Tuesday, May 30


This is the kind of thing that makes me cynical and yes, even crazy.

Next week the Senate is scheduled to consider legislation (H.R. 8) to repeal the estate tax. Repealing the tax, which has been law since 1916, is estimated to cost $1 trillion from 2011-2021. Although the tax affects few Americans, repeal will give some families extraordinary windfalls. The CEO’s of major oil companies, for instance, would get enormous benefits if H.R. 8 were enacted. The family of one oil executive, Lee Raymond (the former ExxonMobil CEO), alone could receive a tax break worth over $160 million.

This report analyzes the impact that repeal would have on the families of the senior executives for the major oil companies. In 2005, the minority staff of the Government Reform Committee released a similar analysis showing that repealing the estate tax repeal would save the President, Vice President, and 11 cabinet members as much as $344 million.

Heaven forbid that the heirs of the wealthiest 5% of Americans should be taxed upon their inheritances. Remember, we're not talking about the hard-working professional that wants to leave each of his/her two children a million dollars. The top one-tenth of the top 1% of taxpayers pay more than 33% of estate taxes ("the most progressive of all taxes"). The vast majority of Americans are exempt (no tax on estates of $1 million or less).

So the Bush twins, along with Paris Hilton and other little jet-setting party girls and boys, will get a bonanza if their daddy's pet bill passes. Dare I hope that there are enough Senators with the moral courage to heed Bill Gates, Sr.'s plea to "tax the wealthy" and restore sanity (and financial balance)?




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