Saturday, September 24, 2005

Libertarians Oppose Estate Taxes

I check the Noblesville Daily Times every day, even when I am out of town, as I am now. I found an article in the op-eds that just infuriated me. It made the assertion that planning and saving for the purpose of providing for your children and grandchildren somehow made the poor poorer.

The Daily Times ran the thing, and it deserved a response. This topic deserves a Republican response, but typically, they are absent on all things economic anymore. I submitted a Libertarian response, and NDT printed it, with a nice headline of their own:

Estate tax is unjustified government intrusion into

The headline announcing Marian Wright Edelman's column on the estate tax, "Permanent repeal would hurt poorest", (Viewpoint, Noblesville Daily Times, Sept. 20) helps one understand the misguided economic thinking of the Left and the threat such "thought" poses to individual liberty and financial security.

Should the descendents of the person who has worked, planned, and saved for the purpose of providing for them be punished only because the offspring of the poor were not so cared for by their own? What message does the Left send in opposing estate transfers? It can only be that planning and thrift are to be discouraged at the penalty of theft, and that a lack of planning is to be encouraged and rewarded.

Your money was earned by you. It should be directed at your passing by you and you alone. The state should have no claim on the money you earned, merely because you pass away. Nor should the poor and their apologists, who would use the state as the means to steal what you earned. The well-to-do have not merely hit life's lottery. They have made the life choices that result in the creation of wealth. These choices should be encouraged by all public policy, including estate policy.

Edelman makes the assertion that working hard and saving for the purpose of ensuring a more secure future for your children and grandchildren somehow worsens another person's lot in life. In fact, the poor's lives are utterly unchanged by this action. It is absolutely true that the descendents of the person who worked, planned, and saved benefit enormously from such forethought. What makes that a bad thing? That such people will not be dependent upon the welfare state, and therefore, will have no need for the Left and their statist politicians?

Republicans should be at the fore in removing the immoral estate taxes from the books. Unfortunately, they are mired in a directionless muddle on all things economic and drifting ever leftward, moving away from their fiscal conservatism. We hear precious little from them on this subject.

Libertarians grasp these concepts completely, which is why Libertarians oppose all manner of estate taxes.

Mike Kole, Fishers

Kole is a Libertarian candidate for Indiana Secretary of State. He is the former chair of the Libertarian Party of Hamilton County.

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