New Senate Estate Tax Proposal Offers Chance for More Broadly-Shared Prosperity

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2010

Contact: Lee Farris, 617-423-2148 x133

UFE Cheers New Responsible Estate Tax Act as Chance to Ensure Broadly-Shared Prosperity in Economic Recovery 

Boston, MA – United for a Fair Economy (UFE), which has worked since 2000 to preserve a strong estate tax, announced their support today for the new Sanders-Harkin-Whitehouse Responsible Estate Tax Act. “This is the kind of common sense solution that balances the desire to protect small businesses and farms, while ensuring that the super-wealthy give back to support the country that made their prosperity possible,” states Lee Farris, UFE’s estate tax policy coordinator. 

Additionally, the Responsible Wealth network, a project of UFE that brings together high-wealth individuals as a voice for progressive taxes, is also supporting the bill. To date, UFE and Responsible Wealth have gathered over 2,000 signatures on their Call to Preserve the Estate Tax from the very individuals who would be subject to the estate tax, or whose families have paid the estate tax.

In late 2009, UFE held a press conference with three of those Call signers, Bill Gates, Sr., Vanguard co-founder John Bogle, and Richard Rockefeller, urging Congress to enact a robust estate tax before it expired temporarily in 2010. While Congress failed to enact the one-year patch, there is still time to fix the estate tax for the remainder of 2010.

After years of wrangling, a permanent solution to the estate tax debate may finally be taking shape. This morning, US Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) put forward a new proposal – the Responsible Estate Tax Act – that will permanently fix the estate tax by combining the generous 2009 exemption levels with progressive rates for larger estates, including a new billionaires surtax.

“If we are going to get out of this recession, we need to reject the failed trickle-down policies of the Bush years. It’s time to restore the progressive tax system that made our country strong, beginning with a robust estate tax,” Farris adds. “The Sanders-Harkin-Whitehouse Responsible Estate Tax Act is an important step on the road to an economic recovery that benefits all Americans.”

“In the weeks ahead, United for a Fair Economy and Responsible Wealth will mobilize our thousands of members to support this legislation and seek co-sponsors for this bill,” adds Farris. Supporters of a strong estate tax can sign UFE’s Call to Preserve the Estate Tax at


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