Rhetoric and Economics in the Estate Tax Debate
31 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2001
Date Written: May 22, 2001
In this paper, we evaluate and critique ten principal claims made in recent debates on the estate tax, distinguishing five types of statements: facts, rhetoric, value judgments, economic reasoning, and informed speculation. Economics cannot fully resolve policy debats because economic knowledge is inconclusive and because value judgments help determine optimal policy choices. Nevertheless, economic analysis can contribute substantially to informing these debates, and we show that many of the claims on both sides are incorrect or incomplete, given what is known.
Keywords: Estate tax, tax policy
JEL Classification: H2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation