Brad Delong asks if any serious economists advocate estate tax repeal.
Is there any other serious economist arguing that this is a good deal? Any other half-serious economist? Quarter serious?
I'll let Brad decide whether I am a serious economist, but for the record:
Yes, I advocate repeal.
Here is my earlier post on the subject.
Here are my reasons:
The estate tax rewards spendthrifts and penalizes savers.
The estate tax creates needless complication and avoidance behavior, thereby enriching lawyers and accountants.
The estate tax raises less revenue than it appears since it encourages placement of assets in non-taxable accounts.
Here are just a few expenditure reductions that would more than offset any foregone revenue:
Elimination of agricultrual subsidies, ending the war on drugs, increasing the retirement age for social security, withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
I am sure Brad even agrees with a few of those.
So, at the possible cost of Brad's opinion of me, let me say it again.
Repeal the estate tax. Repeal it now.