Monday, June 05, 2006

A Tax on the Moderately Rich

Professor Bainbridge points out that the federal estate tax, whatever its intentions, has little impact on the super-rich, but punishes small business owners and others who have done well and saved, but who never thought of themselves as risk.

I once sat in front of a man who nearly broke down in tears, as he described his father's land being sold to pay capitol gains and estate taxes upon his death. It was not the money that his family regretted losing; it was the property that had memories for them. The deceased could have used the various accounting gimmicks available to prevent the loss, but he had no idea that he needed to.

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