Senator Sanders “Sock it to the Super Rich” Estate Tax Proposal

While we’re still about a month away from the IRS’ release of the 2015 inflation-adjusted federal estate tax exemption, Michael Rudegeair over at the Fiduciary Income Tax blog has projected that the 2015 exemption will be $5,420,000.  This is an $80,000 increase over the 2014 exemption of $5,340,000 and a $420,000 increase in the exemption since 2011.  (Update:  The exemption was increased to $5,430,000 in 2015:  IRS Releases 2015 Estate Tax Exemption and Other Related Inflation Adjustments.)

Meanwhile, just last week Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) laid out his plan for a “progressive estate tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires” in a Huffington Post blog as follows:

  • Call for a progressive estate tax rate structure so that the super wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. The tax rate for the value of an estate above $3.5 million and below $10 million would be 40 percent. The tax rate on the value of estates above $10 million and below $50 million would be 50 percent, and the tax rate on the value of estates above $50 million would be 55 percent.
  • Include a billionaire’s surtax of 10 percent. This surtax on the value of estates worth more than $1 billion would currently apply to fewer than 500 of the wealthiest families in America worth more than $2 trillion.
  • Close estate tax loopholes that have allowed the wealthy to avoid billions in estate taxes. Some of the wealthiest Americans in this country have exploited loopholes in the tax code to avoid paying an estimated $100 billion in estate taxes since 2000. My bill would close those loopholes.
  • Exempt the first $3.5 million of an estate from federal taxation ($7 million for couples), the same exemption that existed in 2009. Under this legislation, 99.75 percent of Americans would not pay a penny in estate taxes.

According to Senator Sanders, “A progressive estate tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires is the fairest way to reduce wealth inequality, lower our $17 trillion national debt and raise the resources we need for investments in infrastructure, education and other neglected national priorities.”

The senator plans to introduce legislation as outlined above very soon.  My prediction about the percentage chance that his progressive estate tax proposal will become law:  0%.

Photo: © Geffen Records


5 thoughts on “Senator Sanders “Sock it to the Super Rich” Estate Tax Proposal

  1. Sanders is a typical example of many Washington politicians who proclaim working for the poor and redistributing the “wealth”. What a stupid ideology. I have never worked for a poor person or corporation. Many of the so-called disenfranchised in this country are “slopping at the public trough” by choice. They prefer being on the dole and politicians feed that bunch to “buy” their voters.
    George Bernard Shaw said it all when he said, “The Government that robs Peter to pay Paul is sure to have the support of Paul”.

  2. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for the link. When you are right, you are right. He is a self-proclaimed Socialist, according to the article. I guess your reference to it in your article was to define him. .

    No matter what, your blogs are great. I tell all my friends you are my ‘Guru’.


  3. While I don’t agree with the percentages that Senator Sanders is proposing for the progressive Estate Tax, at a minimum what would be wrong with eliminating the loopholes for the wealthy??? Furthermore, although I am a huge fan of yours, when you call Bernie Sanders a “Socialist” you are being Political. Maybe he’s just for the people, by the people. Why interject a derogative implication when referring to him?? It’s out of character for you. You write GREAT blogs. Let’s leave the politics out and just keep it focussed on economics.

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