Monday, June 05, 2006

Reward for the Hereditary Elite . . .

Good column from today's WaPo on why we shouldn't repeal the estate tax.

Here's a taste,

If the abolitionists succeed, some other tax will eventually be raised to make up for the lost revenue. So which tax does Congress favor? The income tax, which discourages work? A consumption tax, which hits the poor hardest? The payroll tax, which is both anti-work and anti-poor? Really, which other tax out there is better?

The abolitionists don't respond to this question because there is no convincing answer. Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has written that "we would be hard-pressed to find evidence that, compared with the alternatives, a reasonable estate tax significantly discourages work or innovation or savings." ....
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Repealing the estate tax is like erecting protectionist barriers around the hereditary elite. It is anti-meritocratic and unfair -- and antithetical to this nation's best traditions.

(via Josh at TPM)

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