Tuesday, January 05, 2010

How Do You Decide When to Die?

And does it depend on your marginal tax rate?

It turns out that the super-wealthy (a/k/a our betters) are now desperately trying to cling to life so they can die in the small window this year when the estate tax momentarily lapses before being renewed in 2011. It turns out many wealthy people actually have directives in their wills telling their family to keep them on life support before until the estate tax is temporarily off the books.

Because you can't take it with you, but just because you can't, doesn't mean you should have to pay your fair share of taxes.

And a word on the so-called death tax -- remember, it will never apply to me or you or to anyone you know. If every single member of my extended family died tomorrow and everyone of them left everything they owned to me, I would still not have enough money to qualify for the estate tax when I die. As the article points out, the estate tax applies to about 5,500 people each year. According to the CDC, 2,426,264 died last year, meaning the "death tax" applied to roughly 0.2% of the population. The 0.2% we call the "obscenely wealthy who go to such lengths to avoid paying their fair share of taxes that they artificially keep their corpses alive long enough to avoid paying in any way."

Not noted in the article, of course, is the irony of how much money it takes to keep someone alive who otherwise would be dead. It seems the obscenely wealthy don't mind draining away large sums of money, they just don't want it going to their fair share of taxes...

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