In Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, William H. Gates (dad of Bill Gates) and Chuck Collins argue that large fortunes should be taxed, both because of the societal benefit of wealth redistribution, and because it's appropriate payback to the society that provided the mechanisms for wealth.
Wealthy philanthropist Warren Buffett has been in the news the last couple of days arguing for the estate tax on just those grounds.
Buffett, the second-richest man in America after Bill Gates, according to Forbes magazine, said recent tax law changes have tended to benefit people like him.
"Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline," Buffett said. "A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy." (Reuters)
Dirk McQuigley at DailyKos picked up on the story, highlighting the tendency of Estate Tax-repeal supporters to refer to the tax as a "Death Tax," and praising what is, in his opinion, a more accurate term: "The Paris Hilton Tax."
Paying taxes IS an obligation of citizens. IMO it is an integral patriotic duty as money paid to the treasury helps pay for our military, homeland security, coast guard, etc. Wing nuts who feel the income tax is unconstitutional ignore that our constitution was ammended to include an income tax.(Link)