For once, the legislature is poised to roll back a tax that should have been abolished a long time ago. The so called death tax was the subject of 2 op-ed pieces in the Post today. The first one left me stunned, I can’t believe that someone actually thinks that way. Here is the general gist of his essay: There is too big a division between rich and poor, inheritances solidify the rich’s hold on the top tier and excludes the poor from advancing. Plus, how can you eliminate a tax when spending and deficits keep growing?
OK, to the first point, I can understand the desire to help the poor, but I cannot for the life of me understand the desire to hurt people that are not poor. There is a simpler name for the death tax, it’s called theft. Because a group of people think that some people have “too much” money does not entitle them to simply take it and give it to whomever they want. It’s one thing to offer a deal, I’ll tax you and in exchange I’ll give you certain services. That is defensible, telling people that someone else deserves their money is not. In my mind, when the government starts taking property from citizens and doesn’t even pretend that it is helping those people, it is at best bullying and at worst a warning sign of impending fascism.
The entire argument presupposes that there is a finite amount of wealth. If there is x amount of money and the “rich” own half of it, that leaves much less for everyone else. It’s a pretty common viewpoint, but it is very inaccurate. There is always more wealth to be made (as long as the economy is allowed to do its thing), it is never captured and hidden from everyone else by greedy capitalists.
As to the second point, the solution presents itself. Stop spending so goddamned much money! It’s one thing if you try to expand your own budget so that you can spend more, but when you are using other people’s money (without their consent) it is difficult to justify stealing from inheritances to pay for your largess.
Frankly, I’m amazed that the repeal process has gotten as far as it has, I trust that the senate will do the right thing and go along with the house. Do you realize that we just had a tax repealed that was designed to pay for the Spanish American war? It was a tax on interstate long distance calls (originally made for telegraphs). I kid you not, the Spanish American war! Like I said, I’m amazed that this has gotten as far as it has, lets make sure that it goes the rest of the way…