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View Diary: Class Warfare: 18 Families financed Estate Tax Repeal Campaign (300 comments)

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  •  Okay, I'm actually going to reply (9+ / 0-)

    to this as if you are serious.

    1.   The only difference between the estate tax today and the estate tax in 1999, for all intents and purpoes, is the amount of the unified credit (now called something else).   Now, there is a cogent arguement to be made that the $600,000 credit that was put in place in 1976 is no longer appropriate and therefore should at least be indexed for inflation.   However, this isn't your point at all.. is it?   We can all argue around the edges about what the estate tax ought to look like and who it effects, but your final sentence is really a "there shouldn't be an estate tax at all" type arguement, and not a "details of the way the tax works argument.   The red herring PR spin of the Repubs on this issue is to argue that there are all these things wrong with the way the tax works, but in stead of proposing to fix them, they argue for repeal.  If you want to argue repeal, be honest about it.
    1.  The estate tax works in concert with the income tax, as currently structured.   Because of the step up in basis on death rule, a great deal of accumulated but unrealized captial gain goes untaxed.  The estate tax captures that otherwise untaxed income.   Now there are plusses and minuses with changing the step up in basis rule, which again we can argue if you'd like, but be honest about your argument.
    1.  As much as we all like to think we have it, there is no unfettered right to give your property to your family.   You have a right to your property, but your kids don't have a right to your property.  For time immemorial, there have been restrictions on the ability to dispose of your property on death--whether its primogeniture, religious restrictions, or forced shares for spouses and children, currently under state law, as well as death taxes -- at the end of the day there is a legitimate state interest in the stablility and continuity of ownership, as well as other values such as not having destitute widows, that balance whatever property rights we have.   Now again, we can argue about whether or not the values underlying the estate tax (revenue raising, dispersion of capital, etc). are worthy ones, but to call it stealing is a dishonest way to avoid having an intelligent discussion of the actual issues.
    •  Excellent (0+ / 0-)

      and a much better answer than the poster you're replying to deserved.

      People want to be part of governance, but what they want from government is respect for their ways of living. - Jack Balkin

      by badger on Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 10:34:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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