NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 15, 2005

The death tax -- or federal tax on one's assets at the time of death -- is an unfair, inefficient tax that should be permanently repealed, says Carrie L. Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum.

The death tax:

  • Discourages savings and investment, the engines of economic growth; economists estimate that the death tax results in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs each year and billions of dollars of wealth.
  • Is an inefficient way to raise revenue because it diverts resources away from productive economic activity; analysts estimate that the tax may actually decrease federal revenues.
  • Is antithetical to American values because it punishes savings and unfairly taxes assets that have already been taxed by the government.
  • Is bad for women since they are increasingly starting businesses and face the difficult task of planning for how to ensure that their businesses can survive them; women also tend to outlive their husbands, and as a result, many women are left with the burden of planning for how to pass on their assets to loved ones.

Liberal feminist groups like the National Organization for Women and the National Women's Law Center ignore the high costs of the death tax and oppose its repeal. But American women overwhelmingly recognize that the death tax is an unfair tax and poor way to raise revenue for the government, say Lukas.

It's time for Congress to bury the death tax, she says.

Source: Carrie L. Lukas, "The Death Tax: Unfair, Inefficient, Bad for Women," Independent Women's Forum, November 9, 2005.


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