June 09, 2006


Caption: Venus had a little too much to drink celebrating this victory.

This hasn't been the best of weeks for the nation's ruling coalition.

First, the domestic Taliban-supported constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriages failed to pass the Senate, an effort that was more cynical sideshow than serious effort. Polls showed that while most Americans did not approve of same sex marriages, they opposed messing with the constitution by an equal margin

Close on the heels of a defeat for the theocrats came a setback for the plutocrats. Yesterday, the procedural vote to repeal the estate tax on people who inherit great wealth failed to gain the needed 60 votes. The actual count was 57-41, with two Senators who would probably have opposed repeal not voting.

This means the Senate leadership will not be able to fully repeal the estate tax. This is a win for all who favor fiscal responsibility, economic justice, and sane budget priorities and is the result of the hard work of a diverse nationwide coalition. Repealing the tax, which only impacts the richest 1 percent of Americans, could have cost the nation $1 trillion over 10 years.

It's not clear at this point what the next move will be. One possibility is an effort to pass a "compromise" such as one proposed by Senator Jon Kyl, which would be almost as expensive as full repeal. For an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, click here.

The other possibility is that the oligarchs will try to use the failure of repeal as an issue in the coming elections. This is pretty bizarre, since it's hard to put a populist face on a tax that only affects a tiny handful of Americans who inherit fortunes worth millions of dollars.

This has already be said many times before, but here goes again: the very rich benefit the most from the USA and would never have been able to accumulate or inherit anything without the public investments that make it possible for people make, keep, and enjoy their wealth.

There is still an need to educate the public about the issues, but polling research shows that most Americans don't want the estate tax to be fully repealed and the more they learn about it, the less likely they are to support repeal. According to the Coalition for America's Priorities,

Voters think the estate tax is at the bottom of the list of taxes that should be cut. When read a list of potential changes to the tax system, repealing the estate tax ranks last and is opposed by 55% of voters.

Voters think one of the two best ways to reduce the budget deficit is to keep the estate tax. The other is to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

Voters would much prefer to see Congress use funds for a variety of purposes other than repealing the estate tax. Strong majorities preferred every option they were presented from spending the money on health care for veterans and the uninsured to shoring up Social Security.

So, congratulations, folks! Stay alert for the next round and try not to let your goats drink too much in celebration. They can be mean drunks.



GUYK said...

No one but the socialists want to keep an inheritance tax that is in place strictly for income redistribution. It makes no difference if it only affects a small number of the most wealthy. It is theirs..they earned it..and no one has a right to it. You socialists might as well put a gun to their head and steal it. At least that would be an honest admission that you are a thief. But instead you use government tyo do your stealing and hide behind statements such as yours that it is for the good of society to steal the wealth and redistribute it. One of these days those who produce will just wquit producing. Many already have or have moved off shore. Yeah, it is a ghoat rope all right.

By the way, the term goat rope probably came from girl's rodeos where the girls rope goats instead of calves and yep, it does descrive a situation all fouled up.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree with your characterization of the estate tax, and I think mabye you haven't considered what the estate tax truly is. I think that there are many parties who think that taxes that redistribute some income can be useful to society. Most governments do this in moderation to provide public goods that we all use such as roads and national defense. It would be difficult to provide those services privately, and it is only fair that everyone chip in for that. Also, the estate tax is an inheritance tax, which means that the "inheriter" did not work for that money, they inherited it. I don't know about you, but all the money that I earn through working is taxed, so I would expect that large sums of money unearned should also be taxed. This tax only affects a very small percentage of inheritances that are very large, so it is not taking food out of the mouths of desitude widows or anything like that. There has been a lot of misinformation about this tax that has been spread around, so I understand how it can be confusing. Here is the information from the IRS website:
"Most relatively simple estates (cash, publicly-traded securities, small amounts of other easily-valued assets, and no special deductions or elections, or jointly-held property) with a total value under $1,000,000 do not require the filing of an estate tax return. The amount was $1,500,000 in 2004 and 2005. For 2006 through 2008, the amount is raised to $2,000,000."
For more information you can look at the IRS website, http://www.irs.treas.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=108143,00.html.

