Death taxes are ghoulish

money2.jpgWhile the estate tax debate is typically framed as a soak-the-rich proposition, I find the whole concept to be immoral. If the government desperately needs those tax revenues it should find them somewhere else. It is simply wrong for the government to profit from the death of anyone, rich or poor.  If actions such as earned income or sales transactions generate taxes, so be it.  But dying should not be such a catalyst.

I like it better when governmental and business entities root for me to stay alive, such as in the case of life insurance. Note that I don’t expect to benefit if the estate tax is eliminated permanently; I just think it is wrong. 

Keep in mind that the rich folks who come out in favor of estate taxes may not be quite as noble as they appear. Some of them buy businesses on the cheap because families must sell them to pay estate taxes.

The “really rich,” whom the government wants to soak, typically find loopholes to avoid paying taxes. The “sort of rich” are the ones paying most of the taxes.

As George Harrison of the Beatles sang in Taxman, “And my advice for those who die . . . Declare the pennies on your eyes.” As a life-long fan of Beatles music, this is one of the few times I agreed with their politics.

2 thoughts on “Death taxes are ghoulish”

  1. Once again the comment disappeared.

    “The purpose of the estate tax is to prevent the formation of a “ruling class” aristocracy that simply leaves their wealth from one generation to the next.”

    You mean something akin to the Kennedy clan?

    This reason for supporting the estate tax is way off base since the uber rich simply create trusts which ensure the same thing you wish to prevent. They keep the unproductive rich (i.e. the Paris Hiltons of the world who you guys seem to loathe so much) from blowing all their money by controlling how much can be used over a set period of time.

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  2. The Kennedys don’t support the estate tax? Citation please.

    “This reason for supporting the estate tax is way off base since the uber rich simply create trusts which ensure the same thing you wish to prevent.”

    Which can be resolved by modifying our tax code.

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