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Lamenting an ‘untimely’ death

http://chronicle.augusta.com In case your Liberal-to-English Dictionary is too worn to make out the words, we’ll translate the latest liberal-speak from the Associated Press. An AP story upon the death of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner this week actually bemoaned the fact that he died in a year in which there is no federal “death tax” on large estates. ”That deprives the government of billions of dollars in annual revenue but represents an unexpected bonanza for those who inherit wealth,” the story said. Aside from the writer’s jaw-dropping, vulture-like sentiments, let’s examine the meaning behind that sentence. This writer’s lament that Steinbrenner’s death “deprives the government of billions of dollars in annual revenue” betrays a belief that his wealth — or yours — is merely on loan from the government. And should your family do well in business and amass wealth, it’s “an unexpected bonanza.” Unexpected? Bonanza? Your family’s money? Or is it really fruits of a family’s labors, perhaps across generations? Shouldn’t keeping what you’ve earned be quite expected ? And wouldn’t it be a “bonanza” of your own making? When did this cease being the United States of America? When did holding onto private property become “an unexpected bonanza”? What makes anyone — an AP writer, the government, the neighbor down the street — believe he or she has a right to one penny of another family’s money? Memo to the AP: When someone earns enough money to pass down to his heirs — oops, we should have said “after-tax money,” because income taxes have already been taken out — no one else is “deprived” of anything one has any rightful claim to. The Steinbrenner heirs will avoid the dubious privilege of having their inheritance plundered by the government not because they’re cheating anyone or depriving anyone of anything — but because of a quirk in federal law that resulted in there being no death tax for one year. The wrongful theft of a family’s fortune rages back in all its glory next year, unless Congress musters the backbone to change that this fall. Don’t bet the family farm on it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid won’t hear of it, and in fact recently made sure an amendment to merely trim the tax next year didn’t survive. ”Born on the Fourth of July,” the AP writes, “George Steinbrenner left the world stage with a great sense of timing too.” Sheer luck shouldn’t be all that separates any of us from grave-robbers.

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