Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The Trumps are one of the few American families that would benefit from the president's proposed repeal of the estate tax. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Gift to Rich Families Like His, Trump's Push to Repeal Estate Tax Denounced as 'Shameful'

"Does anyone honestly believe that giving $4 billion of taxpayer money to Donald Jr, Eric, Tiffany, Ivanka, and Barron will advance the lives of hard-working Americans?"

Julia Conley

In President Donald Trump's sales pitch for his newly-unveiled tax plan on Wednesday, he told a crowd in Indianapolis that the proposal includes "historic tax relief" for middle-income Americans. But a key tenet of the plan is the repeal of the estate tax, which would only offer a tax break to the wealthiest Americans. A group of millionaires are among those speaking out against the repeal.

The Patriotic Millionaires denounced the Bush-era tax cuts, and now they’re back with a letter to Congress, demanding that it uphold the estate tax. The tax, they say "was introduced a century ago when economic inequality had reached such historic levels that it was considered a threat to national stability. We suffer the same level of imbalance today, making preservation of the estate tax a top priority for patriotic Americans."

Only about 5,000 families—or 0.2 percent of Americans—pay the estate tax, as it only applies to fortunes greater than $5.5 million that are transferred or inherited. In a video posted to social media, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) explained the tax, which if kept in place would generate $275 billion in revenue by 2026, and what a repeal would really mean for working families.

Republican operatives often refer to the estate tax as the "death tax," suggesting that average American families would be hit with unaffordable tax bills upon the death of a family member. "It's a disaster for so many small businesses and farmers, and we're getting rid of it," Trump said in Indianapolis.

"This deception is shameful," write the Patriotic Billionaires to Congress. "99.8% of Americans will never be subject to the tax and the two out of a thousand multi-million dollar estates that will pay the tax can clearly afford it."

The group suggests yet another name for the estate tax to more accurately reflect the families who benefit from it: the dynasty tax. They also stress that Trump himself is one of the few Americans who get a break on their taxes due to the law.

By repealing the estate tax, President Trump himself will transfer billions of dollars that currently belong to the American people directly to Donald Jr, Eric, Tiffany, Ivanka, Barron and any other heirs he may have.

Do any of you honestly believe that giving $4 billion of taxpayer money to Donald Jr, Eric, Tiffany, Ivanka, and Barron will advance the lives of hard-working Americans?

We do not.

"Some of the most successful people in our history would not have had the opportunity to be so if this country allowed the unfettered flow of wealth from one generation to the next," said Bon Haines, one of 130 signers of the letter who qualify for the estate tax. "We are, and always have been, the land of opportunity. Nothing threatens that more that the repeal of the estate tax."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·


PG&E Charged With 11 Felony Counts—Including Manslaughter—Over 2020 Zogg Fire

"PG&E has a history with a repeated pattern of causing wildfires that is not getting better," said Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett. "It's only getting worse."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Hold My Pearls': Debbie Dingell Lets Marjorie Taylor Green Have It Over Abortion Rights

The Michigan Democrat engaged in a verbal altercation with the far-right Republican lawmaker from Georgia on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Jon Queally ·


Dems Who Opposed Pentagon Cuts Received Nearly 4x More Donations From Weapons Makers

The latest passage of the NDAA "is particularly strong evidence that Pentagon contractors' interests easily take precedence over national security and the public interest for too many members of Congress," said one critic.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo