As per the GOP's masterful tax plan, the estate tax is shifting like the sands under a serpent's belly. In 2007 the federal estate tax kicked in when you inherited $1million. In 2008 it doubles to $2million. In 2009 it jumps to $3.5million. In 2010 it rises to no estate tax (getting right to the point). In 2011 it falls back to $1million. The repugs couldn't make it permanent so they settled for one year of unchecked inheritance? Or more likely, expecting future elections to bring the additional votes needed to secure permanent death to the death tax. But here's a thought: What does it say that the two wealthiest Americans, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, defend the estate tax? Here's an exerpt from Gates' interview with Bill Moyers, aired on PBS.
GATES: Well, you know, it just...to my eye, it's just a question of fairness. It
disturbs us, for example, that here we have a significant ingredient of the
Federal revenue stream which people are taking away at the very time that our
government is going to need revenue at a level that is unprecedented. We're
talking about $200, $300 billion deficits now. And the notion of repealing a
tax in the midst of that situation leads inevitably to the proposition that some
other tax is going to have to take its place.
MOYERS: And your case in the book is that if the wealthy don't pay their share, then working people have to pay a larger share.
GATES: That's it exactly.