News Release

Repealing the Estate Tax: “Today’s Merely Wealthy Become Tomorrow’s Obscenely Rich” 


Bloomberg reported: “The House of Representatives will vote this week on the latest effort to repeal the tax, which is now paid by only 0.2 percent of U.S. estates. Republicans are drawing attention to what they see as an unjust levy by bringing up the legislation at the annual tax-filing deadline.

“They’re also shrugging aside criticism from President Barack Obama, who calls the plan a budget-busting handout to the nation’s wealthiest families at a time when lawmakers should focus on the middle class. Instead, they’re moving in the opposite direction, making repeal more attractive for business owners and creating an even wider gap between the parties on how to tax inherited wealth.”

SCOTT KLINGER, sklinger at
Klinger is Director of Revenue and Spending Policies at the Center for Effective Government. He recently wrote the piece “From Class to Caste: How Congress Is Set to Accelerate Inequality by Repealing the Estate Tax,” which states: “This week the Republican-controlled House of Representatives plans to pass legislation that would accelerate inequality ensuring today’s merely wealthy become tomorrow’s obscenely rich.

“Those who want to repeal the estate tax have labeled it ‘the death tax,’ but they couldn’t be further from the truth. More than 99.8 percent of Americans who inherit money or property from a loved one get a big tax break. Only one in five members of the top 1 percent pays any estate tax. And those fortunate few who have enough wealth to be subject to the tax pay less than two dimes in tax on every dollar in the estate. …

“Congress is on the path to creating a permanent class of Americans who never have to work or pay taxes.

“If Congress eliminates the estate tax, America will move closer to becoming an aristocracy of inherited wealth where your lot in life will be determined more by the family you were born into, instead of your hard work and creativity.”