Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Whose Money Is It?

A bid to permanently repeal the federal estate, or inheritance, tax lost to a Senate filibuster Thursday. A compromise that would tax inheritances at a lower rate than previously is still possible, however. The tax has been in phase-out mode since 2001 and on its current course would disappear in 2010, only to reappear the following year. (Think of the incentives that creates.) The possibility of repeal had Big Government folks (the Bee Gees) beside themselves because it would "cost," that is, deny the social engineers, $600 billion over ten years starting in 2011. . . .That people actually own the money they make, and have the right to distribute it to their heirs, is conveniently ignored by tax defenders.
See the rest of my column here at the Foundation for Economic Education website.

Cross-posted at Liberty & Power.


Kevin Carson said...

This is one of those things that gets back to the whole "step in the right direction" can of worms about what to cut first.

I certainly consider the inheritance tax something that needs to go with the rest of government. But I question the motives of Republicans whose top priority is cutting taxes on returns from accumulated wealth, while shifting them onto the returns of labor instead: inheritance, capital gains, property. It's especially bad in the demagogic campaigns they run to eliminate the property tax, while replacing it with a sales tax on groceries and medicine.

Sheldon Richman said...

Kevin, I agree with you that apparent steps in the "right direction" often are anything but. This can make it difficult to judge whether a change is good or bad. See my follow-up here.