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A Political Victory for the Commons

Wealthy right-wingers give up their campaign to kill the estate tax.

A Political Victory for the Commons

We can now declare victory for the commons in a hard fought and long-running political battle.

One of the strongest pro-commons laws on the books in the U.S. is the estate tax??“a sensible measure that redirects a share of the inheritance for the wealthiest 0.5 percent of U.S. households toward the common good.

Bill Gates Sr., father of the Microsoft founder, praises the estate tax as “mechanism for wealthy people to pay back the society that created the fertile ground for wealth creation.”

Warren Buffet, who would pay as much as anyone under the law (except for Bill Gates Jr.) testified before Congress that, “ A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy,” warning of the rise of “dynastic wealth.”

But the heirs of a number of these dynastic families have lobbied hard for an end of the estate tax, dubbing it “a death tax,” notes OTC Fellow Chuck Collins, co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good
Among the families bankrolling the “Death Tax” campaign were those that grew fabulously wealthy from Wal-Mart, Campbell’s Soup, Mars Candy bars and Gallo wine.

And not long ago it looked like they would succeed in snatching billions from the U.S. Treasury to add to their immense fortunes. George W. Bush pushed to eliminate the tax.

That would mean the cash-strapped federal government would lose out on one trillion dollars in revenues over the next 15 years, leading to even deeper cuts on essential public programs and more tax hikes for middle- and working-class citizens.

But even with its lavish resources, the anti-estate tax campaign has conceded defeat, reports Collins.

Powerful organizations leading the charge against the so-called “death tax’ such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Businesses have abandoned efforts to eliminate the tax and now are concentrating their energies on reducing the tax rate from 45 percent to 35 percent.

For more information see Chuck Collins report on Huffington Post