The Inheritance Tax

Bill Neinast

Liberal drawers are in a bunch again.  The concern this time is over the congressional move to eliminate the estate or inheritance tax.

How dare those simpletons elected from fly over country attempt to pull the government’s hands out of taxpayers’ pockets even just a little bit?  Some of their deep pockets campaign contributors like the Kock Brothers  must have asked them to kill this tax?

We liberals would never think of favoring anyone, foreign or local, who donates millions of dollars to our cause.  That, however, is not the case with conservatives who will do anything asked by their country club buddies.

Individuals with that jaundiced view of the wealthy must not have heard of the book, The millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of American’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D.

The first sentences in that book are, “These people cannot be millionaires! They don't look like millionaires, they don't dress like millionaires, they don't eat like millionaires, they don't act like millionaires--they don't even have millionaire names. Where are the millionaires who look like millionaires?

“The person who said this was a vice president of a trust department. He made these comments following a focus group interview and dinner that we hosted for ten first-generation millionaires. His view of millionaires is shared by most people who are not wealthy. They think millionaires own expensive clothes, watches, and other status artifacts. We have found this is not the case.”

Stanley and Danko found people like my Dad.  A man who went from virtual bankruptcy through 80 hour work weeks to an estate subject to the inheritance tax.  Just like those profiled by the book’s author, he lived in a modest home built in 1913 and drove five and six year old Chevrolets.

He was a charter member of the First Lutheran Church in Somerville and supported other charities.  He was not, however, a political junkie with gifts to politicians. 

The inheritance tax on his estate was paid from assets that had already been taxed at least once. 

So here’s the perspective.

Those envious of hard workers and entrepreneurs who accumulate comfortable estates believe that the wealth of the nation belongs to everyone.  

They also believe that only government bureaucrats are competent to manage the nation’s wealth.  Accordingly, large portions of the assets of greedy millionaires must be forfeited to the government where it can be used for salaries and bonuses for the bureaucrats. 

Do those liberals ever wonder how many of the 1,500+ public Carneigie libraries would be available if bureaucrats had been given Andrew Carnegie’s estate? 

Do they ever wander around Austin and notice the public facilities bearing the Dell trademark?  

Have they ever heard of Henry J. Kaiser and his public foundations?

Have they ever considered the waste of the money taxed from the wealthy once it gets into the salaries and bonuses for Lois Lerner and VA executives squandering the health care of veterans?

Just wondering.


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