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

Jay Carney's son performs at White House

The former White House press secretary and now CNN political commentator tweeted out a photo of his son's band Twenty20 performing at a White House event Monday evening.

Stewart: Graham has panicked for 13 yrs
Comedian Jon Stewart is taking some time away from going after his favorite Republican war hawk Sen. John McCain and is now going after McCain’s fellow rally crier, Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham had some strong words over the weekend on the topic of ISIS, saying,  ”This president needs to rise to the occasion before we […]
Actress: I made 'constitutional' stand

Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts said Monday morning that she made a stand for her "constitutional rights" in resisting the LAPD late last week.

Gillibrand Madam Secretary inspiration

After first revealing that CBS' upcoming "Madam Secretary" series was inspired by Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, the show's producers are now saying that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was more of the inspiration for the lead role.

 

Maher compares GOP rep. to ISIS, Ebola

Liberal comedian Bill Maher announced who he calls the "winning loser" in Congress during a live taping of "Real Time with Bill Maher" in Washington, D.C., Friday, and that loser is Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.).

White House

Joe Biden should never be allowed to support a Redskins name change

Imagine for a moment a tied Senate vote urging the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Into the chamber steps Joe Biden.

Gaffetastic vice-president apologizes for slur

Vice-President Joe Biden apologized Wednesday for his use of an ethnic slur in a speech this week.

Two remarkable stories show why these Vietnam vets earned an exemption to receive the Medal of Honor

Two Vietnam War veterans who were granted an exemption to receive the Medal of Honor were officially recognized Monday, recalling the extraordinary courage of servicemen often obscured by the tumultuous domestic politics of the era.

Obama orders airstrikes in Syria for first time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening a new military front in the Middle East, President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time Wednesday night, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of a broad mission to root out the violent Islamic State militants whose reign of terror has spread across both countries.

Golf courses are now rejecting President Obama

A president can no longer just golf like a major champion today.

Congress

Rand Paul: Millennials 'aren't as wedded to party'
Sen. Rand Paul (R – Ky.) seems to have the majority of millennials figured out. The presidential hopeful spoke with The Federalist this week about his foreign policy views and the shift toward libertarian views among millennials. “I think the libertarian influence, the libertarian-ish Republican, the libertarian conservatives in many ways is great for the […]
Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
POLITICO – Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most. Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two […]
'Finally, we're gonna audit the Fed'

The House passed a bill Wednesday afternoon to audit the Federal Reserve, a long-time crusade of former Rep. Ron Paul and libertarians.

No welfare for weed under House bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Tuesday night that could make it a little harder for people to use government welfare payments to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal. Supporters call it the “no welfare for weed” bill. The bill would prevent people from using government-issued welfare debit cards to make purchases […]
Congress tweets the Constitution

For an alternative reading experience this Constitution Day, direct your attention to Darrell Issa's Twitter feed.