We Don’t Need Another Permanent Tax Cut For Millionaires And Billionaires
Tax Day: The day that most Americans are reminded that they offer a good chunk of their hard-earned money to the government as part of their responsibility as citizens of our fine democracy. But the GOP is taking this opportunity to remind us of more than that: In the next few days, Republicans will vote to repeal the estate tax, giving yet another tax windfall for the wealthy few. And they will vote to do this even as they push to cut support for middle- and working-class families.
The estate tax only ever applies to the very richest Americans, and as more and more of America’s wealth gets concentrated at the top, it is one of a few tools we have to put a check on inequality. It only kicks in when an estate is worth more than $5.43 million; the median household net worth was only $81,200 in 2014. And while conservatives work on giving the wealthiest Americans a giant tax break, House Republicans have also proposed cutting $125 billion from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), costing the economy 286,000 jobs, as our graphic demonstrates below:
Here are a few more things that repealing the estate tax would do:
- Repealing the estate tax would cost the U.S. $269 billion over 10 years.
- Repealing the estate tax would only benefit the very wealthiest 5,400 estates in America.
- Only 0.2% of estates would benefit from an estate tax repeal.
Just one week of the proposed estate tax cuts for millionaires could feed more than 337,000 children for a year.
While conservatives focus on how to make the wealthiest even wealthier, across the country, American workers are taking action today to demand higher wages. In 230 cities, fast food workers walked off of the job for the Fight for 15 campaign. Despite record low unionization rates, workers are still demanding that their voices are heard and that they deserve a fair wage for fair work.
BOTTOM LINE: This year’s tax day couldn’t provide a better contrast between progressive and conservative visions for America. Conservatives really believe that the economy grows from the top down – that if we give more to millionaires and billionaires by cutting their estate tax, it will trickle down to the rest of us. Meanwhile, progressive advocates are cheering on the fast food workers, childcare workers, home care providers, and thousands of others who are taking a risk to fight for a living wage so that their families can get ahead. Trickle down policy doesn’t work: it has left middle and worker class families with less, and destabilized our entire economy. The real engine of the economy is a strong middle class.
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