Statement of People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas on House Vote to Repeal the Estate Tax

People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas issued the following statement today in response to the House vote to repeal large portions of the estate tax:

It’s appalling that while some people in New Orleans are still waiting for a FEMA trailer nearly ten months after the hurricane, the House has passed a bill to reward the wealthiest of Americans. Strip away the fancy rhetoric, and that’s exactly what gutting the estate tax will mean: more money for the ultra-rich, and far less for disaster victims, foster care for abused children, working families who can’t afford health care, and youth who need student loans.

Our schools are crumbling, our budget deficit is skyrocketing, millions of Americans have no health insurance, and in response the House has passed a massive tax cut for billionaires. Those who voted for this bill are so woefully out of touch with America’s priorities that they seem to have forgotten that people without a trust fund can vote too.

Despite the record budget deficits and the extraordinarily expensive war in Iraq, billionaires and millionaires have already been given an average annual tax break of $136,000 from President Bush’s tax giveaways. Now, this “compromise” legislation is going to cost another $762 billion over 10 years, including the interest costs because of increased national debt. While the children of the very wealthiest families inherit billions more, children from working families will inherit a crushing debt and a less equitable society.

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