The estate tax is levied upon the "taxable estate" of a fantastically wealthy deceased person to any recipient (with certain allowances made for federally-recognized spouses and charitable organizations). The vast majority of people are unaffected by the estate tax. As of 2011, $5 million can be transferred from the taxable estate of a deceased individual without becoming eligible for the estate tax.
Cry Wolf Quotes
Estate taxes, carried to an excess, in no way differ from the methods of the revolutionists in Russia.
[President Roosevelt’s endorsement of an inheritance tax gave] more encouragement to state socialism and centralization of government than all the frothy demagogues have accomplished in a quarter of a century of agitation of the muddy waters of discontent.
Death taxes are based entirely upon capital. This capital can be destroyed either by taking it from its owners and using it for maintenance of government, or what amounts to the same thing, by diminishing its value, or by checking the incentive for its production. That is actually happening.
[The estate tax] represents a real tax on capital, and such a tax is necessarily unsound and unscientific because it tends to defeat itself as a revenue producer.