Death Tax Lives After Death

December/07/2010 16:31PM
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For 2010, as yet, barring a retroactive change, there is no death tax. It died for a year due to the Democrats focus on Obamacare. Yet, our government in it’s infinite wisdom and fairness, will restore that as part of the negotiated tax deal. Supposedly, it will be a mere 35% after $5MM. If no change is made it will be 55% after 1MM.

In a typically ungracious press conference, an angry President Obama, announced a deal has been struck. He had a rare opportunity to suggest he was working in a bipartisan manner in respect for the recent election. We be bipartisan, it’s just another broken campaign promise. It seems shades of elder Bush’s read my lips promise was nagging at him over the tax compromise.

Of all the taxes our governments extract, the death tax is the most unfair. A person or a couple work all their lives. They pay taxes on their income, their interest income, their dividend income, and should they be successful enough and frugal enough, they will be visited at the funeral parlor when the surviving spouse dies by the IRS to extract the last drops of tax blood. If it’s a family business, it may need to be sold to pay the estate taxes. If it’s real estate, some will be sold to pay the death taxes. Most estates of a $5MM magnitude are not in cash and liquid assets. But, the tax bill is cash.

A typical family may be three or four generations and number many heirs. But, the biggest benefactor will be Uncle Sam. He will get the lion’s share.

Part of the compromise is adding 13 months to the 99 week period for unemployment benefits. Isn’t that called early retirement? If you don’t work for three years and get paid, you are pretty much retired. How do you get off the canvas and get back in the fight. I know a retired executive who has no intention of going back to work. But, he is collecting unemployment and now will collect for another 13 months. How many like him are in that 2MM that Obama likes to cite?

So, we take from the hard working, successful, frugal, and their heirs to give to the unemployed. Something about this does not set well with me. We keep talking about the infrastructure that needs significant work and we don’t match that up with the unemployed who can’t find work. As a young man, during the depression ,my Dad worked for a time in the Civil Conservation Corps and was paid by the government. Sheriff Joe takes care of animals, cleans roads, grows food, and gets productivity from jail inmates.

Is it too much to ask to have unemployed Americans do some work for the largess from the taxpayer after a certain period of time?

We have misplaced ideas about right and wrong in this country. We want to punish success and reward many who choose not to work.

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