Taxing Times

Is it time to kill the death tax (search) once and for all?

Congress pushing to do just that, but while it's an easy fight in the House, it's far from certain in the Senate, where the class warfare (search) game is played.

Viewer Bill Petree puts it all in perspective far more simply than could I. He writes:

"Take two people with the same education and salary.

"Person A lives off of 60 percent of his take home pay all his life. Buys a small house and takes the money he does not live on and invests it. He does not take his family on fancy trips.

"Person B lives off of 100 percent of his take home pay, maxes out his credit cards, buys a big house. Lavishes his family with junk and saves nothing for the future.

"Both men die.

"Person A has accumulated considerable wealth because of his saving and planning for the future. But the estate is large and he has to pay death taxes on what he is leaving his children.

"Person B has nothing, his children get nothing. The house has to be sold, the cars and jewelry too to pay off the debts, but the debts still exceed the assets. So who pays the debts? Other people in society. But he pays no estate taxes.

"Both paid the same income taxes to support their country. But the wise and prudent man is penalized by the estate tax just for trying to make his family better off and secure. Building wealth should be the goal of our society."

You're right, Bill. Neither, I might add, should it be punished by society.

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