This USA Today article presents an argument supporting the estate tax typical among liberals: why should heirs receive a “windfall” of money when they did nothing to earn it?
The all-too-rich irony of cheerleaders of wealth redistribution bemoaning people receiving money because they didn’t earn it was not lost on George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux. In a letter to USA Today, he asks:
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?
Its hard for leftists to square their support of the death tax on the grounds that heirs didn’t earn the money when the very foundation of their policy prescriptions rests on a transfer of money from those that earned it to those that did not earn it.