An e-mail from R.H. commends the IWF’s fine policy report–authored by our policy specialist Carrie L. Lukas–advocating that Congress junk once and for all the confiscatory estate tax that penalizes people for dying. The death tax is especially onerous on farmers, professionals, owners of family businesses, and those who just plain save their money. Going family businesses often have to be liquidated in order to pay the death tax, which can be emotionally devastating–and the tax diverts otherwise productive money to lawyers and accountants for devising artful schemes to reduce its burden. But liberals love the death tax, which they view as a soak-the-rich scheme for funding government programs.

So R..H. writes:

“The reward in America for the virtuous citizen doing everything right ? Punishment: high taxes, death taxes…. The punishment for an able-bodied person doing every civil wrong imaginable ? Reward:: A free welfare check, free food stamps, free housing, free medical . . . all partially paid for with the virtuous citizens’ death tax.”

Exactly. Carrie notes that the death tax hits women especially hard:

“Women are increasingly starting businesses and face the difficult task of planning for how to ensure their businesses can survive them.  Women also tend to outlive their husbands, and as a result, many women are left with the burden of planning for how to pass on their assets to loved ones.”  

And if you’re in Washington tomorrow morning, don’t miss our IWF panel on my least favorite Supreme Court decision of 2005: Kelo vs. City of New London. That’s the ruling that says the government can seize your home or business property and hand it over to a real estate developer. From 10 a.m. to noon at the IWF headquarters at 1726 M St. N.W.