Historically speaking, a great time to be rich.

Which kind of implies that there’s a bad time to be rich. Which I doubt. Still. Ben Steverman writes:

It’s a Great Time to Be Rich

I’m sure he means that in a relative sense. Relative to the 1970s, for example. His opening paragraph:

A bonanza of new and extended tax benefits could make it as easy as ever for the rich to stay that way.

The only “new” tax “benefit” is the payroll tax decrease, from 6.2% to 4.2% on the first…what is it, hundred grand and change of income? That’s hardly going to make rich people richer. The rest of the cuts are extensions, which only make it better to be rich now relative to how it would have been, had they not been extended.

And then there’s the “estate tax,” or as we like to call it, the Death Tax. That tax is going up.

So I dunno what the hell he’s talking about.

I did find this part interesting, though:

The number of people who must worry about estate taxes, already tiny, would shrink to less than 0.2 percent of the population, estimates Richard Behrendt, senior estate planner at Robert W. Baird & Co. In 2009, when the exemption was $3.5 million, 14,713 people had fortunes large enough to file taxable estate returns, according to the IRS. Just 4,296 of those people had estates of $5 million or larger. Compare that with the 2.47 million Americans who died in 2008, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Legalized theft isn’t as wrong, see, if we’re stealing from fewer people.

If Congress does nothing, the exemption would be just $1 million and the tax rate 55 percent in 2011. From 1942 to 1976, the estate tax rate was 77 percent for estates over $10 million, and only estates under $60,000 were exempt from the tax entirely.

Yeah, I know, “they can afford it.” “Oh, those poor persecuted rich people.” While several congressional Democrats and their liberal supporters seem to think there’s a basic principle involved in making rich people less so, I think there’s a basic principle in the concept of private property. The estate tax basically means: your property…isn’t.

Via Memeorandum.

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