Home » Blog » The Political Debate Over Estate Tax Repeal
Political Debate Over Estate Tax Repeal | Werner Law Firm

The Political Debate Over Estate Tax Repeal

Troy Werner and his family

Written by Troy Werner

Troy Werner has been an indispensable asset to The Werner Law Firm since joining in 2009, providing exceptional legal service to its clients.

Get To Know Troy!
POSTED ON: November 28, 2017

The estate tax is basically an inheritance tax that people with a total value of over $5.49 million (in 2017) pay when they die. Anyone below that value is tax exempt upon death. This means it only affects a few thousand Americans every year – about 1 in 500 deaths. This makes it a divisive […]

The estate tax is basically an inheritance tax that people with a total value of over $5.49 million (in 2017) pay when they die. Anyone below that value is tax exempt upon death. This means it only affects a few thousand Americans every year – about 1 in 500 deaths.

This makes it a divisive issue. The right wants to kill the tax and says that it’s hurting small businesses, farms and farmers – the left wants to keep it as a source of benefits for millions across the country. The right says that the rich deserve to keep what they earned, rather than be taxed unfairly for it – the left says that the rich have far more than they could need, and others are struggling at the bottom of the system with no way out.

It’s a political football – while it’s a simple issue of a single tax that affects a few thousand Americans a year, the sheer mention of it elicits passionate responses and entire essays from both sides of the spectrum. The debate is a heated one, but there’s not much room for concessions – and so far, the left has been losing.

Why the GOP Favors Repeal

The estate tax has been dying for two decades – exemptions have risen from $600,000 to $5,490,000 per individual, and the tax rate has gone down to 40%, from 55% in 1997. But the Republicans want it gone entirely. Their arguments are that:

  • The estate tax harms America’s economy.
  • The country’s wealthiest are overwhelmingly self-made, and deserve their wealth in its full capacity.
  • No one should be humiliated by being taxed upon death.

To the Grand Old Party, the idea of estate tax repeal is basically inviolable – and they got what they wanted for a brief time in 2010.

Why Democrats Fight Against Repeat

Aside from being an easy issue to stand against the opposing party, Democrats argue that the estate tax repeal is a free lunch for the country’s wealthiest at a time when wealth inequality is higher than ever before – as they saying goes, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

  • Democrats see the estate tax as one of the most important sources of taxpayer money, and an important source of government funds for basic benefits programs, infrastructure, the military and more.
  • They also argue against the current administration’s points towards tax repeal (that 20% of family businesses have to pay up) fall flat, as their research doesn’t seem to support the facts.

Given the current economic climate, it’s all too easy to point out that most Americans don’t benefit from an estate tax repeal, and that in fact may hurt America’s poorest.

What's Your Stance on Estate Tax Repeal?

Politics is at its best when it can make decisive decisions for the greater good of the country, and its future in the world. When two opposing ideologies can come together to introduce a new plan for the economy, or agree temporarily on a social issue.

When politics only leads to strife and name calling, it is at its weakest. There is no discussion there, no room for growth or learning on either side. And on issues like the estate tax repeal, it’s unlikely to see much give on either side of the political spectrum.

On the right, the Republicans believe that by relieving the country’s richest of the burden of the estate tax, they can create conditions that give these men and women the financial freedom to reinvest into their own businesses and invigorate the working class through more jobs, and a stronger economy.

On the left, the Democrats vehemently oppose this viewpoint, and figure that the country’s wealthiest want just one thing: to stay wealthy, and pass their wealth onto their children, rather than cutting into their own personal profits to bolster the underclass.

Politics is messy, and there’s nothing clear cut about this. Both sides have a point, and both sides aren’t willing to budge on it. Democrats argue that only 0.2% of Americans are affected by the cost of the estate tax – Republicans would rebuff that statement by arguing that those 0.2% build American jobs and keep the economy going, and more money in their pocket is more power for the people.

Your political opinion matters – specifically in the form of a vote. It may be years before the “death tax” dies – but when the time comes, your continued support one way or another will help influence the policies of the future.

But when it comes to the here and now, the estate tax still exists. And if you’re one of the few Americans who must deal with it, know that there are numerous estate planning specialists and strategies that exist expressly to reduce the impact of the estate tax on your children’s inheritance. In the hands of the right professional, a well-crafted estate plan can save you millions.

Share This Post

Why Our Living Trust Law Firm & Probate Attorneys?

Founded in 1975 by L. Rob Werner and serving California for over 48 years, our dedicated attorneys are available for clients, friends, and family members to receive the legal help they need and deserve. You can trust in our experience and reputation to help navigate you through your unique legal matters.

Whether you need help creating a living trust or navigating probate, our living trust law firm's compassionate team of estate planning lawyers and probate lawyers are here to help you and ready to answer your questions.

Our goal is to make your case as easy as possible for you. Hiring a lawyer can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. From the moment you contact our firm, through the final resolution of your case, our goal is to make the process easy and understandable. We cannot change the fact that probate is a long and complicated process, but through our Werner Law Firm Difference, we strive to go out of our way to keep you informed of your case through every step of the way. We are constantly refining our processes and procedures for a more streamlined and calm client experience. Our goal is to have you feel like a burden was lifted from your shoulders, and that we made the whole process an easy one

If you're dealing with a legal matter, we urge you to schedule a free initial appointment today and join the many satisfied clients who have contacted Werner Law Firm.

Book an Initial Call Now

Join Our eNewsletter and our California Estate Planning and Probate Blog Digest

Werner Law Firm logo
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. See full disclaimer here.
Santa Clarita, CA Office

27433 Tourney Rd, Suite 200
Santa Clarita, California 91355

Los Angeles, CA Office

445 S. Figueroa St., Suite 3100
Los Angeles, California 90071

Bakersfield, CA Office

4900 California Ave, Tower B-210
Bakersfield, California 93309

Newport Beach, CA Office

23 Corporate Plaza Dr., Suite 150
Newport Beach, California 92660

Lancaster, CA Office

626 W Lancaster Blvd.,
Lancaster, California 93534

Pasadena, CA Office

35 North Lake Avenue, Suite 710
Pasadena, California 91101

Simi Valley, CA Office

2655 First St, Suite 250
Simi Valley, CA Office, California 93065

Encino, CA Office

15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 700
Encino, California 91436

Oxnard, CA Office

300 E Esplanade Dr., 9th Floor
Oxnard, California 93036

Santa Barbara, CA Office

7 W. Figueroa St., Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93101

IMS - Estate Planning and Elder Law Practice Growth Advisors
Powered by