September 17, 2010
Abigail Disney Pushes for the Preservation of the Estate Tax
Abigail Disney recently wrote an article expressing her opinion of the federal estate tax. She believes that her family was successful and amassed a fortune because of the pro-business protections provided by the U.S. government, and that the government deserves its share of the wealth. Here is what she said about the estate tax:
"First, the estate tax is not a double tax. Have you met a multimillionaire who earned that much money pulling down a weekly paycheck? People who make enough to be affected by the estate tax — fewer than 1% of Americans who die in any given year — amass their fortunes by investing. Investment income is taxed differently from earned income, often not at all until it's sold. People like me, who inherit assets such as Disney stock, can spend our lives watching those assets grow, and when we pass them along to our children, they have not been touched or diminished at all by the tax system. The only thing I have paid taxes on is the interest from these assets, not their increased value.
Second, opponents of the estate tax claim family farms will have to be broken up to pay the tax, but good luck finding an example of this. Further, if the exemption is kept at $3.5 million (where it stood last year) and indexed for inflation, the likelihood of this ever happening is reduced to nil.
Third, the estate tax incentivizes people like me to do good with our wealth because there is no estate tax on donations to charity. My filmmaking and foundations rely on a tax code that supports a vigorous non-profit sector, a vital part of our society that is bigger and stronger because of the many millions of dollars that flow into it as a result of the estate tax and other tax provisions."
Abigail signed the Call to Preserve the Estate Tax and urges others to do so as well.
Abigail Disney, Mickey Mouse, the Estate Tax, and Me, USA Today, Aug. 30, 2010.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (WealthCounsel) for bringing this to my attention.
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Abigail Disney exhibits the lack of understanding of the source of true wealth that the second and third generations of wealthy families usually suffer from. It's the main reason for the "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations" phenomenon. Large fortunes are rarely the result of investing. They are almost always the product of genuine wealth creation, something with which both Abigail and government are unfamiliar. The notion that government "deserves its share of the wealth" for doing that for which it was constituted is risible.
Posted by: Davis Nelson | Sep 18, 2010 9:35:41 PM