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:
- The estate-tax is a poor revenue raiser.
- The estate-tax makes planning for passing on a family business, or generational assets, a costly affair.
- 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 The estate tax should be repealed.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