Taxes, Death, and Death & Taxes

At some point I was going to talk about this.  Ever the opponent of the ridiculous, I have no choice but to address the absurdity of this policy.

First the obvious; we pay tax our entire lives.  But more importantly,  we can presume that those who would pay the lion’s share the tax annually that those same people would have contributed the lion’s share of income tax over their lives (or capital gains).

I am not going to go further into tax rates and brackets (today), other than to say they are irrelevant to this discussion.  What good reason is there to say that someone who is a law-abiding, hard-working, tax paying citizen is in good standing with his government one day, that if he dies the next day then he owes (his family does) half of his estate to the government?

Let me explain something to you.  That’s communism (or at least socialism).  You can call it the redistribution of wealth, “paying the boatman,” or just a tax, but I call it property of the state.  No matter what you do, if you amass more than ‘x’ in your life you have to give half of that to the government.  If you were to quantify that, using some simple straight percentages it would really seem preposterous. Let’s try:

  • work your entire life in 50% tax bracket
  • leave over 50% of what remains to the government (its rightful owner)
  • you realize (in your final moments) that you spent 75% of your life working for the state

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