US Rep Benishek Just Voted to Give a Giant Tax Break to Paris Hilton and Fellow Trust Fund Babies
FYI – similar releases were issued to local press shaming U.S. Reps. David Valadao (CA-21); Carlos Curbelo (FL-26); Ryan Costello (PA-06); Bruce Poliquin (ME-02); Frank Guinta (NH-01); Will Hurd (TX-23); Rod Blum (IA-01); David Young (IA-03); Rodney Davis (IL-13); Bob Dold (IL-10); Mike Bost (IL-12); Mike Coffman (CO-6); Cresent Hardy (NV-04); Lee Zeldin (NY-01).
Congressman Dan Benishek Just Voted to Give a Giant Tax Break to Paris Hilton and Fellow Trust Fund Babies of the Richest .2%
Benishek’s Vote to Repeal the Estate Tax Would Add $270 Billion to the Deficit, Comes on Heels of His Vote for a Budget That Raises Taxes on Average Working Families, Cuts Rx Drug Benefits for Seniors, Cuts Pell Grants for Students, Cuts Food Assistance for the Hungry
Associated Press, Apr. 14, 2015: ‘FACT CHECK: Estate tax hits fewer than 1 percent of estates’
Washington DC (April 16, 2015) -- Americans United for Change called on U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek to give up the charade of claiming to care about the deficit and average taxpayers after voting today to repeal the Estate Tax, a tax which effects less than 5,500 (.02%) households nationally with 75 percent of the tax cut going to inheritors of estates worth more than $20 million. So what’s in it for the rest of us? The Paris Hilton tax break would balloon the deficit by nearly $270 billion.
The vote was the latest demonstration of Benishek’s fixation with failed trickle-down economic policies over middle class economics. It followed his recent vote for an extreme Robin Hood-in-reverse budget plan that would voucherize Medicare and stick seniors with higher Rx drug and out-of-pocket costs, raise taxes on average working families, gut nursing home care, leave millions uninsured, cost nearly 3 million Americans their jobs, and make college less affordable.
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “Congressman Benishek could count on his fingers and toes the number of the multi-millionaires in Michigan actually affected by the estate tax – and he wouldn’t need any fingers at all to count up the number of jobs its repeal would create. When Republicans are only 100 days into this Congress and their biggest concern is protecting the inherited wealth of trust fund babies, there’s a troubling question of priorities here. Republicans pretend like this tax punishes the families small business owners and family farmers, but the claim has zero basis in reality – a ruse to disguise the fact that this effort is designed to make the richest 1 percent of the 1 percent even richer. After a vote like this, how can Congressman Benishek and fellow Republicans claim to be serious about fiscal responsibility or giving everyday Americans a chance at getting ahead? Benishek and company can’t vote to give .2 percent of the richest Americans an average $2.5 million tax break and turn around and say with a straight face there’s no money left for food assistance, college aid and seniors’ prescription drug benefits.
“Giving the Paris Hiltons and Donald Trump Juniors out there a giant tax break they don’t need while slashing investments that seniors and students and middle class families do need -- and widening the income inequality gap in America on top of it -- is exactly how you derail the economic recovery. Paris Hilton is going to be just fine without this tax break. But there’s a lot of struggling Americans out there that, under proposed cuts in the GOP budget, would not be ok without food assistance or access to affordable health and nursing home care. We’ve seen this movie before. During the Bush years, Republicans in Congress gave millionaires and outsourcers a lot of special treatment and claimed it would benefit everyone. Except the special tax breaks were paid for on the backs of everyday Americans and all we got was the Great Recession. Why does Congressman Benishek think trickle-down economics will work this time around?”
- The Poster Child for Who Benefits from the GOP Estate Tax Repeal: Salon, Feb. 4: “F***ing peasants”: Conrad Hilton arrested for assaulting flight attendants in an epic air rage tantrum”
- Associated Press, Apr. 14, 2015: ‘FACT CHECK: Estate tax hits fewer than 1 percent of estates’
- Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, Feb. 3: “Double taxation? Americans for Tax Fairness, citing Federal Reserve data, notes that 55 percent of the value of estates worth more than $100 million comprises
unrealized capital gains that have never been taxed. Hurting family farmers and small businesses? In the entire country, only 120 small businesses and farms (100 of them large farms) were hit by the estate tax in 2013. And for that tiny number affected, there are all sorts of provisions already in place to soften the blow: low valuation rules, delayed tax payments and other breaks and discounts.”
- The Congressional Budget Office determined the Estate Tax repeal would add nearly $270 billion to the deficit.
- Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “Today, 99.8 percent of estates owe no estate tax at all, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Only the estates of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans — roughly 2 out of every 1,000 people who die — owe any estate tax. This is because of the tax’s high exemption amount, which has jumped from $650,000 per person in 2001 to $5.43 million per person in 2015.”
- Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “Only roughly 20 small business and small farm estates nationwide owed any estate tax in 2013, according to TPC. TPC’s analysis defined a small-business or small farm estate as one with more than half its value in a farm or business and with the farm or business assets valued at less than $5 million. Furthermore, TPC estimates those roughly 20 estates owed just 4.9 percent of their value in tax, on average.”