NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

DEATH AND WHOOPI'S TAXES

December 10, 2007

Most don't normally look to Tinsel Town liberals for insights on U.S. tax policy, but ABC's "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg's recent comments on her dislike of the estate tax deserve more attention, says the Wall Street Journal.

During a discussion of Republican Presidential candidates on ABC's "The View," Goldberg said, "I'd like somebody to get rid of the death tax.  That's what I want.  I don't want to get taxed just because I died.  I just don't think it's right," she continued.  "If I give something to my kid, I already paid the tax.  Why should I have to pay it again because I died?"

Consider:

  • Back in 2001, before President Bush signed estate tax reform into law, the death duty topped off at 55 percent on estates worth more than $3 million.
  • Today the top federal rate is 45 percent with an exemption of $2 million, and under current law the rate falls to zero in 2010.
  • In 2011, however, the death tax is resurrected, with the top rate restored to 55 percent and the exemption set at $1 million.

When another co-host, Joy Behar, responded to Goldberg's remarks by asserting, "Only people with a lot of money say that," Goldberg shot back, "No, I don't think so . . . It doesn't matter if you have or don't have money.  Once you paid your taxes, it should be a done deal.  You shouldn't have to pay twice."

Goldberg has her political facts down, says the Journal.  It's not just "people with a lot of money" who oppose confiscatory estate taxes: According to polls, some 70 percent of voters favor a full repeal.  And many, like Goldberg apparently, do so on moral grounds.  Death as a taxable event and double taxation offend the average American's sense of fairness.

Source: Editorial, "Death and Whoopi's Taxes," Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2007.

For text:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119724552641918749.html

 

Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues