Return the Estate Tax Because We Want It
It would be hard to make that sort of opinion piece up as a satire. It is so outrageous that it defies fiction. It is real and they are deadly serious. I've got to think, however, that the editorial staff of the Wall Street Journal had be be chuckling softly to themselves as they congratulated each other on their balance in reporting. Simply letting the lefties have the podium does the job of making the argument quite nicely.
We both believe that the estate tax should be a component of any federal tax system. Our government is always going to collect and rely on tax revenues to pay for the activities that our citizens want and need government to perform. A key criterion in choosing taxes is to have the least negative impact on economic activity. The estate tax, in our opinion, meets that test.
You are outnumbered. The "citizens want and need government" therefore government will take your money. They benevolently desire "the least negative impact on economic activity" so since you are dead, they feel comfortable that you won't be generating much of that. All of that accrued capital just eats away at their communistic little livers.
An estate tax can provide revenue—with little, if any, adverse supply-side economic impact—to fund deficit reduction, additional public investment or added assistance to those affected by the economic crisis. Used for public investment that has a rapid spend out, or applied to assistance for economically displaced citizens, the net effect will be to increase demand.
I love that! "...added assistance to those affected by economic crisis" and "economically displaced citizens"! Lemme see now, if dad was going to leave me and mom a $100 million dollars and I've just been hijacked for half of that am I now "economically displaced"? Double-talk!
Can you stand more? This may top the foolishness:
We also share the view that the estate tax is grounded in powerful philosophical underpinnings. Our nation views itself as a meritocracy and a land of opportunity and we have a proud legacy of upward mobility. An estate tax helps us promote this legacy, by avoiding the accumulation of inherited economic—and political—power that is antithetical to this historical vision of our society and to the vitality and dynamism that has contributed so much to our success.
Don't you feel good about that? Opportunity and meritocracy and upward mobility are enhanced by generational thievery of your property so that wealth can never be accumulated and you can never have the security of knowing that your personal assets are immune to confiscation. Vitality and dynamism contributes so much to the success precisely because we can do well and leave our children and heirs better off than we were.
There might be a positive here. What I see is that children would be motivated to prolong the lives of their parents so as to delay the thievery. I'm thinking that with enough money you could get the old man wired up to some medical machinery that could keep the tax man from the door for a couple of hundred years.