18 Wealthy US Families Bankroll Estate Tax Campaign

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
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Just an FYI for anyone who might be interested in how our richest citizens conduct themselves when their own interests are involved.

Real patriots, these...

18 Wealthy US Families Bankroll Estate Tax Campaign

A new report from two watchdog groups says 18 of this country?s wealthiest families have been behind a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign to repeal the federal estate tax. According to Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy, the families have directely funded campaigns and set up shadow associations to spread misleading information on the benefits of repealing the tax. The groups say a repeal of the estate tax would save the families over $71 billion dollars. The families include those behind the companies Wal-Mart, Campbell?s soup, and Mars Incorporated. Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen called the campaign ?one of the biggest con jobs in recent history.?

Link

 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
4
0
Originally posted by: BBond
Just an FYI for anyone who might be interested in how our richest citizens conduct themselves when their own interests are involved.

Real patriots, these...

18 Wealthy US Families Bankroll Estate Tax Campaign

A new report from two watchdog groups says 18 of this country?s wealthiest families have been behind a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign to repeal the federal estate tax. According to Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy, the families have directely funded campaigns and set up shadow associations to spread misleading information on the benefits of repealing the tax. The groups say a repeal of the estate tax would save the families over $71 billion dollars. The families include those behind the companies Wal-Mart, Campbell?s soup, and Mars Incorporated. Joan Claybrook of Public Citizen called the campaign ?one of the biggest con jobs in recent history.?

Link
71 Billlon dollars? WOW.

 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
72,408
6,080
126
It's a death tax. Only monsters tax death. You don't have to be able to think to know that.
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
Here is a link to the Public Citizen site with more information as well as a link to the .pdf of the full report...

Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy Expose Stealth Campaign of Super-Wealthy to Repeal Federal Estate Tax

Report Identifies 18 Families Behind Multimillion-Dollar Deceptive Lobbying Campaign

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? The multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to repeal the federal estate tax has been aggressively led by 18 super-wealthy families, according to a report released today by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy at a press conference in Washington, D.C. The report details for the first time the vast money, influence and deceptive marketing techniques behind the rhetoric in the campaign to repeal the tax.

It reveals how 18 families worth a total of $185.5 billion have financed and coordinated a 10-year effort to repeal the estate tax, a move that would collectively net them a windfall of $71.6 billion.

The report profiles the families and their businesses, which include the families behind Wal-Mart, Gallo wine, Campbell?s soup, and Mars Inc., maker of M&Ms. Collectively, the list includes the first- and third-largest privately held companies in the United States, the richest family in Alabama and the world?s largest retailer.

These families have sought to keep their activities anonymous by using associations to represent them and by forming a massive coalition of business and trade associations dedicated to pushing for estate tax repeal. The report details the groups they have hidden behind ? the trade associations they have used, the lobbyists they have hired, and the anti-estate tax political action committees, 527s and organizations to which they have donated heavily.

In a massive public relations campaign, the families have also misled the country by giving the mistaken impression that the estate tax affects most Americans. In particular, they have used small businesses and family farms as poster children for repeal, saying that the estate tax destroys both of these groups. But just more than one-fourth of one percent of all estates will owe any estate taxes in 2006. And the American Farm Bureau, a member of the anti-estate tax coalition, was unable when asked by The New York Times to cite a single example of a family being forced to sell its farm because of estate tax liability.

?This report exposes one of the biggest con jobs in recent history,? said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. ?This long-running, secretive campaign funded by some of the country?s wealthiest families has relied on deception to bamboozle the public not only about who must pay the estate tax, but about how repealing it will affect the country.?

Said Lee Farris, senior organizer for estate tax policy at UFE, ?It?s time for the majority of Americans who support the estate tax to speak out, and not let a handful of wealthy families sway Congress to twist the tax laws for their own benefit. Polls now show that most Americans support this tax and the revenue it yields to pay for vital services, especially given our nation?s huge deficit.?

While they extol the hard work of individual farmers and small businesses, most of the 18 families have been wealthy for generations; only five still include the people who first earned the family fortune. Members of the families are far less likely than most Americans to have paid taxes on their wealth; to a large extent, that wealth lies in assets that have appreciated but, unlike paychecks, have never been taxed.

