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

[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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Otto H. Kahn, New York Times.
02/29/1924 | 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

Confiscation of private wealth does not make the public or even its agent, the government, rich. It does not create equality of wealth, but an equality of poverty.

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Chicago Daily Tribune.
01/17/1932 | Full Details | Law(s): Tax: Estate

[H]igh inheritance and estate taxes do compel the sale of assets, with consequent changes in ownership, shifts in management and generally dislocating effects.

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Washington Post.
08/09/1935 | 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.