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Estate Tax

Currently there's no Federal Estate Tax. It's a long story, but in this calendar year of 2010 anyone who died, their heirs got a free pass. You know George Steinbrenner's family was jumping up and down!

Where do you stand on the estate tax? I'm totally against it. No matter how you look at it, it's redistribution of wealth. An estate tax is the government taking physical property. Don't believe me? Ask any survivor who's had to sell a business, possessions, a farm or other physical property to PAY the tax. That's the taking of property.

Some will argue that it's totally fair. Well, if it's fair, then EVERYONE should pay an estate tax. Don't you agree? Or, is it better to just tax the wealthy because they represent such a small voting block that it doesn't matter if they're upset?

You do realize this is the motivation of elected officials don't you? How can they get the most by upsetting the LEAST amount of voters. I know this is true because for four years I sat at a table surrounded by several politicians that OPENLY said this. Perhaps you're not aware I was an elected official for two terms of office. I was voted into office as a village councilman in Amberley Village, Ohio in both 2005 and 2007.

Anyone who dies just after the ball drops at Times Square in New York City in just 13 days is going to be subject to the reinstated Death Tax. Ooops, not everybody. You can read the latest about this in today's FoxNews story about the Congressional Battle going on over the Estate Tax.

Are you curious where others stand on the Estate Tax? Go take this quick unscientific survey. I wasn't surprised by the results. I doubt you will be either.

What's your takeaway after seeing the survey results and reading the story about the battle in Congress over this? Can you see why we absolutely must work each day to remove people from office that think like Congressman Anthony Weiner? He's so out of touch with the vast majority of American people, it's unimaginable.

Here's what's happening this weekend - right now as you're sipping your coffee. Congress is working at putting into place a law that a vast majority of people don't want. They don't care what you and I think.

Oh wait, that's right, we're just these DUMB, UNEDUCATED, UNINFORMED IDIOTS that can't do research, and are IGNORANT OF BASIC ECONOMIC principles. We're weak and just not able to discover the TRUTH. The elected officials are these pious acolytes, beacons of understanding, that know what's best for us. Why didn't I see that? Did you miss that too?

Let the comments begin!


I'd like to see a combination of the Fair Tax and a National Sales Tax replace all other (business and individual) taxes. Take the lobbyists totally out of the picture. If we can't do that, I think an estate tax should look like this:

Taxes on estates should be the same as if the person were still alive.

1. Cash in the bank, posessions, etc. - no tax, regardless of the amount.

2. All investment assets should be taxed as capital gains, but only when SOLD. This way the family business or farm would not ever need to be sold to pay the government.

I realize I'm way short of the 2,000+ pages our representatives think is necessary to solve an issue, so I may need some help!

Dave M. on December 18, 2010 9:29 AM

This is just another scam on the American people. I am really disappointed in the Republicans going along with this so called Obama tax compromise. Nothing is going to change in Washington.

Robert Donegan on December 18, 2010 9:35 AM

Its too bad that when I pass on I can't leave my
possessions to my children. The government
it seems to want to pass it over to others that in
no way earned a dime of it. Its time to clean
house down in Washington !

Roger on December 18, 2010 10:05 AM

if we stay on the course we're on america has seen it's best days. if we emulate europe we'll become like europe. the estate tax should be abolished. too many small businesses have to be sold because of inheritance taxes. it's not fair to people that work their whole lives to have it all taken away from their families when they die. children that work in a family business all of their lives shouldn't have to sell the business to pay taxes on it. the income tax laws are too complicated and need to be simplified. taxing income makes a lot more since than a death tax that takes the family out of a family business. we need to quit borrowing from the future and fix things today so our children can live in a free country and have the opportunities that we did.

herman on December 18, 2010 10:27 AM

agree with Dave M. on this ...

if you want to tax people fairly then replace the income tax with a national sales tax (with reasonable credits for the poor) ... rich people derive no benefit from money they don't spend (and if they don't spend it, they will have it invested in some fashion which also benefits the economy)

if you insist on taxing income and estates, then yes, just continue to tax the income derived from an estate or the capital gain generated when it is sold, not the "perceived" gain when it is inherited

Dave Y on December 18, 2010 10:30 AM

What is really sad is that when people are counting on an inheritance later on in life. People have gone through life savings and retirements because the government gave bailouts to big corps and not to the lil people. And now people are not going to be able to count on that! Thanks government!!!!!

