Class Warfare: 18 Families Financed Estate Tax Repeal Campaign
by molly bloom, Tue Apr 25, 2006 at 06:00:02 PM EDT
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."
I note that the Anne Cox Chambers daughter of the 1920 Democratic Presidential nominee, James Cox and owner of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is part of this cabal along with the Waltons (WalMart), the owners of the Seattle Times, the Nordstroms (owners of the department store) , Ernest and Joseph Gallo (E & J Gallo Winery), the owners of Campbell Soup Co., The Mars family (candy) and Kock Industries to name a few of the miscreants. George Bush's sister is married to an heir of the Koch family per PaulVA at DailyKos
I really can't add much to this, so I am just going to choose some select quotes from Public Citizen's press release:
The report profiles the families and their businesses, which include the families behind Wal-Mart, Gallo wine, Campbell's soup, and Mars Inc., maker of M&Ms. Collectively, the list includes the first- and third-largest privately held companies in the United States, the richest family in Alabama and the world's largest retailer...
In a massive public relations campaign, the families have also misled the country by giving the mistaken impression that the estate tax affects most Americans. In particular, they have used small businesses and family farms as poster children for repeal, saying that the estate tax destroys both of these groups. But just more than one-fourth of one percent of all estates will owe any estate taxes in 2006. And the American Farm Bureau, a member of the anti-estate tax coalition, was unable when asked by The New York Times to cite a single example of a family being forced to sell its farm because of estate tax liability.
"This report exposes one of the biggest con jobs in recent history," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. "This long-running, secretive campaign funded by some of the country's wealthiest families has relied on deception to bamboozle the public not only about who must pay the estate tax, but about how repealing it will affect the country."...
While they extol the hard work of individual farmers and small businesses, most of the 18 families have been wealthy for generations; only five still include the people who first earned the family fortune. Members of the families are far less likely than most Americans to have paid taxes on their wealth; to a large extent, that wealth lies in assets that have appreciated but, unlike paychecks, have never been taxed. While they extol the hard work of individual farmers and small businesses, most of the 18 families have been wealthy for generations; only five still include the people who first earned the family fortune. Members of the families are far less likely than most Americans to have paid taxes on their wealth; to a large extent, that wealth lies in assets that have appreciated but, unlike paychecks, have never been taxed.
These super-rich families have spent millions in personal wealth and used their companies' resources and lobbying power in repeated attempts to influence members of Congress to repeal the tax. They have financed groups who have launched multimillion-dollar attack ads against Republican and Democratic senators alike, including former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Olympia Snow (R-Maine), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Lincoln Chaffee (R-R.I.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).
Teddy Roosevelt is rolling over in his grave.