Without an estate tax and the related gift tax, huge untaxed fortunes could be built and passed on generation after generation tax-free. No one knows it better than the richest man in America, Bill Gates. Microsoft began with a gift from his parents, Bill Sr. and the late Mary Gates. And in significant ways it was the taxpayers who made that gift possible. The father went to college on the GI Bill. The couple bought their first house with a VA loan. Those investments by the taxpayers paid off for the Gates family, as they did for millions of other Americans. The father became a successful Seattle lawyer. The couple had money to give their son to start his business, after he dropped out of Harvard, because the taxpayers also paid a salary to Mrs. Gates when she taught public school. So not only did the country's largest fortune begin with a gift that was tax-free, but also the gift money was there because of the taxpayers. Many wealthy Americans who favor the estate tax do so because they understand that taxpayer investments like those made in the Gates family helped build our society and economy. That the supporters of an estate tax are led by Bill Gates Sr., along with billionaires Warren Buffett and George Soros, is an inconvenient fact for Soldano and her backers. They have worked so hard to create the impression that opposition is universal among all but estate tax lawyers and the random socialist or communist, yet here are these rich men saying keep the estate tax. Perfectly Legal, The Covert Campaign to Rig our Tax System to Benefit the Super-Rich--and Cheat Everybody Else, by David Cay Johnston p. 83 Many think they will be affected by this tax, that won't. Some speculate their chances of becoming a millionaire are greater than they are, and some just aren't smart enough to understand they are way, way below the levels of wealth needed for this tax to kick in. Many myths surround it, like farmers being affected. There was one, in all of America. And it was a huge farm, where the person who died had all sorts of assets, a huge corporate farm, being only one of them. Others, that the wife will be taxed, but they changed that law to keep inheritance taxes from kicking in until both parents died. The inheritance tax is a tax that keeps the wealthiest few percent, giving back, from the huge gains they've accrued in their lives. With the huge debt, mostly aquired by rolling back tax levels of the richest during the Bush years, it's a good thing it is coming back. Like the federal income tax, it is one of the few taxes that the rich pay more, as a percentage of income, than the poor and middle class, who usually pay nothing.