Take it or Leave It

TitleTake it or Leave It
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsConnolly, P, Althaus, RA, Brinkman, A, Skipper, RB
Corporate AuthorsAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics,
Date Published03/2012
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsECONOMICS , Government Ethics , Public Policy
AbstractThe modern United States estate tax dates back to the Revenue Act of 1916, which created a tax on inherited wealth. In 1932, Congress extended the tax to gifts, to prevent wealthy individuals from transferring assets during their lifetime to allow heirs to avoid the estate tax. In 2001, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act provided for yearly easign of the estate and gift tax burden through 2010, and elinated the federal estate and gift taxes for 2010. If lawmakers failed to change the law, the estate tax would return to 2001 rates in 2011 (an increase in the 2009 top-rate from 45% to 55%, and a degrease in the exepmtion from $3.5 million to $675,000). Estate tax affect only 1% of all inherited estates, and generate only 1% of annual US tax revenue in the decade before the tax was eliminated in 2010. In a growing controversy over US estate tax, its opponents are winning. Rethoric that characterizes teh estate tax as the "death tax" that will deprive the middle class of future riches stirs up oppositions from those who in fact would benefit from it. In 2010, despite opposition from those who opposed tax cuts to individuals earning over $200,000 and families earning over $250,000 annually, Congress passed a bit to extend the tax cuts through 2012. President Obama signed the bil, which also extended employment benefits through 2011.
NotesCase study from the March 1, 2012 APPE Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. Copyright, Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, 2012. http://www.indiana.edu/~appe/ethicsbowl.html
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