For the sake of argument (only), let’s say I’m a widowed, elderly man diagnosed with a terminal illness. I’ve been given 18-24 months to live. My estate is currently valued at $3 million, which includes the value of a modest $500,000 fully-paid-for home, and $2.5 million in retirement investments.
These financial figures may seem excessive to many. However, a $500K home in most major cities is not extravagant. A $2.5M investment portfolio will be generating (conservatively) about $100K in annual income — again, nice but not extravagant.
If my illness takes my life before 12/31/10, my son and daughter will inherit what’s left of my entire estate. If I die the next day, the government will take 45 percent of the value of my estate over the first $1 million. So, 45 percent of $2 million is $900,000.
That’s right. When the death tax returns in 2011, Uncle Sam is back in the business of wresting away almost half of estate values above $1 million.
So, let’s list the areas President Obama is taking over:
- the banking system
- executive compensation
- the auto industry
- workers’ rights to a secret ballot
- right-to-lifers’ taxes to support experimentation on those in the earliest stages of life
- funding for non-embryonic stem cell research
- the rightfully earned property of the deceased
I don’t know about you, but in this scenario, I’d be seriously considering lacing my 2011 New Year’s Eve champagne with a bit of cyanide.