Thursday, April 16, 2015

No More Moochers: Tell Congress to Save and Increase the Estate Tax

The Koch brothers got their start with a few billion inherited from daddy.  That's all the reason you need to stop congressional repugs from eliminating even the tiny estate tax we still possess.

Ed Kilgore at Political Animal:

Since payment of estate taxes are not required until 9 months after death, and (a) there’s a total exemption for spousal inheritances and (b) a $5.4 million exemption for all inheritances, with additional deductions available, this scenario of the grieving family trying to figure out how to stay out of the poor house is more than a bit overwrought. And obviously, the size of estates we are talking about are generally the subject of estate planning, which means said weeping survivors typically won’t have to make any decisions at all.

In any event, progressives should be quite aggressive in welcoming this debate. They have plenty of ammunition, including the passionate arguments of the father of the federal estate tax, Theodore Roosevelt. And they really do need to counter the mythology of the small struggling business or farm being taken away by a socialistic Uncle Sam. This is all a cover for the real beneficiaries, the wealthiest people in America, who hardly need the kind of protection against taxes in death they’ve managed to secure in life. Large inheritances are and have always been an enormous factor in long-term inequality, and an offense to the presumed morality of capitalism, in which material rewards follow market utility or economic “virtue,” not birth lotteries.

Beyond that, it’s fun, if not especially charitable, to mock the tears of the undeserving heir at the indignity of having to share his or her windfall with the commonwealth.
Tell your congressional representatives to save and increase the estate tax.  No more moochers!

No comments: