The Estate Tax Is a Huge Giveaway in the Fiscal-Cliff Talks - Matthew O'Brien - The Atlantic

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Image from a quicklink It will cost us $375 billion over the next decade if we keep the estate tax from going back to its Clinton-era levels. That's twice the savings from switching to chained CPI.

Back when George W. Bush came into office, he slashed the estate tax, and gradually phased it out until 2010, when there was no estate tax. Since then, Congress has set it at a 35 percent rate, with a $5 million exemption, indexed to inflation -- but that's set to expire, along with everything else, in the new year, and revert back to its Clinton-era levels.

Those Clinton-era levels of a 55 percent rate and a $1 million exemption are much, much higher than what's being talked about as part of a fiscal cliff deal-- 40% on estates over $5 million.

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