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CBO Confuses The Death Tax Debate

Posted by Brian Garst on August 25, 2010

Shawn Arnold at NoDeathTax.org notes how a recent CBO report has confused the debate with misinformation:

The Federal Estate Tax, which is set to return in 2011 at a rate of 55 percent on assets over $1 million, was accounted for in the “other revenues” category. The report indicated that combined, “other revenues” will raise about $2.8 trillion over the next decade.

Bloggers immediately began spinning the data, suggesting that keeping full repeal of the Federal Estate Tax would double the deficit because another $2.6 trillion would be added to our current deficit without the Obama tax hikes.

But if you look at the fine print, what you see is that the CBO’s “other revenues” category also includes the Federal Reserve System and new excise taxes like the tanning tax, customs duties, and miscellaneous fees and fines. In fact, the largest revenue producer is the Federal Reserve System – not the estate tax — which expects payment in full with interest for several trillion dollars of bailout packages: the auto bailout, the bank bailout, the new union bailout and a few other major bailout programs. Combined, these programs absolutely trump the impact of the Federal Estate Tax on revenue generation…

The silliness of those expectations aside, the idea that eliminating deficits is dependent on grave robbing is without basis.

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