July 11, 2005

Estate Tax

This article by David Cay Johnston for the New York Times should be required reading for people arguing about the estate tax. Here's a key quote:

President Bush, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association have asserted that the estate tax is destroying family farms.
None, however, have cited a case of a farm lost to estate taxes, although in June 2001 Mr. Bush said he had talked to such farmers.

For too long, the estate tax debate has operated in a universe distinctly unhinged from reality. It's not about "family farms" and proponents of repeal should stop pretending that it is.


At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a possibility that many farmers are spending lots of money while they are alive to buy expensive life insurance policies that will pay off the estate tax?

Maybe we don't see the loses because of proactive/costly estate planning that will be done away with when the death tax is repealed.


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