I was really taken aback and terribly upset by Roger Russell's article, "Calls increase for estate tax repeal," (Accounting Today, Jan. 7-27, 2008, page 10), which repeats many of the well-worn shibboleths concerning the estate tax. By blatantly repeating the propaganda of the National Association of Manufacturers, Mr. Russell does not do Accounting Today or its readers a service.
The fact that the NAM claims that one third of small business owners say they would have to "sell or liquidate part of their business to pay estate taxes" represents grossly uninformed opinion. For example, my barber, a small business owner, claims that he is going to have to sell his business because of the unfair estate tax. When I told him that he would have a $2 million exemption should he die in 2008, he could not fathom that. As with most small business owners, he was totally unaware of the $2 million (he is married -- and therefore the exemption could possibly be $4 million) that might be exempt from estate taxes or the other small business benefits provided by the current estate tax regime.
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