Should I care about the estate tax?

| Comments (5) | TrackBacks (26) |
OK, so the Bush administration wants to repeal the estate tax. Now, I can certainly understand why people would be against a big giveaway to the rich, but it's not like the effect on the federal budget is really that enormous. In 2003 the estate tax brought in 20 billion. By comparison, the 2003 Federal original tax receipts were about 800 billion and the 2004 On-budget deficit is 567 billion On the other hand, it's about the same amount of money the feds expend on "Science, space, and technology" every year.

26 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Should I care about the estate tax?.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

iitpy from rupapdlramz on June 29, 2005 1:42 AM

kuatxrqq Read More

toyota off road from on July 22, 2005 9:12 PM

toyota dealers nj toyota celica toyota street racing toyota corolla accessories toyota history toyota car seat upholstery toyota supra twin turbo for sale toyota mr2 2005 toyota prius toyota scion xb toyota supra parts toyota gauge faces Read More

demo money pacific poker from demo money pacific poker on July 23, 2005 2:47 AM

Please check some helpful info about pacific poker refill bonus code Read More

online poker odds calculator from online poker odds calculator on August 8, 2005 12:08 PM

Take your time to check the pages dedicated to world series of poker free online games Read More

breast torture bizarre sex animal cruelty raven hentai whip anime rape Read More

whip free rape stories anime rape hentai rape rape video pussy torture Read More

real estate appraisal from real estate appraisal on August 23, 2005 10:19 AM

real estate appraisal Read More

TITLE: syllable as is URL: IP: BLOG NAME: syllable as is DATE: 09/18/2005 09:43:21 PM Read More

black en jack language online from black en jack language online on September 27, 2005 3:48 PM

Take your time to check some information about casino black jack roulette Read More

no deposit online casinos from no deposit online casinos on October 2, 2005 4:55 PM

You may find it interesting to check the pages dedicated to Free Online Slots Read More

pacific poker room from pacific poker room on October 3, 2005 9:07 AM

In your free time, check out the pages in the field of pacific poker 40 free Read More

diet pills reclaim from diet pills reclaim on October 18, 2005 10:01 AM

You can also visit some relevant information in the field of cheap diet loss pill weight Read More

concerta buy online pharmacies from concerta buy online pharmacies on October 29, 2005 9:01 PM

Take your time to check some helpful info about online over seas pharmacy Read More

Anime furry animal sex from Cartoon horse sex comics on November 7, 2005 12:56 PM

Father raping sons Free gay dad and family porn Lesbian downloadable movies Sex boy pi Read More

Mom fucked stories from Mom son porn pictuers on November 21, 2005 10:44 PM

coming McKinley,Bagley.murders dispatched Andersen.lethal auto loan calculator Read More

Free video cartoon sexy from Free hardcore porn video downloads on December 23, 2005 8:02 AM

Middle school gay pics Under 18 sexy pictures Adult video sites Virgin girl fuck boy hardcore Read More

Free huge porn trailer from Sex cartoon movie clips on January 4, 2006 4:39 PM
Payday Loans from Payday Loans on January 18, 2006 4:56 PM

Payday Loans is a niceblog. Read More

Free Ringtones from Free Ringtones on January 19, 2006 4:55 PM

Free Ringtones Read More

Luxury Caribbean Vacation from Luxury Caribbean Vacation on January 31, 2006 3:38 PM

Luxury Caribbean Vacation Read More

Credit Repair from Credit Repair on February 3, 2006 5:03 AM

Credit Repair Read More - depression Read More


I'm finding it hard to take the side of the Republicans on this issue... and I generally do side with Republicans on economic issues. However, complaining that the government takes 50% away from rich kids who didn't earn the money in the first place doesn't resonate with me.

I do, on the other hand, understand the frustration about passing a private business from one generation to another -- and here is where I think there should be ZERO tax. This is especially true for farmers where capital costs are enormous. However, I feel I have not been given the whole story when it comes to private businesses and the estate tax.

On the businesses, its only the amount above the threshhold (which is pretty high, even for a farmer.), and you can pay over 17 years! at 3% interest.

The estate tax is really structured to not do that big a number on the "small businessmen and farmers".

So a farm worth $3 million is subject to $795,000 in inheritance tax. Over 17 years, that's $48k per year to a farmer that is likely not clearing more than that after all is said and done. No wonder farming is becoming owned by big corporations. A corporate farm of the same worth doesn't pay any of that.

Sure, it's not that much compared with the federal deficit. But the Washington Post reports this: "Reducing agricultural spending by $5.4 billion is a key part of the administration's plan to cut the federal deficit in half." So (a) the Bush administration doesn't seriously intend to cut the deficit in half (big surprise, I know), (b) they *intend* to make it far worse, and (c) surprise, it'd help solve the Social Security issue.

As E.J. Dionne in the Post makes clear, to the extent that there is a Social Security crisis, reducing the tax (a Democratic proposal that would tax estates only above $3.5 million) would still cover between one quarter and one half of the estimated Social Security shortfall.

So even if you are so foolish as to believe the Bush administration's empty pronouncements on Social Security, you've got them prioritizing preserving large estates over the long term preservation of the nation's elderly.

But, on a grander vision basis, I think there's a nice principle that helps keep the US from aristocracy. There should be forces to pull dynasties back to the mean, as a means to keep US population socially mobile.

Trouble is, no one has ever found a case of a family farm or business that had to be sold to cover the estate tax. Not even it's backers could find one.

The aristocracy-proofing argument should resonate (does Paris Hilton need *another* Porsche?). Assuming Bill Gates is still worth US$50 billion at his passing and the estate tax tax were to take as much as 90% of that, are we to feel sorry for his offspring, having to scrape by on a measly $5 billion? (Bill Gates Sr is vocally opposed to scrapping the tax: he's one of those rarities, a guy who feels fortunate, rather than entitled.)

Leave a comment