Dave S on December 18, 2010 10:32 AM

Oh and thanks Tim for getting me more upset!!!

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:


That's my job. What I'd really like to see you do is channel that energy into helping elect people that are true fiscal conservatives. Representatives that can shrink the size of government and minimize their place in our lives.

Right now there about to pick your pocket while you lay in your casket. This is nothing new, as the Death Tax has been around for many years. It was just this year we got a break.

Dave S on December 18, 2010 10:35 AM

I always laugh at the pollsters and the perverted math they use in their analysis. If, for sake of discussion, there are 100,000 estates currently valued over $5 million and 50% of the voters think they should be taxed.

A more relevent statistic might be the fact that the 50% who don't think they should be taxed is made up of 98% of people who are not affected, but understand the unfairness.

In other words, 49% of the people who would not be impacted by this tax believe it is wrong.

Mark Billings on December 18, 2010 10:43 AM

I am for the family legacy staying intact. This could include the family farm, a business, the family home, even expensive heirlooms. Large amounts of money given to the heirs can be very corrupting to one's character. What to do here I am not sure but I am sure I don't want the government to get even one dime.

Maynard E. on December 18, 2010 11:00 AM

Merry Christmas, Tim!

Congressmen like Weiner aren't out of touch, they just don't care! Whatever it takes to give them more money to spend that can keep them in office.

I have always believed that the death tax is a form of double dipping. People who have managed to have something left at the time of their death (which makes them rich in the eyes of Uncle Sam) have already payed a variety of taxes on that money.
I strongly agree that a Federal sales tax should replace the income tax. The wealthy don't pay "income tax" anyway as they don't have a paycheck. They play plenty of other types of taxes. No need to worry about the poor either. If the Federal sales tax was small, everyone would be able to contribute, even non-citizens who purchase in the US. BUT, it had better not be instituted until the income tax is abolished or we will be paying both!!

Linda B. on December 18, 2010 11:05 AM

I totally enjoy the firepit. As I read the comments on estate tax(death tax), I am in awe of Congressman Weiner's (as in Oscar Meyer) comment to a Fox News analyst.

Quote "Why should you even care about the death tax, you'll be dead". So now we know where this man stands (i have a hard time calling him congressman). The so called death tax, and I don't care what label you put on it, is a tax on a tax.

All of the monies from an estate has already been taxed. Has anyone thought about all the property taxes that have been paid on land that is passed down from an estate. Has anyone thought of all the income taxes paid on products produced by that land. All the sweat and tears that goes into owning property. Then when you go on to your great reward, people like Weiner step in and start stealing money from your survivors. This death tax certainly cannot be constitutional. I think if you could find it possible to just give your estate away, or sign it over to your survivors this could help. When I reach that point that is certainly something I
am going to consider.

Ray Lindsey on December 18, 2010 11:18 AM

Others here have mention this issue concerning Tax's...I think NOW is the time to really place on the agenda the issue of revising our tax sysytem!..Flat Tax, Fair Tax etc..I do not like a Value added tax...but to have debate all the above, for i think the current tax sysytem is so convuluted and plain insanity.

Richard on December 18, 2010 12:17 PM

What gives the Government the right to tax on wealth that you alreay paid taxes on.

Sig Maika on December 18, 2010 12:22 PM

Tim...That the new bill including the estate tax, which will clearly not apply to estates under 10 million, should I believe eliminate any cause for your concerns about the hard working people who might die intestate (without a will)? How many people leave an estate over this magnitude? I am still trying to get an answer from you as regards the real problematic facts, that with the declining middle class and the unemployed, unable to carry the required tax burden, to maintain your nations government, and now the top 2% are holding the remaining wealth of the nation, and will pay no taxes as a result of this new tax bill. Who is going to pay for the essential services of the nations populace? This argument about "death taxes", given they will really only apply to any "patently stupid really rich people", who haven't already dispersed their estates prior to death to avoid any taxation, is nothing more than an argument for arguments sake! It is the most minor issue one could possibly raise and is a severe waste of time. Not when there are so many other major issues facing your country. Remember you are talking about estates over 10 million? I don't know anyone with that kind of wealth, who can't afford a tax advice lawyer? You are once again fighting a battle for those who don;t need your support! Try looking at the people that can't afford a meal or toys this christmas because they are out of work. I find this whole issue of protecting the interests of people with more than 10 million value estates a little disingenuous especially since they are not sitting with empty "stockings" for their children at this most special time of year!

