It would take a certain kind of malevolence to stand up during a pandemic and float the idea of taxing people for dying.
Don’t kid yourself. This is exactly the sort of win-win policy that bureaucrats congratulate themselves for. You can almost hear their back-room conversations. ‘Don’t worry, sir. If the virus mutates and everyone dies, you’ll still be able to deliver on that surplus – in fact, you’ll reach it faster!’
You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy. Even if you do manage to own something it’ll be confiscated when you die to make sure that your kids are ‘happy’. Welcome to the hell our UK brethren endure.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese and his side-kick Greens leader Adam Bandt love the idea of inheritance tax, but they know it would be election suicide to put it on a campaign flyer. Dead people serve no purpose at the voting booth – so why not strip them of cash? It’s not as if they’re going to complain.
Inheritance tax is a favourite ‘free-money’ grift for socialists, but it’s no better than a Medieval battlefield with Bandt and Albanese hopping from corpse to corpse, frisking them for jewellery, family heirlooms, and coins.
If you think this sounds distasteful in print, imagine what it looks like in reality when a government official knocks on the door of a grieving family and proceeds to walk off with what little their mother or father left them. Not to mention what already happens in England, where the elderly and sick have to guess when they’re going to die and gift their possessions in advance, living out their final days as paupers to keep their hard-earned money out of the greedy hands of government.
‘Inheritance tax’ is the polite way of saying ‘death duties’ which is a polite way of saying ‘grave robbing’.
While the Labor Party have put up a whole page insisting that they weren’t going to do it – they stopped short of decrying inheritance tax as abhorrent and wrong.
This is probably because their leader, Albanese, sees family wealth as a form of ‘social injustice’. How dare anyone spend their lives working hard to leave something for their children! To him, if citizens manage to acquire wealth it must have been an unfair gift from on high that magicked itself into existence instead of arriving covered in sweat and tears from a life of work. Politicians collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars every year after they leave politics is, presumably, ‘social justice’ for a job well done.
‘If you become a millionaire through hard work or investment, you are taxed on it. If, however, you gain your wealth through the lottery of birth, then there’s no taxation and you achieve that economic influence in society through nothing other than sheer luck,’ moaned Albanese. ‘I believe that quite clearly is in contradiction to Labor’s social justice objectives.’
Actually, all that inherited money was taxed – probably more than once. Its existence is not ‘luck’, it is the departing gift of loving parents. The family kitty is whatever has been left over after the paws of government have already taken more than they deserve.
Whenever the government see money accumulating outside their coffers they eye it jealously and think up excuses to justify stealing it for ‘the greater good’.
Labor hates family inheritance for the same reason that all socialists do – family power is a threat to the supremacy of the State. The more money a family manages to accumulate, the more independence people gain from the arms of politicians and their promises. Waving cash around at election doesn’t work as well if people are comfortable in their lives.
When families are rich enough to survive without the government, the government stops being viewed as a god and is reduced to doing its actual job – running the country. The fear of this happening stems all the way back to ancient Rome, when the Senate had to deal with the all-powerful families of Rome. The two entities kept each other in check, in the same way that modern economically independent citizens stop Western democracies from sliding into welfare dictatorships.
Albanese has tried several times to dig up his inheritance tax dream since speaking of it so fondly in the 90s, but it was (wisely) rejected by his Labor colleagues who were smart enough to realise that everyone hates being taxed for dying, including Labor’s working class base.
The only time an idea like this could work is if the masses have been impoverished by – I don’t know, some kind of random apocalypse that caused government to shut down businesses and wipe out everyone’s savings – leaving a voting block of young, asset-less layabouts hungry to steal from the few remaining business owners and everyone else too depressed and tired to stop them.
It is predatory politics at its worst and no better than those pesky Romans killing prominent families and looting their homes to fund political campaigns.
Firmly believing that ‘no one who earns more that $100,000 in salary actually earned it’, Albanese’s first act as Prime Minister should be to cut the $549,250 prime ministerial salary and halve the $211,250 salaries of his parliamentary colleagues. Why wait? He is reportedly earning over $400,00 already. With a net worth listed at over $10 million, Albanese could not have possibly earned that – so he should immediately hand most of that over to the State where it can be redistributed.
It might not be Labor policy, but this is what Albanese has said that he believes.
Or is Albanese’s socialism the more traditional sort where the leaders get to be rich while the poor give everything they have to the State?
Albanese insists that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s attacks on the subject are ‘a sign of absolute desperation from a divided, dishonest, and incompetent government’.
In the past, Albanese has honestly professed that a version of death duties would ‘distribute inheritances more widely than a mere duty on the estate. It could also take into account gifts and other requests over a period of time as one way of ensuring that there was a minimal avoidance of such tax.’
As The Australian reports, ‘without an inheritance tax, Mr Albanese argued, there was a “horizontal inequity against earned income, in favour of unearned income”.’
Contrary to Albanese’s logic, the reverse is true. If a prospective Prime Minister fundamentally misunderstands economics, why would anyone hand him control of an economy in strife?
Generally speaking, people have no interest in giving strangers money they spent their whole lives earning. Human beings accumulate wealth to pass on to their children. It is the natural order of things and primal motivation for people to do better in life. If citizens know that their earnings are going to be taken by the State when they die, there is no motivation for them to earn it in the first place. Why bother feathering Albanese’s nest?
The Australian Financial Review reported that $120 billion changed hands between generations in 2018. That’s a lot of money, but with the federal government in nearly a trillion dollars of debt, why should the successful and shrewd savers in the private sector give their fat and negligent State a single cent? Inherited money goes into property acquisition (where it is taxed) or into the economy directly (where it is taxed). Children are suddenly able to move to work in better jobs (where their income is taxed), then they have more children of their own and the whole of civilisation steps up. Inheritance is a wealth multiplayer for everyone, not just those who lost a loved one.
Bill Shorten lost the unloseable election because he fantasised about inheritance tax, told tradies that he was going to steal their beloved utes and replace them with e-cars, and wanted to turn the population into an organ farm ripe for harvest. (Forcing people to opt-out of donating organs remains one of the worst election ideas in human history.)
Yes, there are those in the Liberal Party who like the idea of an inheritance tax, including the Prime Minister. This only shows how wet and detached the overpaid political class have become from the citizenry. Crucially, no one believes the Liberals will actually do it.
Albanese and his little Green buddy? Well… Would you trust them with your wallet?
Alexandra Marshall is an independent writer. If you would like to support her work, shout her a coffee over at donor-box.
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