Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes
When Wealth and Our Commonwealth was first published in hardcover, coverage was intense and widespread: virtually all of the national broadcast and print media ran interviews and reviews. The adamant argument for reform, not reversal, of the most progressive tax in our nation continues to resonate. This edition, with a new preface by the authors, is sure to continue to fuel the debate.
"Gates, a happy warrior and a bear of a man, has thrown his formidable resources into making sure that he and people like him pay a decent share of the cost of government. He and Collins are doing urgent work. . . . Inheritance taxes would fall only on the largest estates. That, said Gates, is entirely just. As he puts it, those who were best able 'to take advantage of what society has to offer' have a debt to pay. It's a concept no less worthy for being old-fashioned." —E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post
"If you doubt whether there are any truly public-spirited Americans left, let me introduce Bill Gates Sr. and Chuck Collins. Their new book is worth reading for its fascinating history of the conservative estate-tax repeal movement alone. But more than that, Wealth and Our Commonwealth challenges us all, rich and not-so-rich, to a more strenuous and farsighted notion of citizenship."—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
"Bill Gates and Chuck Collins provide a clear rationale for retaining the estate tax in this helpful and unselfish analysis."—Jimmy Carter, Winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize
"As this book reminds us, inheritance taxes are not about raising tax revenue. They are about 'What Kind of a Nation Do We Want to Be?' Economics is inevitably a relay race where participants do not start from the same point, but we can limit how large those gaps are. This book gets our thoughts back on the right issues."—Lester Thurow, author of The Future of Capitalism and Building Wealth: New Rules for Individuals
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PROLOGUE TO THE PAPERBACK EDITION
What Kind of Nation Do We Want to Be?
REVENUE LOSS AND THE TAX BURDEN SHIFT
THE IMPACT ON STATE TREASURIES
THE ESTATE TAX AND INEQUALITY
CONCENTRATED WEALTH AND DEMOCRACY
THE ESTATE TAX AND FAMILYOWNED ENTERPRISES
UNSOUND AND MISLEADING ARGUMENTS
IS THE ESTATE TAX UNFAIR BECAUSE DEATH SHOULD NOT BE A TAXABLE EVENT?
IS THE ESTATE TAX UNFAIR BECAUSE IT PUNISHES SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE?
IS THE ESTATE TAX A FORM OF DOUBLE TAXATION?
DOES THE ESTATE TAX PENALIZE THE LITTLE GUYS?
DOES THE ESTATE TAX RAISE ENOUGH REVENUE TO COVER THE COST OF COLLECTING IT?
IS THE TOP RATE OF THE ESTATE TAX TOO HIGH?
CONCENTRATED WEALTH AND EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY
GROWING INEQUALITY IS BAD ECONOMIC POLICY
INEQUALITY AND OUR CIVIC AND PUBLIC HEALTH
DOES THE ESTATE TAX HAVE AN IMPACT?
The Origins of Americas Estate Tax
THE ROOTS OF THE ESTATE TAX
THE GILDED AGE AND THE MOVEMENT FOR AN ESTATE TAX
EARLY ESTATE TAXATION
SUPPORTERS OF THE ESTATE TAX
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ESTATE TAX
Opposition to the Estate Tax
THE EFFORT TO REPEAL THE ESTATE TAX
INSIDE THE DC BELTWAY
WHATS IN A NAME?
ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA
HIDING THE REAL FACE OF ESTATE TAXPAYERS
THE ESTATE TAX DOWN ON THE FARM
HOW MUCH DOES THE ESTATE TAX REALLY RAISE?
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE RISING COSTS OF ESTATE TAX REPEAL
ORGANIZING TO OPPOSE COMPLETE REPEAL
A SUMMARY OF CHANGES
What We Owe Our Society
A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE ON WEALTH AND SOCIETY
WHAT IS IT WORTH TO BE AN AMERICAN?
THE ESTATE TAX AND CHARITABLE GIVING
WILL CHARITIES LOSE WITHOUT THE ESTATE TAX?
A NEW SPIRIT OF GIVING?
THE DANGERS OF THE SILVER SPOON
The Estate Tax and the Common Good
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