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Losing battle – GOP, business back cut

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Growing support from Republicans and business groups could mean approval of a proposal by President Bush to end the estate tax, the Financial Times reported May 15.

Senate tax-writers are expected this week to okay a version of Bush’s plan in their tax bill, the Times said.

Opponents of the Bush plan include William Gates Sr., Warren Buffett, George Soros and other prominent Americans who argue that eliminating the estate tax would make it tougher to narrow the gap between rich and poor Americans – and would badly hurt charitable giving.

Many wealthy Americans make charitable donations to help reduce the size of their estates – and their estate taxes.

Despite the high-powered opposition, however, the Bush plan has picked up growing support from Republicans and business groups, the Times said.

“The economic community’s widespread opposition to the federal death tax trumps any support for the tax by a clique of cloistered billionaires and other limousine liberals,” said John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, an anti-tax advocacy group.

For full story, go to the Financial Times.

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