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"Guarding The Family Fortune"

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/op..._r=1&th&emc=th

Last week, as the unemployment rate hit a 25-year high and nearly one in 10 Americans was receiving food stamps, 10 Democrats in the Senate joined all 41 Republican senators to cut estate taxes for the wealthiest families.........

With economic pain and suffering on the rise, how do the senators justify a big tax cut for multimillionaires? By asserting that an estate tax cut is just what struggling Americans need.........

Senator Blanche Lincoln, a Democrat of Arkansas, co-sponsored the measure with Senator Jon Kyl, a Republican of Arizona. She said it was critical to creating jobs through small businesses. “With all the money we’ve spent to help the economy, very little of it has filtered down to Main Street and family-owned businesses,†she said.

The implication is that upon the death of an owner, estate taxes typically devastate small businesses and the jobs they provide. That is swill........

Under today’s estate tax, which is retained in both the House version of the budget and in President Obama’s version, 99.8 percent of estates will never owe any estate tax..........

Of the tiny number of estates that are taxable, almost none are small businesses........And almost all such estates are able to pay the tax bill without having to sell business assets........It would not jump-start job creation on Main Street.
post #2 of 9
I agree! it is just pandering to the emotions of the voters to make them believe that they will benefit as much as the ultra-rich will.
post #3 of 9
So taxing up to almost 50% (thereabouts) on cash and assets that have already been taxed (through income tax via earning, taking cash out of investments, earning interest, sales tax, property tax, etc.) is fair because they someone dies? I sure don't recall 1/2 of all property being the government's upon death. Silly me.

Oh wait...it's only the "ultra-rich", right? Those large family owned farms, the few that are left, wouldn't be worth 3 million in land value, equipment and livestock, right? Family owned businesses wouldn't have those kind of assets, right? If they earn $3 million to pass on to their heirs then the government deserves 50%! What?

I won't be personally affected by the estate tax. I don't think my father would be, since he would inherit part of the family farm that he grew up on. Honestly, I'm not sure, since I don't know how much land the family still cultivates, owns and leases out, or how much they have sold off through the years. We didn't live on the farm so weren't involved in the day to day running of the operations.

Regardless of the fact that it is not going to do anything for me, personally, if they tax the heck out of those rich bast.... erm.... people, I still don't think the government has the right to grab up close to 50% of the assets of someone just because died, especially since all of that money and property has already been taxed once.

And I certainly don't think that not taxing the hell out of someone's assets is any kind of "give-away" or "funneling money". It wasn't the government's money to begin with. How is keeping the money they already have somehow some big windfall?
post #4 of 9
See, I have to disagree with you Pookie. Estates don't only belong to the "rich". "Estate" usually means how much what is left is worth, it doesn't mean that someone is filthy rich.

For me, first my dad passed away, and then my mom. I was the only child and I inherited 2 houses (one I grew up in and my parents' owned for almost 40 years) and a rental property that they bought for a song and fixed it up and rented it for extra income. I also inherited 2 cars that needed to be claimed as estate, not to mention furnishings in the house, clothing, any antiques, jewelry, china, etc. Plus, any 401k or IRA (as in the case of my mom) went to the estate if she didn't have a beneficiary named.

I just managed to squeak by in Maryland law to not pay estate taxes. Her entire "estate" equalled $148,000 and some change. In Maryland, to avoide estate tax was $150,000. The IRA that was cashed in didn't cover the expenses to pay bills on both properties (we still needed water, heat, electric, etc while cleaning out my mom's house), plus the city and county taxes that needed to be paid on BOTH properties while we were waiting for one or the other to get sold.

Don't think "estate" means "ESTATE", as in a mansion with tons of money. Regular people can have and "estate" too. It just depends on how much it all adds up to.
post #5 of 9
This is one of those issues where most people don't care because "it doesn't affect me." I talked with someone yesterday about the cyberterrorism issue and she said she didn't care if someone was reading her emails because she never wrote anything she wasn't afraid of having them read. Then I asked her if she didn't care if the government trampled on her rights of free speech and privacy and she said no. And someone else said it wasn't a problem because "have they ever done that?" Estate taxes don't affect me, either, but we've got to be concerned about things that don't affect us because it doesn't necessarily stay that way. It's the old "foot in the door" and "slippery slope" syndromes. And if you don't understand that in relation to the government, you haven't been studying the history of government.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
See, I have to disagree with you Pookie. Estates don't only belong to the "rich". "Estate" usually means how much what is left is worth, it doesn't mean that someone is filthy rich.

