Britain’s Queen Elizabeth recently died, and now her 73-year-old son has taken over as the patriarch of the Windsor royalty. I have to be candid here, and tell you that I simply don’t understand the 21st century significance of inherited royalty. I know Britain is full of Dukes, Duchesses, Earls, and such and for some reason they embrace this type of thing. It is said that the U.K. England spends about $200 million/year on pay and services for their queen.
But I guess, we in the U.S. also have a form of royalty in that we allow massive wealth to pass from one generation to another. For most of my life the inheritance tax rates were about 70% after exemptions. Now they are about 18%. At one time the estate tax accounted for almost 20% of tax revenue. Now it is down to about 1%. Since almost all of our federal government congressmen and senators are multi-millionaires, that drastic decrease is not totally surprising.
Another instance of royalty is our ex-presidents. They get many perks and a lifetime $220,000/year in cash. The government also provides them funds for setting up office space and staffing. They get $1 million/year for a chief executive and two staff members. Then there is $500,000/year for travel expenses. Finally, they get lifetime protection from Secret Service agents. I assume all these lifetime perks are tax-free to them but can’t say that for sure. That adds up to big bucks.
To me, the only place kings and queens are needed in the 21st century is in a deck of cards.