The $900 billion tax bill that was passed by Congress this week provides massive tax breaks for the wealthy. These tax breaks will not create jobs or improve the economy. They add to the deficit and will worsen economic inequality in the United States.
The worst part of the bill is the gutting of the estate tax, which only affects multi-million dollar estates, to its weakest form in 80 years.
Progressive organizations and progressive representatives in the House fought long and hard to establish a stronger estate tax. The sole positive aspect of the estate tax provision is that the cut lasts for only two years.
It’s clear the estate tax will continue to be at the center of future battles for tax justice.
Senate Republicans held relief for unemployed Americans hostage in the middle of the worst employment crisis in decades. Tax breaks for the wealthy were the ransom they demanded.
This bill makes clear the hypocrisy of deficit hawks in both parties. Now that it has been passed, the same deficit hypocrites are already saying their next goal is to shrink public spending on programs that benefit the working and middle classes.
President Obama says that he wants these tax cuts for the wealthy to be temporary. UFE will fight to make sure they are.
The President also says that he plans to focus on overall tax reform. UFE will fight for a stronger estate tax, for taxes that ensure the wealthy pay their fair share, and for taxes that reduce economic inequality.
We face several important choices between now and 2012. Our country will have to seriously consider this question: Do we want an economy that works for everyone, or one that excessively rewards the wealthy?
In the coming years, we at UFE will redouble our efforts to build a movement for tax fairness and a more just and inclusive economy.