William H. Gates Sr. and Chuck Collins are co-authors of the book, Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, published by Beacon Press. To become involved in the effort to preserve the estate tax, visit www.responsiblewealth.org.
For more than a decade, a powerful group of
special-interest organizations has waged a multimillion-dollar campaign to turn
public opinion against a tax that falls on the wealthiest 2 percent of the
population. It worked. The "death tax," many Americans now believe, afflicts
family farmers and small-business owners, robbing them of the opportunity to
bequeath their lives' fortunes to their children.