Ted Cruz Claims Getting Rid Of The Death Tax Will Help All Americans, But Twitter Has The Receipts

Ted Cruz Claims Getting Rid Of The Death Tax Will Help All Americans, But Twitter Has The Receipts
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Updated 8 months ago

Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has long supported an increased estate tax for the wealthy, an idea most conservatives in Congress absolutely abhor. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who recently debated Sanders on tax reform issues live on CNN, spoke out on Twitter against Sanders' ideas.

Cruz made some pretty big claims about how the estate tax (aka the death tax) affects "all" Americans:

The estate tax is a tax on wealth or possessions inherited from a deceased individual (e.g., if your grandfather left you millions of dollars in his will, the government would levy a tax on your inheritance). The Texas Senator claims that this tax is placing an unnecessary burden on many Americans. 

A quick check revealed Cruz's claim wasn't quite supported by the facts:

It turns out most Americans would be unaffected by repealing the estate tax:

In a speech in Indianapolis, President Trump made an argument similar to Cruz's:

To protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer, we are finally ending the crushing, the horrible, the unfair estate tax, or as it is often referred to, the death tax. That means, especially for all of you with small businesses that are really tremendous businesses, you’ll be able to leave them to your family, and your family won’t have to run out and do a fire sale to try and get the money to pay the tax. ...  The farmers in particular are affected. They have wonderful farms, but they can't pay the tax, so they have to sell the farm.  … So that death tax is a disaster for this country and a disaster for so many small businesses and farmers.

Politifact, a nonpartisan "fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics," gave Trump's statement a "Pants on Fire" rating, essentially saying it was an outright lie:

Trump said that ending the estate tax would "protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer."That’s a ridiculously high estimate. Only 5,460 estates even pay the tax each year, according to a credible estimate, and of those, about 80 represented small businesses or farms. We rate the statement Pants on Fire.

Twitter users thought we should be focusing on more important concerns:

It turns out Cruz's point was lacking on several fronts:

Everyone seems to agree that very few people pay the estate tax:

Repealing the tax will be very helpful to one demographic: the rich.

President Trump will see major benefits to repealing the tax, while most Americans remain unaffected:

That'll teach you, Senator Cruz. If you post something to Twitter, do your homework first: