Friday, October 24, 2014

Death and Taxes

The Baby Boomers have accumulated the greatest sum of wealth in American history.  Their generation is the richest we have ever seen--thanks to a series of economic booms, favorable tax policies and more widespread investment of wealth.  But those Boomers are aging and soon--unfortunately--they will begin passing away.  And that will result in the greatest transfer of wealth ever--from them to those of us in Generations X and Y--through inheritance. 

But like chum in the water draws sharks, the likelihood of that much money changing hands over the next few decades is also drawing liberals sniffing around looking for any way they can to get some, most or even all of it.  Under the guise of "wealth redistribution", the push will be made over the next few years to increase--substantially--the inheritance tax here in the US.  The terms "birth lottery" and "economic parasites" are already being thrown around to portray those that stand to collect something after their parents pass away (like we are all waiting with bated breath for our Moms and Dads to kick the bucket so we can "Party like it's 1999" right after the funerals).

In an ironic twist, it is the Baby Boomers themselves that got the inheritance tax all but eliminated (it doesn't kick in until the amount exceeds $5.4-Million) as they used their considerable political clout to craft policy that all but exempted the wealth being transferred to them from their parents--The Greatest Generation.  Now their grandchildren--the Millenials--are going to try and usurp that next transfer through a huge Government money grab.

In his new book The Legacy Journey, Dave Ramsey (heard 2:00 to 5:00 weekdays here on WOSH) promotes a retirement marked by comfortable living, charitable giving and planning to leave something to your children when you die.  With the upcoming battle over "redistributing" that hard-earned wealth and the Government inserting itself between generations, I wonder if Dave will change a few chapters.  Perhaps the new goal should just be to die without a single penny left to your name.  Live a real-life Brewster's Millions where there is absolutely nothing left for your kids--or Uncle Sam--to fight over.

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