Tags: estate | tax | repeal | politicians

GOP Should Kill Obama's Estate Tax Hikes By Repealing the Tax

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Monday, 02 Feb 2015 07:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The GOP has tried to get rid of the federal estate tax for years.

President Obama now proposes to capitalize on the GOP's failure by raising the impact of the estate tax even more.

As it stands now, the estate tax is levied on a deceased person's property, which has already been subject to income tax. Obama proposes that at death the untaxed growth of any value of property (businesses, real estate, stock etc.) becomes effectively taxed at an increased capital gains rate. With the impact of state inheritance tax, this could result in an estate being subject to a tax rate as high as 68 percent. Essentially, someone dies once but is taxed at least three times at death.

The Congressional Joint Committee on Tax has issued reports for years saying that the estate tax is a net revenue loser for the federal government. Various efforts by the GOP to repeal the estate tax in the recent years cite a laundry list of reasons that support repeal.

The United States has had four estate tax laws in its history. Each one was enacted for the purpose of paying off war bonds.

The current estate tax was enacted to pay off World War I bonds. Those bonds were paid off a long time ago. But the estate tax transformed into a vampire tax by politicians and has been sucking the lifeblood out of the economy and taxpayers.

Supporters of keeping the estate tax have been successful in staving off repeal only because of politics. The professionals who make their living off keeping the system form a vast industry to be sure. Lawyers, accountants, consultants, appraisers, publishers, conference organizers and motivational speakers are but a few who feed on this tax system and command great influence over Congress. Then there are the politicians who keep themselves in office by making it appear as if they are defending the poor against the onslaught of the rich.

Obviously, the best professional minds and talent in the United States could be put to more productive use. And using class warfare as an appeal to populism by crass politicians is disgraceful and should be condemned.

Is the hysteria in favor of keeping the estate tax even reasonable? No.

The most recent figures show that the number of taxable estate tax returns filed was less than 5,000. For the year 2013, that is less than 0.2 percent of the people who died.

The estate tax is a dying tax. Its purpose and meaning for existence ended long ago. It is time to pull the plug.

The GOP should say the last rites over the estate tax and say goodbye and farewell to this relic from World War I.

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Kleinfeld
The GOP has tried to get rid of the federal estate tax for years.
estate, tax, repeal, politicians
452
2015-54-02
Monday, 02 Feb 2015 07:54 AM
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