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:


I'm beginning to wonder if you read my comments.

I've answered you multiple times. Currently the US Government collects hundreds of billions of dollars of taxes. Perhaps over a trillion each year. The exact amount is not important.

The PROBLEM: The legislators and President(s) are spending more than they take in. So we all know that they have to borrow the rest to make the math work.

SOLUTION: Reign in spending - just as we do on a personal level when things get out of control.

Please don't tell me this isn't possible. Why? Because it is possible. Many states in the USA do this each year. New Hampshire, where I live, is operating on a balanced budget. When tax revenue doesn't meet projections, they CUT spending.

What's so hard to understand about that?

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 12:54 PM

Tim you said also: "You do realize this is the motivation of elected officials don't you? How can they get the most by upsetting the LEAST amount of voters"

Are you surprised at this? If you are, then you clearly are naive? This is after all what a voting system within democracy demands? Rule by the majority is the way these officials are elected after all. Once elected they are responsible for the welfare of the totality of the electorate, but they only must focus on convincing the majority that they are capable of doing the job in order to win?
You make simple statements that the legislators are passing laws that the"majority" are not in favor of? I should point out that that is a perception of what one has to live with during a specified time period between elections. I would however caution that this assumption, that the "majority" agree with you, simply because you have supporters willing to agree, does not automatically represent any real majority? One can disagree and continue to opine their own positions. That is their right, but I repeat that many on your blog voice opinion without knowing or having access to the information and the real facts. All this causes is a great deal of useless impractical and meandering rhetoric? Along comes the greedy pundit that knowingly advantages himself of this ignorance, by only focusing upon what will incite support from this radical source of "ignorant of the real facts" followers. I am guessing that most of your posters do not fall into the category of 10 million dollar estates? I may be wrong and if that is the case then I hope your coffers and donations to your site reflect this wealthy dynamic....:-) I know I receive no donations from the UBER rich as I attack them incessantly. always with good and sound reasoning for they are particularly capable of fighting back. Thus far I have no scars as I use irrefutable facts and real statistics to fight my battles, not conjecture and assumption?

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 1:23 PM

Just as a reference for your readers this is the actual wording from the report.
"...........In the end Thursday, the House voted for the $858 billion package that includes a federal estate tax, called a "death tax" by critics, that will allow the first $10 million of a couple's estate to pass to heirs without taxation................"

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 1:31 PM

Merry Christmas Tim.
Why is it that the government thinks they know how to spend my money better than I can and if someone dies leaving a large estate why would anyone think they should have a share in it? The problem is SPENDING, not more taxes. Time to start slimming down all the entitlements we have.Oh, whats the point. You can't argue with a liberal Democrat. However, I'm not giving up any of my money easily. There is not much left that is not taxed so all that is left is to keep increasing the percentage. This must change !!!

Russ, Hebron on December 18, 2010 1:47 PM

The money has already been taxed...
We feel that Congress should be taking a cut in wages to show their own committment to paying back the national debt!

Edward on December 18, 2010 3:45 PM

Dear Tim,

I guess I am trying to get you to answer with more specifics including actual numbers, for a linear economic plan that actually achieves a balanced budget for your nation. I posit real numbers to support my arguments, why can't you? Band aid partisan suggestions are simply opinion, and not in any way viable economic plans? Equally my reasons for repeating my questions, is not that I don't read your posts! It is because you keep repeating the same idealistic rhetoric and solutions that, while they appear ideologically attractive, are in fact bogus and inaccurate from an economic viability standpoint?

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:

Idealistic rhetoric. Are you kidding me? What part of Balance the Budget don't you understand? I looked at the bio at your website. You know all about budgets. Other countries in the world can operate with balanced budgets. We know that to be a fact. They may be small, but by gosh they operate in the black or at dead even.

I have no problem with governments borrowing money. We all borrow. But borrow too much to fund extravagant lifestyle, and you can get in over your head. People do this, companies bite off more than they can chew and so do some countries.

I told you that the states are required to balance their budgets. Cities and towns in the USA do it. I served for one that always had a balanced budget. In fact, we had an $800,000 rainy-day fund savings account. And this was a village with a $2.2M annual budget.

