Some financial planning specialists have warned colleagues that the recent dramatic decrease in the impact of the federal estate tax could be temporary.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave those warnings new life Saturday, in Des Moines, Iowa, by mentioning the estate tax at her first presidential campaign organizing event.
Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, launched a 2020 presidential exploratory committee Dec. 31. She traveled to Iowa to talk to potential supporters. She told the people in the audience that she would fight to increase economic equality and attack corruption.
She mentioned health care costs and access to health care several times, according to a video of her speech posted by C-SPAN.
“We have to stay focused on what matters to us,” Warren said. “What matters to us is that people get access to health care that they can afford, and it’s real, and it’s there in rural hospitals and in communities all across this country.”
The estate tax topic came up when Warren was talking about her response to the rising cost of housing. She said the government should build 3.2 million new housing units.
“How do you pay for something like that?” Warren asked. “I’ve got an answer. The answer is if we just go back to the estate tax, and tax the families that were taxed upon death during the George W. Bush administration.”
George W. Bush served as president from 2001 through 2009.
Returning to the estate tax rules in effect during the George W. Bush administration would raise enough money to pay for 3.2 million new housing units, Warren said.
Warren said the main obstacle to returning to the Bush-era estate tax rules is the influence of 10,000 rich families.
Warren said that “people in Washington” tell her, when she describes her proposal for returning to the old estate tax rules, ”You can never do that, because 10,000 rich families have so much more power in Washington than millions of American families who are struggling.”