Taxes: Estate Quotes

Death taxes are based entirely upon capital. This capital can be destroyed either by taking it from its owners and using it for maintenance of government, or what amounts to the same thing, by diminishing its value, or by checking the incentive for its production. That is actually happening.

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Undersecretary of the Treasury Garrard B. Winston, Los Angeles Times.
10/14/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

It is not taxation. It is communism in disguise which deceives most of those who voted for these provisions.

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“The President’s Appeal to Americanism,” Chicago Daily Tribune.
06/04/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

They [higher estate tax and provisions for publicity of individual tax returns] are both not only stupid but malevolent expressions of the class feeling and socialist theorizing which are infecting American thought and even shaping our laws… It is astonishing that an American congress with, presumably, some sense at least of the significance of American experience and achievement and some sense of the cause and meaning of the Russian folly before it, should care or dare to experiment in confiscation.

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Chicago Daily Tribune,
06/04/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

It is proposed to take capital and to use it in the ordinary operating expenses of Government…We are thus to live, not on income, but on principal, and to that extent we exhaust our resources and prevent the industrial expansion essential to our increasing population and our high standard of living.

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Calvin Coolidge, New York Times.
06/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

[Estates] are valuable only for what they can produce. If seized by the government they can produce nothing, and if such seizures increase in amount beyond a reasonable limit they must prove not only valueless in themselves but must destroy the sources of production which otherwise would continue to finance the government and provide for the people.

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Chicago Daily Tribune.
04/04/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

The Federal Government should keep estate taxes as a reserve in times of national stress. All prior inheritance taxes have been war taxes; and it is only now that it is proposed to destroy this reserve in times when revenues from other sources are adequate and even in excess of the Nation's needs. Such a course of action is not only thoroughly unsound but borders on economic suicide.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
334104/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

One of the foundations of our American civilization is equality of opportunity, which presupposes the right of each man to enjoy the fruits of his labor after contributing his fair share to the support of the Government, which protects him and his property. But that is a very different matter from confiscating a part of his wealth, not because the country requires it for the prosecution of a war or some other purpose, but because he seems to have more money than he needs.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
334504/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

These taxes are a levy upon capital. There is no requirement in our law, as there is in the English law, that the proceeds from estate taxes shall go into capital improvements of the Government. In other words, capital is being destroyed for current operating expenses and the cumulative effect of such destruction cannot fail to be harmful to the country.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
334204/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

In considering a revision of estate taxes, there should be eliminated any question of levying the tax as a means of punishing wealth or as in some way for the social good of our civilization…The theory upon which this country was founded is equality of opportunity. So long as a man uses his abilities within the bounds of the moral sense of the community, monetary success is not a crime, but on the contrary adds to the total wealth of the country and to an increase in the standard of living as a whole.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
334304/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

Estate taxes, carried to an excess, in no way differ from the methods of the revolutionists in Russia.

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Andrew W. Mellon.
334404/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

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