There’s a saying that applies to the most vociferous political opponents of the estate tax: Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.

Every four years, Republican presidential candidates engage in a symbolic ritual of estate tax batting practice. Like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney of years past, Donald Trump is no different.

“No family will have to pay the death tax,” Trump said in Detroit. “We will repeal it.”

In fact, we shouldn’t repeal a tax that President Theodore Roosevelt advocated as a brake on the dangerous concentration of wealth and power. The estate tax is the only levy that America’s richest citizens will pay as they pass on great wealth to their heirs. Over the next decade, it will raise an estimated $270 billion, funds that can be invested in education and infrastructure to expand the wealth-building opportunities for the well-to-do and everyone else.

Read the full article on Los Angeles Times’ website.

Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies. 

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