[FoRK] A plea for the death tax

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Sat Feb 21 14:05:17 PST 2009

It has become a shibboleth among the right wing that the death tax is
the worst of all taxes. As with almost everything else, their views on
this are quite topsy-turvy. Just after I die strikes me as the one
time I wouldn't suffer much from preparing and paying tax. March is
the month that I think we should trade the income tax entirely for a
death tax. Even if it would have to be at an onerous rate to achieve
revenue neutrality. Let me prosper while I live, and not worry about
1099s. And then when I'm dead, the government can have its due. I
wouldn't get penalized for living in a fashion that my income varies
wildly from year to year. There's none of the problem of figuring
which expenditures are deductible -- whatever is left is left. And
those who owe me money will get a kinder and gentler creditor.

Then there are the economic benefits. People respond to incentives. A
penalty on death will cause people to figure out ways to live longer.
If the only certainties are death and taxes, what better way to
minimize their effect that to set them against each other?


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