Monday, December 28, 2009
Repeal the death tax?
The New York Times published an editorial about the estate tax yesterday, garnering the usual rants about "death tax" and double taxation yada yada.
Some facts: 70-90% of the money that estate taxes tax has never been taxed. Not once. And for even the small proportion that has been taxed, estate taxes don't tax the dead. That's pretty tough to do unless you have a pretty exotic theology.
Estate taxes are an income tax on the recipients, who have never before been taxed for this income.
And it only applies to .3% of estates. That's right--one in 370, or three tenths of one percent. And of that tiny group, an even tinier group comprise people trying to pass on their hard-earned wealth. It's money made by Paris Hilton's great-grandfather and George Bush's grandfather. It's money a bunch of coupon-clippers want to pass on to their coupon-clipping progeny. Or to their pet dog. Or to the very attentive young lady from the escort service.
If you want a detailed rundown on this scam, and who's behind it, look here.