Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 17, 2008

Beale on the Coming Estate Tax Compromise

Interesting post on A Taxing Matter:  CEO Pay and Taxes:

I wonder why middle class taxpayers and those on even lower incomes ... haven't used their power to vote out of office the Congressional enablers who cut taxes for these same elites and can't even bring themselves to tax the private equity and hedge fund managers on their compensation income the way ordinary Americans are taxed on their compensation income. ... I suspect it is more likely attributable to most Americans' outright ignorance of the facts about the distribution of resources and the way that the tax system has been shaped to benefit the elite ...

[T]his is especially true in the case of the estate tax, where even the Democratic-controlled Congress is apparently going to cave to the superclass lobbying of a group of inordinately wealthy families in this country (including the Wal-Mart heirs). The elite families got together to convince Americans to eliminate (or weaken drastically) the estate tax that only applies to the very few superelite families in the upper upper crust. They claimed that small businesses and small family farmers were being driven out by estate taxes. In spite of numerous studies showing their claims were simply not accurate, the claims were repeated it over and over anyway by enabling media and thinktanks pushing this goal. And now the House and Senate have passed their initial budget resolutions. ...

The Senate, supposedly keeping only the Bush "middle-class" tax cuts, according to Sen. Max Baucus, includes a plan to make the 2009 $3.5 million exemption permanent! Folks, that is NOT middle class. It's not even just top 20%. That's a tax cut that favors the superclass elites like Mozilo who make millions annually and don't care if their employees are crowded together in awful cubicles since, after all, they can "adapt like fish in fish tanks." ...

Congress should quit making tax policy to suit the Mozilos of the world, and start making policy that takes care of the real infrastructure and human capital needs and is fair.

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