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Pepperdine University School of Law

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Caron & Schmalbeck: Should We Tax Inherited Wealth?

AALS Beverly Moran (Vanderbilt), Rich Schmalbeck (Duke), and I spoke on the first panel on Should We Tax Inherited Wealth? as part of Friday's Joint Tax Section and Trusts & Estates Section Program on Death and Taxes: Now and Beyond 2012 at the AALS Annual Meeting. For those who could not attend the panel, I have attached Rich's and my remarks.

Update:  Wendy Gerzog (Baltimore) has graciously allowed me to share her remarks from the the second panel, Is the Estate Tax the Best Way to Tax Inherited Wealth? Or Should We Enact an Inheritance Tax or Impose an Income Tax on Gifts and Post-Mortem Transfers?

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/01/caron-schmalbeck.html

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Comments

Mr. Schmalmbeck says, "we have to presume as a default that the estate tax tends to discourage the creation and preservation of wealth. Maybe not, but that is
certainly not implausible. Since we don’t want to discourage those things, if we could avoid that effect, we surely should try to do so." I think we need to begin to question the premise. What does the creation and preservation of private wealth in the hands of individuals, and in particular the ability to transfer that wealth to the next generation, actually accomplish in terms of social good?

Posted by: r. willis | Jan 9, 2012 4:36:04 PM

I think we need to begin to question the premise of r.willis. What does his creation and preservation actually accomplish in terms of social good?

Posted by: No-no-no | Jan 10, 2012 12:30:08 AM

Well, according to a discussion recently among various economists, the next generation needs that wealth to pay off the bond debt that the prior generation incurred. See Krugman, EconLog, CafeHayek.com, etc.

Posted by: ColoComment | Jan 10, 2012 6:29:00 PM