The government just issued its “Green Book,” the summary of the President’s proposed changes to the tax laws. Perhaps the recent leaks from the IRS about the income taxes paid by some of our wealthiest citizens will have an impact on these proposals.

From Wealth Management, an article (see link below) that is a comprehensive and useful review:

“President Biden’s primary plan to tax HNW (High Net Worth) families’ estate-planning structures is by making death, lifetime gifts and exceeding maximum holding periods for assets in trust recognition events for income tax purposes. The resulting income tax would be in addition to the potential gift, estate and generation skipping transfer (GST) taxes that may be imposed. This proposal, while alarming for many, isn’t new.”

And now for something completely different and more enjoyable. Another kind of green book.

A close friend of mine, a retired artist no longer in the world, spent much of his career as a commercial artist in advertising. When he retired to the desert in southern New Mexico (perhaps to get away from the Mad Men and to pursue his art in peace).

Charlie and I kept in touch to share our loves of opera, European Classical Music, American Classical Music (i.e., Jazz),  Notre Dame sports, Bob Dylan, myth, etc. Charlie hated critics with a passion (“those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”) that only an artist can understand. When he retired he was able to make a living from his own art rather than the commercial work required of him by his job.

More than a decade ago, after arthritis had prevented Charlie from painting in oils, he took to digital art. I am proud to say that I suggested to him that he translate his images, both oils and digital, to Youtube videos accompanied by the music that he loved, especially from artists we both believed were under appreciated, like Dr. Don Shirley, Oliver Nelson, Gundula Janowitz, and Franco Corelli. His first effort was a selection from Dr. Shirley, the first time his music appeared on YouTube. It opened up a whole new world for my friend and he was thrilled when a relative of Dr. Shirley reached out to thank him for remembering his music. Now there are many YouTube videos of Don Shirley.

Lo and behold, they recently made a movie about Dr. Shirley called Green Book. This other  “green book” was a publication that some Americans had to use to determine where they could stay, where they could eat, how they could travel, even where they could go in the days of Jim Crow because other Americans refused them the right of free association.

For more on the green books, and in honor of my late friend Charlie and in honor of Dr. Don Shirley, here are three links:

The US Treasury’s Green Book. General Explanations

A review of the government’s Green Book’s impact on estate planning, from Wealth Management. Estate Planning Implications

And finally, my late friend’s first venture on YouTube. Charlie was delighted with replies from some grateful listeners. RIP, Charlie. We’ll meet again, by the Sí Mór near Yeats’s Seven Woods or at one of the ancient pueblos of New Mexico where your dear wife’s  Anasazi ancestors lived. Perhaps we’ll meet Dr. Shirley there jamming with Mozart (although you would prefer Beethoven). watch