Why don't I give you exact numbers? Because I have a job. I run a home-improvement website. This website is a place for me to publish my opinions. Just like your opinions. That's all both of us bring to this party - opinions. Your rhetoric is just as hollow as mine.

Remember, you're not an expert at this, not by a long shot. I notice from your bio you have no political experience. I have ten years of it on a local level. Share with us what gives you mystic powers that allow you to know what will and will not work.

I'm not a US Congressman or US Senator. It's not my job to come up with the numbers. But I do know it's possible. I've already given you the proof.

I've said in any number of posts here at my Fire Pit that to start to get to a balanced budget you:

Cut Federal Employees pay and benefits
STOP senseless spending on things that are absolutely unnecessary - for examples of that, just go look at the earmarks that are on many of our bills.
STOP waste and fraud in all the entitlement programs
STOP giving so much money away to foreign nations

These are just a start. I'm sure if I was paid to do this 40-60 hours a week, I'd be able to show you what you want. For now, you just have to use your imagination.

Perhaps you've answered it at your website, but tell me why towns, cities and states can get it to work and there's not death and destruction in these places, but for some reason it just won't work on a national level. We'd all appreciate it if you could speak in a language that we can understand. Sometimes you're way up in the clouds with your hypothetical thinking and writing.

James, I'm not going to argue with you because for goodness sakes, you're not even a US citizen. I respect your opinion, but you don't even have a skin in the game down here. With all due respect, you just have an *opinion* as to what we should be doing down here.

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 4:03 PM

Tim Just to prove to you that I am constant in my the same and hold our own political and corporate dynamic to an equally high standard, here is my latest posting from my personal site.

Ottawa, banks discuss measures to rein in Canadians’ personal debt
From Monday's Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 12:01AM EST


When it is so increasingly obvious, that the populace itself is becoming irresponsibly attached to the negative side of the consumer dynamic, and unless the Government and the central bank takes steps to curb this "greed instinct" in our society, we will without doubt follow our southern neighbors into an unbalanced economy, and no amount of frugality or budget cutting forced upon the government, will fix this excess on the part of the individual!

If the American government over the past 25 years, had followed the example of fiscal responsibility shown by our Canadian officials and central bankers, as regards this "greed dynamic" in their own domestic economy, they would not be suffering to the same degree they are today! Our system of checks and balances should never succumb to any demand, to follow the folly of an American style, totally unfettered free market principle. Common sense and principles of thrift are always necessary and are indeed essential to maintain a healthy and balanced consumer society. Peoples access to credit must therefore always be more tightly monitored. Banks need to be held accountable for any activities that force any enhancement of any unnecessary individual credit risk, simply to serve their bottom line!

Kudos to our central bank administrators for their willingness to address this issue, before it presents itself as another "bubble" on the corpus economica!

James M. Convey
Senior Analyst AYIKO GmbH

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 4:15 PM

I shall withdraw Tim. I am 63 years old and have spent my entire life in the world of government and economics. If indeed you read my bio you must have seen the section referring to my work an the economic construct of the euro single document policy? As I can see that your edginess could easily turn to anger and insult, and that is not my purpose. It does show however once again that ideology and reality are not the best mix! Your criticism of my points borders on the edge of anger and not logic, as I have been politically active my entire life! One cannot be an economic analyst without a clear knowledge of how the public sector functions. It is certainly a fact that any who enter the sector for short periods of time, as say one or two term elected officials are hardly qualified to remark on the specialities of the science that is good government, let alone good economic policy. Let us just leave it at that and you have a Merry Christmas. I have tried to add my commentary without personal animus and I therefore withdraw from any further debate.

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:


I wasn't angry at all. I'm frequently frustrated by your comments. What you feel in my words is frustration. You don't want to see me angry.

You seem like a stand up guy, but since you bring up the topic of criticism of comments, often your comments seem to come from an ivory tower that stands above the rest of us. We had this discussion a week or so ago when you said that many of the comments here at my blog are made by uneducated people.

Often the tone of your comments is quite condescending. I'm sure many of the people here at the Fire Pit agree, but I'm one of the very few that reads all of the comments. The only reason you see me challenging you is because often it's just you and I reading what each other says. No one else is in the room.

