Heirs to money

The Economy page article "New Report Says Legacy May Stall Heirs' Motivation," Sept. 10, presents the valid argument that many heirs who inherit significant money drop out of the work force, thus reducing the national work effort, which also means less income-tax revenue.

There are other facets to this situation. Some of those with inherited wealth spend much time doing volunteer work or involving themselves in the arts, which they would not otherwise be able to afford to do. These activities are not tabulated in the national work effort or income-tax totals, but they certainly enrich our country. Dropping out of the work force also creates vacancies for other less-fortunate persons to fill, thus aiding them and adding to our economy.

The House Ways and Means Committee is working on a new tax bill which includes lowering the amount a person can pass on to heirs estate-tax free from $600,000 to $200,000. The $600,000 was increased from $100,000, effective over a period of years, to compensate for the devaluation of the dollar due to inflation.

If Congress can first be ineffectual in controlling inflation and second take away a compensation for this ineffectiveness, where is the incentive for them to be fiscally responsible? Georgiana Hall, Rabun Gap, Ga.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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