Wednesday, August 6, 2014
With the upcoming election, many people believe that the latest Republican attempt to repeal the estate tax is purely a political ploy.
The estate tax may not even have any real benefit to the government. It raised just $13.7 billion last year, which is just a tiny fraction of the federal tax revenues. The Congressional Joint Committee on Tax has issued numerous reports during the years that state and estate tax is actually a net revenue loser for the government.
Proponents of the estate tax claim it is necessary because it keeps wealth from accumulating in too few hands. Yet, opponents claim the opposite happens because of the estate tax. Since larger taxable estates use tax-exempt foundations, they not only hold wealth but also avoid both the estate tax and income tax to keep on accumulating more wealth.
Meanwhile, those running for Congress will anticipate estate tax antagonists to keep the campaign contributions to keep coming.
See Dennis Kleinfeld, Is Estate Tax Repeal Fight a Shakedown? Money News, Aug. 4, 2014.