The ‘death tax’ is nothing short of government wealth confiscation, period
by: J. D. Heyes
Friday, March 01, 2013
There is an old expression that goes something like this: Nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. If Congress and President Obama don’t reach an agreement this week on the so-called pending “fiscal cliff,” this expression will take on renewed meaning.
That’s because, effective Jan. 1, a series of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes will take effect. And one of the tax rates set to expire is a dramatically lower Estate Tax rate signed into law by President George W. Bush 10 years ago. If no agreement is reached to extend this cut – and it doesn’t look like an agreement is in the offing – this so-called “death tax” will rise to its previous rate, which is substantially higher than it is now.
“At the moment,” reports CNBC, “the estate tax is applied to inherited assets at a rate of 35 percent after a $5 million exemption. That means a deceased person can pass on an inheritance of up to $5 million before any tax applies.”
The president wants to boost the rate to 45 percent after a $3.5 million exemption; Republicans, on the other hand, have called for a complete repeal of the death tax (though House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has called for freezing the tax at its current level).
But if lawmakers and Obama do nothing, the rate will revert back to its pre-Bush level of 55 percent after only a $1 million exemption.
What government takes from some, it can take from everyone