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21 July 2010

Death Tax Part II

A while ago I wrote about the fact that this year the death/estate tax for 2010 would be repealed, and for a while it looked like Congress would fix it. Somewhat shockingly the law, part of the Bush tax cuts, is still in place. Just to make sure we're all on the same page - this only affects the very wealthy which I consider anyone who stands to inherit a million dollars or more. There are 3.1 million millionaires in the US or about 0.6% of the population, so that's who the Bush tax cuts were helping in this instance (trickle down theory still doesn't work).

Just as a refresher:
In 2000 anything over 1 million was taxed at 55% and in 2011 same rules, without adjusting for inflation, come back into play, and between those periods the law changed to 3.5 million and 45% and this year just nothing.

Freakonomics wrote about it, then Krugman picked it up and pointed to an article he wrote in 2001. They're both calling for wrongful death suites and the like when people pull the plug on granny in late December this year. Government tax policies will literally give incentive to people to commit homicide. Should be interesting.

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