The June 25 editorial "Estate Tax Sham" assumed that taxpayers affected by the estate tax have not already paid taxes on their accumulated assets. Yet they paid taxes four or five times on the same dollar of income, including when they earned a paycheck, when they saved, when they invested and when they received their dividend.

Pruning the estate tax has never worked. Each time, rates have crept up again, and inflation has diminished any value of a "high" exemption. Abolition, on the other hand, would end this shell game, which has played out for more than 90 years.

The Senate should vote to repeal the estate tax, because, like bamboo and crab grass, it cannot be controlled but must be eradicated, roots and all.



Americans for Tax Reform



The editorial "Estate Tax Sham" showed a lack of understanding about the tax's effect on small and family-owned businesses.

Today a $10 million or even a $25 million enterprise is a small business. Planning for the estate tax costs manufacturers about $1,000 per week, or $52,000 a year, which is money that cannot be used for capital investment, research and development or hiring.

The issue is not tax cuts for the rich, but making it possible for small manufacturing companies to stay in business -- and preserve the jobs of their employees.


Vice President, Tax Policy

National Association of Manufacturers