Monday, June 26, 2006

What's in a name - estate taxes

The rich Republicans who are trying to do away with the estate/inheritance tax call it a "death" tax, and claim it is unfair because the money has already been taxed. Even if that were so, forgive me for not feeling sorry that someone might lose money after they're dead; what are they going to do with it?

But of course, it is not a tax on dead people who can't use it; it is actually a tax on the inheritor of the money. All money is repeatedly taxed. The money that we are paid in salaries, for which we pay an income tax, originally passed through many other hands which paid taxes on it. Without the estate tax, we have people acquiring vast sums for which they did no work, and not paying tax on it. But they reap the benefits of taxation on those who work. They are protected by our military. Businesses depend on having large numbers of literate workers, who are educated by public schools. Government regulation of air traffic makes air traffic safer.

And these same rich Republicans want to do away with taxes on investments, so the offspring of the rich can inherit wealth, and invest it, maintainin their wealth, w/o paying taxes at all. It reminds me of the old British aristocracy, which considered money acquired by working to be shameful.

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