Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Nineteenth Family

Via TaxProf, there are links to a terrific report by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy on the 18 incredibly rich families that are providing the financial muscle behind the ongoing efforts to repeal the estate tax. In addition to describing the ways in which these families have mounted their campaign, the report also sets forth a comprehensive listing of and rebuttal to the principal lies of the campaign (Foes Have Misled the Public About the Cost and Reach of the Estate Tax; Foes Have Misled Public About Harm to Family Farms and Small Businesses; Groups Have Lied About the Cost to Collect the Tax; More Fables: The Double Tax; The Estate Tax Is Misleadingly Characterized as a Tax on Hard Work).

However, the report missed one important family that has lead the way in storming the ramparts of the estate tax--The Frists.

While perhaps not providing as much financial muscle as the 18 families listed in the report, Little Brother Doctor Senator Bill has been the point man in the Senate for estate tax repeal. While the Senator's net worth is a measly $15-45 million, Big Brother Tom and his family, according to Forbes, have a net worth of $1.7 Billion. Tom's current holdings in HCA, Inc., alone, (5,563,198 shares) are worth, as of close of business on April 25, 2006, almost $252 Million.

I won't bother to undertake as precise an estimate of the tax savings the Frist family would enjoy if the estate tax were repealed, but it's safe to say that it's well (very, very well) north of $200 Million.

It must be nice to have relatives friends in high places.

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