Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested a 70% income tax, followed by Ilhan Omar calling for a 90% tax and Elizabeth Warren suggesting a wealth tax. That would be 2% to 5% of their total worth.
Now, Crazy Bernie Sanders has proposed his own massive tax. He is now proposing a 77% inheritance tax. That’s right, he wants the government to get 77% of everything you own when you die. That’s a huge cut, especially when you consider that they paid tax on all of their earnings. This is basically a double tax.
If you own a business or a large farm, the government gets 77% of your money and your family loses the business or farm. That’s real fair.
Under Sanders’s plan, estate tax rates would jump to 45 percent on estate value between $3.5-10 million, 50 percent between $10-50 million, 55 percent between $50 million and $1 billion, and then a staggering 77 percent above $1 billion. Under current law, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, estates valued up to $11.2 million are exempted and the top tax rate is 40 percent.
However, even before the passage of the TCJA, the top rate was the same, and estates up to $5.5 million were exempted.
Yet as Democrats in Congress quibble over what seasoning to use while eating the rich, Senate Republicans led by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) released a proposal to completely eliminate the death tax. Thune and his compatriots have the right of it, for both moral and policy reasons.
The moral reasons to do away with the estate tax are plain to see. Death should not be a taxable event, and families mourning the loss of a loved one have enough concerns without the tax collector knocking on their door. Besides that, estate taxation is a form of double taxation — money that gets taxed upon inheritance has already faced taxation (at least) once in the form of income taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, etc.