thats what the help is for.

Opus, if you don't already have a fan club, consider member #1 right here.
posted by Markb at 4:55 AM on December 7, 2001


Only the first dollar is in trade. Everything else is a personal gift completely unrelated to the job. Hooked on semantics worked for me!

I'm sure your employer will be pleased to hear that he no longer needs to pay you more than a dollar. What's his email address? I'll send him a note to let him know the good news.

And your point? Don't most taxes not care where the money comes from, only that it's taxed?

Again, no. You claim that the estate tax is a loophole closer of a sort. As the estate tax is universally applied regardless of whatever loopholes may have been employed before, that's exactly what it isn't.

with your first comment, but to the general issue of inherited wealth and the estate tax.

The general issue is that it's the height of absurdity that when person a gives person b a gift of a certain value he then has to write a check to the IRS for a percentage of that gift. In the case of the Hiltons, their money is theirs to distribute however they wish. If that means handing it over to their apparently shallow offspring, so be it.
posted by ljromanoff at 6:12 AM on December 7, 2001


Jeez people. Jealousy is a curse

We aren't jealous! These girls are, um, evil! And, uh..ugly too! Yeah - ugly! The government should enact laws that make it illegal to have this much fun!
posted by glenwood at 6:56 AM on December 7, 2001


They are serving a function and purpose in society. They are creating myth and image which fulfills the fantasys of many men and women.. to be wealthy and beautiful and desired and special and sexy. Its entertainment. Truely rich people dont do anything.. not only do they not NEED to work, they MUST not work.. because work would put at risk the family fortune and all those who surround it. The sons and daughters are taught how to NOT work.. to not take risk.. to do NOTHING... if you do nothing then everything works out for everyone. Thats why the Hiltons would be upset because these ladies are actually doing somthing.
posted by stbalbach at 7:12 AM on December 7, 2001


stbalbach- you trolling? you ever know any superrich? My father served in the navy with a Hilton- top drawer fellow, wanted no breaks-got none. So what if these girls are falling in the plasticine crack. lj is right, let them blow the cash, do what ever, but dont mess with peoples taxes and such.
posted by clavdivs at 7:49 AM on December 7, 2001


The general issue is that it's the height of absurdity that when person a gives person b a gift of a certain value he then has to write a check to the IRS for a percentage of that gift.

ljr: You make this sould like this is the blanket practice. It is not. Gifts that would be taxable under the estate tax are subject to the gifting tax. The yearly amount allowed as an untaxed gift currently stands at $10,000/year. Again, as with the estate tax in general, I think this amount has not kept up with inflation and most likely was due for an adjustment - $50,000/year seems quite reasonable. Gifting, however, that is done to recognized charities or other non-taxable entities (read tax loopholes) are not subject to gift tax since they would, in turn, not be subject to estate tax.

The estate tax is certainly social engineering. It was created because those in government had a fear of concentrations of power and wealth and they saw that unfettered inheritance as a likely path to both. That said, because of the nature of the influence those who hold power and wealth have over government, the intention of the law has been much subverted and it effectively does little to curb the unregulated transfer of wealth across generations. (And here, I am talking about the estate tax as it existed before the "repeal" of earlier this year.)

While one may certainly disagree with the philosophical reasons behind the creation and application of the estate tax, those are different arguments than the ones you, ljr, are making. There is nothing untoward in the way the estate tax is administered, nor is there any substansive difference in the estate tax, as such, from the other tax forms that exist in the United States.

If you want to argue philosophy, i.e., taxes are wrong, then argue philosophy. If you want to argue process, i.e., the IRS does this when it administers the estate tax and that is wrong, then do that - but get your facts straight first.
posted by edlark at 9:33 AM on December 7, 2001


Gifting, however, that is done to recognized charities or other non-taxable entities (read tax loopholes) are not subject to gift tax since they would, in turn, not be subject to estate tax.

I never made a 'charities' qualification. I'm referring to any gift. Obviously there's a difference when 'recognized charities' are involved.
posted by ljromanoff at 10:23 AM on December 7, 2001


I'm referring to any gift. Obviously there's a difference when 'recognized charities' are involved.

Not just recognized charities, but also gifts to individuals through non-taxable entities (such as certain types of trusts). Also, the only time one need "write a check to the IRS for a percentage of [a] gift" is when the gifted amount exceeds $10,000/year - perhaps the Hiltons have to invite their tax lawyer over when opening presents on Christmas morning, but it is doubtful that this will be the case for most U.S. households this year.

Given the "loopholes" and the $10,000 exclusion, saying that one must "cut a check" to the IRS for a percentage of "any gift" is certainly not an accurate characterization of the law.
posted by edlark at 2:58 PM on December 7, 2001


perhaps the Hiltons have to invite their tax lawyer over when opening presents on Christmas morning, but it is doubtful that this will be the case for most U.S. households this year.

The fact that any would have to do it, including the Hitons, is ridiculous.
posted by ljromanoff at 3:03 PM on December 7, 2001


Well, it is certainly within your prerogative to make such an argument, ljr. But if that is the argument you want to make, stick with that. If you are philosophically opposed to the estate tax, then make that argument, don't use a misrepresentation of the process by which it is administered in order to cast aspersions upon it. Such is the policy equivalent of ad hominem.
posted by edlark at 3:30 PM on December 7, 2001


If you are philosophically opposed to the estate tax, then make that argument

That's what I have been doing all along. I haven't been attempting to characterize the estate tax (or gift and estate taxes) as a loophole closer or anything else of the sort.
posted by ljromanoff at 3:36 PM on December 7, 2001


A vote on the estate tax would make me feel better. A vote on many things actually.
posted by thirteen at 3:47 PM on December 7, 2001


This thread reminds me a little bit of this & this, in that a lot of mefis pigpile on some women because they are attractive/famous/rich or some combination of the above.
Plus, gasp!, they have the audacity of going to parties!

...a couple of Caligula- like coke whores
...these two succubi
...they're silly slut ho bags who've topped off their skull cavities with Coke and Leo's manbutter.
...girls who may never had to progress emotional much beyond the nipple- centric phase of infancy.


Where is all this coming from? I honestly don't pick-up "caligula-like coke whores" from some pictures of 2 teenagers in cocktail dresses dancing. And they're no more responsible for being born wealthy than the rest of us for being born middle- or lower-class. And they do drugs? (Gasp!) Nobody on MeFi does drugs? Where is all this mysoginistic, middle-class, money=evil bullshit coming from?
posted by signal at 1:16 AM on December 8, 2001


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