ARCHIVES
CATEGORIES
Look Who's Linking to PoliBlog:
3cx.org
Absinthe and Cookies
Accidental Verbosity
Admiral Quixote's Roundtable
All Day Permanent Red
All Things Jennifer
Ann Althouse
The American Mind
Arguing with signposts
The Astute Blogger
Asymmeterical Information
Attaboy
augustus
B-Town Blog Boys
BabyTrollBlog
Backcountry Conservative
Balloon Juice
Bananas and Such Begging to Differ
The Bemusement Park
Bewtween the Coasts
Betsy's Page
The Big Picture
BipolarBBSBlog
bLogicus
Blogs for Bush
BoiFromTroy
Boots and Sabers
brykMantra
BushBlog
The Bully Pulpit
Caffeinated Musing
California Yankee
Captain's Quarters
Chicago Report
Chicagoland of Confusion
Citizen Smash
Coldheartedtruth
Collected Thoughts
The Command Post
Common Sense and Wonder
Confessions Of A Political Junkie
Conservative and Right
Cranial Cavity
The Daily Lemon
Daly Thoughts
DANEgerus Weblog
Dart Frog on a Cactus
Dean's World Dear Free World
Brad DeLong
Democracy Project
DiVERSiONZ
The Disagreeable Conservative Curmudgeon
Down to the Piraeus
Drink this...
Earthly Passions
The Education Wonks
the evangelical outpost
exvigilare
Eye of the Storm
Feste
Filtrat
The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles
The Friendly Ghost
FringeBlog
Functional, if not decorative
G-Blog.net
The Galvin Opinion
The Glittering Eye
Haight Speech
Half-Bakered
The Hedgehog Report
Heh. Indeed.
Hellblazer
Hennessy's View
High Desert Skeptic
Robert Holcomb
I love Jet Noise
Idlewild South
Incommunicado
Independent Thinker
Insults Unpunished
Interested-Participant
Internet Ronin
Ipse Dixit
It Can't Rain All The Time...
The Jay Blog
Jen Speaks
Joefish's Freshwater Blog
John Lemon
johnrpierce.info blog
Judicious Asininity
The Kudzu Files
LeatherPenguin
LibertarianJackass.com
Liberty Father
Life and Law
LittleBugler
Locke, or Demosthenes?
LostINto
Gary Manca
Mark the Pundit
Mediocre but Unexciting
memeorandum
Mental Hiccups
Miller's Time
Mind of Mog
Minorities For Bush
Mr. Hawaii
The Moderate Voice
The Modulator
Much Ado
Mungowitz End
My opinion counts
my thoughts, without the penny charge
My Word
mypetjawa
Naw
Neophyte Pundit
New England Republican
NewsHawk Daily
neWs Round-Up
No Pundit Intended
Nobody asked me, but...
Obsidian Wings
Occam's Toothbrush
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
One Fine Jay
Out of Context
Outside the Beltway
Parablemania
Peaktalk
Peppermint Patty
philosomatic
Phlegma
John Pierce
PiratesCove
The Politicker
The Politburo Diktat
Political Annotation
Political Blog For The Politically Incorrect
Possumblog
Power Politics
Practical Penumbra
Priorities & Frivolities ProfessorBainbridge.com
Prof. Blogger's Pontifications
PunditFilter
Pundit Heads
QandO
The Queen of All Evil
Quotes, Thoughts, and other Ramblings
Ramblings' Journal
Random Acts of Kindness
Random Nuclear Strikes
Ranting Rationalist
Read My Lips
Reagan Country
Jay Reding.com
A Republican's Blog
Resource.full
The Review
Right Side of the Rainbow
Right Wingin-It
Right Wing News
Right Voices
Rightward Reasonings
riting on the wall
robwestcott
Rooftop Report
The Sake of Argument
Scrappleface
Secular Sermons
Sha Ka Ree
She Who Will Be Obeyed!
The Skeptician
The Skewed
Slant/Point.
small dead animals
Sneakeasy's Joint
SoCal Law Blog
A Solo Dialogue
Solomonia
Some Great Reward
Southern Musings
Speed of Thought...
Spin Killer
Matthew J. Stinson
The Strange Political Road Trip of Jane Q. Public
Stuff about
SwimFinsSF
Target Centermass
Templar Pundit
The Temporal Globe
Tex the Pontificator
Texas Native
think about it...
Tiger
Tobacco Road Fogey
Tony Talks Tech
The Trimblog
Use The Forks!!
Varifrank
VodkaPundit
Wall of Sleep
Weapons of Mass Discussion
Who Knew?
The Window Manager
Winning Again!
WizBang!
WizBang Tech
The World Around You
The Yin Blog
You Big Mouth, You!
Zygote-Design
Non-Blogs Linking to PoliBlog:
al.com - Alabama Weblogs

