Senate Tax Cut Bill: "A Giant Step Towards Economic Apartheid"

Press Release
For Immediate Release - May 21, 2001
Contact: Betsy Leondar-Wright
(617) 423-2148 x113">

Senate Tax Cut Bill: "A Giant Step Towards Economic Apartheid"

Critics of Senate Tax Bill Available for Interviews

In an ironic coincidence, the Call to Preserve the Estate Tax, first signed by Bill Gates, Sr., topped 1,000 signers today -- the same day the Senate debated repeal of the estate tax. Many of the signers are available to critique the Senate tax cut bill, as are these spokespeople from United for a Fair Economy:

CHUCK COLLINS, Program Director of United for a Fair Economy, co-founder
of Responsible Wealth, and co-author of "Economic Apartheid in America."

"I want to live in a country where what you do in your life counts more than what family you are born into. This core American value is jeopardized by the Senate's tax cut bill. The estate tax repeal is the most regressive feature of a regressive bill. Like Republican President Theodore Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who advocated for creation of the estate tax over 85 years ago, we are concerned about the dangers to the American republic posed by concentrated wealth and power."

BETSY LEONDAR-WRIGHT, Communications Director of United for a Fair
Economy, co-author of "Shifting Fortunes: The Perils of the Growing American
Wealth Gap."

"How rapidly candidate Bush's slogan 'Leave no child behind' morphed into President Bush’s efforts to leave no millionaire behind! Given the many cuts in children’s programs and the tax cuts skewed towards the very rich, the Bush budget entails a redistribution of wealth from children to the wealthiest heirs. Children with multimillionaire parents may enjoy a tax-free inheritance, but the other 98% of children will be out of luck."

MIKE LAPHAM, Co-Director of Responsible Wealth, organizer of the Call to
Preserve the Estate Tax.

"We need a healthy debate on the questions raised by the tax cut bill: Who needs tax breaks more, low-wage workers or high earners and heirs? How will states manage without the $5.5 billion in annual revenue that comes to them through the federal estate tax? What will be the impact on our economy, democracy and civic life of further concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a few, at a time of the greatest inequality since the 1920s? Unfortunately the Senate is ramming this bill through before this debate can take place."

Detailed analyses of the tax cut bill can be seen on the websites of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (, OMB Watch (, and the Citizens for Tax Justice (

Responsible Wealth is a national network of businesspeople, investors and affluent Americans concerned about deepening economic inequality and advocating widespread prosperity. Responsible Wealth is a project of United for a Fair Economy, a national independent non-profit that spotlights the growing economic divide and inspires action to narrow the wealth gap.