Anonymous said...

We are getting raped by the goverment we subsiside the minimun wage people with food stamps, rent vouchers, free medical and etc. so they can afford to work for the wealthey. Then along comes the petrolium , pharmacy, medical, insurance, lawyers, doctors,the loss of millions of manfacturing jobs to china this is A GANG BANG and you worry about an estate tax give me a break

El Cabrero said...

That's pretty old news. But, with respect do you think the problems you identify are totally separate from this one?

Anonymous said...

It's not old news we you wake up every day treading water to keep from drowning as the American dream goes down the commode of life. When one has to work two service jobs to make $6.00 less an hour than one made at a manufacturing job that went to China that SUXS!

Pancho Pantera said...

Have you ever noticed how quiet it gets when one expounds on the truth. Profesing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Changed the truth of God into a lie! Murdering babies, same sex couples a mind void of judgment, a stinch in the nostrils of God. Evil has become good a reprobate mind.

Freddie F. Farkell said...

If you do the crime, you do the time. The Mexican labors are robbed every day at the flesh markets in most towns, day labors who work for pennies. Subsized by food stamps, rent voucher and free medical at the emergency room. The er is subzised by our high insurance premiums. The heritage foundation says the average family of immigrants will get $33,000 of social benifits per year. We the working tax payers cant afford this.

Sue said...

More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars! FDR

Anonymous said...

el cabrero are you entangled in the goats rope! "GO MOUNTAINEERS"

Anonymous said...

El Cabrero is apparently entangled by the intellect of his brain, unable to reason with someone of a different persuasion. One finds that a lot in some people able only to see one side of the coin, not the whole picture and that's SAD. But not unusual I saw this in abundance with FEMA in the Katrina recovery. SAVE THE POLAR BEARS stop the Forest Service from control burning of our national forest! SMILE GOD LOVES U

El Cabrero said...

Sorry but I'm having a dificult time following the thread here.

As billionaire and estate tax supporter Warren Buffett pointed out, people are only able to accumulate and keep vast fortunes (many of which are inherited, not earned) because of public investments and protections like police, road, patents, intellectual property laws, etc.

Also, this tax in one form or another has been around since WWI and survived all kinds of changes in political leadership.

If people want to devote their lives and energy to getting rid of it, KYO (knock yourselves out).

Harold said...

I agree with keeping the estate tax, but I think you should emphasize that vast fortunes in this country are generally made via unfair, government-granted privileges, such as land and natural resource ownership (including the airwaves) and money monopoly. It's not mostly from use of the roads, infrastructure, legal system, etc. that government provides. This, from a geo-libertarian (google the word to fnid out about it).

Anonymous said...

Friend you might want to go to Forbes.com and check out the 400 richest Americans. I think you might find most got by hard work and thinking out side of the box.

Taxes you never git rid of them we as Americans forget the Boston Tea Party!

The middle class carries the tax burden for this nation and it is getting heavy!

freddie f. farkell said...

Harold could you expound on the comments of how most vast fortunes are made and where/how you came up with this theory.

Seo Link Master said...

You need us if you have any of these tax problems: Back
, Unfiled Returns, Missing Records, Threat of Levy, or, if you need an Installment Agreement or an Offer in Compromise A tax levy or garnishment or attachment are all the same thing. The terms may be used interchangeably. A wage garnishment or levy may be against any asset. In the enforcement of tax collections. We prepare all Federal and State Unfiled tax Returns The Fair Tax Act (HR
25/S 1025) is a bill in the United States Congress for changing Tax Solutions laws to replace the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and all federal income taxes (including Alternative Minimum Tax), Past due tax returns, Past due tax returns, Past due returns, Past due taxes, Unpaid tax, Tax negotiation, Wage levy, Robert M. Adams, Bob Adams, Try to Be Happy, Search Engine Optimization