These super-rich families have spent millions in personal wealth and used their companies? resources and lobbying power in repeated attempts to influence members of Congress to repeal the tax. They have financed groups who have launched multimillion-dollar attack ads against Republican and Democratic senators alike, including former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Olympia Snow (R-Maine), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Lincoln Chaffee (R-R.I.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

The stakes of the campaign are great, not only for the super-wealthy families, but for the public. If the families? repeal bid succeeds, it will cost the U.S. Treasury a trillion dollars in the first decade ? roughly what it would cost to provide health insurance for every uninsured person in the United States.

?The estate tax should be regarded as just paying back to the country for all the wonderful things it?s made possible for the people who have that wealth,? said Bill Gates Sr. in an audio statement played at the press conference. ?I don?t think there?s any great societal goal being served by inherited wealth. And certainly there?s no sensible argument that I can think of for insisting on being able to pass the last penny of $100 million on to your three kids.?

Added Elizabeth Letzler, an investment manager from New York who will be subject to the estate tax and who spoke at the press conference, ?The current estate tax structure should permit any wealthy household to pass on a legacy of financial security, education and family heirlooms to the next generations.? She challenged the families showcased in the report: ?Do something spectacular during your life-time investing in the social welfare and well-being of the children and grandchildren at the bottom of the pyramid.? Her daughter Stephanie, also in attendance, said, ?If keeping the estate tax means a step closer to a debt-free treasury, a step closer to improved health care, Social Security, education, and every other program that makes me proud to be an American, show me where to sign the check.?

Paul Newman, actor and founder of Newman?s Own food company, agreed in a separate statement: ?For those of us lucky enough to be born in this country and to have flourished here, the estate tax is a reasonable and appropriate way to return something to the common good. I?m proud to be among those supporting preservation of this tax, which is one of the fairest taxes we have.?

PS The bush republican lackey congress is about to vote on permanent repeal of the estate tax which will cost the U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars over the coming years. Now ask yourselves, when bush boy finishes destroying the entire U.S. economy and has us so deep in debt that we can't get out, where do you think they'll make up all those trillions of dollars? Who will be left holding the (empty) bag?
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
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I fully support the repealing of the death tax. It is ludicrous to take the assets of people who have spent their whole lives building wealth when they die. The only people who support the death tax suffer from class envy because they either have nothing to get from someone when they die or have nothing to leave to someone when they die. Democrats in Congress want the death tax because they can't stand anyone spending their own money in the ways they choose and they need the money to promise spending on the lower classes to buy votes.
 

zendari

Banned
May 27, 2005
6,558
0
0
I guess the poor are campaigning in their selfish interests to divert the tax burden then.
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
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Originally posted by: zendari
I guess the poor are campaigning in their selfish interests to divert the tax burden then.

The voice of the poor is not heard in Washington DC these days. To suggest that it is is simply asinine.

Why not address the subject, Zendari? How do you feel about the voices that ARE being heard and ARE spending millions to subvert the U.S. government into doing their bidding?
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: zendari
I guess the poor are campaigning in their selfish interests to divert the tax burden then.

Good for them and their free market mentality!! This country needs more entrepreneur types.
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
Originally posted by: Ronstang
I fully support the repealing of the death tax. It is ludicrous to take the assets of people who have spent their whole lives building wealth when they die. The only people who support the death tax suffer from class envy because they either have nothing to get from someone when they die or have nothing to leave to someone when they die. Democrats in Congress want the death tax because they can't stand anyone spending their own money in the ways they choose and they need the money to promise spending on the lower classes to buy votes.

You seem to hold the "lower classes" in contempt. Simply by branding people as such is a form of class warfare in and of itself. But from what little I've read of your "ideas", I would expect such from you.

By allowing a very few families to control the bulk of assets in any nation and pass those assets on in total to their heirs you create the very class structure that you claim others envy. There is a finite amount of resources in any society. To allow the very richest to control the bulk of those resources forever is a recipe for a feudal society where the very few rule like kings while the rest of the population is forced to do their bidding.

Is that what you consider a free and democratic society?
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
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Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: zendari
I guess the poor are campaigning in their selfish interests to divert the tax burden then.

Good for them and their free market mentality!! This country needs more entrepreneur types.

Funny that this dolt would ascribe the very actions of the very rich as outlined in the articles in the OP to the very poor.

Hey, Zendari, in case you hadn't noticed, or in case you're too lazy to read the OP, it's the VERY RICH -- the 18 richest families -- who are diverting their tax burden.
 

zendari

Banned
May 27, 2005
6,558
0
0
Originally posted by: BBond
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: zendari
I guess the poor are campaigning in their selfish interests to divert the tax burden then.

