Wealthy want estate tax to extend (Marketplace Podcast)

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BRETT NEELY: The House has already voted to extend the estate tax through next year and beyond. It will apply to estates larger than $3.5 million. Now it's the turn of the Senate, which is occupied with health care.

A group of some of America's wealthiest people are campaigning for the federal estate tax, which affects estates larger than $3.5 million, to extend beyond 2011. [...]

Members of the Gates and Rockefeller families say the tax is essential to preventing an aristocracy, says Lee Farris. She's an organizer with the group United for a Fair Economy that's working with the families.

LEE FARRIS: Our country is founded on being a meritocracy, where you have to get ahead on your own merit.

BRETT NEELY: In the big picture, the estate tax is pretty small. Fewer than 1 in 400 families ever pay it, according to the Tax Policy Center. And it will raise about $14 billion this year, compared to over $800 billion from the income tax. [...]

See the full transcript of this news report on American Public Media's Marketplace.


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