While 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 Right-wing extremist 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 was one of the few times I agreed with their politics.
It is about to get much worse. Via Daily News Briefing: Obama’s budget proposal would give the United States the world’s highest death tax. Also see Black business owners on board for repeal of death tax.
OUCH – The United States will become the country with the highest death tax in the world if the president’s recent budget proposal is enacted, hurting American competitiveness and disproportionately affecting minority- and female-owned businesses across the country, according to The Hill.
Contributor Harry Alford, cofounder, president, and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, cites a study by two Boston College professors showing that the death tax will cut African-American wealth by 10 percent to 13 percent by 2055.
“The death tax creates an unfair situation for minority businesses which have primarily started to accumulate wealth within the last 60 years. Many minority-owned family businesses are first-generation businesses, where children work alongside their parents,” Alford wrote.
“These business owners do not want to sell out at fire-sale prices to pay the estate tax and eliminate the livelihoods for the next generation in addition to the jobs for those whom they employ.”
Alford said that one study showed that 90 percent of black business owners believed that the death tax hindered their prospects for long-term growth.