Bailing Out The Rich

Oh, I'm going to do such a despicable thing yet again. Something that upsets 'sensible' people, political pundits in particular.

I'm class-bashing yet again. Just like the upcoming vote of a federal marriage amendment, just how many people are out there screaming and fighting for a repeal of the federal estate tax? Yep, it's gotta be the #1 issue inflaming our country. There are people lining the streetcorners of every town and city demanding for relief. Look for a million person march sometime soon.

Now...back to reality.

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CALL TO ACTION: Keep The Estate Tax, Protect Our Priorities

I'm posting on behalf of Coalition 4 America's Priorities, a non-profit group comprising dozens of progressive groups from around the country and supported by Bill Gates Sr. (who ought to know something about having a lot of money).

We probably don't need to sell you much on the issue, since few issues are no-brainers as much as this one, but we'll be around in the comments afterward if you have questions or disagreements. Suffice to say, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this repeal would cost as much as $1 trillion dollars between 2012 and 2021. If you click through to their site, there's a wealth of info about this subject. And you can also see Harold Myerson in today's Washington Post, Mark Weisbrot in Mother Jones, and Katrina Vanden Heuvel in The Nation for more. The issue is starting to pick up steam, but we're in a time crunch.

In less than a week, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will have Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl introduce a bill that would sweep away this tax, resulting in the predictable windfall for the friends and fundraisers of the Bush/Cheney administration.

Republicans are nervous about their position, which is why right-wing groups are warning Kyl's fellow Arizonan, John McCain, not to wander too far off the ranch, and why the Free Enterprise Fund has run TV ads targeting Lincoln Chafee and others (which FactCheck.org did a superb job debunking).

Well, we've got a TV ad now too, and during this week that senators are out of Washington and back home, we've been putting them on the air in key markets around the country. We've just posted it to YouTube, and we hope you'll take a look.

But of course that's not all we hope - we need your help contacting these lawmakers immediately. You can send them an email through our site, but after you've done that, it would matter a lot to call their state offices. This link gives you their DC numbers, but don't call that number this week. Instead click on their name and find their district number. A phone call will go a lot farther, and another call to their DC offices next week will go even farther than that. We need to keep the pressure on.

Remember - the first vote is scheduled for June 6, but just because that date passes doesn't mean it will be over then. It's a big fight, and we hope you'll help support this.

Cross-posted to Daily Kos and My Left Wing.

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Set Priorities: We Can't Let Republicans Repeal the Estate Tax

This is my first diary here, and I wanted to use it to highlight a very important issue coming up for a vote soon in the Senate.

I'm working with a group called Coalition for America's Priorities.  We're a coalition of progressives and responsible business groups who are fighting to ensure that Bill Frist and his boys in the Senate don't eliminate the Estate tax.

For those who haven't checked in a while, yes America is still in debt.  Yes, we are still running a huge deficit each year.  Yes, more money is still needed to rebuild from Katrina.  Yes, America still has pressing monetary needs including body armor for our troops, better schools, a better health care system etc.

Yet despite all these needs that America has, Bill Frist wants to vote to permanently repeal the Estate tax and cost our treasury over a trillion dollars in the next 10-15 years.  

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Class Warfare: 18 Families Financed Estate Tax Repeal Campaign

Public Citizen has released a report(warning pdf file) detailing how "18 families worth a total of $185.5 billion have financed and coordinated a 10-year effort to repeal the estate tax, a move that would collectively net them a windfall of $71.6 billion." 

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'Death tax' repeal: Senate showdown imminent

When the Senate reconvenes on April 24, a key test of the GOP machine will be ensuring that HR 8, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act, is passed in the month or so before the following recess.

Novak said last week that Frist was

scheduling repeal or reduction of the estate tax for consideration the week of May 4.

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