Wealthy Americans ask for higher death tax

While Republicans in the fiscal cliff negotiations are fighting hard against tax increases, some of the wealthiest Americans actually want an increase in one specific tax — the estate tax.

Except the estate tax, or death tax as it is aptly called, is something these wealthy individuals themselves will not have to pay.

During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, a group of wealthy, influential businesspeople and leaders gave statements in support of a higher estate tax that what President Obama is proposing and put forth their own estate tax proposal, in partnership with the Responsible Wealth Project.

“If we who have been privileged in life weren’t paying our fair share of taxes, somebody else is going to have to pay them and it will be inevitably those who are less able to do so than we fortunate few are,” John Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group, said on the phone call.

Bogle was joined by Robert Rubin, former treasury secretary, Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy Disney, Richard Rockefeller, great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, and Mike Lapham, director of the Responsible Wealth Project. The estate tax proposal has also been signed by former President Jimmy Carter, wealthy businessmen George Soros and Warren Buffett.

The call participants argued that the estate tax needs to be high in order to prevent cuts to entitlement programs. Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Roy Disney, said the tax would also help reduce the income and wealth gaps, the existence of which she called “inconsistent with my values as an American and a patriot.”

It’s no surprise that billionaire Warren Buffett also heartily backs the estate tax. Buffett has not been shy about his love of taxing the wealthy. And while Buffett has not previously been silent on the estate tax, it reaches a broader American audience when inserted into the fiscal cliff talks.

Of particular importance is that the death tax is not paid by those currently arguing for it; it is paid by their children and grandchildren. The estate tax claims a percentage of an estate upon the estate holder’s death, meaning none of these individuals will be directly impacted by their proposed estate tax changes. And, Republicans argue, when that estate is a family-run small business a death tax could drive it into the ground.

And frankly, some of the entitlement programs need cuts. The government cannot keep spending at the current levels, with the U.S. debt increasing by more than $48,000 a second during Obama’s first three years in office.

Taxing Americans, even those who can arguably afford it, will not rescue the nation from this massive hole it has dug itself into. And it certainly won’t keep us from going over the fiscal cliff.

Comments

Comments

  1. crazymensa says:

    You know, that is a nice sentiment and a noble gesture, but entitlement reform is not supposed to be a punishment to those less fortunate and may need help.It is to update, streamline, and refine it in ways to best administer the benefits most efficiently. Maybe they want their descendants to have to build their own wealth…

  2. E.Powers says:

    Pure Marxism. Nothing stops anyone from donating their wealth if they so choose. I will do everything in my power to never pay this tax. A Disney wants a higher tax? Nice, as that family has generational wealth which couldn’t be taxed away. So, if I can muster enough to pass along I get taxed? WHAT GIVES YOU THE CLAIM TO MY PROPERTY!!!

  3. Sasha says:

    The person quoted is Abigail Disney, Roy Disney’s granddaughter, who inherited her wealth. She has no obligation to leave her estate to her family and could just write a check to the government if she wanted to.

    Welfare was meant to be a hand for those in need, on a temporary basis, not a long-term multi-generational thing.

Polititainment

'SNL' laughs at North Korea, Sony hacks
“Saturday Night Live” hit on North Korea and the Sony hacks twice this weekend, proving that unlike most of Hollywood, they aren’t scared of Kim Jong-un. The show started off with a bang, bringing back Mike Myers as Dr. Evil to interrupt the cold open and discuss his anger over the North Korea and Sony hacker […]
RNC asks theaters to show 'The Interview
The Sony hack and subsequent cancellation of “The Interview” has gone fully political. President Obama made an official statement on this decision and now the Republican National Committee is weighing in. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus asks that movie theaters not bow down to North Korea and stand up to this decision by screening the film […]
Obama: LeBron 'did the right thing'

President Obama supports LeBron James' decision to wear an "I can't breathe" t-shirt during warmup before the NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets last week.

Al Sharpton, Hollywood's Sony Liaison

In a private meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Greenwich Hotel in New York City Thursday, Sony Pictures chair Amy Pascal told Sharpton that he could have a voice in how the movie studio makes its films.

Clooney: Release 'The Interview' online

George Clooney may have the most awesomely toothy response to the Sony Pictures cyberattack that forced the movie studio to pull the film "The Interview" from its December 25 release.

White House

Obama: I will do ‘everything I can’ to close Guantanamo Bay
President Obama may have signed the defense bill that keeps Guantanamo Bay open for another year, but he is still verbally promising to close down the facility. Obama appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday and discussed closing Gitmo by the end of next year with host Candy Crowley. “I’m going to do everything […]
Obama: ‘We’re not going to be intimidated’ by Sony hackers
President Obama appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning and covered a variety of topics ranging from racism to North Korea and the Sony hacks. Obama repeated his earlier statements about the hacks, implying again that Sony made the wrong call by canceling screenings of “The Interview.” “The Boston Marathon suffered an actual […]
Obama: we can’t have censorship subject to ‘some dictator someplace’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.

U.S. confirms North Korea was behind Sony attack and promises ‘proportional’ response

Officials no longer merely suspect North Korea to be behind the cyberattack on Sony Picture—they’ve confirmed it.

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]

Congress

Rubio, Paul feud continued on ABC's 'This Week'
Likely 2016 presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have been going after each other all week for statements made on President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba and the feud did not take a break over the weekend. The Florida senator, one of the most outspoken critics of the new Cuba policy, appeared on […]
Rubio says Rand Paul is clueless on Cuba

Sen. Marco Rubio made his criticism of a fellow Republican plain Thursday night.

Gowdy's office responds to Speaker chatter

Rep. Trey Gowdy has become a sensation on the Right, with his no-nonsense style and committee hearing takedowns of Obama officials garnering him praise and attention.

Rand Paul: 'Opening up Cuba is a good idea'

Sen. Rand Paul broke with the Republican Party's prevailing argument against President Obama's Cuba policy Thursday, saying the move toward opening trade with the long-embargoed nation "probably" is a good idea.

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!