Opponents of the estate tax normally emphasize the effect it can have on small business owners and family farmers. A new report, however, suggests that those are not the groups behind the push to repeal the tax.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the federal estate tax. The bill has little chance of becoming law anytime soon as the Senate has declined to take the matter up and President Obama has stated that he will veto any estate tax repeal.
This, of course, has not stopped some politicians from continuing to call for repeal. They suggest that the tax has adverse effects on family farms and small businesses. The truth of those claims depends on how you define “family farm” and “small business,” of course, which are not things politicians on either side of the aisle often do define when speaking about the issues.
Interestingly, however, is a new report from Public Citizen that suggests the drive to repeal the estate tax is actually coming from a few extremely wealthy families who spend millions of dollars a year lobbying to repeal the estate tax. One reason that they do so is because they collectively would gain nearly $25 billion if the estate tax goes away. The Hill reported on this story in “Who is behind the push to repeal the estate tax?”
A report that it is actually billionaires who wish to have the estate tax repealed, however, does not necessarily mean that it should not be repealed. Depending on your point of view, these wealthy families are either acting out of despicable self-interest or they are performing an admirable public service.
Reference: The Hill (July 8, 2015) “Who is behind the push to repeal the estate tax?“
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