Document Type



The approaching one-hundredth anniversary of the federal estate tax is an opportune time to revisit its historical origins, its role in our government and society through the years, and its current and future place in our fiscal firmament. This Article argues that the reasons behind the enactment of the estate tax in 1916—to raise revenue during a time of war, enhance the progressivity of the tax system, and curb concentrations of wealth—are even more compelling in 2016. As a result, this Article argues that revitalization of the estate tax should be a central tax reform plank of the new administration in 2017.