For Immediate Release
United for a Fair Economy Condemns Republican Blockade on Tax Cuts; Calls for Passage of Strong Estate Tax
Lapham, Farris, and Farm and Business Owners Available for Comment
BOSTON - Reacting to Republican opposition to House and Senate votes to extend tax cuts for 98% of Americans held in the House and Senate on December 2 and 4, United for a Fair Economy (UFE) today issued the following statement:
"In the last decade, we've seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich, and tax policy has been a big driver of that," said Mike Lapham, director of UFE's Responsible Wealth project. "Extending the Bush tax cuts would give the average millionaire over $100,000 per year. Extending those tax cuts will do nothing to create jobs. Business owners make decisions about hiring based on demand, not based on their tax rate. By contrast, when middle class people get tax cuts, they spend it and that creates jobs. Republicans are blocking tax cuts for the real job creators - 98% of Americans, the vast middle class - in order to extend extra tax giveaways to the rich."
Lee Farris, UFE's Estate Tax Policy Coordinator, added, "Republicans claim they are for fiscal responsibility, but they would like to repeal the estate tax, at a cost of $700 billion over 10 years. Republicans aren't concerned about growing wealth inequality, even though it hurts our country's economic growth and health, and is now the worst it's been since 1928. They opposed Sen. Baucus' bill, which sets the estate tax exemption at $7 million for a married couple, with a 45% rate on amounts above that. A stronger estate tax, with higher rates on billionaires, would do more to curb that wealth inequality and bring more broadly shared prosperity to all."
United for a Fair Economy has been working to preserve the estate tax and roll back the top tier Bush tax cuts since 2001. UFE opposes extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which would cost $700 billion over 10 years. UFE supports the Sanders-Harkin-Whitehouse Responsible Estate Tax Act, which includes a $3.5 million exemption per spouse and extra protections for farmers.
Available to speak to the media on the Bush tax cuts, including income tax rates, capital gains, dividends and the estate tax:
* Lee Farris, UFE Estate Tax Policy Coordinator, is co-author of the report "Spending Millions to Save Billions: The Campaign of the Super-Wealthy to Kill the Estate Tax", and has appeared on Marketplace, Fox News, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
* Mike Lapham, UFE Responsible Wealth Director. Responsible Wealth's 700 members use their unique and surprising voices to speak out in favor of progressive taxes. Mike is a fifth generation heir of a paper business, and has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and more.
* Business owners, farmers, investors and other wealthy individuals who support higher taxes for the wealthy and a strong estate tax, from every state across the US.
United for a Fair Economy is a non-partisan organization that helps people of all races, ethnicities and classes work to reduce economic inequality.