Dems say oil execs, Bush Admin set to gain from estate tax repeal
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Tuesday May 30, 2006
Democrats have prepared for an upcoming Senate battle over repeal of the estate tax by releasing estimated savings the repeal could equal for oil executives and members of the Bush Administration, RAW STORY has learned.
The Senate is set to consider legislation (H.R. 8) to repeal the tax, which has been law since 1916, next week. At the time it was first repealed by President Bush, the tax applied only to estates worth more than $2 million. The current plan is to gradually phase the tax out, until it is permanently repealed in 2010. In April of last year, the House passed a bill removing the law's sunset provision, making the repeal permanent upon Senate approval.
Pointing to data indicating that 99 percent of the estate tax is paid by the highest-earning 5 percent of Americans, a report released by the Democrats indicates that CEO's of major oil companies stood to gain significantly from a repeal. Democrats' estimates put oil company gains at at least a "$200 million windfall." The family of one oil executive, Lee Raymond (the former ExxonMobil CEO, pictured above left), alone stood to receive a tax break worth over $260 million.
Democrats have also once again issued a 2005 Government Reform Committee report indicating that repealing the estate tax repeal would save the President, Vice President, and 11 cabinet members anywhere from $91 - 344 million.
The estimated cost of the repeal, according to Democrats, is $2 trillion for the years 2011-2021.
"A recent Center for Public Integrity report found that a handful of superrich families had spent $490 million lobbying against the tax," the American Prospect noted Tuesday. "If they succeed, these same families will gain almost $72 billion."