Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.
One stands in awe of Sen. Frist’s timing. Permanently repealing the estate tax would be a major blow to the nation’s charities. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has “found that the estate tax encourages wealthy individuals to donate considerably more to charity, since estate tax liability is reduced through donations made both during life and at death.” If there were no estate tax in 2000, for example, “charitable donations would have been between $13 billion to $25 billion lower than they actually were.”
As they did after 9/11 and during the lead-up to the Iraq war, conservatives have placed tax cuts for the most wealthy and well-off over the spirit of shared national sacrifice. What a stark contrast to the outpouring of generosity being shown by the American people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.