June 07, 2006
DEMOCRACY OR ARISTOCRACY: IT'S YOUR CALL (LITERALLY)
Caption: Like Ferdinand the amorous peacock, supporters of estate tax repeal are turning their backs on the nation that made their wealth possible.
You’ve read about it. You’ve heard about it. Today, you can do something about it. The Senate is about to move on repealing or drastically reducing the estate tax as soon as today. For some of the political dynamics as reported by the New York Times, click here.
As noted previously in the Goat Rope, the campaign to repeal the estate tax has been funded by a handful of extremely wealthy families.
This tax only applies to those who inherit vast amounts of wealth. Some have referred to estate tax repeal as the Paris Hilton tax break. Surviving spouses and charitable contributions are exempt. Repealing it could cost up to $1 trillion over the next ten years. That money could be used to reduce the deficit, shore up Medicare and Social Security, make higher education more affordable, and/or invest in infrastructure. Repeal would also negatively impact charitable giving.
El Cabrero may be somewhat coarse, perhaps due to the cabrine company he keeps, but there is something weird about a worldview where it’s OK to tax the meager wages of people who work but not the idle wealth of people who inherit. And, more to the point, the rich benefit far more from the mere existence of government and its array of services than anyone else. Things like a legal system, law enforcement, roads, research, patents, education, etc. make the accumulation of wealth possible to start with.
Advocacy groups such as the Coalition on Human Needs are urging people across the country to call their Senators today with this message: “Please vote no on any effort to repeal or drastically cut the estate tax. With all the problems this nation faces, the Senate should not be wasting our national resources and its time on a giveaway of hundreds of billions of dollars (or even more!) to a handful of multimillionaires.”
A toll free number to the Capitol Switchboard has been provided by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social justice organization: 1-800-459-1887. The AFSC welcomes groups to circulate and use the toll free number in support of non-partisan budget goals
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED
by El Cabrero