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« Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 59. | WILLisms.com | Yeah, What He Said »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 345 -- Death Tax Rates Too High In America.

Double Taxation, Without Representation-

So, the death tax cloture vote was 57-41 last week. Irritating. It needed 60 and only got 57. My sources tell me that Chafee, Pryor, and Landrieu had all apparently pledged to be among the 60, within 24 hours of the vote. All three lied.

We need to abolish the death tax. Permanently. Here's why (.pdf):


International tax competition is a good thing. The results are clear. Those with lower taxes win. They win jobs. They win investment. They win GDP growth. America needs to win the low tax competition. The death tax is holding us back.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Europe Needs Major Change.

Posted by Will Franklin · 14 June 2006 04:30 PM


But the Democrats will fix this problem; they've been working on it for decades. Okay, not necessarily the part about "Double Taxation"... I was thinking about all of the dead voters for Democratic Candidates showing that they really CAN have "Representation".

Posted by: Mr Michael at June 14, 2006 11:53 PM

It seems to me that the right result is to kill the estate tax, but provide (i) that the estate establish and file a written cost basis (as of time of actual purchase, not death) by appraisal or other reasonable means for every material asset in the estate, and failure to do so would result in a basis of $0, and (ii) that the step-up in basis be eliminated. Then, if people sell assets they have inherited they would pay tax on the long-term capital gain, and there would be documents to support the audit. So if the IRS audits me it would be entitled to ask "where is Uncle Bob's complete set of proof Double Eagles, which had a verified basis of $300,000?" If I can't produce the Double Eagles, I would owe tax on the gain above the documented basis. Even if the documented basis were $0, the tax would be straightforward and not unreasonable (since the heir didn't pay anything to get the asset in the first place).

This system would eliminate the perverse incentives in the estate tax and perhaps even increase total revenue, since it would apply to all estates, not just the big ones.

Posted by: TigerHawk at June 16, 2006 09:45 AM