The House bill would head off the estate tax's scheduled 2011 increase to 55 percent, with the threshold lowered to $1 million. It would protect all but about 5,500 families, or the richest 0.2 percent from the tax, according to the Tax Policy Center.
That's not good enough for those who argue multimillionaires are still getting a free ride. "I feel that it's a contradiction to vote on a tax break for people worth $3.5 million and above while we're sending troops overseas without any idea how we're going to pay for it," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Slaughter said they needed to act on an estate tax bill to prevent the rate from going to zero next year. But she said her preference would be to revert immediately to the 55 percent rate set for 2011. "The sense that we've gotten from it is we need to do it because it's going to expire, and we've got 30 days, but frankly, given my choice, I'd rather go up to 55 percent right now," she said.
Advocacy groups such as United for a Fair Economy have been plugging a higher estate tax rate and lower exemption as critical particularly given the state of the economy and need to create jobs. They support a bill from Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., that would set the exemption at $2 million per spouse, adjusted for inflation, with a progressively rising estate tax rate based on the value of an estate. For estates worth up to $5 million, the tax would be 45 percent, rising to 50 percent for up to $10 million and 55 percent for those above $10 million. That would cost about $203 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Please note: this is a bunch of God-cursed thieves arguing that because someone dies the government should be able to simply seize 55% of the estate. Not because taxes are due, not because someone didn't pay something, simply because they want that money and have no compunctions about stealing it.
And that is exactly what they're planning: grand theft under color of government, with lots of "It's only fair!" bullshit to try to cover it up.