John, I am with you. The estate tax, just like the income tax needs to be moderate. These figures are always debatable because there no one can ever agree what should be the right figure. Just like stock prices, we always move around an equilibrium, but never quite reach it.
Besides, with careful planning, estate and income taxes can be reduced or avoided altogether with careful planning that can maximize wealth for their families, benefit charities, etc. But without such taxes, this planning never needs to be done, thus the concentration of wealth increasingly grows more concentrated.
For the most part, one person’s tax reduction is someone elses tax increase. By gifting an asset to a child tax benefit to reduce your estate tax, you now increase that child’s estate and potential estate tax. When a farmer buys a tractor at the end of the year, it reduces their income tax, but the dealer’s income tax increases…unless that dealer turns around and gives a bonus to employees or uses another deductible method…round and round we go…our economy is one big shifting of tax liability from one to another.
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