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Here’s a letter to USA Today:

Among your chief justifications for the estate tax is that people who inherit wealth did nothing to earn that wealth and, therefore, don’t deserve to get it (“Tax deal showers billions on heirs to the largest estates,” Dec. 17).

Overlook the fact that the persons who did earn that wealth can bequeath it, or deny it, to whomever they choose.  Instead ask: do the persons who get whatever wealth is collected from the estate tax deserve it?

If the fact that Smith did not personally earn the estate wealth in question is a good reason to keep Smith from inheriting that wealth, what moral justification is there for the likes of Jones and Jackson – who also did not personally earn the wealth in question – to acquire this wealth?

Donald J. Boudreaux

Here’s philosopher Aeon Skoble’s take, from several years ago, on the estate tax.


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