Arguing the Estate Tax

One of the more interesting taxation discussions out there regards the estate tax, which is also occasionally called a “death tax”. This tax is a tax for a percentage of a deceased persons estate if it’s above a certain amount. In all fairness, this isn’t typically assessed on Grandma’s china or Grandpa’s old Chevy Corvair types of estates. This typically impacts the wealthier members of our society, which also tends to make it popular.

That doesn’t change the fact that it’s wrong.

Picture that you’ve worked hard all your life. You have amassed a sizable estate so that when your time comes, your family won’t have to worry about to much at all. Then, when that moment comes, you family learns that more than half of what you left them belongs to Uncle Sam.

This only make sense if you believe that money inherently belongs to the government and that they should have right of first ownership. They don’t. You see, the people create the wealth and should be entitled to keep it. I say this as a guy who will most likely not have an estate anywhere near that level. Right is right and wrong is wrong, so I don’t care where my estate is. This just isn’t right.

It’s easy to pick on the rich. Hell, the rich pick on themselves from time to time. However, it doesn’t matter. Progressives can trot out a whole pile of stuff that won’t be paid for if we don’t have the estate tax, but I point to all the crap that is paid for that has done nothing at all. I’m realistic to know that our government won’t return to any 1790’s levels. Ever. But if you’re going to have programs that have to be paid for, I have zero problems with them minimal and requiring them to actually work.

Instead of doing that, we have things like the Department of Energy, that was created to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. How did that work out? And yet, anyone who suggests folding it is viewed like some kind of whacked out extremist. And yet, arguing that people should keep their own money and pass it on to their children without the government taking 55% (not hyperbole here) is viewed the same way.

I guess I’m an extremist then, because it just doesn’t make any damn sense to me.


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