Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The rich families' battle against Estate Tax (part 1)

United States in so far is the richest country in the world. It is the country with the most billionaires, nearly 34%. Wealth accumulation has been liberal because of its capitalist market. But with the economic meltdown brought about by the greedy Wall Street, the wealth of the rich people is now put into limelight.

It was only in recent times that the US realized how immense the wealth disparity in their country. 50% of the national income is accounted from the top 10% of the richest families in the US. Wealth concentration is highly skewed towards the richest of the rich.

But the greed of the rich families continues to blur the line of social equity by lobbying for the permanent repeal of the Estate Tax. The said measure will give the rich a big room to preserve their wealth at the same time continue amassing wealth.

What is Estate Tax?

It is a form of tax levied on your inheritance. Currently, the law allows an exception of $ 5M from your estate with a 35% tax rate. But if looking at history, the exception has continuously increased while tax rate has decreased.

How serious are these rich families in winning the battle against the Estate Tax?

The gruesome battle started in the early Bush Administration (or the rich friendly Republican). Some figures from PCCW and UFE show that the rich families (Allyn-Soderberg, Cox, Blethen, Devos, etc.) have at least spent $ 5B on lobbying in favor of a permanent repeal and another $27.7M in campaign contributions. But they never seem to run out of money by supporting outside organizations to run negative and hate Ad campaigns against Estate Tax (Policy and Taxation Group, Freedom Works, American family Business Institute, etc.).

What are the usual complaints of the rich families?

1. Estate Tax is unfair because it is a form of double taxation.

2. Disincentive to work harder since the state will be mostly benefiting from it. Ergo, they can’t enjoy the fruits of their hard earned wealth.

3. Their parents worked their butt off to give their children a good future.

4. Estate Tax is unfair for those Mid wealthy families.

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