- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2009

As the person who has substituted the name “death tax” for “estate tax” for over 15 years, I read with great interest your editorial in Thursday’s paper (“The grim tax reaper”).

I am credited by numerous sources - proudly so - with pounding home the moniker “death tax” as opposed to “estate tax.” I took exceptional glee when William H. Gates Sr. and Chuck Collins devoted several pages in their book “Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes” to my efforts. They stated how they knew they were losing the battle to “Martin’s rhetoric” when CNN, of all networks, began routinely referring to the estate tax as the death tax.

This is not boasting; this is merely proof positive that words do matter - like your “grim tax reaper” banner. It’s effective in driving home the point that this is a levy triggered only by death. Is that fair? Doesn’t it make more sense to allow the deceased’s intended heirs to plow that capital back into the business, create more jobs and help expand the economy without greedy Uncle Sam getting a huge slice of the pie - again - since these are assets that have already been taxed, sometimes two or three times?

I think so.



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