When it comes to the estate tax, most people wish they could avoid it like the plague, or even as much as death itself. The estate tax, or the death tax as it is often referred, has long been a controversial topic on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers on both sides arguing for or against it to varying degrees. While most republicans would like to have it completely and permanently removed from the tax code, many democrats don’t want to go quite that far. Many on the left prefer to see the death tax applied only to the nation’s wealthiest and at an even higher rate, while some prefer no change at all. Among the democratic leaders that have long been in favor of the so-called death tax, is Hilary Clinton, the current front runner to be the democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential race.
The funny thing about that is even though Mrs. Clinton publicly champions and supports the death tax for the middle class she personally appears to have no desire to pay that tax herself. The Clinton campaign likes to refer to the estate tax as “revenue enhancements” but there is no sugar coating her record when it comes to paying that tax herself. According to the recently released tax returns from Mrs. Clinton, she and her husband apparently practice some tax saving tactics that would directly contradict their stance on the death tax. According to those returns, the Clintons have been taking measures to avoid the tax by creating a trust account. While these measures are perfectly legal, and make a lot of fiscal sense, they are in direct contrast to her stance on the matter throughout her entire political career.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Mrs. Clinton has always voted to protect the death tax and to keep the exemption level at a lower rate, yet she has also used specific financial planning strategies that would help exempt her from this tax. Her record stands for itself with at least four instances of her voting against measures that would have raised the exemption level. The death tax can be a huge burden to many individuals and families that inherit money when a relative dies. However, when the asset owner sets up a trust, the beneficiaries can avoid these huge taxes.
Does it Make Sense or Is it Non-sense?
This decision makes complete sense for a lot of people, and it’s perfectly legal and justified. No one really wants to pay a bunch of money on his or her inheritance and it’s a great way for people to protect their assets for their beneficiaries. However, Mrs. Clinton has spent her entire political life fighting to keep the death tax in place, while at the same time avoiding it herself, which looks like just another example of a political flip-flop. That doesn’t really make any sense, but when it comes to the crazy world of politics, it actually makes a lot of sense.