House Republicans voted to repeal the nation’s estate tax on April 16 in a 240-179 victory over the Democrats, reported TruthOut. This repeal gives a massive tax break to the country’s 25 wealthiest people, about $334 billion.
According to TruthOut, 2.6 million people died in America last year and only 3,700 of those estates paid any estate tax which equals one out of 700 estates paying taxes. There’s a silver lining, however. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Carl Icahn support keeping a robust estate tax.
Without an estate tax, heirs of wealthy people would inherit all of that money tax-free. Below is the list of the top 25 and how much they would be exempted from paying.
|Billionaire||Wealth Source||Wealth (in $ Billions)||Estate Tax @ 40%(In $ Billions)|
|Warren Buffett||Berkshire Hathaway||67.0||26.8|
|Charles Koch||Inherited — Koch Industries||42.0||16.8|
|David Koch||Inherited — Koch Industries||42.0||16.8|
|Christy Walton||Inherited — Walmart||38.0||15.2|
|Jim Walton||Inherited — Walmart||36.0||14.4|
|Michael Bloomberg||Bloomberg plc||35.0||14.0|
|Alice Walton||Inherited — Walmart||34.9||14.0|
|S Robson Walton||Inherited — Walmart||34.8||13.9|
|Sheldon Adelson||Las Vegas Sands||32.0||12.8|
|Carl Icahn||Icahn Enterprises (private equity)||26.0||10.4|
|George Soros||Soros Asset Management||24.0||9.6|
|Forrest Mars Jr||Inherited – Mars Candy||22.0||8.8|
|Jacqueline Mars||Inherited – Mars Candy||22.0||8.8|
|John Mars||Inherited – Mars Candy||22.0||8.8|
|Len Blavanik||Access Industries (private equity)||21.5||8.6|
|Michael Dell||Dell Computer||17.7||7.1|
|L. Powell Jobs||Inherited — Apple||16.6||6.6|
Source: Forbes 400
While people like Gates and Buffett are in support of the estate tax, billionaire greed factories like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson would rather not have his family pay their fair share. In fact, he created his own little tax hustle called the grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT). That tax-dodging scheme has protected $8 billion of Adelson’s assets.
The Republicans look to protect every penny of their one percent overlords. They are the key source of campaign contributions. Protect the rich, and protect the contributions.