moldybluecheesecurds 2

Friday, December 04, 2009

Estate tax debate reveals loads about values

The estate tax says that when a rich dude dies, a portion of his estate returns to the commons and the rest goes to his descendants.

Due to a provision signed by President GW Bush (a beneficiary of aristocracy), the estate tax rate had been decreasing (from 55% to 45%) and the threshold increasing since 2001 (from $1 million to $3.5 million). It was set to expire next year, and then come back at 2001 levels in 2011. Republicans want to repeal it completely.

Read about the current legislative battle here:, but the entire estate tax issue can be boiled down to this quote from Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas):
"We need to reward people who work the hardest and work the smartest in the hope of handing their nest eggs down to their children." [emphasis mine]
I'm liberal and therefore I subscribe to the notion that Americans should start on a level playing field and have an equal opportunity to exploit their innate talent. You can't have equal opportunity when folks who get rich from talent and hardwork get to pass all their money to their descendants (because then you can be rich and lazy).

If rich parents want to pass their kids a legacy, how about the values of working hard and getting smart, rather than a trust fund and a Beemer.

Note: rich folks still get to pass on half of their estate. We're not talking about making paupers of princes, but keeping princes out of American democracy.

1 comment:

michael said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.