So is there any harm from an inheritance tax?

Barney Frank claims "Heirs Didn’t Do Anything to Deserve Inheritance." Even if true (though that question should be left up to the person who is giving the money), taking away the money will still impact the incentive to earn the money to begin with. An inheritance tax works the same way as an income tax in discouraging work.



Blogger Hecate said...

Around these parts, inheritance tax destroys family farms and ranches, not to mention family-owned small businesses.

12/20/2010 3:50 PM  
Blogger Chas said...

The schoolyard bully will tell you that you didn't do anything to deserve your lunch money, so you have to give it to him.

12/21/2010 4:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

And the government did something to deserve it? What did we do to deserve Barney?

12/21/2010 8:26 AM  
Blogger LB said...

No one sits around thinking that I should make less money because I'll have to pay taxes. I guess that you shouldn't have written your book because you had to pay taxes on the receipts. And I guess that you won't be writing another version because you'll have to pay taxes again and that more important than what you have to say and you don't want to pay more taxes.

Inheritance tax works the same way. I don't want to inherit a million dollars because I'll only be left with 55% because of the inheritance tax. Leave it to someone else!!

If you want to leave me all of your dough and book receipts, I'll take it and pay the tax, no worries.

12/21/2010 9:27 AM  
Blogger TooMuchTime said...

LB, you may be right. But...we're talking about the right to choose. In this case, the right of the person who earns the money to choose to whom he gives it. The democrats claim they are all about choice but when people want real choice, it's denied. So, Barney Frank thinks the gov't should decide who gets your money. No.

Also, you missed John's point. Sure, if someone is giving me an inheritance, I'll take it. But that's not always a good thing. In some cases, the property being inherited has to be sold to pay the death tax. But if a person knows that a pretty stiff tax on inheritance will keep his children from getting their legacy, he may be less disposed to work harder to attain that property.

Repeal the 16th amendment and pass the FairTax.

12/21/2010 5:42 PM  
Blogger LB said...

This tax came about as away to pay for a war. The original Stamp Act of 1797 which was later appealed was to help pay for the French war.

Then in 1815, when we were in war with England, it was reintroduced as away to pay for that war.

Today, we are in two unfunded wars.

Throughout US history, we seem to be in some kind of war, inheritance tax seems to be a source of revenue to help pay to keep us all free to write our opinion on blogs. If we didn't have this tax, it would have to be replaced with some other revenue source (tax). Freedom isn't free.

12/21/2010 5:51 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

LB; The answer to funding wars is quite simple. Either do not engage in war, or make those who declare war fund it themselves. The resulting outcome will be the same.

We whom are past and present members of the Armed Forces are not interested in dying for our country so that others can destroy our country in the name of Liberalism. We will however, defend our country against those who wish to destroy us, and our way of life. Barney Frank and his ilk, are those such folks, yet we are constrained by our morals to not engage in such activities. We simply vote when we want internal change.

Here's a history lesson for you, LB:

The tone and tendency of liberalism...is to attack the institutions of the country under the name of reform and to make war on the manners and customs of the people under the pretext of progress."
--Benjamin Disraeli, Speech In London, June 24, 1872

If your version of 'progress' is to destroy what some folks have worked all their life to build up, perhaps you should find another country to live in. As you so eloquently stated, freedom isn't free. It is paid with by the blood and lives of others who believe in the foundation of what made this country so great.

The United States does have a history of bad behavior, yet with our style of governemnt, we do have the chance to improve the lives of all citizens. Taking away the fruits of one's labor, does not improve anything!

12/22/2010 11:32 AM  
Blogger LB said...


No one is impacting your decision on who you choose to give you money too. Mr. Lott's title is misleading because I didn't hear Barney say that govt should choose who you give you money to. In fact, he said that the person didn't earn the money themselves, he called it a gift. I guess this depend on your definition of earned which generally relates to labor, or a merit for compensation, or service.