AJC's 2004 Election Politics Sites and Blogs Campaign Finance
Welcome to newcounterculture.com World O' Blogs
Yahoo! Directory Political Weblogs
Young Elephant
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Death, Taxes and the Death Tax (With a Little Marx Thrown in)

By Steven Taylor @ 1:08 pm

Speaking of the good Professor Bainbridge, his post on the estate tax contains a quote from Brian Leiter on the importance of Marxian thought that is the kind of thing that get my hackles up. My comments aren’t directed at Brian, as I understand the point he is trying to make, and further, agree that Marx is an important theorist for a host of reasons and shouldn’t be shelved because of the collapse of the Soviet empire.

However, the estate tax thing gets rather heavily on my nerves, for while it is true that a very small percentage of the population pays the Death Tax (a term I highly prefer), it is not so-clear cut a tax on wealth alone as some would have us believe.

For example: I had a close relative whose husband was blue color in the most traditional of senses. He died back in the 1980s and she lived in East Dallas in the kind of neighborhood that most of us wouldn’t want to traverse after dark across the street from a park, which in most recent years, was the kind of place drug deals and arrests went down at night. She lived very modestly, but because of frugality and a generous stock plan from her husband’s employer she died with sufficient wealth to qualify for the Death Tax. Now, she was being responsible in her own mind (she wanted the money to care for herself in the event of a medical disaster) and, as a child of the Great Depression, she was prone to assume that the money could stop at any moment, leading her sometimes extreme frugality.

Could someone explain to me why that wealth, which is the product of a lower middle class existence and the desire to save should be taxed at that person’s death.

Another example would be another close relative who started literally with nothing in life but who, in classic Horatio Alger fashion, made a way for himself to the point of being definable as rich in our society.

I simply do not see the justice in a Death Tax on either of those cases, and I know that they are not unique. Indeed, to partially counter Leiter’s assumption that the public support for repealing the Death Tax is the result of misapprehension on the part of the population as much as it is philosophical opposition to the very idea that one can’t leave one’s money where one wants to leave it.

Filed under: General

Click here to go to the main page.

4 Comments»

  1. I’ve come to realize that my opposition to abolishing the estate tax is contained completely in the issue of capital gains. If a person has untaxed capital gains at the time of their death, then those gains are never taxed if there is no estate tax, I assume. The person inheriting the stock, or property, would incur capital gains based on the value at the time of their inheritance, if I understand this correctly. And I don’t think that’s fair. Any untaxed capital gains should be taxed at the death of the owner. But any other type of wealth, I’ve come to conclude, should not be taxed at death. I hope this makes sense, I may not be explaining myself well.

    Comment by Harry — Wednesday, June 30, 2004 @ 5:01 pm

  2. I’ll comment here, although I may write a bit on this and trackback later.
    Here is one reason why the estate tax is a very good idea: to avoid excessive concentrations of wealth across generations. It was passed in 1916 as a direct response to the massive estates and excesses of the “Guilded Age.”

    I might agree with adjustments to the estate tax (e.g., raising the trigger to, say, $3-5 million), but the abolition of the tax is ultimately un-democratic. A democracy will eventually begin to falter as weath-and power-become concentrated in the hands of a minority.

    On a final note, the term “Death Tax” is just a rhetorical device to cause people to dismiss the idea without ever thinking about the the issues and policy.

    Comment by OJ — Thursday, July 1, 2004 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Steven, you might like this essay I wrote in November….
    http://www.cuzwesaidso.com/archives/000029.html

    Comment by Rip Rowan — Friday, July 2, 2004 @ 10:55 am

  4. OJ,

    I disagre For one thing, the issue of wealth concentration is not a serious problem in the US (in my opinion). For another, the issue isn’t democracy, per se, but one of wealth distribution.

    And while I concur that the term “Death Tax” is used for rhetorical puposes, I would not concur that is it used by people who never think about the issues and policy.

    Comment by Steven — Friday, July 2, 2004 @ 11:14 am

RSS feed for these comments.

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)


Take a Look At This!
  • Tabloid News
  • Word of The Day
  • Chronograph Watches
  • Office Shredders
  • Cash Registers
  • Ricoh Fax Machines
  • IBM Typewriters
  • Copy Machines
  • UNIX Consulting
  • Web Design
Inquiries
Blogroll


Visitors Since 2/15/03
---

Powered by WordPress