I covered that today in my email. Most people come and read what I say and then some leave a comment. They don't come back. A vast majority never read what you have to say or my banter with you back and forth. The same is true with our buddy Lou.

You serving next to government is not the same thing as the day-to-day grind. Do you have a unique perspective? Absolutely yes. Are you an expert? I'm not yet convinced. If you were, I'd expect you to be knee deep in it up there in Canada as part of your government. I respect your years of work in the financial sector just as I'd hope you respect my 36 years as one of those entrepreneurs you keep saying will bring us back from the edge.

You and I both know the problem with the USA is really very simple. You may want to make it complex, but it's not as complex as you describe.

We just cut spending. Plain and simple. It's absolutely possible. Very few people would die as a result. If they (people or companies) were getting money from the government, they'd find it elsewhere. They'd figure out a way to survive. Even if they had to rob and steal. I'm not suggesting that, I'm just saying they would somehow find food and shelter.

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 5:23 PM

Tim I did not say they were uneducated people sir! I said they were " ignorant of the facts, as with the normal populace of any nation"
Once again you made an assumption? I take into account that people work at their jobs and don't have time to do what "I do for my living!" Does that mean I am less worthy as a commentator?
Equally I don't believe you read my posting in response to LOu's comments? I am repeating it here, as it was posted three topics ago!' I don't believe it was in any way "condescending" although I have no way of knowing your levels of sensitivity to criticism or honest opinion? I would also add that I have worked in the US for over 5 years during the Keating mess which should have been sufficient warning to your banking sector, but again was overlooked due to excessive greed at all levels!

'@Lou... Thank you for the compliment. I hesitate to delineate any "right thing" solution to Americas problems, being that I am after all not an American. I can say from a professional point of view however, that my analysis of any problem, necessarily does not involve emotion, or any ideological preferences. Otherwise it would be flawed, as it would only then be simply a non scientific opinion!
That economists may differ as to specific solutions is true, but all are aware of the basic rules of macro and micro economic theory, including basic mathematics! One thing I know for sure is that when ideology becomes intermingled in any way with science, the results are nearly always flawed, and in extreme cases, lead to disaster. History is resplendent with such evidences.
I have pointed out on this site, that while I certainly understand the emotions and desires of all, for solutions for the economic difficulties that beset your nation, one cannot simply "throw the baby out with the bath water" to use an aged idiom.
That Tim and many posters agree with this fervor for change, while understandable, it would appear that the basic "ignorance" of economics and structure, common to any populace of any nation in general, allows for an undisciplined approach to solutions, that may well sound good and even have some basis in fact, but they are in almost every case, unscientific and thus impractical approaches to very complex problems!

The extremist politician does of course love to take advantage of this "ignorance of the masses" dynamic. Again history tells us this over and over again, but we seemingly never learn the lesson?

In this impractical "noise" it is very difficult for practical men to reach practical solutions? Simple logical questions and answers become ignored, as the desires and ideological penchants of the extremists views, and the blame seekers, drown out sensibility?

For instance I posited the following question to Tim about the numbers as to the new Tax bill? I resubmit it for you and all to ponder upon? (Consider that it comes from an outsider with as Tim says "no skin" in either side of the left or right game!

If, as we know, the middle class is basically disappearing into the haze of increasing unemployment, and with them go the taxes they once paid. And if 90% of the remaining wealth of the nation is controlled by the top 2% of the populace, as is already agreed as fact, by all economists globally, right or left.
And that 2% are also now 'not' going to be paying any taxes. Who is going to pay for even basic Government services, if you don't borrow from the Chinese or the Europeans and of course pass this indebtedness to your children and their children's children? This is deficit madness at it's worst!

Forget all the left - right furor, would someone turn off the blame guns for a while and ponder this question. Which is about the survival of America, regardless of your ideologies?

In my opinion, the right wing have done an excellent job over the last 20 years, of protecting their corporate masters on Wall street. That is their raison detre' after all, but certainly not for the American people as a whole community. They have never felt any need to answer these questions as their real constituency are that top 2% of the nation!................

The great nation that is the United States, has in my opinion, permitted the pendulum of equal distribution of it's wealth and economic sustainability, to swing too far in one direction. In my studies I was always taught that capitalism is a tool for the betterment of the society as a whole! Western Societies in our world, led by America as we have progressed to this point, are known as "mixed economies". In other words a combination of socialist and free market philosophies. The Global market cannot function at the extreme edges of this dynamic, be it either left or right that is the extreme! We know this! Central controlled economics means central. It is not an ideological position. It is the result of "sensible compromise" reaching a central point for implementation of actions for the good of the "society as a whole". That is the duty of your government agents!

The American dynamic, from an outsiders viewpoint, seems to have drifted away from that once logical community that honored all of it's parts? I believe the speed of life and the greed is good genre, that beset America after the fall of the Berlin wall and the defeat of communism, led to the place you find yourselves in as a nation. In an "unfettered by any regulation" world, America proceeded to play a game that was after all, theirs to control, as none could now stand in the way. Other like minded strategists in other western economies followed suit and played right along.

No credence was given to any who voiced caution, as it, along with every other sensible rule, was thrown to the wind. Today you find a Nation in turmoil and yet still unable to seemingly grasp the reality of the times you are living in. That is the reality of a populace anesthetized by the rewards and unreasonable benefits of this new rampant consumer society!

Attacking with vehemence and even hatred, those that differ in opinion, has become the norm it seems? Spurred on by media punditry, the American people are tearing at each other, as if their neighbor is not only suddenly a stranger, but is also culpable for the place you all find yourselves in? In this atmosphere nothing will ever be resolved and social strife could well escalate!

Until your leaders are able to swing the pendulum back to the centre, and the entrepreneurial spirit is reengaged and people reset their priority clocks to a "practical reality" setting, then this strife will continue. I believe that America can recover and become again a credible leader in a new Global community of nations. But not if they choose isolationism, and jingoistic fervor to return to some superpower status that will continue to bleed your nation of it's sovereign wealth. Those days hopefully are behind us all.
I apologize to any who may be offended by this posting but I trust that you will allow that it is offered in a spirit of concern and respect from your neighbor to the north.

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 5:53 PM

perhaps my writing appears somewhat condescending, since I have been forced to write in an unemotional format for most of my life and which is the expected norm for my profession. I assure you I am not as rigid and unemotional as my prose may indicate. To wax poetic: "If your prick me do I not bleed"...Shylock from the 'merchant of Venice", Shakespeare.

James M. Convey on December 18, 2010 7:13 PM

Good grief, James, you must be a politician or professor. It seems you are best fitted to "talk" an issue to death. Why don't you start your own blog so some of us educated with Master's degrees are not trapped by your blather as we were with our ivory tower professors who were great on theory but had no idea if the theory would fly in real life.

Welfare comes in many forms, and they are all debilitating to human self-efficacy. Why bother when someone (or some entity) is there to bail recipients out.

The "death tax" is another way to beat up on the those who were hard workers and frugal in their spending. Tim is right; we must cut spending FIRST.

Merry Christmas, Tim, you have the patience of Job.

Cheryl on December 18, 2010 8:33 PM

@Cheryl..... You obviously have not read much of my postings. I have identified my personal website on several pages of this blog. Feel free to visit anytime and comment to your hearts content. I trust you will treat me with less presumption and more respect however than you show me in this commentary? My site includes my Bio and several essays and articles over many years on economics and politics. I also work for a living and am an active entrepreneur mentor for our board of trade as well as the world trade center. I don't think that makes me a professor or politician? You ?? Nice that you have a masters however that doesn't count for much, dependent upon the discipline, does it?

James M. Convey on December 18, 2010 9:01 PM

@Cheryl....I must point out that my last piece while perhaps lengthy did represent my final comment to this site and was intended more as a farewell to Mr Carter.

james M. Convey on December 18, 2010 9:04 PM

I think estate taxes or inheritance tax is wrong because it is double or triple or quadruple tax on things that are already been taxed every which way that they can.

Daniel on December 19, 2010 9:57 AM

The only tax that this country needs is the fair tax, and that is to replace the income tax as we know it. There are so many that don't pay taxes on earnings now by not reporting or under the table. Even the bad guys would be conributing!!!

