Barron Hilton, grandfather of Paris Hilton, said this week that he plans to donate 97% of his fortune to charity when he dies. 97% of $2.8 billion dollars. That would leave about $84 million after the charitable donations. Which is still a pretty decent amount of money.
Which, of course, gets me thinking about estate taxes. You know what would be cool? If the next person in the United States who dies with a $2.8 billion estate has to pay a 75% estate tax on it. That would be $2.1 billion, with $700 million left over to spread among any heirs. All of it could be legislated to pay Iraq occupation costs, or pay down national debt. If Bill Gates were to die (God forbid) with such an estate tax in place, and his estate was worth $59 billion as Forbes suggests, that would be about $44 billion in revenue for the federal government. That leave $15 billion to spread among his heirs.