11/15/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Estate Tax Could Help Fix The Deficit: Micheal Kinsley

At the moment, there is no federal estate tax. Congress, in a spectacular display of incompetence, voted a decade ago to eliminate it for one year only, and this is that year. Next year, unless Congress fiddles again, the law reverts to what it was in 2001, and estates of more than $1 million will pay rates of up to 55 percent. In 2009, the last year the estate tax was in force, it imposed a tax of up to 45 percent on estates worth more than $3.5 million, and raised only $25 billion--in other words, only a small proportion of the population paid it, but the few who did pay really got socked.

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