Tax The Rich! A Conference on Why & How
The Estate Tax is About Fairness
Representative Ruben Gallego discusses the Estate Tax at TAX THE RICH! A Conference on Why & How, April 10, 2019.
Most Americans pay taxes on every paycheck they earn. On the other hand, wealthy heirs can inherit millions of dollars, tax-free, without working a day in their lives. Thanks to the Republican tax law, that’s up to $11.2 million for an individual or $22.4 million for a couple that is able to be passed down without paying a cent in estate tax.
The estate tax is the only tax that ultra-rich heirs will ever pay on the millions and millions of dollars that they’re inheriting (that they did absolutely nothing to earn besides being born into the right family). With every single working American paying taxes, it is absurd to claim that we should let trust fund babies who’ve never worked a day in their life make millions without paying a dime.
The vast majority of Americans are nowhere near passing on $11 million to their children, much less $22 million. In fact, the estate tax only affects about 1,800 of the wealthiest families in the country in a given year, many of whom pay a laughably small amount on multi-million dollar inheritances. With the exemption limit at $22.4 million, that means someone can pass along $22,400,001 and pay just 40 cents total in estate tax. That’s hardly fair. The Republican party’s choice to raise the individual threshold from $5.4 million to $11.2 million was a giveaway that by definition only helped multimillionaires, leaving working Americans in the dust.
Republican lawmakers are constantly telling us there’s not enough money for Medicare, Social Security, veterans’ healthcare, and other programs, but then turn around and cut taxes for the 1%. There is simply no good reason to cut taxes on multimillionaires and then pretend there isn’t enough to go around to help honor our nation’s promises to ordinary Americans.