Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) have offered a $250 billion proposal to cut estate taxes for the children of multi-millionaires. The proposal is attracting a disturbing amount of support. In an editorial this morning, The New York Times writes that, while the nation is focused on ending the deep recession, Kyl and Lincoln’s “most pressing issue is clear: America’s wealthiest families need help. Now.” The Wonk Room’s Ben Furnas noted yesterday:
While opponents of the estate tax claim rolling it back protects small farms and businesses, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that “only 0.2 percent of the additional cost of the proposal, relative to [the Obama proposal], would go toward tax cuts for small businesses and farms.”
The rest of the cost, approximately $249.5 billion, would go to the inheritors of estates worth over $7 million. Paris Hilton, get excited.
The Waltons — the Arkansas-based family that founded Wal-Mart — are one of the key groups financing the campaign to repeal the estate tax. “With all the serious work before Congress, it is a colossal waste of time to have to rebut the false claims and warped premises of ardent estate-tax cutters,” the NYT writes. “Ms. Lincoln’s and Mr. Kyl’s colleagues in the Senate should make short work of it and move on to urgent matters.”
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers this analysis: “Lincoln-Kyl Estate Tax Amendment is Both Unnecessary and Unaffordable“