The Roosevelts Would Be Appalled – Kenneth Gould, American Enterprise Institute

Senator Sanders recently gave a speech in which he offered a quote by Theodore Roosevelt from Roosevelt’s New Nationalism speech, delivered in 1910: “Therefore, I believe in … a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.” Senator Sanders was clear that if the estate tax provisions advocated by the president and the Republicans were passed, it would violate the spirit of Roosevelt’s principle. It is this principle which appears to generate the anger of Senator Sanders and the House Democrats. A review of the history of the estate tax, however, brings this view strongly into question. In fact, it appears that neither Theodore nor Franklin Roosevelt would have endorsed the Democrats’ preferred tax rate and top tax bracket choices.

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