Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

The Death Tax, (or – Gov’t: more certain than ever)

Posted by Jesse on January 18, 2009

My comment at another blog:

hooray! three cheers for statism, liberty be damned.

[just kidding, read on]


Death Tax Repeal a Hoax Lew Rockwell

What a sham – a crime – that people have to pay high-priced lawyers to figure-out ways to get around the law, performing legal acrobatics merely to pass-on their estates to their kids, lest the government get what should stay in the family. The exemption is scheduled to rise, but far too slowly.

Why won’t Congress Abolish the Estate tax? Ron Paul

The real motivation behind the estate tax is a deep-seated hostility to property rights, and a misguided fear of family dynasties. But people don’t keep money in mattresses anymore. Money inherited from an estate is either spent, saved, or invested – all of which are better for the economy than sending it to Washington, where bureaucratic overhead consumes at least 50 cents of every dollar.

If you truly own your property, you have the right to dispose of it any way you wish. You can sell it, give it away, or direct who will receive it when you die. This control is the essence of property rights. If you can’t control what happens to your property, you don’t really own it.

Will the Estate Tax Ever be Repealed? Ron Paul

The estate tax, more accurately known as the death tax because it is levied when a taxpayer dies, confiscates anywhere from 37% to 55% of a individual’s assets. While these rates are unconscionable, the death tax also represents an especially galling form of double taxation. Americans already pay federal and state income taxes throughout their working lives. They pay income and capital gains taxes on money they save and invest. They pay local property taxes on their homes. They pay various sales taxes whenever they buy something. They even pay steep federal taxes on gasoline and telephone use. Yet after a lifetime of burdensome taxes, the death tax punishes Americans one last time simply because they worked hard, saved, and invested to pass something on to their families.


Ripping off the Taxpayers Thomas Woods

The general public has been led to believe that the business class favors the unhampered market and wants government only to stay out of the way of its accumulation of wealth. The truth, of course, is that those who populate the business world possess the same moral foibles as the rest of us, including the inclination to seek after wealth with the least possible exertion. That is exactly what the state makes possible: instead of earning a living by satisfying the needs of your fellow man, you can enrich yourself far less strenuously by employing the state machinery to loot him.

The Economics of the Estate Tax [Joint Economic Committee Study, 1998] {PDF}

Benjamin Franklin noted over 200 years ago that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Unfortunately, the convergence of these two inescapable events, in the form of the federal estate tax, results in a number of destructive outcomes in terms of slower economic growth, reduced social mobility and wasted productive activity. Moreover, the costs imposed by the estate tax far outweigh any benefits that the tax might produce. The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the theoretical and empirical foundations of the federal estate tax, and to explore the potential effects of eliminating or reducing estate taxation.

Death Taxes: Theory, History and Ethics {PDF}

So long as men are mortal, wealth must be transferred between the generations and so long as parents care for their children, the dominant means of doing so will be through family inheritance. The transference of wealth through family benefits bequestor and heir, strengthens family ties, and increases long-term savings. When the state intervenes in this process, it increases its coffers at the expense of the smooth operation of family, society, and economy.

Introduction to Natural Law Murray Rothbard

In order to advocate public policy, therefore, a system of social or political ethics must be constructed. In former centuries this was the crucial task of political philosophy. But in the contemporary world, political theory, in the name of a spurious “science,” has cast out ethical philosophy, and has itself become barren as a guide to the inquiring citizen. The same course has been taken in each of the disciplines of the social sciences and of philosophy by abandoning the procedures of natural law. Let us then cast out the hobgoblins of Wertfreiheit, of positivism, of scientism. Ignoring the imperious demands of an arbitrary status quo, let us hammer out – hackneyed cliché though it may be – a natural-law and natural-rights standard to which the wise and honest may repair. Specifically, let us seek to establish the political philosophy of liberty and of the proper sphere of law, property rights, and the State

Are We There Yet, Are We There Yet? Robert Higgs

So, here we stand, having come close enough to communism for government work. It is a mistake, however, to call it communism or socialism, because a major part of its genius is its preservation of the form of private property rights, even as the substance of such rights is progressively gutted. Properly speaking, our system is, and long has been, economic fascism.

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