Good for them and their free market mentality!! This country needs more entrepreneur types.

Funny that this dolt would ascribe the very actions of the very rich as outlined in the articles in the OP to the very poor.

Hey, Zendari, in case you hadn't noticed, or in case you're too lazy to read the OP, it's the VERY RICH -- the 18 richest families -- who are diverting their tax burden.

No, they're paying the tax burden. There are people who don't pay estate tax; these 18 families aren't included in that category.

This "free and democratic" society allows for free speech.
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
81
Originally posted by: BBond
Originally posted by: Ronstang
I fully support the repealing of the death tax. It is ludicrous to take the assets of people who have spent their whole lives building wealth when they die. The only people who support the death tax suffer from class envy because they either have nothing to get from someone when they die or have nothing to leave to someone when they die. Democrats in Congress want the death tax because they can't stand anyone spending their own money in the ways they choose and they need the money to promise spending on the lower classes to buy votes.

You seem to hold the "lower classes" in contempt. Simply by branding people as such is a form of class warfare in and of itself. But from what little I've read of your "ideas", I would expect such from you.

By allowing a very few families to control the bulk of assets in any nation and pass those assets on in total to their heirs you create the very class structure that you claim others envy. There is a finite amount of resources in any society. To allow the very richest to control the bulk of those resources forever is a recipe for a feudal society where the very few rule like kings while the rest of the population is forced to do their bidding.

Is that what you consider a free and democratic society?

You are free to amass as much wealth as you are WILLING to work, sacrifice, and take risk to obtain. That is what makes for a democratic society. It is socialistic to take wealth from people unless they surrender it willingly....which many rich people do in the will by leaving large portions if not all of their estate to charities or the state.

I only used the term lower class because I do no know any other way to classify the group of people that rely almost completely on the government (my and your tax dollars) for their existance. And those are exactly the people the Democrats promise the world to in order to buy votes. I don't know a way to sugar coat it to make you feel good.

I take care of myself, my family, and anyone who is important to me that might need my help. I shouldn't be punished because of that. People like you can't stand successful people, especially when they actually want to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. You are free to achieve the same status as anyone if you choose to.....why punish those that do because you didn't?

I am not worried about this issue personally because it really doesn't affect me. My father and I built a family trust over 15 years ago that protects me and my children from he government stealing OUR money. We did so right before the laws changed so I feel sad for all those that did not protect themselves before the socialist thieves in Congress took away their rights.



 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
Originally posted by: zendari
Originally posted by: BBond
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: zendari
I guess the poor are campaigning in their selfish interests to divert the tax burden then.

Good for them and their free market mentality!! This country needs more entrepreneur types.

Funny that this dolt would ascribe the very actions of the very rich as outlined in the articles in the OP to the very poor.

Hey, Zendari, in case you hadn't noticed, or in case you're too lazy to read the OP, it's the VERY RICH -- the 18 richest families -- who are diverting their tax burden.

No, they're paying the tax burden. There are people who don't pay estate tax; these 18 families aren't included in that category.

This "free and democratic" society allows for free speech.

Does your definition of free speech include paying millions of dollars in a disinformation campaign to selfishly divert your tax burden?
 

EatSpam

Diamond Member
May 1, 2005
6,423
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0
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
81
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:

In any society there are demands made upon citizens. For those who have the good fortune to be extremely rich there are demands made on their fortunes in the form of taxes so that society can function smoothly. Other demands are made on members of society such as joining the military and fighting to secure the fortunes of the very rich.

How much money do these people need? Their fortunes are made secure by the work of Americans and by our military. If you don't believe that you're terribly deluded and ill-informed.

In a nation where leaders bang the drum of patriotism that sends kids off to die in foreign lands so our society is secure for people like the Waltons, bushes, and Rockefellers to make even greater fortunes, it's imperative that the very rich answer the call to patriotism by sharing their vast fortunes, not hording them until America resembles a third world country.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:

Ah, when they're dead, why should the rest of their family be able to live off of that person's good fortune for generation after generation after generation.... and without even working a job their whole life?
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
81
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:

Ah, when they're dead, why should the rest of their family be able to live off of that person's good fortune for generation after generation after generation.... and without even working a job their whole life?


A better question is why SHOULDN'T they be? If you were wealthy you would feel different. This is an issue that is pure class envy. At least their heirs will never be a burden to society. Many take inheritance and invest it into a business which will contribute far more to society through job creation and legitimate taxes than the inefficient government taking the original money and using it as they foolishly see fit.

