Skip to comments.Itís Time to Bury the Estate Tax (Will the incoming Congress have the guts to kill it?)
Posted on 12/19/2010 8:48:04 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The Wall Street Journal has brought up yet another argument against the ebb and flow of the estate tax debate this week. The crux of it is that the uncertainty over how large the government vultures will be when they come to feast on your corpse has some business owners spending more preparing for the estate tax than their families will eventually lose.
What’s unavoidable to many family businesses, however, is the cost of lawyers, accountants, family business advisers and business appraisersand all that, owners say, has increased in the past decade as the estate-tax rate has continually changed. Trade groups, including the National Federation of Independent Business, have lobbied Congress for a more permanent solution.
“Virtually every small-business owner plans and responds so that the estate-tax system, whatever it is, doesn’t end up destroying their life’s work,” says Lawrence Richman, chair of the Wealth Services Practice Group at Neal, Gerber, Eisenberg LLP, a law firm in Chicago.
This is only the latest in a generations long debate over the relative “merits” of re-taxing the wealth of those who manage to find success in America as soon as they approach room temperature. We have debated the various myths surrounding the effect it has on individuals and the economy as a whole. We have heard the arguments about whether or not it substantially contributes to government revenue or is simply a way for populists to mete out punishment to the wealthy. We’ve listened to progressives talk about how it’s the only “fair way” for the wealthy to “give back” to the rest of us.
Perhaps the argument should finally move away from the dollars and to the sense. As strange as it may sound, I am taken back to a scene from the original Jurassic Park film where Jeff Goldblum’s character, Ian Malcolm, makes a rather pointed accusation. “You were so focused on whether you COULD do it you never stopped to ask whether you SHOULD do it.”
Aside from a few holdouts in remote, libertarian enclaves, few people argue with the fact that the government has established broad powers to lay taxes on nearly any occasion. But that only reinforces the widely held perception that one of the defining characteristics of government is an encompassing fear that somewhere there may be a dollar changing hands without their having a chance to nab a quarter out of each party’s pocket.
The real reason to oppose the death tax isn’t that it’s an inefficient way to raise revenue or that it suppresses job creation and expansion. The main objection to such a tax is that it is simply wrong. (Or have we passed beyond the era when the words “right” and “wrong” have any meaning in government?)
When people work all their lives and accumulate wealth – with the long term goal of passing that wealth on to family, friends, or whomever they choose – they have achieved the most fundamental definition of the American dream. And the moment of their passing – generally just as a family is dealing with the grief of losing a patriarch or matriarch – has to be the worst possible time for Uncle Sam to come knocking with a bag and a gun.
And lastly, if it hasn’t been pointed out often enough already, the wealth has already been taxed repeatedly. There comes a point where enough is enough already.
Pushing back on this will not be easy, though. In closing, let us remember once again the immortal words of H.L. Mencken:
When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.
Words to live -and at least for now, to die – by, sir.
You pay taxes on it when you earn it. You pay taxes on it when you save it or invest it. You pay taxes on it when you spend it. After all of that, they also want you to spend taxes on it when you die. What’s wrong with this picture?
DEAD or ALIVE
You're lucky they even let you have a little bit of what you earn for a little while.
Keep whining and they'll just take it all.
I wouldn’t bet on congress’ “guts.” However, their rank self-interest and political instincts might lead them to build enough loopholes into it that even a nuveau-rich left-wing social-networking tycoon can keep his Mammon, while at the same time trumpeting “justice for the working class.”
Below is a comparison of the original ten planks of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart of each of the planks, The American people have truly been "buried in Communism" by their own politicians of both the Republican and Democratic parties. One other thing to remember, Karl Marx was stating in the Communist Manifesto that these planks will test whether a country has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force the country IS communist. Communism, but by any other name...??
1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rent to public purpose.
The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share".
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
We call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
We call in government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986);Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
We call it the Federal Reserve which is a credit/debt system nationally organized by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the State.
We call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
We call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture. As well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.
8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
We call it the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
We call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136.
10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.
People are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education" .
a special thanks to Wodrow Wilson and FDR
Our current income tax system ends up discouraging Americans from keeping their savings and capital investments in the USA, which explains the explosion of offshore financial centers and the massive "offshoring" of jobs, factories and even corporate headquarters outside the USA for income tax avoidance reasons. If we had the Forbes tax plan in place right now, our economy will come roaring back as millions of jobs, thousands of factories and hundreds of corporate headquarters return to the USA under better tax conditions and foreigners will massively invest in the USA to take advantage of what is just about the most business-friendly tax structure in the world.
Was in a office waiting room watching CNN debating estate taxes. Anti estate tax were interesting in how they view the world and the so call rich. The black commentator complain why the rich can get more breaks and that eliminating the break will affect only 5,000 families out of the millions paying. The female anti estate tax expresses that rich people all keep their wealth via silver spoon and that the gap between rich and poor has gotten bigger and now the tax deal with create an American aristocracy. The left are so emotionally angry at rich people. Someone must have filled their heads with crap. I think everyone in America need to read a book call “The Millionaire Next Door”. Good book showing how frugal Americans if they save and invested wisely that before they reach their early 50’s become millionaires and by their 60’s can achieve multi millionaire status. The other thing is with the Fed printing US dollars and attempting to inflate their way out of debt, it may not be impossible for many in the upper middle class to become millionaires in the future.
Finally many in the middle class and working class resent rich people and are more then happy to put tax barriers and regs to make it harder for people to accumulate wealth. It is such a short sighted mentality, because they do not seem to realize the barriers are also placed on their talented children or grandchildren and other family members from ever rising above their own status in life.
Republicans won’t have enough votes in the Senate to pass repeal.
Impossible as long as the Kenyan communist is in the White House!
Nothing if you want to live in communists America. Been moving that way for many years and might just be this time they make it. We have to work hard to destroy Washington and replace it with Constitutional force that believe in our freedom.
might see a time when it will be, “Have gun, will travel.”
The complete repeal of the Estate Tax will be on the new president’s agenda in 2013.
I don’t see it happening before then....not with the RATS still in charge of the Senate and a commie in the White House.
The estate tax will not go away until we have eradicated liberals, period. You will not make progress until those that think other peoples’ money is theirs are gone.
Answer, the government is a vampire which uses your money against you in all cases...
Yet, I find the estate tax the most disgusting of all levies ever conceived by any group of elected officials. I have stronger words and emotions on the subject but expressing such here would most certainly get me banned.
And anyone expect O to sign it?
I could see the new Congress passing this.
I couldn’t see the new Senate passing this, and if it did?
I’d bet the farm obammy would veto this.
The House of Rep’s might — but McConnell in the Senate will keep it from happening. He made a deal with the Democrats. He will be “honorable” in his deal with thieves. Were it Conservatives he’d made a deal with, he’d be ready to “renegotiate” the deal on New Years Day....
Why do tax cut bills always have "sunset clauses" while oppressive tax bills don't?
You and I are still paying taxes on a bill written to fund the Spanish-American war (it's in your phone bill). Meanwhile, we have to gear up and fight over and over again for tax cuts that should have been permanent. It's no wonder that business investment is down - uncertainty is hard-wired into the system.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.