Maynard wonders whether the return of the “death tax” will cause a rash of suicides, with worse to come…

2010 presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Everyone knows there’s no escaping death and taxes. But 2010 may be the only chance we’ll ever get to choose between death or taxes.

Here’s the quick summary of where we are and how we got here, courtesy of The Heritage Foundation (click to the full article for further editorial comment):

Current Policy: Congressional policy on the death tax has been to phase it out and then abolish it for close to a decade now. The 2001 tax cut began an eight-year phase out of the death tax. It lowered the rate from 55% in 2000 to 45% this year and increased the untaxed portion of estates from $1 million to $3.5 million. In 2010, it completely abolishes the death tax.

So the death tax has been gradually reduced and finally extinguished. But…

Back to Life: The death tax only expires for one year, however. It comes back to life in 2011 at a 55% rate and $1 million exemption.

There has been some discussion of eliminating or reducing the resurrected death tax, but the Democrats are not sympathetic. They say it doesn’t affect that many people, and the people affected don’t have the political muscle to effectively complain, so they should just fork it over. The Republicans are concerned that family businesses will be destroyed, and they point out that a death tax is unfair because the value being taxed was already taxed in the first place. But the Democrats sell death tax as a class warfare thing; a chance to stick it to “the rich”. Polemics such as this tend to prevail against the abstraction of “fair”, especially as applied to a minority that isn’t favored by political correctness.

So the politicians blather and squabble, and meanwhile a number of Americans face a troubling situation. The man (or woman) that dies on or before December 31, 2010 can pass his intact life’s work along to the next generation. However, if his heart is still beating when the clock ticks midnight, then his subsequent passing will cause the liquidation of his assets, with the government grabbing the lion’s share.

If you were late in life and owned a viable small business, would you perhaps be tempted to make a final sacrifice for the benefit of your loved ones? Whether or not you’d actually take this step, you can see why this terrible thought would creep into your mind.

How many people will actually end their lives because the government has created a dynamic that pressures them to do so? I think our national policy will hound more than a few good people to their premature graves.

When the suicides come, the Democrats may lament that some private wealth slipped through their fingers. But they’ll be just as glad to see these people drop off the map, because it alleviates the pressure on the healthcare system and leaves one less voter who probably supported the political opposition.

And what of those of us who live to see the dawn of the brave new year? Do I need to point out that, with the coming healthcare rationing and the 55% death tax, the government has both the means and motivation to kill off its aging people? Many thanks, citizen, for your years of productive service! Now please die so we can take your stuff to pay off our cronies.

Am I starting to sound like a kooky alarmist? Yes, maybe a bit. It takes a leap to imagine we’ll get to the point of an actual “Soylent Green” policy. No, I don’t believe our government is actively planning to kill us. But you can see that the government has growing reason to kill us. The power, the motive, the opportunity…this is the sort of temptation you do not want to have in anyone’s hands. Would you trust a stranger to be your sole caretaker when you’re critically ill? What if that stranger would collect most of your financial assets if you were to die? And what if that stranger were a spendaholic, deeply in debt, and facing financial catastrophe if he can’t get his hands on a big pot of money?

Are you starting to get uncomfortable? I sure am!

As the man said, power corrupts. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created a limited government. If modern Americans have forgotten the hard-learned and hard-won lessons of our elders, there will be hell to pay.

This section is for comments from's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Tammy agrees with or endorses any particular comment just because she lets it stand.
10 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. jupaczyn says:

    Is it possible for the “wealthy” to sign over their assets or gift them or put them in trust before the Death Tax is reinstated to keep the government from seizing them, or did the vultures add something to the statute to prevent that from happening?

