Sunday, January 23, 2011

Estate taxes

There has been a lot of talk lately on the federal level and here in Ohio about estate taxes. Those on the right propose eliminating or drastically reducing them, those on the left prefer the status quo.Two arguments arguing against the elimination got me thinking,one called it the fairest tax and the other worried about governmental budgets. Supposedly it is the fairest tax because it only affects the richest among us.

Fair is an interesting concept is it fair if the reward for hard work is getting to pay for everything while the person who didn't achieve pays nothing. Some will say that the inheritor didn't work for this money therefore this money is fair game. This doesn't really address the motivation of the estate builder who is working to take care of his or her family. Many times the wealth of a person is not held in liquid assets but in the buildings and tools of wealth building. When a person inherits a large family farm or business it often entails selling the business or taking on debt to pay the tax man.

Governmental budgets that can't be met are another issue all together. Budgets grow during good times and then we hear during the hard times how we can't do with out this program or entitlement. In the real world we don't just get to say I need a raise I've got to many bills.

When people start to tell you something is fair ask your self is it truly fair to everyone or just the person saying it's fair.