Thursday, April 14, 2005

House Votes to End Estate Tax: "Death Tax" Repeal or Plutocracy in America?

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to permanently repeal the estate tax.

Why should we want to tax dead people?

George Lakoff has written about how "framing" affects our visceral response to issues.

Of course nobody wants to tax a dead person. That would be like "squeezing blood from a turnip." Dead people should be respected. They should receive proper burials and memorials and get flowers for their graves and we should remember them and venerate them.

But this isn't about taxing dead people. The whole "death tax" is a misnomer. It is another Republican Lie.

The Estate Tax is about taxing heirs and heiresses. About not installing a plutocracy in America.

William H. Gates and Chuck Collins have written about the problems of generations of inherited wealthy controlling America. As they wrote:
When Alexis de Tocqueville visited the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, he noted that equality of condition permeated the American spirit: "The American experiment presupposes a rejection of inherited privilege." In the words of novelist John Dos Passos, "rejection of Europe is what America is all about."
And this is the father of the richest man in America. The father of Bill Gates who writes who understands the issues of family wealth better than any of us!

Gates goes on to quote Thomas Jefferson:
The descent of property of every kind therefore to all children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree, is a politic measure and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.
On top of all of this, repeal of the Estate Tax will again cause a loss of a significant amount of revenue for the Federal Government.

As was reported:

Last year, the estate tax generated $24 billion, accounting for about 1 percent of total federal tax collections.
And with the federal deficit growing, where is this lost revenue to be found?

With this President, we have an Administration that pushes cuts for the poor, the disabled, and the disadvantaged. While the rich get richer and generations can pass wealth on to their descendants untaxed.

Is this the America we want or need? America deserves better!



Post a Comment

<< Home