A lot of fundamental ideals of the USA are founded on the notion that what you have, make, or build belongs to you, and that you're entitled to the sweat of your brow with the overseeing government being entitled to only the bare minimum of it in order to provide public services and remain functional. Under that notion, you're free to do what you want with your property without fear or concern of it being subjected to the confiscation of the government for arbitrary reasons, simply because it feels entitled. What is yours is yours and can be distributed to friends, family, the poor, or whatever you wish. What the OP is arguing for is in defense of those kinds of ideals, to keep government hands out of private and individual pockets. Now, this notion has been adapted, adjusted, played with, tweaked, circumvented, or regarded as outdated in a "modern" society by numerous others of the last several generations, but the original intent and arguments still stand. Whether they bear further scrutiny or discussion is another matter, but that's the heart of why the estate tax is believed to be ridiculous by some.