55% When You Die! Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

Rep. Anthony Weiner, as well as a majority of House Democrats are upset about the recent tax compromise for among other reasons, the death tax.  Hard core “re-distributionists” (that’s a new word I made up) believe that 35% of your money when you die is not enough.  It should be 45% or maybe 55%.

Are you freaking kidding me?  I feel like that “Rent is too damn high” guy.

But I’m going to say it again anyway – “Are you freaking kidding me?”

So imagine you are a small business owner.  A family farmer – for example.  You’ve worked your whole life for retirement, to give your kids a head start in the world, to pass a legacy of wealth on to your children and grand-children.  You’ve also paid income taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes, and employee taxes for the 20 people who work for you for 50 years.

But no – that’s not enough.  Now that your dead, we want 55% of what’s left.

Are you freaking kidding me?

It sounds trite or too cliché to say things like “Un-American” these days.  We are supposed to be more sophisticated in our rhetoric. But I’m not sure there is a better way to describe a death tax.  It could not be more against the fundamental founding principles of our country.

But of course, it only applies to the so-called “rich” – and not that many of them – so that makes stealing their money OK.

I guess it’s just like Willie Sutton who said he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is”.

Why tax the rich? – “That’s where the money is”.  The fact that they are dead makes the money easier to steal.

For those of you who are in favor of restoring the death tax to the previous level of 55% for estates worth over $5M, I want you to find a group of at least 6 small business owners to stand in front of and say out-loud in public the following…

“I believe its OK for someone to work their entire life to build a financial legacy for their family and have the government take 55% when they die.  Others in society deserve it more than your children who missed spending time with you while you were making a better future for them”

Then tell me how many people look at you and say….

Are you freaking kidding me?

This rant brought to you by Guest Blogger Jeff – and of course I don’t consider this constructive political discourse.  But it was fun to write.

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3 responses to “55% When You Die! Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

  1. I’ll do it, my guess is if they are actually SMALL business owners they won’t be charged an estate tax.

  2. Well seems like in many preindustrial societies across history the usual take of landowners from the peasants’s/serfs’/tenants’ crops was about 50%. Interesting that relatively consistent percentage gets replicated here, with different actors for different circumstances (i.e., representative government, with higher tax brackets).

  3. There is a difference between corporate taxes and personal income taxes.

    Are there nuances to inheritance taxes about businesses where the owners/shareholders pass away? For instance, could a number of resources be maintained in the business (like the company car), or could shares be passed on to beneficiaries or a trust without receiving consideration in an inheritance tax bill?

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