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Repealing the Death Tax

The basic argument against the estate tax is moral.  It taxes virtue - living frugally and accumulating wealth.  It discourages saving and asset accumulation and encourages wasteful spending. -- Milton Friedman

Earlier this week, I attended a Capitol Hill policy briefing hosted by the American Family Business Foundation on repealing the estate-tax (commonly referred to as the death tax). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHyzs2aFUmM

 
The speakers made arguments for repeal along these lines:
  1. The estate-tax is a poor revenue raiser.
  2. The estate-tax makes planning for passing on a family business, or generational assets, a costly affair.
  3. The estate-tax is a poor way to "soak-the-rich" - it actually harms the poor by encouraging wasteful spending by wealthy families, rather than charitable spending.

These arguments, presented across the ideological spectrum, make a convincing case for permanent repeal of the death tax.

Death should not be a taxable event.  The estate tax should be repealed. -- Friedman


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