The problem here is not that the death tax hurts the big super wealthy it is that it hurts and punishes the little guy like me and you. It is a ludicrous grab by government to take people's assets. The government can NEVER put money to wise use like the individual in the private sector can. NEVER. They ruin everything they touch....and you want to give them more to WASTE. The sad part is they waste this money in ways to continue to buy themselves re-eleciton. It is silly to give these fools any more money.
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:

Ah, when they're dead, why should the rest of their family be able to live off of that person's good fortune for generation after generation after generation.... and without even working a job their whole life?

Precisely. The very idea that a few families can control the vast bulk of wealth in the U.S. is anti-democratic. There is an unwritten pact that keeps any society functioning. First off, the idea that everyone can become rich if they work hard enough or make the "right" decisions is bull.

There are limited resources and an entitlement society built for those who control them and their families. The majority of members in any society are content to live productive middle class lives and that's where the pact comes in to play. When the very few control the vast bulk of wealth to the point where the living standards of the majority of citizens suffers civil unrest upsets the entire system. That's the pact. A decent job, a decent wage, a decent life and there are no problems. The very rich can live their very rich lives in peace and harmony.

The problem these days is the bush republicans have declared class warfare on the American middle class. Previous generations knew how to handle the unwritten societal pact. This current generation seems to have swallowed the class warfare being waged by the current crop of greedy bastards who can't seem to ever have enough hook, line, and sinker.
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:

Ah, when they're dead, why should the rest of their family be able to live off of that person's good fortune for generation after generation after generation.... and without even working a job their whole life?


A better question is why SHOULDN'T they be? If you were wealthy you would feel different. This is an issue that is pure class envy. At least their heirs will never be a burden to society. Many take inheritance and invest it into a business which will contribute far more to society through job creation and legitimate taxes than the inefficient government taking the original money and using it as they foolishly see fit.

The problem here is not that the death tax hurts the big super wealthy it is that it hurts and punishes the little guy like me and you. It is a ludicrous grab by government to take people's assets. The government can NEVER put money to wise use like the individual in the private sector can. NEVER. They ruin everything they touch....and you want to give them more to WASTE. The sad part is they waste this money in ways to continue to buy themselves re-eleciton. It is silly to give these fools any more money.

That's just the kind of bullshit these 18 families have been financing. The average working American has ZERO chance of paying any inheritance tax. Period. These people are funding a disinformation campaign to convince you otherwise when it just isn't true.
 

BBond

Diamond Member
Oct 3, 2004
8,363
0
0
How did bush put it?

"This is an impressive crowd - the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base."

That should tell every working American all they need to know about the class warfare being waged against them by the bush administration.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: Ronstang
Originally posted by: EatSpam
But what about the poor middle class people and those poor family farmers(tm)? Didn't they benefit when the rich guys got to keep more of their money?

:roll:

What gives you or anyone else the right to benefit from someone else's property? I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are a lot worse off than you....why don't we take some of your assets to make their lives better? Oh wait, the rich people need to give their money for such things so YOU can keep more of your own. :roll:

Ah, when they're dead, why should the rest of their family be able to live off of that person's good fortune for generation after generation after generation.... and without even working a job their whole life?


A better question is why SHOULDN'T they be?

Becuase all it does is increase the wealth of the wealthy. Spread the money around a bit. I think the country would be better of in the long run. Sure, let the kids inherit some of it tax free, but not all of it.

 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: BBond

That's just the kind of bullshit these 18 families have been financing. The average working American has ZERO chance of paying any inheritance tax. Period. These people are funding a disinformation campaign to convince you otherwise when it just isn't true.

I know, it's amazing that people are so stupid.
 

Ronstang

Lifer
Jul 8, 2000
12,493
18
81
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit

Becuase all it does is increase the wealth of the wealthy. Spread the money around a bit. I think the country would be better of in the long run. Sure, let the kids inherit some of it tax free, but not all of it.


Once again, you only feel this way because you don't have enough assets to worry about. Who is getting your farm when you die? I guess we should divide it up and give it to those lettuce pickers so they can become farmers, huh?
 

johnnobts

Golden Member
Jun 26, 2005
1,105
0
71
That's just the kind of bullshit these 18 families have been financing. The average working American has ZERO chance of paying any inheritance tax. Period. These people are funding a disinformation campaign to convince you otherwise when it just isn't true.

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LIE