The 'death tax' scam | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 29, 2009

The 'death tax' scam

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 11:50 AM

The latest Rolling Stone has a fine article (sorry, only a portion is on-line) by Michael Crowley about the effort by the country's richest families to roll back or eliminate the estate tax -- a windfall in the billions if successful.

You know where I'm going. Yes, of course, Sen. Blanche Lincoln comes in for a dose of shaming in the reporting for her work for super-rich who stand to gain the most. (A $30 billion windfall for the Waltons. Lesser but substantial amounts for Stephenses, Anthonys, Dillardses, Hunts, Tysons, etc.)

On April 1st, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, a state with the nation's third-lowest median income, sponsored a budget amendment that would sharply reduce taxes on the estates of multimillionaires after they die. Estates worth up to $7 million per couple, and $3.5 million for individuals, are already exempt from taxes — meaning that 99.75 percent of all Americans die without paying a dime to Uncle Sam. But Lincoln's proposal would raise the exemption to $10 million — and slash the tax rate on even larger estates from 45 percent to 35 percent. All told, the move would let the children of Wall Street barons, dot-com millionaires and wealthy industrialists pocket more than $90 billion in tax revenues over the next decade.

Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, was furious at Lincoln's move, calling it "so stunning, so outrageous that some would choose this hour of national crisis to push for an amendment to slash the estate tax for the superwealthy." Yet the tax cut passed with 51 votes — including 10 Democrats.

A few weeks later, during negotiations to reconcile the Senate's budget with the one passed by the House, the tax cut was undone. But the battle over the "death tax," as Republicans have shrewdly labeled it, is just beginning — and it involves one of the best-funded and most effective lobbying operations that Washington has ever seen.


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation