Ah, the American Dream: you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, starting with nothing only to become a fabulous success with 2.5 kids and the white picket fence. Unless, of course, you’re born wealthy, and none of that bootstrapping is necessary. But even then, you still need drinking water, roads, and a functioning society.
That’s why we have the estate tax, which turns 100 years old today. We need reasonable tools that make sure that everyone pays their fair share toward making America’s future bright for everyone. Stuffing more and more resources into a few private estates just won’t cut it.
To make the 21st century better than the last one, we’re going to need to take care of a few things: infrastructure, education, and climate change, to name a few. Those things take money, and Americans of all incomes can agree that we all need to pitch in what we can to make sure we protect our future.
America was always supposed to be the country of presidents, not kings, where leaders are made, not born. For one hundred years, the estate tax has done its part to help level the playing field.
Happy birthday, estate tax.