Cato Institute on Tax Reform



Estate tax won't hit billionaires--only regular millionaires

Repeal the Grave Robber Tax: Because some people are really wealthy doesn't mean they have common sense. Last week a handful of the richest people on the planet, including Warren Buffett and Paul Newman, urged Congress not to end the death tax.

The truth is that these ultra-rich Americans aren't being as selfless as it may seem. Most billionaire families engage in careful estate tax planning by, for example, depositing their fortunes into family foundations--to avoid having the long arm of the IRS reach into their graves for a dime.

The dirty little secret of the death tax is that the people clobbered by it are not billionaires. More often they are ordinary Americans with medium sized estates--the millionaire next door. I am talking about ranchers, farmers and self-starter business owners. Every year thousands of heirs are forced to sell the family farm or business to pay estate taxes. It's unjust given that this tax is imposed on dollars already taxed when the income was earned.

Source: Cato Institute 2015-16 voting recommendation on Death Tax , Feb 22, 2001

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
  • Click here for a profile of Cato Institute.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Cato Institute.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Cato Institute.
Other pundits on Tax Reform: Cato Institute on other issues:

Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Cato Institute
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Libertarian Party
Republican Party
Ronald Reagan(President,1981-1989)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)

Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Democratic Party
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Green Party
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)
Sierra Club
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021