Discussing whether to repeal the estate tax is always a political discussion. Liberals and conservatives rarely agree with each other about it. However, as the estate tax is now 100 years old, some people are trying to cut through the political discussion and talk about the estate tax in terms of policy.
Forbes recently did so when it looked at the top reasons to repeal the estate tax in "Top Five Reasons The Death Tax's 100th Birthday Should Be Its Last."
The reasons listed include:
The estate tax actually does not generate a lot of money for the federal government. It amounts to less than 1% of government revenue.
There are reasons to believe that the estate tax hurts the economy as the money could be otherwise used to create jobs and increase wages. It is possible that repealing the estate tax could generate more revenue thanks to increased growth.
Resources are wasted when people attempt to avoid the estate tax. Those resources could be used elsewhere.
If the goal is to tax the wealthy, there are several other options for doing so that could generate more revenue and cost less economic growth.
The majority of Americans are not in favor of the estate tax.
Of course, this is only one side of the policy debate. Those in favor of the estate tax could also give reasons for keeping it.
Reference: Forbes (May 3, 2010) "Top Five Reasons The Death Tax's 100th Birthday Should Be Its Last."