Super Wealthy Deathly Afraid Estate Tax Would Reduce Deficit

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OPTIONAL777, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. One of the conservative goals former President George W. Bush was unable to get through the Senate was "making the tax cuts permanent." He only got them passed -- using Senate budget reconciliation rules -- by employing a budget gimmick to mask the 10-year cost.

    Simply make all the tax cuts expire in 2011, producing tons of revenue at the very end of the time period the Congressional Budget Office was using to estimate total costs.

    Bush, those conservative congresspeople and their corporate patrons never intended to stick with that plan. They always assumed Congress would face intense pressure to keep all the tax cuts, no matter what the economic and fiscal picture.

    Now, Bush is long gone, and the big business lobbies are quite worried about what may happen next.

    Not that the middle-class tax cuts would expire. President Obama appears committed to keeping those. But those massive tax breaks to the superwealthy don't quite have the same juice they used to.

    Especially, the estate tax -- levied on the inheritances of the wealthiest heirs in America.

    This year, because of the Bush tax plan from his first term to gradually phase out the estate tax altogether, the estate tax is literally wiped off the books.

    But in 2011, it returns! Inheritance income above the $2 million threshold would be subject to a 55% tax.

    And after fanning the flames of deficit hysteria to squelch progressive reforms, corporate lobbyists are terrified that the estate tax would actually help reduce the deficit.

    Bloomberg reports:

    The clock is ticking on estate-tax changes because, as 2011 nears, so does the prospect that congressional inaction would start to bring in billions of dollars to help reduce trillion- dollar deficits.

    "That's the real fear," said Rosemary Becchi, who lobbies on tax issues for Washington-based Patton Boggs LLP, the top lobbying firm by revenue. "Then it becomes extremely difficult to change it."

    The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington estimated that a revived estate tax at pre-2001 levels would collect more than $34 billion next year and about $410 billion through 2019.

    The wealthiest heirs having to pay their fair share and help cut the deficit. The horror!

    And the best part is: this all happens so long as Congress ... does nothing! Which it has proven incredibly good at!

    What's stunning is the superwealthy's lobbyist posse and the Senate's conservative minority could just take what the House has already passed: locking in the estate tax at 45%, while exempting all inheritances below $7 million. That ain't chump change!

    But that's not good enough for the heirs who have no interest in paying their fair share and reducing the deficit. Bloomberg reports:

    Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl and Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln have proposed setting the rate at 35 percent, retroactive to Jan. 1. The measure would apply to the portion of estates that exceed $10 million per couple, and would adjust that exemption for inflation in later years...

    ...House Democrats voted in December to extend the 2009 rate of 45 percent on married couples' estates after a $7 million exemption. Senate Republicans blocked action in that chamber...

    ...A 35 percent rate "is really that sort of sweet spot of what's acceptable to all sides," said Dena Battle, director of tax policy for Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers. "We don't want to see the tax go up to 55. We didn't want to see the tax at 45."

    Uh, a $10 million exemption and a 35% rate above that is not very sweet at all. It's a bitter windfall to the Paris Hilton set.

    But thanks to the combination of their greed, and their exploitation of deficit hysteria, the superwealthy may actually have to pay their fair share on their inheritances after all.

    Bill Scher is the executive editor of and the Online Campaign Manager at Campaign for America's Future. He is the author of Wait! Don't Move To Canada!: A Stay-and-Fight Strategy to Win Back America, a regular contributor to and a fellow at the Commonweal Institute.
  2. Ricter


    55%, pfft. How about 100%? All kids start at zero, and if any one of them works hard, they'll succeed, on their own merits alone.

    That's a true meritocracy, that's equality of opportunity (not outcome), and anything else is some degree of socialism. It's socialism in the sense that the kids are inheriting the fruits of someone else's labor without themselves having produced anything.
  3. Mnphats



    Not a chance, he will raise taxes on everyone.
  4. It is curious that the right wingers oppose the estate tax, preferring that their offspring continue the aristocracy...and out of the other side of their mouth preach the ultimate value of making it on your own by the sweat of your own brow...

    Even more curious in my estimation is how the want to be rich and the working class right buy into the dichotomy of what the right wing preachers preach, and ignore the way in which most of the wealthy GOP live, hold onto their money, buy politicians to skew laws in their favor, etc.

    Never made any sense why a truck driver who is barely making enough to live while so many get wealthy by doing nothing more than being born in the right family, or having connections...that truck driver buys into the swill propaganda of the right wing and the laughable "you can be rich too if you work hard enough" stuff. The truck drivers are already working hard, but since their heroes dismiss the value of higher education and try to dumb down their own audience, the truck drivers are too dense to figure out that the right wing heroes are just scamming their followers...

    The classic examples are how the right wing idiot followers imagined that Reagan and Bush II were just like they were...when in fact Bush was born to aristocracy, and Reagan was all Hollywood...

    Amazing how the right wing followers can't connect the dots to see what is actually happening, as they get poorer and the rich who write the laws and govern the way business is done...get richer.

    The dirty little secret the right wing elite doesn't want their sheepish followers to know, is that you don't get rich through hard work get rich by knowing the right people who will grease the wheels...and the lower class GOP are never going to be going to the country club with the right people...

  5. Good post.
  6. I' against estate taxes. That wealth/money has already been taxed. makes no sense to do it again.

    Why should someone that has worked their asses off all their lives be forced to give up the fruits of their effort at end of their lives? It's THEIR money! duh!
  7. Do you know why the estate tax exists?

    Do you know why the inventors of the estate tax didn't want to perpetuate the aristocracy?

    Please, do some homework before you expose yourself for such foolishness...

  8. The money you make (LOL!!!) well, you can't take it with you...

    So what does it matter when you are dead?



    So the estate tax does not tax your money when you die, it takes the beneficiaries, and they have not been taxed previously on the money.

    :D :D :D

    You are really stupid longshot... :\

  9. It's a windfall tax that penalizes work, saving and thrift in favor of consumption. Call it what it is it's a DEATH TAX.
    #10     Mar 9, 2010