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Common Sense

Cavuto: Hillary gives new meaning to 'taxed to death'

This gives new meaning to the term "taxed to death."

Word Hillary Clinton is proposing an even steeper hike in the estate tax than she has already.

Forget 45 percent. She wants to take it all the way up to 65 percent.

True, that 65 percent rate will ensnare only those worth more than $500 million. I'm sure startling news to her billionaire backers nonetheless.

But she's already reduced the amount of what she calls rich estates.

It's 5.45 million bucks now. She wants to take that so-called threshold down to 3.5 million.

I know what you're thinking. Relax, this is just rich folks.

Wrong. This is just the start.

If history is any guide, what constitutes wealthy keeps going down and the tax on that wealth keeps going up.

Right now, the estate tax is 40 percent on estates worth more than $5.45 million.

Then, inspired by Bernie Sanders, Ms. Clinton proposed hiking it to 45 percent, again on estates worth 3.5 million.

Then 50 percent on estates worth more than $10 million, and 55 percent on those worth more than $50 million.

You see where this is going?

Now, again, I know what you're thinking. Even that lowest threshold of 3-and-a-half million bucks seems like a lot of money.

But remember, this thing isn't indexed to inflation. It won't seem like so much money years from now.

So a lot can change, including what's considered a lot.

Remember when a 100,000 dollar house seemed like a lot?

Or a couple in that house making a 100,000 dollars seemed like a lot?

Or dollar-a-gallon gas seemed like a lot.

It didn't take a lot of years for "a lot" to change.

Except government's insatiable appetite for more.

Don't believe me. Believe history.

When congress re-adopted the income tax in 1916, it slapped a one percent tax on incomes above $3,000, and a 6 percent surtax on incomes over $500,000.

Just two years later, the top rate soared to 77 percent under the guise of financing World War 1. It stayed that way long after World War 1.  

And the next world war, and lots of wars after that.

And yet with each bump up, each surtax added on, we were told it would be temporary.

It wasn't.

Just like it wasn't in Europe, where they cooked up something called a value-added tax originally meant to replace the income tax.

What started out as a roughly five percent surcharge on some purchases a few decades ago, is now 20 percent or more on pretty much all purchases today.

And that income tax it was replacing, alive and well and more than triple what it was when this whole value added tax started.

Some value.

But man-oh-man, some tax.

Hillary Clinton's tax plan alone is now 550 billion bucks over the next 10 years.

Write it down, but I suggest you do it in pencil.

Because it keeps changing.

Here's one thing that does not.

Government spending.

It keeps going up, as does the mad scramble to pay for it.

Wouldn't it be great if politicians were half as creative coming up with ways to save money than "get" money.

To live on less than simply tax us more?

And don't you find it rich they always say it's the rich?

And it's always about them paying their fair share?

Because the definition of rich keeps changing.

And so does fair share.

Take it to the bank.

No, actually in this case, take it to the grave.

Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including 'Bulls & Bears,' 'Forbes on Fox,' and 'Cashin' In.' Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.