The Estate Tax and the “Death Tax” Bate and Switch

The estate tax is similar to the standard gift tax, but is levied when a rich person dies and passes their estate on to their family.  Conservatives call this the “death tax” and have fought it for decades.  Conservatives have characterized the estate tax as an unfair double tax that hits millions of estates and forces families to sell their farms.

The fact is that the estate tax hits a very tiny minority of estates.  Yet this fact has never prevented conservatives from misleading everyone from small business owners to small farmers into thinking that it’s an issue that will impact them.

In effect, the estate tax is another feature of the New Social Contract that prevents formation of a permanent American Aristocracy.  Without it, the growing inequity between generations of rich and growing poor would be exasperated.


About Cyrus

Cyrus Tashakkori is Vice President at Pioneer Green Energy, a wind and solar power developer based in Austin, TX. He has an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Texas in Austin and a Bachelor's in Science & Economics from the University of North Carolina, Asheville.
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