Keep The Estate Tax
Conservatives in the Senate are pushing to permanently repeal the estate tax in a vote next week -- an action that will cost the U.S. Treasury more than $1 trillion
over the first ten years, and provide benefits only to the wealthiest of the wealthy in our society. Haven't they benefited enough from President Bush's previous tax giveaways for the rich?
First, some facts:
- The estate tax currently has an exemption of $2 million per person ($4 million per couple) -- meaning that only five out of every one thousand people will ever be subject to the tax. With the exemption already set to rise to $3.5 million per person by 2009, the Congressional Budget Office has calculated that the overwhelming majority of farms and small businesses will not be taxed.
Who is pushing for this repeal? 18 super-wealthy families, who are looking to cash in on a potential windfall of $71.6 billion.
- Who else will benefit? People like Exxon CEO Lee Raymond, who will get a tax break of $160 million. Vice President Cheney will save between $12 million and $60 million. President Bush will also do pretty well, with a tax break somewhere between $787,000 and $6.2 million.
The Bush Administration's reckless fiscal management, combined with irresponsible tax cuts passed by a Republican congress, have saddled us with a national debt that is spiraling out of control. Each American baby born these days comes into the world already almost $28,000 in debt
. Is this enormous birth tax fair to future generations of Americans?
Senator Kyl, Republican of Arizona, is floating a dangerous "compromise" proposal that will cost the Treasury nearly the same amount, and still concentrate its benefits on the wealthiest of estates. This proposal needs to be defeated as well.
I'm writing to strongly urge you to vote against permanently repealing the estate tax, and also to vote against the so-called "compromise" proposal being floated by Senator Kyl.
It's morally repugnant to me that you would consider giving even more tax breaks to the super-wealthy. You and I both know that with the current and future exemption limits, very few farms and family business -- according to the CBO, less that 200 total across the nation -- will be subject to this tax.
The height of fiscal irresponsibility would be passing an even larger debt on to our children. By the time you read this, the birth tax will have exceeded $28,000 per American baby. What kind of legacy will we leave for future generations if this number keeps spiraling out of control?
I look forward to your reply on this very important issue, and I will be watching very closely to see how you vote.
Thank you for your time and attention to my letter.