Today’s WSJ contains this really foolish letter from a guy who is upset over the Journal’s position against the estate tax. Here it is:

There is much to quarrel with in your editorial, but let’s focus on the amusing description of the estate tax as “this immoral tax on a lifetime of thrift.” I suppose that anyone who can attribute a $5 million inheritance to decades of shopping at Costco and using generic toilet paper deserves to be exempted from such a tax.

Otherwise, those who are bequeathed multiple millions have a moral obligation to contribute a large chunk of it to the public good. The legal obligation should be no less stringent.

Josh Trevers

Woodside, N.Y.

Put aside Trevers’ ridiculous assertion that people can only accumulate capital by living an ultra-frugal life. What is really foolish is his assumption that money sucked into the maw of the federal government does “public good” while money left to be spent, invested, or donated by the recipient of a bequest does not. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. The federal government squanders immense wealth on special interest gambits, destructive welfare and warfare, bloated government employee payrolls, and so on. I’d say that there is something close to a moral obligation to keep as much money as possible out of the hands of the federal Leviathan.