Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Here we go again - Estate Tax


Quick, name one of the major motivations for the founding fathers leaving Europe for the new world?

Did I hear 'entrenched aristocracy'? If so, give yourself 2 points and continue.

This week the Senate is once again about to take up the "issue" of the estate tax. They were set to debate this last year, but Katrina came along -- talking about giving a huge tax break to the richest Americans just didn't seem right after thousands of poor and middle class families where washed out into the streets.

Back to the founders: Jefferson and Franklin both realized that people aspire to the aggregation of wealth, but both remained adamantly opposed to its aggregation... After all, they came out of a system where the landed aristocracy remained in power simply by virtue of birth-right. Jefferson, in particular, had no problem with what he called "natural aristocracy" -- the accumulation of wealth/power/influence by merit, but he argued that "Provisions ... to prevent its [birth-right aristocracy] ascendancy should be taken in America."

In short, we're supposed to be a society where rewards [economic] are based on individual merit... not on who your daddy was. Sure, you should be able to leave a tidy nest egg for your children when you pass on; and there's a legitimate debate as to how big that nest egg should be before Uncle Sam steps in with taxes. But to even consider a complete repeal of the estate tax undercuts our founding principles.

Besides, no matter how you tax Bill Gates' estate, I'm sure his lawyers and accounts will make sure their kids have a huge head-start in life.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're exactly right. That's just one of the reasons that Bill Gates Sr. and Warren Buffett support the estate tax.

I work with the Coalition for America's Priorities, an organization opposed to a repeal of the estate tax. The Senate is set to vote on a repeal this week and I would urge everyone to contact your Senators and let them know your opinions on the estate tax.

At a cost of over $1 trillion, should the Senate be voting on a tax break that affects fewer than 2% of Americans? Below are links to the Coalition's website that has great facts to counter the misinformation out there about how the estate tax affects family farms, businesses, and is a double taxation. In addition, check out the ad the colation has out.

http://www.coalition4americaspriorities.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6599TbHprI

Capt. Fogg said...

But of course great acccumulations of power and wealth are what the new Feudalism is all about.

Of course the Bush's have had no trouble establishing their dynasty under current laws. Prescott's dealings with Hitler didn't hurt.

Reign of Reason said...

So true. Anything to make a buck.

I guess since capitalism worked so well for the Bush family it must work equally well for everyone... poverty rates, cronyism, etc. not withstanding.

bombsoverbaghdad said...

I used to not believe in things like the "illuminati" or other small groups of rich people controlling America. What is going on in this country I do not know. The richest Americans are making their move on the rest of us while they've got friends in the Capitol. This would be an incredible economic money grab.

Reign of Reason said...

That's exactly what we have too: a small group of very rich people pushing for a law that will only benefit them... at a cost to the rest of us. I just don't know how the Repub's were able to convince the rest of America that this is good policy.

bombsoverbaghdad said...

By calling it the "Death Tax." That's how they do it.