Here’s an excellent post on the absurdity of GOP outrage over a tax on the accumulated wealth of dead people, in order to provide essential services and infrastructure for the living. Ian Welch sums it up perfectly:
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. If you want a tax cut now, you pay for it later - with interest. If the rich want a tax cut now, the middle class will pay for it later, with interest. But I want to say something more about the estate tax. There is no fairer tax. If it were up to me, it wouldn’t just be reinstated to it’s full 1999 level, it’d be increased to tax even more from the richest DEAD PEOPLE.(snip)
Taxation is a zero sum game. You can take the money from dead people - who don’t need it or you can take it from living people who do need it.This view of the Estate Tax has me wondering why we need to bother fighting the “Death Tax” label with alternatives such as the “Bling Tax” or the “Paris Hilton Tax” when it arguably isn’t a tax at all?
A tax is really just a means by which citizens share the cost of an organized society. When you are dead, there’s nothing left for you to share! If the organized society in which you lived afforded you the opportunity to accumulate wealth beyond what you (and probably your children) could possibly spend, then why shouldn’t it be “recycled” so that the organized society can be maintained for those who remain to live in it?
Taxes are dues paid by the living, in order to have a stable economy, services and infrastructure. When you die after having taken more wealth from the economy than you could possibly spend, why not put it back into services and infrastructure and call it what it really is: Economic Wealth Recycling!