"But if a person knows that a pretty stiff tax on inheritance will keep his children from getting their legacy, he may be less disposed to work harder to attain that property."

I understand his point. I just disagree that everyone in the country thinks like this. This is a defeatist attitude. The task is hard and we may not be able to pass the benefits to our children so we don't try at all. This country was built on innovation and a can-do mentality. I just can't believe that we are now turning into a country of fear of failure.

And you are assuming that the person inheriting the money can duplicate their success. I worked for a guy who inherited a business from him dad that went under a few years later. He couldn't run it as well. A guy killed himself because he lost all of his families wealth to Madoff ponzi scheme. My point is that inheritance tax is one of many perils and probably the least one to worry about.

I reviewed the FairTax concept. Bruce Bartlett, a supply-side guy, domestic policy advisor to Reagan and a Treasury official under H.W. Bush wrote a nice article saying that the FairTax won't work.


12/22/2010 2:05 PM  
Blogger LB said...

@Martin G. Schalz
I'm not even sure how to address your first paragraph. Congress has declared war five times: War of 1812, Mex-American War, Spanish-American War, World War I and II.
Congress has authorized 10-12 military engagements. The last four were requested by the last three Republican presidents. Iraq and Afghanistan were requested by W. Bush, Gulf War by H.W. Bush and before that Reagan Lebanon. Who do you think should be paying for these wars?

I haven't served in the military but many of my relatives have. My uncle for 25 years, my cousin retired from the military and my grandfather did some time. I'm not sure that you can be the speaker for everyone who has ever served in the military but I'll respect your opinion.

Ignorance never settles a question.
Benjamin Disraeli

Liberalism sprang up in the Age of Enlightenment. It rejected concepts like hereditary status, Divine Rights of Kings, and absolute monarchy. Without these concepts, you wouldn't have any opportunity to advance in society. If your dad was a baker, you would become a baker too.

If you reject these concepts like you say, you should move to N. Korea or Iran because America was built on the concepts of Liberalism. Liberalism was one the major thoughts behind the American Revolution. The American colonies declared Freedom from the monarchy of Britain. Once the war was over, the founding father created the Bill of Rights which is liberal in nature: natural rights of liberty and property, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free assembly, and the right to bear arms. These are all liberal thoughts. Without Liberalism, you wouldn't have an opportunity to own anything unless you were a part of the ruling class.

As far as freedom goes, we also have to pay in dollars to maintain our way of life. Bombs and bullets are free either.

12/22/2010 6:56 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

LB: My first paragraph was quite clear and self explanatory. If war is not declared, then war need not be funded. If those who declare war, are saddled with the expense of funding the war themselves, the same result shall occur.

As far as to who should be paying for these wars, I think I answered that question above.

Let us now look at whom and what ideologies are followed by those whom label themselves 'liberals'

Conservatives want fiscal and personal responsibility. Liberals wish to tax and spend we the people in the name of what they consider social justice. In 'funding' their view of social justice the Liberals achieve two things. Votes, and oppression of the people that they claim to be helping.

Perchance your understanding of 'Liberalism' is dated? Destroying personal liberties in the name of social justice is not justice at all. Nor is it 'Liberalism' in the true sense.

As to our 'founding father'(sic), I think you misunderstand history. Our country was created by radicals, not liberals. To say that all men are created equal, and are subject to natural laws when freedoms are concerned was a very radical concept at the time. A concept which even as I respond to you, is being attacked by those who call themselves liberals.

Maybe you pay for wars from your paycheck, but the true cost of war is our children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts etc. Blood, tears, lost limbs and minds. Cities can be rebuilt, but individual human beings cannot be replaced.

The Madman says to the Clown; "I tell you Clown, this place is dark!" The Clown replies; "There is no darkness. There is only ignorance".

So tell me; what is the cost of peace, if you know the cost of war?

12/29/2010 11:34 AM  

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