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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Monday, June 05, 2006
Washington Post's Sebastian Mallaby As Robin Hood
by Cordeiro
The Washington Post’s Sebastian Mallaby is terribly concerned. He believes Congress is set to do away with a tax Mallaby believes to be the one thing separating the United States from the rigid class structures inherent in kingdoms of old Europe. Civilization is at risk. This tax must be kept in place by any means necessary. The very fabric of our nation hangs in the balance – if in fact you believe Mr. Mallaby.

Which tax concerns Mr. Mallaby so?

The Death Tax. Mr. Mallaby refers to it by its more politically correct name – The Estate Tax. Call it what you will, the Taxman cometh shortly after the Undertaker is done with your body, if not before.

Suppose you work hard all your life, and despite the best efforts of the confiscatory tax structure, Social Security taxes, Medicaid taxes, sales tax, gas tax, air tax, payroll tax, fast food tax, beverage tax, lodging tax, property tax, rental car tax, and – lest we forget – alternative minimum tax, you manage to become a multi-millionaire. The money you have is yours. The combined federal, state, and local governments and their tax funded addicts have taken their best shot at your fortune and somehow you still managed to come out on top – in the black.

Conventional wisdom would dictate the money you have somehow managed to keep from the money grubbing politicians is yours to do with as you please. You could give it to charity. You could give it to Santa Claus. You could, in fact, bequeath your money and assets to your family and therby allow your legacy to outlive your mortal existence.

I somehow doubt Mr. Mallaby suffers from anything close to Conventional Wisdom.

The tax code – far too complicated for any attempt at a brief explanation – allows the Federal Government to take one last shot at your fortune. Before any of your children, grandchildren, or anyone else for that matter is allowed to collect of your riches, Uncle Sam gets his slice first. Depending on what you have left, the percentage siphoned from your estate could reach in upwards of 50%. Yes, that’s more than half.

Mr. Mallaby would have you believe this tax levels the playing field by not allowing “Hereditary Elite” to collect “too much” wealth. Government should redistribute this wealth to allow the little guy a chance at riches.

Memo to Mr. Mallaby: Stealing for a good cause, especially if the cause is only good because of the light in which it is shown, is still stealing. No amount of perfume or lipstick will make that pig anything other than, well, a pig. Taxing a person for no other reason than they have died is, in a word, immoral. Stick that in your pointy head and justify it.

The Founders envisioned a nation where men and women would be free to enjoy their God given inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If a millionaire who has toiled his life away building his fortune, he should be free to do with his money what he sees fit. Mr. Mallaby and his Robin Hood caucus should not be permitted to have first dibs on fortunes they did not earn.

Here endeth the lesson.
3 Comment(s):
Well, I've been working with a group called Coalition 4 Americas Priorities on this issue. I don't think it has to be an issue of rich vs. poor. For me it's an issue of fiscal responsibility. I've been disgusted at the way we have sunk further into debt and run up the deficit the last few years. I think eliminating a trillion dollars of revenue over 10 years is a really dangerous action to take for our financial future.
While your comment is appreciated, John, your logic is fatally flawed. The Death Tax is morally wrong on its face. How can you defend the practice of confiscating wealth based soley on the fact someone has died?
I agree with John... spending is totally out of control. This congress and this president have spent more money than even Bill Gates could count.

However, I disagree with John's reasoning that maintaining or increasing revenue is the solution.

The solution is to eliminate a trillion dollars (or more) worth of expenditures over the next 10 years.

I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
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