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It was all sleight of hand and misdirection. By calling the estate tax the pejorative death tax and whipping people into a frenzy about something that does not affect the great majority of them, he was able to raise their taxes (and complicate their lives) by abolishing stepped-up basis and replacing with carry-over basis (like lifetime gifts), thereby assuring that all the heirs who inherit from estates that would never have estate taxes pay considerably larger capital gains taxes.


Could you maybe explain who had to pay how much under the old estate tax? How much is this "unified credit deduction"?
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