This entry is part of the Carnival of the Objectivists
. Be sure to check it out, over at The Rule of Reason
, and see all of the great entries. There's quite a good turnout today!
Now, on to the Death Tax:
The Senate has a rare opportunity coming up to repeal a tax
, something that has to be near-unprecedented.
It’s a small tax, as far as the federal budget is concerned. It consists of somewhere in the neighborhood of one percent of the total taxes collected. There are some very good, and violently ignored, arguments that the cost for all the accountants and lawyers to keep track of the darned thing are more than the actual amount of money coming in to the government. There’s also a wealth of supply-side evidence which presents the uncomfortable fact that a repeal would likely increase
Just as important as any of those reasons is the moral
reason to repeal the tax. As with any tax, it is morally repugnant on the grounds of its violation of a man’s right to keep what he earns; his right to live for his own sake. But this Death Tax is especially repellant because it takes that premise so much farther.
Consider the very idea of a Death Tax, for a moment. The deceased has already paid whatever taxes were demanded in the first place when he earned his wealth. If he wanted to bequeath this money while he was still alive, he wouldn’t have to pay a tax on it first. (although unfortunately, the recipient might)
So why does he have to pay extra for being dead? Is there something wrong with dying, that it has to be punished or something? No, the answer is far more sinister: in the eyes of the taxman, he’s just collecting what was his all along.
You see, your property was never yours at all. “Your” property, and by extension your life, belonged to the state. They were just letting
you use it. Everything you have is, in the end, their
To quote the villain Orren Boyle in Atlas Shrugged
|“After all, private property is a trusteeship held for the benefit of society as a whole.”|
But as deplorable as the premise of this tax is, it pales in comparison to the arguments used to defend it. The Anniston Star
has an article entitled “GOP seeks death of tax fairness,” which illustrates this point nicely. (those with weaker stomachs may want to skip this next part…)
It’s a textbook example of what I have often called, the Marxists’ total inversion of the facts
| The class war has resumed on Capitol Hill, and the objective of those who have initiated the latest battle in the conflict is to concentrate even more wealth in the uncalloused hands of the elite.|
Oh, the class war has resumed has it? Because the wealthy want to end the practice of near-total confiscation of their wealth, they are somehow engaging in “class warfare?” In fact, the repeal of the Death Tax would be an act of moving to end the class war that our mixed economy has brought us.
|This time around, the tax break would not even be for those who have worked for their fortunes, but for those who were simply born into the right family.|
Again, the exact opposite is true. The primary beneficiaries are the deceased, whose wishes of what should happen to their hard-earned fortunes will once again be respected, instead of desecrated. Their response, of course, is that the dead’s wishes need not be respected… they’re dead:
|Propagandists serving America’s elite have dubbed the levy the "death tax." Of course, it’s not really the dead who are being taxed — after all, they’re dead — but rather those fortunate few who inherit millions and millions of dollars from their dearly departed.|
Need I even respond to this? I suppose they advocate grave-robbery, as well? I mean, it’s not like corpses need those fancy tuxedos.
Ah, but the Marxism doesn’t stop there:
| The misinformation campaign about the tax is being bankrolled by 18 of America’s richest families, according to Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy (see their report at faireconomy.org).|
Textbook Marx! Rich peoples’ arguments for keeping their own money should be automatically ignored. They’re rich. They need say no more.
Of course, when non-rich people get together to fund political pressure groups to enable the looting of other peoples’ wealth, somehow the same logic doesn’t invalidate their arguments.
But if that wasn’t enough to convince you to embrace their Marxism, they have some… um… well, class warfare arguments to apply:
|While a miniscule number of families will be drinking Dom Perignon if the estate tax is jettisoned or significantly revised in their favor, the rest of us will pay for their celebrations in the form of higher taxes or reduced services somewhere down the road.|
See? If you don't let them loot the rich, then they’ll come for you
instead while those fat cats
sip their Dom Perignon
. Pure class warfare, naked and unashamed.
What kind of argument is that, anyway? They may as well pass a bill implementing nationwide decimation
, and sell it on the grounds that the first nine out of every ten people shouldn’t worry about it because it’s not targeted at them
. This call to fiscal cannibalism, by the way, is part of the “moral argument” which they think gives them license to ignore economic realities.
Ah, but once again, there is a certain historical familiarity:
|When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.|
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out; I was not a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
- Martin Niemöller
(thanks, SoftwareNerd, for the quote!)