The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mazher Ali, 617-423-2148 x101,
Tim Sullivan, 617-423-2148 x127,

UFE Applauds Dem Leaders for Showing Spine on Top Tier Tax Cuts

Believes Strong Estate Tax Needs to be Part of the Conversation


Responding to reports that
Democratic leaders will hold an up-or-down vote on extending middle
class tax cuts but will also allow a vote on the McConnell tax plan,
which includes complete repeal of the estate tax, United for a Fair
Economy (UFE) today issued the following statement:

"It's heartening to hear the
Democrats finally sticking up for the people they represent. The
wealthiest 2% in this country need this tax cut extended about as much
as Washington needs more lobbyists. We deserve an up-or-down vote on
middle class cuts," said Mike Lapham, director of UFE's Responsible
Wealth project. "Tax cuts for the wealthy simply do not create jobs, so
we need to stop acting like they do. We have a $700 billion opportunity
to roll back the Bush cuts on the wealthiest 2% and use those funds to
create jobs. Let's keep the tax cuts for the other 98% who will spend
them in the economy. I have to wonder about the agenda of anyone who
would bypass this opportunity to get our country back on track."

Lee Farris, UFE's Estate Tax Policy
Coordinator, added, "Senator McConnell's plan to fully repeal the estate
tax - at a cost of $698 billion over ten years - is reckless and out of
tune with current fiscal reality. The estate tax has been the elephant
in the room during these debates and repeal would be nothing but a
giveaway to the wealthiest of the wealthy. Now is the time to pass
permanent estate tax legislation at 2009 levels or stronger. How can
anyone even suggest repealing the estate tax at a time like this?"

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 supports the Sanders-Harkin-Whitehouse Responsible
Estate Tax Act, which includes a $3.5 million exemption per spouse and a
45% rate on estates up to $10 million, with a graduated rate for
estates above that size. The difference in revenue between the strongest
estate tax proposal (Sanders) and the weakest (Kyl) is almost $200
billion, so the fate of the estate tax deserves serious attention.

Lee Farris and Mike Lapham are
available to speak to the press on the Bush tax cuts, including income
tax rates, capital gains, dividends and the estate tax. UFE can also
arrange interviews with business owners, farmers, investors and other
wealthy individuals.

United for a Fair Economy challenges the concentration of wealth and power that corrupts democracy, deepens the racial divide and tears communities apart. We use popular economics education, trainings, and creative communications to support social movements working for a resilient, sustainable and equitable economy. United for a Fair Economy believes another world is possible. We envision a global society which respects the humanity, rights, and creativity of all people.