Judy Danielson’s recent letter excoriating the federal estate tax (”Proud member of Trump’s enemies list,” Nov. 21) deserves a response based on facts rather than emotion. One particular indictment caught my eye: the accusation that the repeal of the estate tax is a way to “insure billionaires can pass every penny to their heirs with no contribution to the economy…”

The Tax Foundation points out that the nation’s capital stock would be boosted by 2.3 percent with estate tax repeal, that average wages would go up by .7 percent and 159,000 full-time jobs would be created. The ostensible loss of federal revenues from this unfair tax would go down to about $1.9 billion per year, and given that the federal government spends about haf a billion dollars per hour, that would be lost revenues equal to about four hours of federal spending.

Most Americans I meet sympathize with the statement by a working man quoted in a national magazine. He opposed the estate tax because, “I’ve never gotten a job from a poor man.” Destroying companies via the estate tax means that businesses can’t continue and grow, jobs can’t be continued or expanded, and the economy as a whole won’t be expanded.

Keeping the estate tax to reduce wealth inequality is a goal of our liberal friends. But that’s neither practical nor desirable. We’d sacrifice economic growth, opportunity, fairness and success on this false altar. The vast number of people hurt by keeping the estate tax are those who depend on the jobs created by the successful.

As for the estate tax supporters’ goal of promoting equality, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress has this to say, “Empirical and theoretical research indicates that the estate tax is ineffective at reducing inequality and may actually increase inequality of consumption.”

Robert Fuller


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