TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

National Review on Estate Tax Repeal

Interesting articles on estate tax repeal in today's National Review Online:

The campaign to repeal the estate tax has always faced a tough slog. Liberal opponents have long attacked it as an effort to squander federal revenue on “tax cuts for the rich.” This charge has also found resonance among deficit hawks, contributing to the narrow failure of a recent Senate proposal to abolish the tax.

What many senators may have never realized is that the proposal could have resulted in a net increase in federal revenue, since it included a provision to offset revenue losses by closing an existing tax exemption. The reason lawmakers may not have known this is that they were relying on economic information from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). This bicameral committee is supposed to provide Congress with impartial, accurate estimates of the expected effects of tax reforms. Instead, it has become a font of economic inaccuracies that act as a powerful barrier to tax cuts.

While Democratic death-tax defenders are unlikely to accept pro-repeal arguments from, say, the Free Enterprise Fund or the Heritage Foundation, they might heed advocates closer to their philosophical perspective....

Deep down, some Democrats understand that the death tax damages the economy in general, and family farms, rural habitat, and prosperous blacks in particular. This election year, Senate Democrats can demonstrate that they really care about such things and people by joining Republicans in killing the death tax, once and for all.

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