We are delighted to announce that the forces of fiscal sanity and fairness won a very important battle in the U.S. Senate today, as those trying to force a vote on full repeal of the estate tax failed to get enough support to end a threatened filibuster. The repeal attempt is, for the moment, dead.
We would like to thank every one of the Clean Up Washington activists and Corruption Watchdogs who made this victory possible.
The battle for estate tax repeal at its core represented the very essence of corruption in our nation’s capitol: special interests using large sums of money – through political contributions, intensive lobbying, and deceptive PR campaigns – to force through legislation to enrich themselves, rather than help the American people. A Public Citizen report proved that a small number of super-wealthy families (the Waltons, Mars and Gallos among them) were behind the repeal campaign. The report received nationwide news coverage and shaped the public debate by pointing out the self-interest of the ultra-rich families backing estate tax repeal.
While those families would have popped fancy champagne corks if the repeal had passed, the remaining 99.7 percent of us would have suffered mightily. Full repeal would have cost the U.S. Treasury up to $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) during the first ten years, a shortfall that would have resulted in cuts in vital services or higher taxes for everyone.
Unsurprisingly, too many senators chose to serve the interests of the wealthy elite, continuing to live in a fantasy land where debts never have to be repaid. Fortunately, enough of them – bolstered by your phone calls and emails – chose to do the right thing.
The Republican leadership may try to bring up a “compromise” bill, and you can be sure that we will be there to meet them if they try. In the meantime, please accept our thanks once again for this important victory, and have a sip of champagne yourself – the cheap stuff, of course!
Read here for the statement by Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook
Click here to tell your senators that you support this vote for fairness and fiscal sanity.