    • Maynard says:

      The fact that you ask this question illuminates the problem. You know darned well the Kennedy wealth is not going to flow into Washington’s coffers, nor will the infirm or dying Kennedys ever receive anything less than tiptop care. These people know how to work the system, partly because they live and breathe bureaucracy, and of course in large part because they built the bureaucracy. However, creatures that live and work in the real world like you and I scratch our heads and throw up our hands when we seek fair treatment from this Kafka-esque nightmare. We’re out of our league, and our uncivil servants know this and treat us accordingly. So, to answer your question to the best of my extremely limited abilities, there may be pathways through this wilderness, but I take it they’re at least somewhat exclusive. It’s pretty obvious that if all you needed to avoid government confiscation was a straightforward document, then the Democrats wouldn’t make such a big deal about reinstating the death tax. I mean, if any poor slob could evade the thing, then there’d be no point in having it, would there?

      Hmmm, with respect to your nick…No relation to Juspeczyk, I take it?

  2. Gordon says:

    The question that I see is whose death is actually in the cards…ours…or the political death of you-know-who(m)?

  3. thierry says:

    i don’t have a tin foil beret and i am not one of those worried about the lizard people from another galaxy establishing a New World Order but an unfeeling socialist bureaucracy is just that- it seeks to maintain its faceless monolith self and it’s accounting books at all costs. the bastards ARE out to get us and if more people thought of it in this manner the better to stop this crazy thing definitively.

    the death tax is wealth confiscation and redistribution- an attempt to disrupt economic classes- which was bad enough before urkel decided it was imperative to control the actual physical bodies of americans not just their wallets. deathcare and the nazi cretins who are being put in charge of our personal health care choices by executive fiat makes it imperative for people to question how low these people will go? how far? it will reach a point where its too late. ask the germans. ask the cambodians. ask the iranians who removed a shah to receive a far more deadly tyrant.

    urkel was showing his true colors long before he was elected. it was willfully ignored and veiled over. when the democrats rolled over instantly with their RINO pals and assumed the submissive position any hope our own government system would check and try to balance him was blown away. his justice department is backing black racist fascists that are yucking it up about killing cracker babies along with making the “get those jews” noises. these thugs showed up with weapons and actively scared people of all colors away from the polls. brown colored brown shirts. nice.

    this comes from complacency-people, educated people who have no working conception of what it is really like to surrender your individual freedoms for ‘the good of the whole’ which always descends into brutal inhumanity and ends the same sad way. narcissists more concerned with savaging others to aggrandize themselves and their own intellectual vanity than stopping the makings of another Reich, another USSR, another Holocaust.

    oh, yes, they’re out to get us via any means necessary and the starker its painted maybe the more the motivation to crush it.

    • IloiloKano says:

      thank you e e cummings

      you really must get that shift key fixed 🙂

      • thierry says:

        and i should crookedly care?
        once you’ve seen death’s clever and enormous voice
        capitol letters hardly matter to long talkative animals.

        and ee cummings was a republican from cambridge MA.

    • Laura says:

      I like your post thierry

      I am not letting these jacka***** get in charge of my personal health care, they can all roll over ROT AND DIE!! End of life counseling my a**! They are the ones who will get end of life counseling, and that Berwick freak looks just like the Emperor from Star Wars.

      I am beyond motivated to crush them, I am so ticked off I could uproot a tree.

      I do believe our government is out to kill us because there is a reason for their plan, and it is based on the destruction of those who dissent and will not comply with them.

  4. jeaneeinabottle says: For all who are depressed this may help a tad. Please keep praying for our country and for courage and wisdom, we will get through this. God will never leave us keep your armour on. United we stand!

    • morecowbell says:

      There are several different options available to avoid the death Taxes that have been used for decades. Your best bet is to talk to an estate lawyer, financial adviser or competent accountant regardless of your financial situation and let them spell out which options are best for you AND your family. A good ‘money guy/gal’ will talk to you about Life Insurance, Wills, and Trusts (sometimes corporations)… all of which can be adapted if the tax environment changes in the future. The key is to review about every 5 years and make sure you are taking advantage of the changes. You need to be aware of State death taxes as well, so use someone local and if you move (like retiring to florida), rework accordingly. It sounds expensive at first, but, believe me, it’s worth it!

      I digress.

      Thierry, I have a raspberry beret, does that count ??

You must be logged in to post a comment.