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The Unconstitutionality of Eliminating Estate and Gift Taxes

By James G. Wilson

Abstract

This article discusses why the recent proposal to eliminate estate and gift taxes is not only immoral and a poor allocation of resources, but also is unconstitutional. The author argues that the only way to sustain any allegation of unconstitutionality against these tax policy changes is to extend meanings of constitutionality beyond the legalistic paradigm of constitutional adjudication. Explaining that to extend notions of constitutionality this additional distance, we would need to resurrect earlier constitutional conceptions from such influential political thinkers as Aristotle, David Hume, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. While pointing out that the United States Constitution embodies a blend of particular economic theories, ranging from Madison\u27s primary goal of protecting the rich to Benjamin Franklin’s more egalitarian and democratic vision

Topics: Estate tax, gift tax, unconstitutionality of repealing estate and gift taxes, repeal of the estate tax, repeal of the gift tax, Taxation-Federal Estate and Gift
Publisher: EngagedScholarship@CSU
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu:clevstlrev-1466

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