The estate tax is a tax on the property of Americans who have died. It has become a favorite villain for supply-side economists, who maintain that taxing Americans’ savings after they die amounts to double taxation, and removes incentives for saving instead of spending.
Sole proprietorships and other small businesses, they say, lack the tools to protect their assets like their bigger competitors can.
Proponents of the federal estate tax argue that it is an important source of government revenue and a barrier against the development of an American ruling class. (RELATED: Fareed Zakaria: Americans should give half of inheritance to government)