Theodore Roosevelt, 1907: "an [inheritance] tax on such enormous fortunes as have been accumulated in America would be one of the methods by which we should try to preserve a measurable equality of opportunity..."
William Gates Sr. wrote: "Such distinguished Americans as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis saw the estate tax as a practical, democratic restraint on massive concentrated wealth and power. And in fact repeal of the estate tax today would widen the growing gap in economic and political influence between the wealthy and the rest of America." (The Washington Post, 2/16/01)
And this from the Democratic Party's Senate leadership, a statement demonstrating the most American of virtues, commonsense: "State officials have warned that states rely on the estate tax as a source of revenue and could face budget shortfalls if the estate tax is repealed. Finally, many charitable organizations, universities, and other groups that rely on donations for funding are concerned that an elimination of the estate tax would sharply reduce the amount of contributions they receive from individuals and trusts."