A Feb. 11 CNSNews.com article by Nathan Burchfiel, part of CNS' saturation coverage of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), paints a highly simplistic and misleading portrait of the estate tax, which Burchfiel calls the death tax (without quote marks) throughout his article. Only once does Burchfiel use the term "estate tax":
The death tax, also called the estate tax, places a tax on the assets of deceased individuals' before the heirs can gain access to the assets.
But that's an extremely simplistic and misleading view of the estate tax ("death tax" is a conservative term). As the friendly folks at the IRS tell us:
Most relatively simple estates (cash, publicly-traded securities, small amounts of other easily-valued assets, and no special deductions or elections, or jointly-held property) with a total value under $1,000,000 do not require the filing of an estate tax return. The amount was $1,500,000 in 2004 and 2005. For 2006 through 2008, the amount is raised to $2,000,000.
Burchfiel might want to have told his readers that the "death tax" applies only to large estates and that the vast majority of estates are untaxed.