Tax: Estate

Tax: Estate

The estate tax is levied upon the "taxable estate" of a fantastically wealthy deceased person to any recipient (with certain allowances made for federally-recognized spouses and charitable organizations). The vast majority of people are unaffected by the estate tax. As of 2011, $5 million can be transferred from the taxable estate of a deceased individual without becoming eligible for the estate tax.

Cry Wolf Quotes

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.
04/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

If America had not been free to any man to make his fortune within the law and within his abilities, we would not be the great nation we are today. To destroy incentive by excessive taxation is to lessen the production and the prosperity of the country.

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Calvin Coolidge, Los Angeles Times.
02/20/1925 | 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.
04/01/1924 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

Removing the capital from the hands of the owner and putting it into the hands of the Government is only, in the main, taking it from the live hand and putting it into the dead hand. So the only possible result of extending the scope of confiscation by the dead hand is to limit the amount of productive enterprise and, therefore, the amount that can be paid in wages.

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Samuel Crowther, Washington Post.
08/10/1935 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

Evidence

  • Estate Tax Basics

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains the reality of the much-mythologized estate tax.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Estate Tax Policy Brief

By Joseph J. Thorndike

Since at least the 1920s, estate tax opponents had been trotting out the same litany of warnings and complaints about the Estate Tax.