With a vote looming in the Senate on permanent repeal of the estate tax, the group Responsible Wealth is conducting an aggressive campaign urging the Senate to reject permanent repeal.
Responsible Wealth is a Boston-based association of wealthy Americans who say they are concerned over economic inequality. Leaders of the group include Bill Gates Sr., father of the founder of Microsoft, and financier Warren Buffett.
Responsible Wealth recently ran advertisements opposing repeal in several newspapers, arguing that repeal would have a devastating impact on funding for Social Security, Medicare, education and homeland security, while benefiting less than 1% of the population.
“It is unfair and irresponsible to target tax relief to just 6,000 wealthy people at the expense of millions of hard-working taxpayers,” according to Chuck Collins, a co-founder of Responsible Wealth.
The group says that estate tax repeal would cost the nation $60 billion a year and have an adverse impact on charitable giving.
Indeed, the groups says, the Treasury Department estimates that repeal would cut charitable giving by up to $6 billion annually.
A vote on estate tax repeal is scheduled to take place before June 28, although a firm date has not yet been set.
However, under an agreement worked out between Senate leaders, a super-majority of 60 votes will be needed if permanent repeal is to prevail.
The vote is expected to be close.
In other news, the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, says it will oppose Russias entry into the World Trade Organization unless Russia guarantees market access to foreign life insurance companies.
Brad Smith, managing director for international relations with ACLI, says that Russia has refused to commit itself to allowing market access for foreign life insurers, unlike China.
The current lack of commitment on market access in life insurance, Smith says, represents an unacceptable shortcoming in Russias bid to join the WTO.
“Opening the Russian life insurance sector will improve capital formation for domestic investment and credit, and will generally improve the quality and type of financial service products in the market,” Smith says.
“Russia must make a commitment to allow foreign life insurance companies to set up companies and control their operations if it hopes to attract foreign business and expertise,” he adds.