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Jewish World Review June 12, 2006 / 16 Sivan 5766

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A taxing proposition | One of the goals of the far left in America is "income redistribution." That is taking money from the wealthy and giving it to the less well off in the form of entitlements or sometimes direct payments like welfare and food stamps. The problem with that philosophy is that there are relatively few wealthy Americans, less than 10 million of us make more than $100,000 a year, while about 30 million citizens live below the poverty line.

Thus, the tax burden on the wealthy has to be enormous in order to effectively "redistribute" income. And one of the primary ways the government seeks to do that is through the estate tax. When rich Americans die, the feds move in and seize more than half the deceased person's assets over $2 million.

One problem: that seizure of private property may be by definition "unreasonable." Thus, unconstitutional.

You see, in order to possess anything, you have to acquire it. Mostly, we buy our assets with dollars that have already been taxed. So before we purchase stocks, bonds, houses, cars or anything else of value, we should have, by law, already rendered to Caesar.

But this is not enough for the far left. They want half our stuff after we die. They want to sieze private property. This, I believe, is what Karl Marx had in mind. Right, Fidel Castro?

One of the chief proponents of income redistribution is the New York Times, which frames the estate tax issue this way: "There is no moral justification for cutting estate taxes. Much of the wealth taxed after death has never been taxed because profits ... are not taxed until the asset is sold."

By that way of thinking, you really don't own anything. You are partners with the government in everything you buy (with after tax dollars) that is worth more than 2 million bucks. Partners unless what you buy declines in value, then you are on your own. Your Uncle Sam will not reimburse your loss.


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The goal of the far left is to create a monstrous central government that will "nurture" the have-nots in America. Therefore, disproportionate taxation for the prosperous has to become permanent. New York State, for example, has the highest taxation in the nation because of out-of-control spending. And guess what? Nobody in Albany, N.Y., is watching the money. A new report says there may be as much as $4 billion in Medicaid fraud EVERY YEAR. But who cares? The tax money is endless.

Did you know that education spending in the USA is now the highest for any country in the history of civilization? And, according to reporting in Newsweek Magazine, American 15-year-olds rank 15th worldwide in reading assessment. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Effective teaching and discipline, not money, are the keys to learning.

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But money is what the far left wants the government to have — your money. This "tax cuts for rich" ruse is blatantly dishonest. Let's be upfront about the tax issue. The progressives want social engineering and economic "equality." Conservatives believe that private property is sacrosanct and, while taxes are necessary, the government should use the money wisely and responsibly to create opportunities not to ensure lifestyles.

The estate tax debate going on right now in Congress is just a small skirmish in the raging American culture war. But it is an illuminating one. .

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of, most recently, "Who's Looking Out for You?" Comments by clicking here.

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