Teddy Kennedy’s recent brush with tax-evasion has put a lot of attention on his family and their positions on various taxes.
Now, Teddy is one of the lions of the left, and he’s denounced plans to reduce or repeal the estate tax. Apparently it isn’t enough that you pay your taxes when you acquire things — they don’t want you to be able to do what you want with it after you die unless the government gets its “fair cut.”
Now, one might think that Teddy — being the scion of a wealthy, powerful family and one of the wealthiest men in the Senate — would be acting against his own best interests. But one would be wrong.
You see, there are “laws” and there are “laws.” Certain laws are intended to promote Equality and Fairness and Goodness. If someone is already in favor of Equality and Fairness and Goodness, such as Ted Kennedy, then there’s no need to apply those laws to him. He doesn’t need to be punished into thinking Correctly; he already does.
That’s why, when his sister-in-law, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, died, her children fought like hell in court to get their legacy declared as “income” (taxed at 40%) and not “inheritance” (taxed at 55%).
And that’s why when Teddy’s mother, Rose Kennedy, died, her estate was probated in much more inheritance-friendly Florida, where she had a home, and not in Massachusetts. Petty concerns about such trivialities as the law that requires estates be probated where the person had their legal home were just shrugged aside. Never mind that one has to actually LIVE in a state to be a resident; even though Rose hadn’t left Massachusetts in about twelve years, her family insisted that in her heart, she just KNEW she was a Floridian and wanted her estate settled that way.
When the government wanted Al Capone, they didn’t get him for murder, extortion, smuggling, or any other of the scads of mob activities that he committed. They nailed him on tax evasion. And I’d be willing to bet that if the government went after the Kennedys with a fraction of the zeal they showed in that case, they’d find even more evidence.
But I ain’t holding my breath.