Sunday, April 17, 2011

Columnist proposals a "recall" on the estate tax

The Sunday Washington Examiner, on p 39, ran a syndicated editorial by Jack Fitzgerald, CEO of an Auto Mall chain in the East, “Time for a recall” (online), and “Americans: it’s time for a recall of the estate tax” in print.

Futzgerald makes the interesting point that inherited wealth is socially productive when it is used to employ people, as in a small, family-held business or even invested in productive enterprise. It’s a different matter when just consumed or held, which helps with the understanding of the Far Left’s outrage at “inherited wealth” (I certainly recall that from the People’s Party of New Jersey back in the early 1970s).

Fitzgerald suggests rollback of estate tax (to what level I’m not sure) and replacing with a surtax on all gross incomes of over $1 million (he’s more concerned about income than accumulated assets, however  -- something that could get sticky in the means testing debate, for example).  As capital gains tax revenue increased from the sale of assets, the surtax would be phased out.

Remember, there are special rules for estates of people who died in 2010: a choice of using “2010 no-estate tax rules” or a 2011 “$5 million exemption”” (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, March 2011, p. 60, requires subscription, link). 


adam said...

Out tax system is overtly complicated, and the noise is getting increasingly louder between those who are struggling to keep what they have away from those who think they deserve a piece of what they didn't earn.

Bill Boushka said...

In some cases, you could ask if inherited wealth is "earned". That's one of the things the Left harped about as I came of age in the 60s and 70s.