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Blog

    Restore the Estate Tax

    07/21/2010

    Democracy and Power 103:  Government money

    In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. – Voltaire (1764)

    Restore the Estate Tax


    Michael Kinsey, The Atlantic Wire, calls on Congress and the President to restore the estate tax.  Kinsey chronicles the Congressional machinations that produced ten years of estate tax rates decline.  Presently, the rate is zero.  Absurdly, in 2011 the rate will be 55 percent.  Congresses, ruled alternately by Republicans and Democrats, have violated an essential element for a free and prosperous society - a predictable and stable legal order, upon which people make rational decisions.

    Sadly, few in government or the mainstream media care about the structural elements fostering freedom.   Kinsey, an advocate of a powerful government, bluntly states his philosophy – government ought to have the money.

    …. It (estate tax) is not intended to punish people for having a lot of money. It is intended to raise the money we need to run the government, and to do so as fairly as possible. In 2008, very near its low ebb, it raised $25 billion. To the extent it sends a message, the message should be that we’re all in this together, to the best of our ability, and some of us are more able than others.

    The FREEDOM Lesson:

    A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions.  The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.

    In recent years Congresses have arbitrarily passed estate and other laws that disrupt the legal order, which prevents all Americans to rationally choose how to invest their intellect, skills and money.