Monday, April 05, 2010

Americans for a Fair Estate Tax: new call

Citizens for Tax Justice in Washington reports:

"Americans for a Fair Estate Tax, a coalition of public interest organizations, has released a new statement calling on Congress to preserve a robust estate tax to help ensure that the federal government has the revenue to fund public services that working people depend on."

Some useful numbers related to this debate, from the statement:

When Congress enacted the gradual repeal of the estate tax in 2001, it did not want to own up to the enormous cost of full repeal, which would exceed $800 billion over ten years.
. . .
The estate tax corrects a feature of our tax system that would otherwise allow certain income to escape taxation entirely.
. . .
Despite claims to the contrary, the estate tax does NOT affect the vast majority of small businesses and family farms. The Brookings/Urban Institute Tax Policy Center estimates that in 2009, only eighty small business and small farm estates nationwide owed any estate tax, and these estates paid an average tax of only 14 percent.

And finally:

"The federal estate tax provides a check on the concentration of power in the hands of those born into great wealth. Such a concentration of power is contrary to American values and democratic principles. This is a growing problem today, as hard-working Americans are finding fewer opportunities for success because education and other paths to advancement are increasingly out of reach. The United States now has the greatest concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich in nearly a century. As billionaire Warren Buffett reminds us, “Without the estate tax, you in effect will have an aristocracy of wealth, which means you pass down the ability to command the resources of the nation based on heredity rather than merit."

Also from CTJ:
AND SO IT BEGINS: Big Business Takes Aim at Parts of Health Care Reform


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