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Bill Gates and the Estate Tax

I just got back from a press conference sponsored by United for a Fair Economy and Americans for a Fair Estate tax. Bill Gates (Sr.) made a very compelling case for keeping the estate tax arguing that one important reason that the super-wealthy have been able to make/keep vast sums of money is that they are fortunate enough to live in America. And, as good Americans, they owe some of their wealth to the country that made it possible for them to become so wealthy.
FYI – only 2 percent of estates owe any tax, and the first $1 million for individuals, or $2 million per married couple, is tax-free. So, if you leave $1,000,001 to your heir (after deductions for charity), your heir is responsible for only 18 cents in taxes.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on repealing the estate tax tomorrow. The repeal would cost around $162 billion over the next decade, and $1 trillion over the next 20 years.

Americans for a Fair Estate Tax
Americans for a Fair Estate Tax (AFET) is a broad-based non-partisan coalition of nonprofit groups, including civic, labor, social justice, faith-based, and environmental organizations, as well as organizations providing human services. AFET advocates that instead of repealing the tax on multi-million-dollar estates, Congress should reform the estate tax to ensure that family farms and small businesses are not unfairly taxed while keeping 98 percent of taxpayers exempt and safeguarding Medicare, Social Security, education, charities and other key national priorities that would be threatened by a complete repeal.
We are working together to prevent repeal of the estate tax because the estate tax has helped to:
* Build fairness into the tax system, so that the wealthiest taxpayers pay their just share to the public good and insure large accumulations of wealth do not become concentrated;
* Stimulate charitable giving; and,
* Provide federal and state revenues that are used to provide community services, including those for low-income and vulnerable families.
The estate tax has been a part of our tax structure since the founding of the country and since 1916 in its current form. Opponents of the estate tax have spent millions of dollars on ads and a lobby campaign that often contain inaccurate information that leads one to conclude that the estate tax should be repealed.

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Filed under: Economics, Economy, Fiscal Policy, Policy, Politics

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