Quote of the Day: DeMint on the Estate Tax

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Sen. Jim DeMint is opposed to Obama’s tax deal. No surprise there. But what is this all about?

“It raises taxes, it raises the death tax. I don’t think we needed to negotiate that aspect of this thing away.”

Huh? It raises the death tax? DeMint is talking here about the estate tax, which, admittedly, is zero at the moment thanks to bizarre tax law writing from Republicans. But in three weeks it automatically reverts to an exemption of $1 million and a rate of 55% on everything above that level. That’s pretty high. Or maybe the proper point of comparison is the 2009 level: a $3.5 million exemption and a 45% rate.

Well, compare away. The Obama deal sets the exemption at $5 million and the rate at 35%. That’s lower than the most recent rate and much lower than the rate that will shortly go into effect if there’s no tax deal. So what is DeMint’s problem?

I dunno. Does he honestly think that maybe Dems will eventually negotiate a rate of zero if he just holds out long enough? Hell, they’re in open revolt over the current deal, let alone one that repeals the estate tax completely. What are they smoking down in South Carolina these days?

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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