On December 6, 2010, President Obama announced that he reached a deal with Republicans to extend the federal estate tax and other tax cuts.
Under the deal, the estate tax exemption would be up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples. The tax rate would be 35%. The exemption and rate would be in effect for two years.
This announcement only intensifies the estate tax debate.
(1) Commenting on the President’s announcement, Lee Farris (Senior Organizer on Estate Tax Policy, United for a Fair Economy) said, “This deal gives away too much and gets too little in return. This deal is unacceptable.”
Lee explains why UFE finds the deal unacceptable:
The proposed tax deal that further weakens the estate tax is outrageous. The deal would make the estate tax even weaker than it was under President Bush, and the weakest it has been since the tax started in 1916. The estate tax is our country’s most progressive tax, and our only tax on wealth. Wealth inequality is already at the highest levels since 1928. A weaker estate tax will result in the richest 1% owning even more of our county’s wealth, and will shift the responsibility for paying taxes from the wealthy to the middle class.
United for a Fair Economy’s members strongly support the estate tax, including business owners, farmers, and thousands of wealthy people who expect to pay the estate tax. They all agree that the estate tax is the right way to have those who have benefited the most from our country’s government to give back so that our country prospers.
Lee concludes by assuring that UFE “is going to continue to fight hard for an estate tax at 2009 levels or stronger.”
Read more on Hani Sarji's "Estate of Confusion" blog on Forbes.com