NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


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?"


  • 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.

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