Bob Neveux on December 19, 2010 10:40 AM

Merry Christmas Tim

I am going to die but I am not going to tell anyone. My heirs can bury me in the backyard and continue on just as if I were alive. Then all they have to do is fill out an income tax form for me each year and pay what little taxes I owe. I agree that an estate tax is a dual tax on earnings a dead person has paid. The estate a person leaves behind is property or money or jewelry or etc. that a person has earned and paid the taxes on each year they were alive. As far as I know, a tax on the principle amount of money or property or etc. in which the taxes have been paid through the life span of the person who dies is un-constitutional. It is like taxing the labor of a plumber when all you have to pay the taxes for is the parts he used to fix the problem.


Gerald Davis on December 19, 2010 11:22 AM

i am sure mr convey may have some good ideas and would welcome them in a bullet point blog, but PLEASE stop the pissing match w/tim and other writers! it's so tedious, and by the way, you do come off as sanctimonious. we here in the u.s. are very angry w/our gov't and to a smaller extent angry w/ourselves for abetting by silence the huge growth of government on all levels. better late than never to start a reaction to all of the real and perceived injustices created on the hill. please go to the FAIR TAX website and educate ourselves on how to take back a huge chunk of power from the power elite.

jim newman on December 19, 2010 1:52 PM

J. Convey Please don't reply, to anything here, EVER! Just read if you must and mutter to yourself. Your bulls*** doesn't fly here. You might be "educated" but you don't have or show any sense. Be gone and good riddance.
Tim, et al: The entire estate tax is nothing less than legal theft. Let's not put up with it, by everyone being more informed, more involved, and more proactive. Let's take our country back.

COMMENT BY Tim Carter:


I realize you're upset at James, but I believe you're not expressing my sentiment. I don't have an About Page here, maybe I should.

But as for comments, I decided at the beginning to allow everything and not ever censor a comment. If it was revealed I was doing that, all credibility would be lost.

I decided that if a comment contained abusive language or profanity, it would get deleted. This comment of yours is right at the edge.

James is indeed an intellectual, and I tried to say what you said in another way. I wasn't sure if others ever read our back and forth banter, but you confirm that it was happening.

He's welcome here, but he says he's left on his own accord. We'll see. My guess is he'll lurk as I've not removed him from the email list.

I'm all for the free exchange of ideas. That's why I allow comments. But you could tell I was also frustrated as well.

Jeff on December 19, 2010 2:28 PM

Better to be considered sanctimonious and come from a position of truth,knowledge honor and integrity than to participate in prevarications and pietistic pettifoggery that only promotes hatred and divisiveness! I wish you all a merry christmas regardless of the abusive rhetoric. And I will I assure you not be wasting my energies on this site.

james M. Convey on December 19, 2010 2:42 PM

The Income Tax system (which includes income tax, estate tax, payroll tax, etc.) is a psychotic legal system and only gets worse year after year after year.

Citizens and businesses of this country spend close to 140 Billion Dollars a year and spend
7 Billion Hours in attempted tax compliance.

The Income Tax code itself is 70,000 pages of arbitrary and contradictory laws and opinions.

This plus at least a million more pages of Revenue Rulings, Letter Rulings, Tax Memorandums, Tax Publications, Tax Court, Federal Court and Supreme Court Opinions that are written in an effort to explain the mind numbing Income Tax code.

Most personal, financial and business decisions all have to take into account the Income Tax system and generally require expensive assistance from tax accountants and lawyers who themselves do not even understand the Income Tax code.

This is no way to fund a government and unless something is done this Income Tax system is going to continue to wreak havoc on the US economy.

Scott Greene on December 19, 2010 3:32 PM

Mr. Convey, glad you're no longer on here....who wants to read a book here??? I just want the facts, no use nit-picking every word, make your point and move on......I agree with what Gerald Davis said.....anyways the DEATH TAX IS WRONG..... whether you think so or not......who are you anyways?????? You're not even in the states so what's this to ya ????????GOODBYE.......