For me, first my dad passed away, and then my mom. I was the only child and I inherited 2 houses (one I grew up in and my parents' owned for almost 40 years) and a rental property that they bought for a song and fixed it up and rented it for extra income. I also inherited 2 cars that needed to be claimed as estate, not to mention furnishings in the house, clothing, any antiques, jewelry, china, etc. Plus, any 401k or IRA (as in the case of my mom) went to the estate if she didn't have a beneficiary named.

I just managed to squeak by in Maryland law to not pay estate taxes. Her entire "estate" equalled $148,000 and some change. In Maryland, to avoide estate tax was $150,000. The IRA that was cashed in didn't cover the expenses to pay bills on both properties (we still needed water, heat, electric, etc while cleaning out my mom's house), plus the city and county taxes that needed to be paid on BOTH properties while we were waiting for one or the other to get sold.

Don't think "estate" means "ESTATE", as in a mansion with tons of money. Regular people can have and "estate" too. It just depends on how much it all adds up to.
I am not sure who your tax advisor is but the Maryland estate tax starts at estates valued at $1,000,000.

The federal estate tax is in the millions as well.

I am more concerned about the AMT then the estate tax. I think they should take care of that which will affect many middle class individual that will actually spend money in the economy better that the richest class, IMO. But no one wants to take that on. They keep slapping band aids on the AMT instead of fixing it.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by peachytoday View Post
I am not sure who your tax advisor is but the Maryland estate tax starts at estates valued at $1,000,000.

The federal estate tax is in the millions as well.

I am more concerned about the AMT then the estate tax. I think they should take care of that which will affect many middle class individual that will actually spend money in the economy better that the richest class, IMO. But no one wants to take that on. They keep slapping band aids on the AMT instead of fixing it.
It wasn't my tax advisor, it was when I was filing the estate with the register of wills. They told me my estate fell right below the line of taxing, but that may have been a register tax or something....

Ok everyone, just forget everything I said, I think I'm confused....
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by peachytoday View Post
I am not sure who your tax advisor is but the Maryland estate tax starts at estates valued at $1,000,000.

The federal estate tax is in the millions as well.

I am more concerned about the AMT then the estate tax. I think they should take care of that which will affect many middle class individual that will actually spend money in the economy better that the richest class, IMO. But no one wants to take that on. They keep slapping band aids on the AMT instead of fixing it.
I'm one of the conservatives that actually believes in an inheritance or estate tax, as long as it is reasonable. 50% is not reasonable. I also believe that it should start at around $5M and be graduated - say 5 to 15%.

The argument that the money was already taxed when it was earned doesn't hold water for me. All money that you earn was already taxed when someone else earned it before paying you! We all pay tax on top of tax. We pay hidden taxes in the form of gasoline taxes, sales taxes, social security taxes, etc., non of which are tax deductable when computing your personal income taxes.
post #9 of 9


That's so true!! If the American public only knew how much taxes they were actually paying, they'd march on Washington tomorrow. Just think of all the taxes you never see because they're buried in the price of something; taxes disguised as fees; taxes passed along as described above; taxes on "unearned income" (WTH is that!?!?!? -- I didn't deserve to earn it???) "alternative" "minimum" tax (if your regular tax isn't enough, you've got alternatives to pay more!!) not to mention state taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and on and on. Then there's the "payroll withholding" tax. COME ON. Call it what it is: MEDICARE.

If you've got it, they'll tax it.

Supposedly April 13 is "tax freedom day" and they're crowing because that's earlier than recent years. 'course, that's just income tax. You'll be working until after Thanksgiving to pay the rest (yes, that's hyperbole; I have no idea of when the total tax freedom day is)
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