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Written by Steve Dittmer   
Friday, 18 August 2006
AFF Sentinel Vol.3 #21

Like hunting small game, politics can be easier if you have a hunting dog to flush the quarry. The Senate leadership used a good bird dog recently and some very twisted-looking game jumped up screaming, "No fair!"

The leadership has brought Death Tax repeal bills to the floor before. Each time, the Senate Death Tax Losing Side - the Democrats - threatened a filibuster and sidetracked an actual vote. It's the same tactic they used on judicial appointments: without enough votes to defeat a bill, they threaten a filibuster, which requires 60 votes to break. That way 41 votes beats the majority.

Trying again, the Republicans put together a bill that would reveal just how far the liberals would go to bite the hand that provides the tax money - the businesses and farms that provide income and jobs. The answer? A long way.

There was definite poetic justice in the bill's pairing. A minimum-wage increase is a perennial Democratic cause to aid the poor. The irony is that economic studies show that far from helping, every minimum wage increase decreases the number of jobs available to the inexperienced, low-skilled people making the minimum wage.

But the Democrats believe they would be helping the working poor, and the Republicans were giving them the opportunity to do that, as noted by Vin Suprynowicz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal ("Democrats would rather hurt GOP than help their own political base," reprinted in the Colorado Springs Gazette, Aug. 7, 2006.) After all, politics is often about compromise, right?

We noticed that left-slanted stories on the Death Tax always referred not to the businesses and ranches the Death Tax hammers, but moaned about the cost to the government multiplied by a ten-year span or so. Suprynowicz - Vin hereafter for brevity - translated the rhetoric about whose money is it, anyway?

Vin noted claims that increasing the size of the exemption above $3 million and reducing the tax rate above the exemption to double the capital gains rate "would ?hand billions to some 8,000 of the nation's wealthiest families,' the Democratic propaganda organs shrieked...

"If you had $100 and the armed robber decided to leave you with $60 instead of $55, did he just ?hand you' $5?" Vin asked?

"This is terrible because the death tax is needed (quoting from an actual reader letter) to ?retrieve revenue' from ?the wealthy' who ?should give a large portion back to society' since ?It was society that allowed them to accumulate the wealth.'

"And what kind of twisted and un-American notion of the true role of government of ?society' holds that risk-takers who actually create all our wealth are ?allowed' to accumulate their holding...?" Vin asked.

Just some rough cow math. If you could make a living from 500 commercial cows on the High Plains, that means at least 15 acres per cow-calf pair in many areas at say, $400 an acre. That's $3 million. Add a house (and these "estates" don't usually come with mansions), hay ground, working facilities, equipment, a barn, a machine shed, oh, and yes - the cows. Congratulations! According to the Democrats, you are so wealthy you are a target - over the exemption level. Never mind that these are assets - not income. I imagine you'd draw a Democratic blank stare from the phrase "asset rich and cash poor."

Vin summed it up perfectly.

"Faced with the opportunity of enacting a minimum-wage hike, which they believe will help ?the working poor,' but at a price of also enacting some moderate reductions in an estate tax designed to ?punish the rich' - they won't bite. It's more important to them to punish the kind of hard- working entrepreneurs who create most of America's jobs than to increase the minimum wage."

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Last Updated ( Friday, 01 September 2006 )
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