Instead, the clever Cox Crew speaks of the "grave-robbers tax" or the "death tax," ominous terms that have caught on with right-wing talk-radio hosts. According to GOP policy wonks, it's not really the rich they are helping but farmers and small-business owners.
But Cox's most disingenuous argument is that the current estate tax gives future dead people a disincentive to work. Never mind reality; the theory goes that if people know part of their estates will be taxed after their deaths, they won't work hard while they are living. Nowhere does Cox mention that large inheritances create a whole class of people whose days are occupied by the production and consumption of mint juleps and novels.
Nevertheless, our brilliant congressman has an idea to sell us. The estate tax, he maintains, "punishes lifelong habits of hard work and thrift."