News Release

How Do You Spell “Tax Relief”? Should the Estate Tax Be Repealed?

With public debate intensifying over tax-cut proposals, the following policy analysts are available for interviews:

JAMES K. GALBRAITH
The author of Created Unequal: The Crisis in American Pay, Galbraith teaches economics at the University of Texas at Austin. He contends: “Bush and Cheney have rightly called for tax action to save our slumping economy. Congress should respond with the right actions: measures that help working American families this year, that provide relief to state and local taxpayers, that encourage business investment, that are large enough to have an immediate effect — and that are phased down to protect our economy and treasury once the danger passes. Bush’s $1.6 trillion cut will not accomplish these goals. It could lead us back to the conditions of the early 1980s, when recession and big tax cuts combined to provide enormous deficits — a problem that took a decade to repair.”

Galbraith believes that “an effective way to stimulate incomes and spending immediately would be to send the American taxpayers a dividend — say $500 per person on average. This is so simple, in fact, it would not require changing the tax code at all.” He also recommends expansion of the earned-income tax credit and a temporary cut in the payroll-tax rate.

EDITH EVERETT
Everett is the co-founder and vice president of the Everett Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City. She was one of the first signers of the Responsible Wealth “Call to Preserve the Estate Tax,” a statement that has been signed by more than 500 wealthy people. “There’s no doubt that the estate tax is a major incentive for philanthropy,” Everett said. “It’s like matching funds from the government that increase the value of your donation. People have a choice between paying a tax and giving the money to charity, and many prefer charity for the control it gives over where their money goes. If the estate tax were repealed, some people would think about creating a dynasty instead of making charitable bequests. Tax planning influenced our decision to create the Everett Foundation, and we have been able to fund many good causes through it — health care, museums, schools, and community gardens. It’s not a death tax, it’s a life tax, because it encourages you to give to good things that will continue after you die.”
More Information

For further information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
David Zupan, (541) 484-9167