This one is extreme even for progressives. During a committee hearing yesterday, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) suggested that since some states require drug testing for food stamps, likewise there should be drug testing for people who inherit money.
People receiving food stamps have to pass drug tests or meet work requirements to receive taxpayer dollars, Sanchez reasoned, so it’s only fair that those “lucky” enough to inherit wealth should have to do something to earn it or, in this case, pay a tax.
“What work requirements are there to inherit up to $10 million tax free?” she asked a witness, rhetorically.
“Why is that [a single mother] should be drug tested, which is an unrelated requirement to receive food assistance, to make sure that her family has enough to eat,” she asked. “And people who are lucky enough to inherit millions of dollars are literally required to do nothing to get the federal tax benefit with their inheritance?”
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Like most progressives Sanchez forgets that inherited money has already been taxed, and even more important that the wealth transferred is owned by the particular taxpayer not the government. The government should have no say as to the requirements to keep the money. On the other hand money used to pay for food stamps from the tax payers collectively. And as our agents the government has the right to make demands upon the recipient.
But that wasn’t what Sanchez was really getting at, she doesn’t believe people should be able to pass along money to their heirs:
Sanchez (…) bemoaned the “paradox” that occurs when they want to work hard so they can accumulate wealth to live off of in retirement and pass on to their children.
“We don’t believe in an aristocracy, or that it’s a good societal thing for dynasties to hoard their wealth and leave the rest to fight over the crumbs,” she said. “That’s just not how this country was founded.”
“But we have a paradox here in this country, where we think you should work hard to get where you are … but by the same token, everyone wants to make enough money to where they can retire and not have to work,” she continued. “And they want to preserve increasingly larger and larger chunks of their wealth.”
Actually Rep. Sanchez we have a history of people who became rich and passed along that money to their families. We do not believe in a political aristocracy which is one of the reasons people object to the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.