Pollsters have long known that asking questions in different ways can lead to different results. This is true when Americans are asked about the estate tax. If people are asked whether they favor a tax when someone dies, the majority will say that they do not. However, when they are also told who the estate tax affects, then the majority of people support the estate tax.
Overall, the country is more or less equally divided on this issue.
That makes watching what President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress do about it interesting as an indication of what type of President he plans to be, as Bloomberg discusses in "Estate Tax Repeal Would Be a Bonanza for Trump and His Cabinet."
Trump campaigned on the notion that he would bring prosperity to the working class. However, he also favored repealing the estate tax, which no one in the working class pays. His family would also benefit greatly from repealing the tax. One estimate of his net worth, that he has said is too low, would indicate that his estate would save $545 million by not having to pay estate taxes. Several members of his cabinet would also save millions of dollars.
This is important for people who do want to see the estate tax eliminated.
If Republicans do make an attempt to repeal it, then it is certain Democrats will make noise about how much the President and Cabinet stand to gain to use as a wedge between the President and his supporters. For that reason, Republicans might think twice about a quick repeal even though they have long advocated eliminating the estate tax.
Reference: Bloomberg (Dec. 9, 2016) "Estate Tax Repeal Would Be a Bonanza for Trump and His Cabinet."