Steve Moore, an advisor on Donald Trump’s tax plan and a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, laughed at Hillary Clinton’s charge that Trump’s plan to terminate the federal estate tax — also called the death tax — would save his family $4 billion dollars.
“She says we’re going to get $4 billion from Donald Trump on the death tax? No you’re not, you’re not going to get anywhere near that,” he chuckled, dismissing the claim Clinton made while campaigning in Ohio on Wednesday. “The people who tend to get killed by the death tax are not people like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Donald Trump — they have tax advisors.”
“Think of what we could do with $4 billion in Ohio,” Clinton stated while campaigning in the swing state where she’s leading Trump by two points, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average. “We could build 280 new elementary schools. We could eliminate the outstanding student loan of 166,000 Ohioans. We could provide healthcare to 370,000 veterans. And we could sure rebuild every crumbing bridge in this state and fix a lot of the highways that are causing folks trouble.”
The Tax Foundation found that although the U.S. has one of the highest death taxes, it only makes up less than one percent of the federal revenue. Furthermore, 99.9 percent of estates don’t pay a federal estate tax and the most wealthy usually have tax advisors that help them escape paying the tax, sometimes by creating a trust.
“In 2014, the estate tax raised $19.3 billion according to the OMB, or 0.6 percent of total federal revenue of over $3 trillion,” reports the Tax Foundation. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that the “estate tax will generate about $246 billion over 2016-2025 under current law, according to CBO.”
“We don’t just confiscate peoples’ wealth and the death tax, as high as Hillary wants it, is bordering on confiscation,” Moore charged.
“The death tax is the most un-American of all taxes because you pay your whole lifetime,” he argued. “You pay your taxes your whole life and then Hillary wants to take as much as half of that away from you when you die. That’s just contrary to the American dream. The American dream is being able to pass your assets to your kids… she doesn’t get that.”
Sixty-three percent of people want to eliminate the federal estate tax, according to a Gallup poll taken in March, and countries like Norway and Sweden have done away with it as Trump proposes to do if elected president.
An analysis by the Tax Foundation found that if the federal estate tax were repealed, 139,000 jobs would be created, the GDP would receive a boost, U.S. capital stock would increase by 2.2 percent and federal revenue would also eventually increase.