Paul L. CaronDean
Monday, September 12, 2016
By Paul Caron
Following up on my article on Thursday's 100-year anniversary of the estate tax (The One-Hundredth Anniversary of the Federal Estate Tax: It’s Time to Renew Our Vows, 57 B.C. L. Rev. 823 (2016) (more here, here, and here)):
Scholarship, Tax | Permalink
I've just thought of a different way of looking at the estate tax. Suppose it is 30%. Don't think of it as a 30% tax; think of it as a requirement that a rich person give away 30% of their money to the charity of their choice when they die--- with a 30% penalty if they don't. This makes it far more attractive to me as a policy, and I think one could construct a much better economic argument for it on that basis than if there were no charitable deduction possible or it was limited. It is not that the taxpayer loses 30% of the income he fails to consume. Rather, we say that he is taxed 30% on the savings that he altruistically passes to his heirs, but 0% on savings he altruistically passes to the public goods he thinks most in need of funding.
Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Sep 12, 2016 12:42:21 PM
Once again, it's not your money. I thought we operated under a rule of law where property rights were defendable.
Posted by: Dale Spradling | Sep 13, 2016 7:58:41 AM
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