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November 22, 2021

Tax boomers to death, suggests controversial columnist


Much ink has been made shed about the recent cover story in The Atlantic that challenges baby boomers to save the economy.

“The Boomers’ Last Chance,” shouts the cover headline, followed inside by a story entitled, “The Least We Can Do.”

And what’s that, you ask?

Well, according to columnist Michael Kinsley, it’s time for all those greedy boomers to help pare down the national debt rather than help their parents recycle the family money through bequests and inheritances.

Characterizing boomers as self-absorbed, self-indulged, and self-loathing, Kinsley offers them one last opportunity to step out of the so-called Greatest Generation’s historical shadow.

“Boomers may not have the opportunity to save the world, as their predecessors did, but they can still redeem themselves by saving the American economy from the fiscal mess that they, and their fathers and mothers, are leaving behind."

The solution, he believes, would be an expanded estate tax skimming off older generations' inheritance to pay back the debt.

In the coming years, “money will mostly be coming from the previous generation to the boomers themselves. Boomers could forswear all or part of this unearned inheritance. Or, more realistically, they could allow the government to tax it.”

Of course, Canada doesn’t have an estate tax to begin with although the government has several other ways of grabbing a share of your assets when you pass on.

The debate continues on the Atlantic web site.

What do you think? Should boomers step up this way? Even if they have a responsibility to shoulder, is an estate tax the way to go?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...