Friday, April 17, 2015

Republicans Vote Deficit Increase With Big Tax Giveaway

House Republicans voted Thursday to repeal the estate tax, a longtime priority of Republicans. Not wanting Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton to get too far ahead of them talking about policies that benefit working people, not the wealthy, Republicans talk like champions of the middle class, complaining bitterly about the wealthy benefiting almost exclusively from the recent economic recovery.

Not walking the walk of the talk they talk, House Republicans, en masse, voted for a $269 billion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 0.2% Americans. The House bill now moves to the Senate, where the Republican majority is eager to support it.

Under the plan, GOP lawmakers, who occasionally pretend to care about “fiscal responsibility,” would simply add the entire $269 billion cost to the deficit, leaving future generations to pay for a massive tax break for the hyper-wealthy.

At a time of rising economic inequality, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to make economic inequality worse on purpose. At a time in which much of Congress wants to make the deficit smaller, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to make the deficit much larger. At a time when prosperity is concentrated too heavily at the very top, House Republicans have prioritized a bill to deliver enormous benefits to multi-millionaires and billionaires – and no one else.

Asked to defend this, Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters, confusing the facts, “The estate tax’s repeal is long overdue. Remember, all of this money that families have saved has all been taxed, much of it multiple times. Conservatives claim that the estate tax is a “death tax,” wrongly implying that the tax is paid when every American dies. In fact, the tax primarily is paid by estates of multi-millionaires and billionaires. The vast majority of deaths — 99.9% — do not trigger estate taxes today.

Dana Milbank commented on the Republican vote:
Never in the history of plutocracy has so much been given away to so few who need it so little.

This is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement, which began as a populist revolt in 2009 but has since been hijacked by wealthy and corporate interests. The estate tax has been part of American law in some form since 1797, according to the advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness, a shield against the sort of permanent aristocracy our founders fought to rid themselves of.

It had long been a conservative ideal, and the essence of the American Dream, to believe that everybody should have an equal shot at success. But in their current bid to end the estate tax, Republicans could create a permanent elite of trust-fund babies.
Where does the Democratic Party stand on big tax giveaways to the ultra-wealthy as recently articulated by Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton

Cut taxes for every working family, not millionaires

It’s time for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. When they take unfair advantage of the many loopholes in the tax code the rest of us pick up the tab. Instead of cutting education funding for our children, we should ask millionaires to pay a tax rate at least as high their secretary’s.  Instead of cutting Social Security and Medicare, we should ask the wealthy to give up a few tax loopholes so that we can make sure everyone has a secure retirement.

Cut taxes for middle class, not the wealthy

Cutting taxes for middle class Americans. First, we must restore our values to our tax code. We want a tax code that rewards work and creates wealth for more people, not a tax code that hoards wealth for those who already have it.

With the middle class under assault like never before, we simply cannot afford the massive tax cuts for the very wealthiest.We should set taxes for families making more than $200,000 a year at the same level as in the late 1990s, a period of great prosperity when the wealthiest Americans thrived without special treatment.We will cut taxes for 98 percent of Americans and help families meet the economic challenges of their everyday lives. And we will oppose tax increases on middle class families, including those living abroad.

Cut taxes for working families, not richest 1%

Conservatives claim the wealthy are overtaxed. But the overall share of taxes paid by the top 1% and the top 5% is about their share of total income. This shows that the tax system is not progressive when it comes to the wealthy. The richest 1% pay an effective federal income tax rate of 24.7%. That is a little more than the 19.3% rate paid by someone making an average of $75,000. And 1 out of 5 millionaires pays a lower rate than someone making $50,000 to $100,000.

President Barack Obama calls for taxes on the wealthiest Americans that would tax their Wall Street profits from investments and make it harder for them to pass assets to heirs. Obama, who will promote the plan during his Jan. 20 State of the Union Address, will use much of the proceeds -- $320 billion over 10 years -- to expand tax credits for higher education and child care and create a new break for two-earner couples. The White House released details of the plan Saturday.  “What you’re seeing here is really dedicated middle-class tax relief to really get at that problem of middle-class wage stagnation,” said Harry Stein, director of fiscal policy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington group aligned with Democrats.

More at Americans for tax fairness

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