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 Use tax in the United States
The term was used by the Republican Party to support the repeal of the Estate Tax by creating a false impression of the tax in the mind of the voter. In the U.S. prior to 2001, the Estate Tax almost exclusively applied to the extremely wealthy with assets totaling upwards of two million dollars. Through careful manipulation, the Republican Party managed to convince almost a fifth of the American electorate that the Estate Tax would apply to them, whereas in reality it affected less than 2% of estates.
This led to the passage by the U.S. Congress, in 2001, of legislation to eliminate the estate tax gradually over a period of nine years. However, in 2010, the year when estate taxes were eliminated altogether, the lame-duck Democratic Congress passed a bill restoring the estate tax, albeit at a much lower level than previously and a much higher minimum taxable value.
The policy of eliminating the estate tax has been criticized as creating a permanent aristocracy, despite the facts that it does not (unlike many tax policies and loopholes) give rich people any special tax privileges, and that the U.S. had no estate taxes until 1916.
 Use in the United Kingdom
The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom picked up on the term during the 2007 party conference, when the shadow chancellor George Osbourne used the term in describing the party's proposal to increase the inheritance tax threshold from £300,000 to £1,000,000. However, Osbourne seemed somewhat more reluctant to commit to using the term "death tax" in the same aggressive manner as U.S. politicians.
 See also
- Health care rationing (aka "Death Panels")