She’s The Poster Child for Estate Tax Repeal, but Her Sad Family Saga Doesn’t Add Up

rich-estate-tax

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Republican Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota is one of the negotiators trying to reconcile the House and Senate tax bills. No doubt House Speaker Paul Ryan views her as a strong voice for estate tax repeal, because of her personal story of how her farming family struggled to pay the tax.

The House bill would abolish the estate tax, a levy on the intergenerational transfer of immense wealth. The Senate version retains the tax but doubles the wealth exempted from the tax, to $ 22 million for a family.

Congressional Republicans and their backers have painted the estate tax as a major burden on the nation’s ranchers and farmers. Yet it’s the heirs of multimillionaires and billionaires who actually pay it.

Noem perpetuates the “estate tax hurts farmers” argument using her life experience. The story she tells, however, does not line up with some very basic tenets of the tax code. Now, 23 years later, it is high time to get the facts. It’s also an important time to understand just who is subject to the estate tax and what its repeal really means.

Read the full article on USA Today.

The post She’s The Poster Child for Estate Tax Repeal, but Her Sad Family Saga Doesn’t Add Up appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

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INDIANA FARMER CAMPAIGNING WITH TRUMP TO REPEAL ESTATE TAX CASHED $3.3 M IN FARM SUBSIDY CHECKS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 27, 2017

Contact: Jessicah Pierre, jessicah@ips-dc.org617-401-1470
Chuck Collins, chuck@ips-dc.org617-308-4433
Domenica Ghanem, domenica@ips-dc.org202 787 5205

Kip Tom, the Leesburg, Indiana farmer who will stand today with President Trump calling for repeal of the federal estate tax, has cashed in over $ 3.3 million in farm subsidy checks, including $ 2.6 million between 2004 and 2014, according to the most recent data available.

Research compiled by the Institute for Policy Studies based on publicly available data reveals that Kip Tom of Tom Farms, a large corn and soybean producer, is the ninth-largest farm subsidy recipient in the state of Indiana.

“The definition of hubris is to complain about your taxes but cash millions in checks provided by other taxpayers,” said Chuck Collins, a researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies.  “I’d be embarrassed.”

Tom Farms has changed legal status over the last 20 years, but received subsidies every year. Between 2004 and 2014, Tom Farms Partners received $ 2,612,561 in subsidies, mostly commodity subsidies. Between 1996 and 2006, Tom Farms LLC cashed $ 667,732 in farm subsidy checks. In 1995, Kip Tom took in $ 42,826 in subsidies, but then refunded $ 17,494 for a net subsidy of $ 25,332. Between 1995 and 2014, this amounts to over $ 3,305,625 in government subsidies.

Republicans have often used farmers and ranchers as props to give the impression that a wide swath of hard-working Americans are threatened by what they call the “death tax.”  In reality, only families with over $ 11 million in wealth and individuals with wealth over $ 5.45 million are subject to this tax.  Nationwide, fewer than two out of a thousand estates are subject to the estate tax, which, if left intact, would raise over $ 230 billion in much-needed revenue over the next decade.

“If you want to see who would benefit from estate tax repeal, look no further than President Trump and his cabinet,” said Collins, who co-authored a 2003 book with Bill Gates Sr. in defense of the estate tax, Wealth and Our Commonwealth.  Collins is director of the Program on Inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies, a 52-year old research institute, and co-editor of the website, Inequality.org.

Very few farms are subject to the estate tax and already have different valuations and carve out provisions. Most of the people who pay the estate tax are wealthy and based in urban and coastal areas.

Organizations that represent small farmers, like the National Farmers Union and the Family Farm Coalition, support retention of the estate tax.  They believe concentrations of wealth, farmland and farm subsidies post a threat to competitive agriculture. Over 41 percent of Indiana farmers do not receive any subsidies, according to the USDA.

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Health Care Repeal Is a Stealth Tax Break for Millionaires

tax-breaks-money

(Photo: Tracy O/Flickr)

Great magicians are masters of diversion. They attract our attention with one hand while using the other to trick us into thinking a supernatural act is taking place.

But even the best street performers could learn a lesson from the folks in Congress who are trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

When we talk about repealing Obamacare, we almost never talk about the windfall payday it would bring to multi-millionaires and billionaires. In fact, this massive tax cut is the proverbial card hiding in the sleeve of lawmakers pushing repeal.

A new study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows the 400 richest Americans, a group whose average annual income tops $ 300 million each, would get a combined annual tax cut of $ 2.8 billion if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

In other words, people who already have more money than they could spend in a dozen lifetimes would get a massive pile of cash.

Meanwhile, those who make less than $ 200,000 per year — also known as “the rest of us” — would see no benefit. That’s because the two taxes that funded the expansion in health care coverage included as part of Obamacare don’t extend to these moderate-income households.

And many of us would do worse.

In fact, about 7 million low-income people would actually see their taxes go up if the law’s repealed, since they’d lose insurance premium tax credits that were enacted as part of the bill.

So, to be perfectly clear on this point, repealing Obamacare equals payday for the wealthiest households and higher taxes for the poorest households — millions of whom would also lose their health coverage.

Remember the story of Robin Hood? It’s just like that, but backwards.

Poll after poll shows Americans have no idea how concentrated wealth inequality is today — it’s far worse than most suspect.

A report I co-authored last year looked at the 400 wealthiest individuals in the country. This group together owns more wealth than the entire GDP of India, a country with over a billion people.

The report also showed this great concentration of wealth splits largely, although not exclusively, along racial lines. The 100 wealthiest Americans, none of whom are black, today own more wealth than the entire African-American population combined.

Unsurprisingly, most of us would like to live in a much more egalitarian society. If we can’t swing it, economist and author Thomas Piketty warns, we’re heading towards a hereditary aristocracy of wealth and power, where the children of today’s billionaires will dominate our economy and our government.

As we look back at the Obama legacy, we see a number of efforts aimed at beginning to bridge that massive wealth divide. From expanding opportunities for low-income children and families to asking the ultra-wealthy to pay their fair share, progress has been made on this front in the past eight years.

The Affordable Care Act was one of these efforts, and it touched directly on issues of life and death.

Don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of today’s illusionists: Repealing it will directly counteract this progress. It will further concentrate wealth into fewer hands and strip low-income families of what little resources they have.

The post Health Care Repeal Is a Stealth Tax Break for Millionaires appeared first on Institute for Policy Studies.

Josh Hoxie is the director of the Program on Opportunity and Taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Breaking: Repeal advocates seek one-year Obamacare delay – Liberty … – Politico

Breaking: Repeal advocates seek one-year Obamacare delay – Liberty
Politico
John Mica, Jim Jordan, Jason Chaffetz, Mike Turner, Patrick McHenry and Doc Hastings. Issa's been a fierce critic of the health law, going as far as to subpoena records from HHS and grill agency officials on issues ranging from the legal authority for 

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Apparel brands support repeal of short-term contract law in Peru

Six international apparel companies have sent an open letter to the President of Peru supporting a repeal of three articles of a decades-old law allowing employers in the garment and textile export sector to hire workers on consecutive short-term employment contracts, thereby denying them job security, seniority rights and other benefits, access to health and pension coverage, and their right to organize and bargain collectively.

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