Simple… it is unfair for hardworking innovative Americans to work for less while children of wealthy parents get fortunes handed to them for no reason other than the accident of birth.
This is bad for society at large. Those children did nothing to earn their money… If they want to be rich, they should create wealth on their own efforts, just as did their parents. Even still, coming from luxury they have many steps up over the 99% of Americans who have to work to survive. We should not reward insolence and luck, while penalizing potential and effort…
But that is what not having an estate tax does.
Most of a wealthy person’s assets are never taxed. Under the “realized capital gains” clause, items that gain value but are never cashed in, have capital gains that are never realized and therefore no tax is assessed. If you bought a ’69 Chevy with a 396, fluid heads and a Hurst on the floor, for $3500 in 1975…. Today at worth of $55,000 it would sit, untaxed, until sold and only after then would tax be assessed.
The Estate tax is the only time most of the wealth of wealthy people, sees itself taxed and the most typical item handed down is stock.
The push to eliminate the estate tax entirely is a concentrated effort to allow all this wealth to go forever untaxed. When the estate gets sold off, that $50,000 car sold at Southbys goes straight to the owner’s heirs as realized capital gains, never getting taxed….
So what is wrong with that, you ask?
if that money is not paid by the wealthy at time of death before being divided up to its heirs, it must be paid in some other form by those earning less, and working harder. The money is still needed. Not getting that money here means that someone else has to pay for it…. and the question comes down to this…. If we must have this money, is it better to take it from a dead person who will never need it? Or a live person who desperately needs every dollar they get in order to live?
That answer is obvious. Which is why to argue for the removal of the estate tax must hinge on class privilege. Since one cannot justify forcing poor human beings to pay for the needs of wealthy people, one has to degrade those suffering as being sub human. Like we did slaves. Or native Americans. Or an entire race of dark skinned people allowed by an amendment of our Constitution after the Civil War to become citizens equal to all within our borders. We told ourselves they were not human and performed all sorts of atrocities upon them.
So if you accept the argument that non-wealthy do not matter, (47%) that only wealth has the right and obligation to run this country, then you get an argument that can be bought on repealing the estate tax.
It would have to feed on human negatives and state that you must allow the money to stay in family hands….. so THEY….. don’t get it…
Primarily, that is the only argument in favor of this act. It is a base, selfish act that assumes the money belongs to the dead person….
Now if you take the economic perspective, and recognize that money is good only when it gets used, recognize that because our government prints money, all money really belongs to government, (it just lets us use it for free while we are alive), then true evidence pushes for raising the estate tax, not lowering it. Return as much of the estate as one can back to its real owners, “We The People”….
Estate taxes do fund programs. Programs which pay people; which buy manufactured goods, which provide necessary services… all of which put that money back into the economy. So taxing an estate at higher and higher rates, creates funds that can accomplish a lot of good.
- They help reduce the deficit and national debt.
- They help put people to work, and provide services making lives better.
- They can be used to cut other taxes.
Currently estate taxes are levied only on the largest of estates…with amounts over $5 million dollars. The gigantic estates do generate a lot of revenue to government. If that tax is repealed that money would have to come from higher taxes elsewhere, or more incurred debt, or deeper cuts in services…. or most likely, from all three simultanously….
Finally, America is proud of its work ethic. No matter what ones class, all are proud of the hard work they do to make a living and look down on those who don’t work, but have things given to them…. Repealing the estate tax throws this American value on its ear. We are rewarding laziness, insolence, and debauchery by giving estates of great wealth to those who did not earn them.
America must remain the land of opportunity. Everyone must have the same break as everyone else… But that does not happen when money is allowed to pass down within families from one generation to another. Those children need to work hard like everyone else.
It is simply unAmerican to repeal any estate tax. It must become America’s duty to raise it much higher so all begin on equal footing when making their future economically solid…..