Tax News Archive:

President Clinton Vetoes Estate Tax Repeal

President Clinton vetoed estate tax repeal legislation calling it a relief for the few not all the American families that get hit by it every year, which is about 2 percent of the American people each year. This legislation cooked up by the Republicans is estimated to cost close to $100 billion dollars, which would gradually phase out all estate taxes in the next ten years. But the President pointed out that after the end of this decade, in the next decade this bill would cost the American people $750 billion dollars. "So, I say, it fails on grounds of fiscal responsibility, it costs too much, and it fails on grounds of fairness."

President Clinton said he knew that many of the farmers got hit with this tax each year and it was costing them a lot of money. He said he was in favor of legislation that will help farmers and lower income families too in addition to the rich. He implied that this bill was intended for the rich, not those who drive tractors in the field every day. This bill would benefit 54,000 families, but more than half of it would benefit only 3,000 families. This bill would spell $7 million dollars in tax relief each year for those 3,000 families. He said on this issue that, "…it's very important to note that over half of the benefits to these 54,000 estates go to less than 6 percent of the estates, less than one-tenth of one percent of the American people, 3,000 of the estates. So over half the benefit of that bill that came down here on a tractor goes to 3,000 people. And I'll bet you not a single one of them ever drove a tractor."

He believes that in the end this bill will cost all Americans too much tax dollars to benefit very few of them. He said that he supported legislation that would be fair to all Americans. "Both of the Democratic bills in the House and the Senate would allow family farmers and small businesses to leave at least $4 million per couple without paying any estate tax. That's up from $1 million, where we're going today." At the end he once again asked the republicans in the senate and the house to move forward with "fiscal responsibility and fairness" and to get together to solve their problems.