Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life insurers push inheritance taxes so they can sell more sheltering products

Timothy P. Carney has written a number of columns on the inheritance tax, including one today on P 19 of the Washington Examiner (“conservative”), “Insurers push death tax to profit from its effects”, link here.

He talks about the AALU, the Association of Advance Life Underwriting, as a player in the lobbying effort, encouraging higher estate taxes so that the life insurance industry can design and build products to help rich people get around them. There’s a slogan, “Leave No Heiress Behind”, an a notion of a “Paris Hilton Effect”. The AALU is at this link  and on its home page it says “Membership in AALU is like an insurance policy. It provides protection against a host of threats to our products. We have a positive story to tell legislators, many of whom misunderstand what you do and the products you sell.”

It's well known that a number of life insurance companies, even as they are acquired by conglomerates, are branded as focusing on "fratenal" markets, including high net-worth individuals and families.

I’m impressed that once you sell things for a living, you lose your right for you own personal voice on public policy matters altogether.

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