Estate Taxes

The Death-Tax Debate

It wasn't long ago that repealing the estate tax was considered a Republican pipe dream. Even the Contract with America, Newt Gingrich's revolutionary manifesto, didn't dare scrap the progressive-era levy on inheritances, which annually raises some $50 billion. How things have changed. Last month the House voted to kill the estate tax, with scores of Democrats joining the G.O.P. Last week the Senate followed suit, with nine Democrats supporting the Republican majority. President Clinton vows he will veto the measure when it hits his desk this week, calling it too expensive and a subsidy for the rich.

What explains this sudden...

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