off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

On Estate Tax, Lawmakers Partying Like It’s 2001

chuck_marr-500x500.jpg

Senior Director of Federal Tax Policy

Commenting on Senate negotiations over cutting the estate tax below last year’s already-low level, the Wonk Room correctly noted, “We need to be looking at ways to responsibly raise revenues and find cuts in spending that won’t harm already vulnerable residents, not cut taxes for those at the very top of the income scale.” The nation is on an unsustainable fiscal path, talk of a spending freeze abounds in Congress, and lawmakers have yet to extend the 2001 tax cuts for the middle class. And yet there’s a flurry of activity around the estate tax, as though it was 2001 again and lawmakers’ top priority was to cut taxes for the nation’s wealthiest people. Early next week, we’ll release a detailed examination of the latest proposal taking shape in the Senate. But for now, here are a few numbers that should help illuminate the debate:
Image
2010.05.13_estatetax.jpg