Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Stealth Campaign of Uber-Rich to Repeal Estate Tax

Public Citizen | Press Room - Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy:
"18 families worth a total of $185.5 billion have financed and coordinated a 10-year effort to repeal the estate tax, a move that would collectively net them a windfall of $71.6 billion.

The report profiles the families and their businesses, which include the families behind Wal-Mart, Gallo wine, Campbell’s soup, and Mars Inc., maker of M&Ms...

The report details the groups they have hidden behind – the trade associations they have used, the lobbyists they have hired, and the anti-estate tax political action committees, 527s and organizations to which they have donated heavily.

In a massive public relations campaign, the families have also misled the country by giving the mistaken impression that the estate tax affects most Americans. In particular, they have used small businesses and family farms as poster children for repeal ... But just more than one-fourth of one percent of all estates will owe any estate taxes in 2006. And the American Farm Bureau, a member of the anti-estate tax coalition, was unable when asked by The New York Times to cite a single example of a family being forced to sell its farm because of estate tax liability."
I'm usually against high taxes, for sound economic reasons. However, money has to come from somewhere to fund the military, courts, roads, etc. and I find the current estate tax to be imminently fair. All the hogwash about farmers and small-businesses isn't supported by the facts. The real need for estate-tax reform is at the state level, where many states are much more aggressive than the feds in soaking even the middle class types who die.

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