Republicans in the US Senate are beginning a final push to abolish the estate tax. They could commence action as soon as next week. It’s part of the continuing Republican plan for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. The US House of Representatives has already voted to repeal the estate tax.
As reported on OMB Watch on Wednesday,
“Senate aides said yesterday that estate tax repeal will likely be the third order of business to come up when the Senate returns after the Memorial Day recess. The Senate will vote on full repeal, and after that likely fails, it is Senator Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) intention to bring his “reform” plan up for a vote. His plan is little better than full repeal as it would attain very little of the actual revenue garnered from the estate tax.”
We join with OMB Watch and urge that you “Take action on this issue! Contact your Senators and tell them to vote no on repeal and no on Kyl’s fiscally irresponsible alternative.”
Americans for a Fair Estate Tax have sent a letter to all Senators urging them to vote no.
A copy of the letter can be seen here: FairEstateTax.org letter .
The following Washington State organizations have signed the letter.
Washington Tax Fairness Coalition
Statewide Poverty Action Network
Washington State Association of Churches
Northwest Federation of Community Organizations
Washington Citizen Action
Northwest Health Law Advocates
The Washington Tax Fairness Coalition represents some 73 organizations in Washington State working for fair taxes. The following are some facts taken form an e-mail they sent to their members:
3 Vital Facts About the Estate Tax:
· Repealing or drastically cutting it would cost $1 trillion over 10 years.
· Now, only 1 in 200 estates of people who die owe any estate tax; in 2009, when estates worth less than $3.5m ($7 million for couples) are exempt, only 3 out of 1,000 people who die will owe the tax.
· If the tax rate is dropped as proposed,* more than half the benefits will go to 700 estates worth more than $20 million each – they’ll each get $9 million in tax handouts in 2011 alone. Sheesh. (*serious proposal would drop rate from 45% to 15%)
3 Vital Facts About America:
· The gap between the rich and everyone else is growing. The wealthiest one percent own more than the bottom 90 percent – and it’s been getting worse over the past 15 years, according to the Federal Reserve Board.
· The U.S. faces major new costs for retirement and health care over the next decades. Over the next 25 years, Medicare will grow from 8% to 14% as a share of the economy. Not a good time to lose trillions.
· We have already started to cut federal funding on health care, education, child care, job training, and so many other services.
Wealth in America is not distributed equally. According to Wixipedia “In the United States, 10% of the population owns 71% of the wealth, and the top 1% controls 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% own less than 1% of the total wealth. ”
This disparity in income distribution has continued to increase over recent years. One strong proponent of the estate tax is William H Gates, Sr – the father of Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Several years ago he and Chuck Collins wrote a book entitled Wealth and Our Commonwealth: Why America Should Tax Accumulated Fortunes, Beacon Press (2003) .