Throughout history, one of the identifying features of a civilized culture has been the respecting of a dying man's last request. Whether a matter of law, policy, or unwritten rule, the seeing-through of the deceased's last wishes has usually been considered a noble act reserved for the closest of kin or best of friend. Then came liberalism.
Where common sense and general decency dictate that your property is exactly that-your property, liberalism dictates that your property belongs to the government, who allows you to "borrow" it until the moment of your death, at which time they have the right to reclaim it. At least, that seems to be the logic behind the idea of the "death tax".
Consider this. Assuming that you are a law abiding citizen, during your time on this Earth, every paycheck you ever earn is taxed before it even touches your hand. Then, everything you ever purchase is taxed...sometimes redundantly. By rights, (and the constitution) anything left over is supposed to be yours. Consequently, it is supposed to be you who makes the decisions regarding who will inherit what's left over. But, as with all other decisions in life, liberals believe that your last request should be left to that Goliath of bureaucracy we call "the government".
I say "Why stop there"? If the government is entitled to decide who gets your money when you die, then why not the rest of your stuff? After all, who are you to decide who gets your family photos? Pets? Clothes? Beer stein collection? Books? Baseball cards? Etc, etc...
With liberalism having such a "death grip" on our life...and death, it's easy to see why it is no longer a custom to place pennies on the eyes of the dead.