The Wall Street Journal has a tightly written and persuasive editorial today on the Death Tax. The big proponents of the Death Tax, according to this piece, are the life insurance lobby (which could lose billions of dollars as the need for policies written to avoid the effects of the tax are lost) and the super-rich who can afford to shelter their assets. Repealing the Death Tax remains popular with a large majority of voters and with a majority of both houses in Congress--although the WSJ warns of a possible Democrat-led filibuster attempt in the Senate in order to avoid the repeal.
In 2006 the Republicans in Congress and Republicans aspiring to be in Congress would do well to make lowering or, better yet, eliminating the Death Tax a centerpiece of their message to voters. It has popular appeal, not just because it has to do with lowering a tax--which is always popular but could be said to be so because of narrow self-interest--it has popular appeal because it has to do with a fundamental issue of justice and the American people understand that on some very basic level. Hand Democrats the rope with which they will hang themselves trying to make a case for the justice of a thing that is patently unjust. It is one of those things that will tell the voters all they need to know about that party.