Monday, May 15, 2006



Of the 2.4 million deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2003, less than 1 ½ % resulted in the payment of estate taxes, according to the IRS. Yet, Sue Kelly and her ilk have for years wrongly threatened, cajoled and convinced nearly every American they would have to pay the so called “death tax”, and Sue wants it repealed permanently. The truth is that in 2006, every U.S. citizen who dies can pass up to 2 million dollars; 4 million dollars if you are married (with proper planning) to beneficiaries without tax. There is no tax on any transfers between spouses.

Seniors live in fear that the government will take everything when they die. The fact is, thanks to Sue Kelly, the government will take everything from you if you live and require a nursing home.

You could ask Sue Kelly why she favors tax breaks to the wealthiest 1% of America while casting the decisive vote (DRA 2005) in favor of cutting aid to the poor, infirm, and elderly? You could ask Sue Kelly why the wealthiest 1% of America should have an unencumbered right to transfer their assets to their heirs, while the middleclass and working poor who make gifts to churches and synagogues, or provide financial support to their children and grandchildren should be denied long term medical assistance years later?

You could ask, but you would only get the runaround from Sue.

According to a report by the advocacy groups Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy the lobbying effort to repeal the estate tax has been led by 18 super-wealthy families. The report, "Spending Millions to Save Billions”, reveals the families behind Wal-Mart, Gallo Winery, Campbell Soup Company, and Mars Inc., among others, have anonymously funded a multi-million dollar campaign to repeal the federal estate tax by using associations to represent them.

"Spending Millions to Save Billions," calculates that these families stand to collectively gain $71.6 billion if the estate tax is repealed. The report estimated a permanent repeal of the estate tax would cost about a trillion dollars over 10 years, $745 billion in lost revenue and $225 billion in increased interest on the National Debt.

You could ask Sue Kelly, if the estate tax is repealed how will we pay to finance the $800 Billion for the war in Iraq, or the $800 billion for the Medicare drug benefit, or pay the interest on the National Debt, or pay for the other tax cuts so near and dear to America’s wealthiest? You could ask, but you would only get the runaround from Sue.

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