Timing is everything and one single minute could cost you big time. An article came out today about the death of Yankee’s owner George Steinbrenner which tells the story of how by the sheer timing of his death, his heirs will avoid have a half a billion dollars stolen from them in estate taxes.
This coming January the Federal government will reinstitute a 55% estate tax that will in effect steal the wealth from the people that built it and redistribute it to those that did not build it. FIFTY FIVE PERCENT!
This begs the question. By what right does the government have to take half the estate of the deceased? Haven’t they already paid taxes their whole life? How much is enough? It must be that the government just looks at this as easy pickings.
And in the case of Steinbrenner, let us remember that it is he who is the one (and not the government) that took the risk way back when to purchase the Yankees putting up something like $160,000 of his money and it was he who built it into a billion dollar property.
Along the way he employed no doubt countless people, provided decades of ancillary incomes for anyone connected to the game; from the people who sold beer to the parking lot attendants to stadium workers to the people that sold licensed merchandise, and to the state of NY (in taxes). On top of that he provided years of entertainment for the people of New York and beyond.
Just think about this – how in the world should the government have any claim whatsoever on this man’s heirs? By what right? Fortunately for them Steinbrenner died in a convenient window of time because just 7 months later and they would have had a $500,000,000 bill from the government.
And don’t think this just hits the super rich. Far more families that are not rich will get hit with this. When you have a billion bucks and half of it is confiscated you’ll still be OK although you may have to sell the farm to pay the taxes (as it is assumed the Steinbrenner family would have had to sell the Yankees to cover the tax bill). Yeah – that’s sound fair right? The Federal government believes is deserves half your wealth because your daddy died so just sell the Yankees…
However when you have a family with a few hundred thousand in the bank after a lifetime of doing the best they can, sacrificing to build wealth and the government confiscates half, life gets real hard real fast. The government should have no right to tax what is passed on from the deceased to their heirs. All of it has already been taxed.
The lesson here is when we have a new Congress in place, sane people need to get the estate/death tax abolished. The living pay enough taxes and the dead need to be left alone.