Friday, June 09, 2006

If you've run out of good late night reading and have a burning curiousity about the "death tax" Republicans want to abolish, the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen has just issued a 58-page study entitled "Spending Millions to Save Billions" about the estate tax. You can download it at .

This is the report that Democrats are citing on the House and Senate floor as the debate on the permanent repeal of the estate tax roars along.

Did you know that 99.7 of the people who will die in the United States this year will already pass 100% of their assets to their children, free of any estate tax? Did you know that a group of super-wealthy families have spent $490.3 million lobbying for a complete repeal of the estate tax since 1998? Did you know those same families stand to save $71.6 billion if their bid succeeds? Did you know, if the estate tax is abolished, it would cost $369 billion in revenue between 2007 and 2016 alone? Did you know that, without this incentive to donate to charities while alive, the Brookings Institute has estimated that $10 billion a year less would be given to charities?

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Ben Franklin designed this country on a rejection of the European hereditary aristocracy and grotesque inequalities of wealth. They believed excessive concentrations of wealth were incompatible with the ideals of the new nation. Alexis de Tocqueville observed, "The American experiment presupposes a rejection of inherited privilege." Now the wealthiest of families are quietly determined to reverse 230 years of that American experiment.

Download the Public Citizen study and see what all the fuss is about.


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