Carper Issues Statement on Minimum Wage, Estate Tax Legislation

WASHINGTON (Aug. 3, 2006) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., today issued the following statement following the Senate’s defeat of legislation that would have married an increase in the minimum wage with an overly expensive estate tax proposal: “I support a minimum wage increase and I support estate tax reform that is fiscally responsible. But today’s vote was a cynical attempt by the Republican leadership to force Democrats into accepting flawed minimum wage legislation and an estate tax proposal that was irresponsible given our worsening fiscal situation. There is a path forward to increasing the minimum wage and enacting common-sense estate tax reform, but that road must be bipartisan and it must be fiscally responsible. My hope is that instead of engaging in cynical politics, the Congress can work together when we come back in September to quickly sign a minimum wage increase into law and to find an acceptable compromise on estate tax reform.” Sen. Carper has introduced an alternative estate tax reform bill that would exempt most families, farms and small businesses from the tax, while still being fiscally responsible. Under current law, the estate tax is currently being phased out and will be fully repealed in 2010. However, just one year later, in 2011, the estate tax will be reinstated at its original levels (a 55 percent rate on all single-person estates worth more than $1 million). The Carper proposal, which is cosponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., would begin by freezing the estate tax at its projected 2009 levels — any estate valued at more than $3.5 million per individual or $7 million per couple would be taxed at a 45 percent rate. Those levels would then be adjusted upward with inflation. For more information on Sen. Carper’s estate tax proposal, visit: