Estate Tax

Just want to get this out there. The Republicans came up with the cute name, “Death Tax,” for the Estate Tax. This probably took a few focus groups and polls to come up with.

The Estate Tax is paid on the transfer of assets when a zillionaire dies. It is AN INCOME TAX on the income received by heirs of someone who is really, really rich. The Republicans cast it as a tax that causes farms and small businesses to be sold to pay the tax, but this is yet another lie. From NYTimes, Focus on Farms Masks Estate Tax Confusion,

While 17 percent of Americans in a recent Gallup survey think they will owe estate taxes, in fact only the richest 2 percent of Americans do. That amounted to 49,870 Americans in 1999. And nearly half the estate tax is paid by the 3,000 or so people who each year leave taxable estates of more than $5 million.

Let’s be clear on this. You and I pay income taxes on OUR income, but Bush and the Republicans repealed the Estate Tax and now rich kids won’t have to pay taxes on THEIR (inherited) incomes. People are not as upset about this as they should be, probably because of the cute name the Republicans were able to apply to the debate.