Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going to have to disagree strongly with the post at Bookworm's place

on the death tax:
Even the most libertarian portion of my brain recognizes that there must be some taxes for a modern society to function at all. Given there have to be some sort of taxes, I’ve always thought the inheritance tax was one of the more reasonable ones. The person from whom the money is taken no longer needs it. The person to whom the money would otherwise be given has, likely as not, done little or nothing to earn it. It’s a relatively easy tax to get out of paying; just spend your money or give it to the people you want to have it before you die. A whole industry has grown up providing ways to protect your money from inheritance taxes through the use of trusts and other devices. Often, close corporations can be formed to keep the money from being taxed. Yet, for reasons I don’t quite understand, the inheritance tax is an absolute hot-button item for very many people. The 60 plus organization alternative to AARP listed killing this tax as one of its top two priorities. But why?
Because it's nothing more than theft by government just because it can; it's stealing from the one who earned the money, and from the ones he'd like to leave it to; because every damn penny you earn is taxed multiple times and ways over your life, and this is the government saying "Now that you're dead, we're going to tax it all AGAIN." Because it destroys businesses and farms, and wipes out what someone hoped to leave to family or friend or whatever.

Because you shouldn't have to play games and more taxes before you die just to see that your estate isn't raped AFTER you die.

Because so many of the God-damned hypocrite politicians who insist "It's only fair!" have accountants and tax attorneys finding ways to shelter every possible penny of their estates from it, while calling anyone else who doesn't want their estate raped 'unfeeling' and 'greedy' and anything else they can think of.

How about those reasons?

Note: title changed after this received in comments from Bookworm,
Just to clarify, my dear friend Don Quixote wrote that one while I was away on vacation.
Duly noted, and title changed to reflect wasn't by Bookworm herself.


dick said...

The inheritance tax is nothing short of thievery.

Bob S. said...

The person to whom the money would otherwise be given has, likely as not, done little or nothing to earn it.

Like the son or daughter who has worked on the family farm for decades didn't earn that inheritance.

Or the family that helped a parent build a successful business didn't earn it?

My best friend's dad had a small business while we were in high school. My friend was working there, often without pay, just about every day, including weekends. Tell me the families didn't earn that inheritance and I'll stuff you into a small hole.

djmooretx said...

Want to see an outstanding example of why this kind of thing leaves people shaking mad?

State Sanctioned Theft: The Art of the Steal

The link goes to a trailer for and review of a film about how the City of Philadelphia is stealing a $25 Billion-with-a Bee art collection from the estate of a man who hated the city of Philadelphia and went to extraordinary efforts to keep his collection out of their hands.

As I read it, it's not exactly an inheritance tax issue, but it comes very close. The government involved wants it, they will take it, and once you're dead, there's not a darn thing you can do to stop them.

The inheritance tax simply makes this obscenity routine.

djmooretx said...

[By the way, Firehand, the link under "inheritance tax" in your story is borken. It looks like the article text copypasted instead of the address.]

There's another horrible example from the art world. An American painter, whose name I cannot recall, willed a few of his (or her) paintings to a friend who had expressed a liking for them.

That friend was promptly smacked with a tax bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars, based on the then expected market value of the paintings.

Keith said...

Bob S Got there first.

almost all of the farmers that I know had to leave school at the legal minimum age or before to start the long process of learning to farm.

Their pay is essentially their board and lodgings, as, to pay off the loans to buy a farm, stock it and equip it, there has been precious little money available.

I know some who've bought bigger tractors or built bigger stock sheds than they've really needed and the result is bankruptcy, perhaps after several re-mortgages just to lengthen the agony.

I also know some, still working 7 day weeks, out all weather, aged in their 70s, with a surviving parent in their 90s, precious little money in the bank, because it is all tied up in land, stock, seeds and machines

Ah, but sure, they haven't earned it have they?

Of cause they haven't...
- it should be sold on the death of the parent, and the proceeds used to fund retirement on full pension at 50 for public sector employees, allong with longer holiday - oh, and for holidays for sluts that couldn't keep their pants on and their sprogs

They've earned it haven't they?

Tar, feathers, liberty tree, some assembly needed.

Bookworm said...

Just to clarify, my dear friend Don Quixote wrote that one while I was away on vacation. I haven't actually read the inheritance tax post, since I was incommunicado while away, and am buried under backlog now. The one thing I can say with absolute certainty is that, whether or not one agrees with DQ, he is always interesting, thoughtful, and logical. I think he wrote this one in part to spark a debate, so your take on it is appreciated.

Firehand said...

Duly noted