Mona Greer on December 19, 2010 4:55 PM

Wow, got my dictionary out to make sure I understood all the 'prose' from Mr Convey :-) but I do have to say that he made very salient and unemotional comments about this topic. While I certainly don't agree with death taxes on anyone, his points were spot on and correct. Just becuase we have a difference of opinion or someone comes along with a more detailed explanation of the subject matter doesn't make them a villain does it? Isn't that what these discussion spaces are for? The politicians DO rely on an uninformed public and they DO take advantage of the masses in that regard. I think Mr. Convey was simply trying to point that out without trying to offend but maybe wasn't successful here. I agree with Tims opening comments and think that this death tax is simply wrong and that pols keeping taking instead of cutting. Until we FORCE them into doing so they will keep trying to find more creative ways of reaching into somebodys pocket. But in this case it is those with 10M+ which is a very small percentage of the populace to Mr Conveys point. Not that it is right, but it will not impact the majority of Americans by any means. When we talk about redistribution of wealth, remember that has been taking place over the last 20 years and its been going to the top 2%, not you or I. The pendulum has swung to the right and it needs to come back to the center that is clear but the right has convinced the public that is somehow a 'socialist' and 'un-American'; a notion and the uneducated public swallows that hook, line and sinker. It's time to grow a pair folks and like Tim protes heavily week after week, start talking to your elected officials and let them know they need to CUT SPENDING not INCREASE TAXES or we'll find someone who will. There are thousands of ways to accomplish this with common sense and rule of law. Now let's all smoke the peace pipe and get busy.

Tom Angell on December 20, 2010 10:30 AM

this death tax is despicable and immoral. People have already been taxed to death on their assets, the money and property they worked hard to earn, so what right does any government have to tax it all again when they die? It is theft.

Craig Mouldey on December 20, 2010 1:46 PM

You work your whole life to build a estate. All along the way being taxed,then you die and your taxed again. How many times can the government tax you on the same money.

Dan Bursac on December 21, 2010 12:02 AM

What the government gets while we are alive is ENOUGH already. Scrap all income tax and instate a National Sales Tax, paid based upon consumption - whether you buy a 5 million dollar yacht or a john boat. Taxing income at an increasingly higher rate does not promote economic growth. Getting rid of all the tax credits would also save tons on bureaucratic government costs. Where has common sense gone?

Bob Rose on December 21, 2010 1:33 PM

Hi everyone. Before I comment on this specific issue of Estate Taxes, I'd like to take a step back and ask everyone to consider the concept of discussions in a blog.

From my experience, when a long-ish series of discussions take place - as often happens here, it becomes more like a debate, except the emotional tone of the perons remarks usually get taken incorrectly by the reader - and usually taken more negatively than they are intended by the writer.

It's difficult to accurately convey and access emotional intent from words only, unless the words are extreme. So, please keep this concept in mind as we continue to "debate" issues here. :)

In terms of the Estate Tax, I'm mostly against it, because it's double taxation - at least in theory.

The Estate Tax is a small component of the overall issue of tax overhaul. We definitely need a greaty simplified tax code. There is no logical reason for the federal tax code to be 70,000 pages long.

Lou on December 22, 2010 4:28 PM

There is absolutely no reason why a person who does nothing to earn a penny of his inheritance should not be taxed when another person who works to earn his money is taxed.
I have inherited money fro several estates within my family and have never whined about being taxed on this windfall.
I really don't understand where this passion to protect the wealthiest people in the nation comes from especially when it is the middle class that is threatened. So why is it that so many plans to reduce spending start with reducing the wages of the middle class; federal workers? They see to be fair game..just leave the rich people alone because they deserve their money.

Larry on January 1, 2011 5:41 PM

Tax the money component of the estate but leave the property alone until sold then hit it with a capital gains tax.In this way no farms,homes ranches or businesses are lost but the snivelling "waiting for the folks to pass on" boomers don't get something the have not earned.By the way I'll be 60 next week and my parents are well off,live on lakefront property and are in their 90's.

roy on January 3, 2011 3:40 AM

Why tax unearned income at a reduced rate? Did the person who inherited the money do any work to earn it?
There is only a finite number of taxpayers. That means if someone is paying less than his fair share, someone is paying more. If I am going to pay more than my fair share, it had better well go to someone who is poor or disabled or otherwise needy. Not to someone who didn't earn it.
The push behind this legislation are the fat cats. Doesn't anyone see that? These people are experts at wrapping an issue around the flag or the "small business" banner and depending gullible to support it.
I have owned a "small business" for over twenty years and with the help of a tax accountant, there is no way I will leave behind over 5 million dollars. Let's hear from other small business owners who are worried about this legislation.
Stop pretending that being pawns for the rich is a virtue.

Larry on January 3, 2011 8:27 PM

Inheritance tax is wrong. What we really need is a flat tax of say 15% on everyone above a certain income with no breaks. That would include income from investments.

John P Mathis on January 6, 2011 8:50 PM
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