The N&O editors pen this article about the state death tax, an article so packed with immoral, collectivist appeals to “fairness” that one begins to question their intentions.
First, they justify the death tax by saying it only affects a few people. According to the N&O editors, these people are too few in number to care one whit about. After all, when you’re trying to cook an omelet, a few eggs will get broken, right? Obviously, because these individuals accumulated a certain amount of assets during their life, they have no rights to dispose of their earned property as they wish when they pass away, according to the N&O editors.
The editors continue:
Those who bite on the Republican bait that this is a death tax dipping its hands into family fortunes might also consider that absent the revenue that North Carolina collects from the tax ($170 million a year by 2014), other citizens will have to make up the difference or state budgets already at the bone would have to be cut even more.
Here they reveal their true priorities: the most important thing is to ensure that politicians have “enough” of your money to spend. The $170 million represents less than 1% of the state’s General Fund, and when factoring in the entire state budget (including federal funds and other receipts, which bring the true total state budget to around $51 billion) the state death tax revenue amounts to three-tenths of one percent. So the N&O editors expect readers to believe that state spending is so cut “to the bone” that they can’t survive on 99.7% of current revenue levels? And keep in mind, if this revenue were to no longer be available, that means that the very lowest 0.3% of government priorities would be eliminated – not core services. It is preposterous to always scare people that any revenue reduction means the schools will shut down or the roads would close. When you experience a loss of revenue in your household budget, you don’t immediately cut out the highest priorities – like feeding your family. No, you cut back on the most non-essential items you feel are nice to have but don’t really need. Same applies for the state budget.
They then insist that the estate tax spreads the tax burden more “fairly”. But aren’t taxes supposed to be a means to finance essential government services, not a means for social engineering? Besides, the notion of tax “fairness” is an artificial and arbitrary notion used to disguise political power grabs.
The article closes with this:
The estate tax is hardly a burden on those few inheritors who have to pay it. It is a modest but valuable asset to government revenue, and there is nothing unfair about those who have inherited money from the people who earned it having to pay a tax on this one-time “income.”
Wow, where to begin with this? Why is the estate tax “hardly a burden” on those inheritors? Because the N&O editors say so, that’s why. Try telling that to these real people who fear the estate tax may cause them to lose their family farm. And that money is a “valuable asset” to government revenue – apparently it has no value to those families. It is simply immoral and indefensible for the government to take earned property from people when they die to finance the most frivilous and non-essential three-tenths of one percent of state government spending.
Finally, declaring that there’s nothing unfair about the government taking this property from the heirs is truly frightening. What’s fair about the government subverting the dying wishes of a human being?