Wealthy Americans Come Out in Favor of a Robust Estate Tax

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Several extremely wealthy Americans — those whose estates would likely be subject to the estate tax — have spoken out against Congress's failure to prevent the estate tax from disappearing this year. During a Wednesday teleconference sponsored by United for a Fair Economy, some very wealthy folks, including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Disney heiress Abigail Disney, urged Congress to restore the estate tax.

In his remarks, Rubin noted that "our country is on an unsustainable fiscal path" and that estate tax revenues could be used "to fund deficit reduction, additional public investment, or added assistance to those affected by the economic crisis." Billionaire hedge fund manager Julian Robertson said the economic and moral case for an estate tax was simple, calling on Congress to get the country's "house in order" and bringing the deficit down, which means tax increases. The fairest way to do that, Robertson said, is to tax "the least deserving recipients of wealth, which are the inheritors."

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