Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Next year, the federal death tax — otherwise known as the estate tax — will be phased out entirely. It will be gone. But it won’t stay gone.

This phase-out was part of tax cuts Congress passed in 2001. The death of death taxes should have been permanent. After all, meeting the Grim Reaper is tough enough as it is. As you’re about to expire, do you really want to ponder how 55 percent of what should go to your heirs will be confiscated as soon as your coffin goes into the ground? It’s enough to make you want to skip dying altogether.

Unless Congress acts, come 2012 the death tax will pop back into life, as ravenous as it ever was at a full 55 percent. What will happen as the previous year draws to a close? In a Newsweek column archly entitled “Death, Republican Style,” Jacob Weisberg notes that rich elderly people will have an incentive to die by December 31, 2011. Their kids will have an incentive to “turn off respirators in time for the deadline.” Though morbid and sorta sordid, he has a point.

So what’s the solution? I mean, aside from vilifying the GOP for the political compromise leading to this end game? Weisberg is mute. But if his concern for the elderly is genuine, he could start by urging Congress’s Democratic majority to kill the death tax for good. Then we’d all want to live!

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. jo ann says:

    Hmmm, no wonder the ‘health’ bill wouldn’t go into effect until 2013. Keep the seniors alive UNTIL the death tax comes back, so the government gets to collect all that money.
    You just KNOW that some dems have already thought of that.

  2. Joel Glasser says:

    I tend to agree with jo ann.

    And, the “health bill” has the part where (elderly) are supposed to meet (I forgot the exact wording) – re qulaity of life, etc., and consider dying.

    And, that is probably how the Dems. expect to cut $500 billion from Medicare.

    And, 2013 is AFTER the presdiential election ( assuming that we have one, and Obama and Acorn don’t declare himn King/Emperor/Messiah.

  3. Richard Poor says:

    So you favor having no “death” or estate tax. That one should be able to pass to their heirs as much as they can with no interference. That the children of the megarich should be able to become megarich just because of who their parents are. That there should be families where one is born rich and allowed to stay rich despite having done no work to earn their wealth.

    You are advocating a system where one is put in a certain social class strictly on their lineage. Isn’t this what our forefathers rebelled against. Weren’t they also in favor of a strong inheritance tax? Didn’t they want each generation to have to prove themselves as individuals, not to be taken care of by some trust fund?

    If you want to take care of your children and grandchildren pass on values and wisdom, not a sense of entitlement through elitism.

  4. Estate Taxes says:

    I actually agree on both sides. However, we should also have this thinking that “One should learn how to fish.” For him/her to be able to learn how to spend the wealth that he/she has wisely.

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