I would like to consider the question: What brings us together today to consider the possible repeal of the estate tax? We would not likely be here today if the repeal of the estate tax were not a serious political possibility, and it would not likely be a serious political possibility if many middle-class taxpayers earning the median household income of about $40,000 to $50,000 per year did not support outright repeal, rather than much needed reform. The article then explains why taxpayers support outright repeal today when they would not have done so even ten years ago. The article then explains what changes in taxpayer psychology or the economy or in social attitudes accounts for support for full repeal so far down the income spectrum. The author emphasizes a shift from a cultural belief in acquisition through “good fortune” to a belief in earning through hard work, when in reality it is the opposite as people acquire most wealth through inheritance.


Symposium: The Death of the Death Tax: Introduction