Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Saturday, September 24, 2016
ISSUE #885
Did Clinton’s estate tax plan come from Will Rogers?

Hillary Clinton has not agreed to debate me, but she has been researching me. She announced a bigger and better inheritance tax on huge estates, such as the Koch Brothers, George Soros, Warren Buffet and the Walton family. Well, I elaborated on such a Democrat plan back in 1935, and she seems to love it. (Read the Historic quote below)

Clinton had already said she wanted to hike the inheritance tax from about 30% up to 45%. This week she raised it again, saying, for some wealthy folks, the government should get 2/3 of everything a billionaire tries to leave the heirs.

At first I thought maybe she would put this new found money to good use by balancing the budget. But no, she wants it to pay for even more government spending, and the debt will keep rising.

Suppose a man, or a woman, owns a billion dollar oil refinery. If the person dies while Hillary Clinton is president she’ll be the one at the funeral smiling. Instead of the family continuing to operate the business successfully, paying good wages and corporate taxes, the government takes ownership of two-thirds of the business. Knowing her disdain for fossil fuels, she would shut it down and try to persuade the laid off employees to find a job installing solar panels. The local economy will be devastated. And what can the heirs do with one-third of a shuttered refinery?

Of course Donald Trump and the Republicans want to eliminate what they call the “death tax.” Now, I can see why the government has a legitimate claim on a small part of an estate. As I wrote in 1926, “If a Country is good enough to pay taxes to while you are living, it’s good enough to pay in after you die. By the time you die you should be so used to paying taxes that it would just be almost second nature to you.”

Historic quote by Will Rogers: [On a radio broadcast in 1935, Will talked about a proposal by a major Democrat official, who I’ll call Mr. M.]

He came out with a plan to put a bigger tax on these big estates, an inheritance tax. On an estate of say $10 million, why the government will take about 90 percent of it, and then give the off-spring 10. And then on estates of 100 million, 200 million, a billion and like that, well, the government just takes all of it and notifies the heirs, saying, ‘Your father died a pauper here today. And he’s being buried by the Millionaire’s Emergency Burial Association.’

Now mind you, I don’t hold any great grief for a man that dies and leaves millions and billions. I don’t mean that. But I don’t believe Mr. M’s plan will work, because he gives figures that show what this new inheritance tax would bring in every year. He says in 1936 we get so much, in 1938, and so on. That is, as long as the Democrats stay in.

He seems to know just who’s going to die each year. And how much they’re going to leave. Now, brother, that’s planning!

According to plans, J. P. Morgan has got to die in order for Mr. M. to reach his quota for that year. I think his patriotism might compare with some of the rest of us, but whether he’d be patriotic enough to want to die on this year’s schedule, just to make the budget balance —  I mean that’s asking a good deal of a man to just die right off just so I can balance my budget. He might be rather unreasonable and not want to do it.

So in order for Mr. M’s plan to work out a hundred percent he’s got to bump these wealthy guys off, or something. Well, now, the government’s doing everything else, but there is a humane society.” Radio broadcast, Apr. 28, 1935


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