Before this week, even I did not fully appreciate the lack of character of the Republican Party. Their attempt to pass their bill to slash taxes on the estates of multi-millionaires by attaching it to a long overdue increase in the minimum wage is simply breathtaking in its cyncism.
According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the bill would put an average of $1,200 a year into the hands of 6.6 Million people. In other words, there would be a total economic benefit to the lowest economic classes in this country of just short of $8 Billion a year. The gutting of the estate tax, however, would put $1.4 Million a year into the hands of 8,200 people. That is, the richest of the rich would receive a benefit of just short of $10 Billion a year.
One thing that the CBPP missed is that the radical reduction of the estate tax is that it's the gift that keeps on giving. That is, the change in the minimum wage has to be periodically updated to keep pace with inflation. By way of example, since September 1997, the purchasing power of the minimum wage has deteriorated by 20%. Thus, the increase in the minimum wage is not nearly as much of an increase as it is a clawback to where it once was.
On the other hand, the reduction of the estate tax will always keep up with inflation, since no matter how wealthy the wealthy get, their savings from the changes in the bill will always keep pace.