Senate Finance Committee members were informed this morning that Sen. Bill Frist will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax next week, likely on Tuesday, ThinkProgress has learned.According to the nonpartisan CBO, eliminating the estate and gift tax would reduce charitable giving by 7-11%. At a time when a lot of people made the ultimate sacrifice (and we won't have a firm count on the fatalities for a while yet), and 49,000 people have opened their homes up to strangers, and when the government is being stretched to rebuild New Orleans while caring for the largest internal refugee crisis since the Civil War, it's odd that the Senate thinks reducing government revenue, rewarding the extremely wealthy, and reducing charitable giving are among the top priorities of the nation.
I'd rather have a larger tax on large estates and gifts (we're talking about estates or gifts worth over a couple million dollars) and dedicate that money to funding renewable energy sources. That'd be a gift to the future, a bequest from the very wealthy that would help not only their own children, but everyone's children.
This is a tragedy that disproportionately affected the poor, sick, elderly and very young. People too poor to own a car, or who couldn't afford to pass up a day's wages are the ones floating through the streets of New Orleans. John Edwards has a powerful post up at TPMCafe about the state of the Two Americas, reminding us that people just like those most affected by Katrina live all around us, scraping by, hoping nothing awful happens. We need to do more for them, not for Donald Trump. Jesse Helms will rebuild his house, who will rebuild the low-income housing in NOLA?