Why we need the “death tax”

Because it is not a “death tax” at all as Republican propaganda would have you believe, but largely a tax on the unrealized capital gains of only the extraordinarly rich at the time of death.  Scare ordinary Americans with the idea that they will have to pay a “death tax” and maybe you can get political support for the idea that the super-wealthy should not have to pay.  EJ Dionne has a short little post that nicely points out just how absurd this is:

The Associated Press reports: “Leona
Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be
buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's
grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate
billionaire's estate. Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named
Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was
made public Tuesday in surrogate court.” Or, as The New York Daily News
put it: “Billionaire
Leona Helmsley's pampered pooch will go on living in the lap of
luxury.” This news comes a day after we learn that the number of
Americans without health insurance has gone up by roughly 2.2 million. What do you make of Leona's canine genrosity? Isn't this another reason why we should not repeal inheritance taxes?
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