Up until now the debate over whether the Senate Conservadems would actively try to undermine Barack Obama's agenda and act to pass financially irresponsible Republican-led legislation was largely academic, as they hadn't made actual votes in line with their new Conservadem strategy.
Well, the debate is over.
Ten Democratic Senators just voted in favor of a reckless, indefensible and supremely financially irresponsible amendment aimed at slashing the estate tax for a tiny sliver of multimillionaires.
... More after the fold ...
Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) recently introduced a $250 billion amendment to slash estate taxes for the heirs of multimillion-dollar estates. Yesterday, the Senate narrowly passed the bill by a 51-48 vote. Joining Republicans in approving the bill were ten Senate Democrats.
As the New York Times explained, under Obama’s budget, "99.8 percent of estates will never — ever — pay a penny of estate tax. The heirs of the remaining 0.2 percent of estates are who Ms. Lincoln and Mr. Kyl are so worried about."
The proverbial millionaires next door — the plumbers, contractors and accountants who amass substantial wealth through hard work and modest living — are not the intended beneficiaries of the proposed cut. The Obama budget already takes care of them, because it retains today’s law, which imposes the estate tax only on couples with property worth more than $7 million, or individuals with property worth more than $3.5 million. That means 99.8 percent of estates will never — ever — pay a penny of estate tax. The heirs of the remaining 0.2 percent of estates are who Ms. Lincoln and Mr. Kyl are so worried about. Their amendment would increase to $10 million the level at which the estate tax kicks in. It would also lower the top estate-tax rate to 35 percent from 45 percent.
At a time of severe economic crisis, the Conservadems chose to voice their support for dumping $250 billion out of the federal coffers to benefit the heirs of the wealthiest of the wealthy in this country.
At least we now know the following Democratic Senators are more interested in protecting the interests of the powerful and wealthy rather than the other 99.8% of the country:
Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Cantwell (D-WA), Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Tester (D-MT)
I suggest you write to these fine upstanding Senators to make your opinion heard.