Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Death tax vultures

In Bob Novak's Op-Ed today, he describes a new television ad put on by the conservative Free Enterprise Fund which is targeting the estate tax.

Death tax vultures

A graphic new television ad by the conservative Free Enterprise Fund is targeting the two Democratic senators from Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, to support repeal of the estate tax when it comes up for a vote next month.

The ad features live footage of vultures eating away at a dead carcass -- symbolically the government seizing the assets of the dead. It superimposes the heads of pro-estate tax Democratic senators -- Edward M. Kennedy, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Harry Reid -- on the bodies of vultures. It then urges Lincoln and Pryor not to join the vultures.

The American Family Business Institute also will be targeting the Arkansas senators with new ads. Lincoln and Pryor are listed as probable but not certain for repeal in what is expected to be a close vote.

While I applaud the FEF for its creative use of visuals to crate their advertisement, in reality, it is the exact opposite. The vultures are the children of the uberwealthy and the carcass is that of American society.

As I have noted many times in the past, the estate tax only affects the uberwealthy and repeal of it would only benefit the unberwealthy. Only estates of $2,000,000 or more are effected by the estate tax, and only after both spouses are deceased. With a repeal of the estate tax, the children of multimillionaires and multibillionaires would receive the estate tax free. This is money that has never been taxed.

Repeal of the estate tax will only ensure a permanent elitist aristocracy in this country, defeating the notion that this is an egalitarian society where you are as worthy as your own ability, not the abilities of your great-great grandfather. I suppose if you think that Paris Hilton deserves Billions of dollars that have never been taxed, then you should support the repeal. Those of us who don't think that she should be given a free ride on taxes at our expense just because her grandfather was a shrewd businessman, support the estate tax.

The repeal of the estate tax is a slap in the face to every American who actually works for a living.

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