Had he only one-thousandth the concern for the people of New Orleans that he does for tax cuts for the wealthy, neocon guru Grover Norquist would not be bound for the deepest circle of Hell. Satan’s going to need to invent a new torture for this memo alone (Pointed to by Daily Kos.):
The 2003 tax cut is instructive to the recent tragic events. Opponents of permanent repeal of the Death
Tax are attempting to exploit this tragedy to put off a vote. Proof that they are exploiting this tragedy
is that they were never for repeal of the Death Tax in the first place. They were against this proposal
six years ago, five years ago, four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, and two weeks ago.
By stalling the vote they believe that the issue will not fit in the calendar on a later date. The 2003 tax
cut lifted economic growth far beyond what most people expected. We know repeal of the Death Tax
will also have a similar effect. And higher levels of economic growth is exactly what the residents of
the Gulf Region need at this time to start the rebuilding process for their neighborhoods and more
importantly for their lives.
So, based on the stellar record of investment by the rich, who have already received trillions in tax breaks during the Bush II years without returning trillions in new economic value, we’re supposed to believe that the repeal of the inheritance tax is the key to recovery from Hurricane Katrina?
Repealing the so-called “death tax” benefits approximately 18,000 families annually (out of approximately 100 million). It does not help “farm families;” according to a study by the Tax Policy Center only 440 families who paid a tax on estates of more than $1.5 had farm assets that accounted for more than half the value of the estate. Only 7,090 families in that study had any farm or small business income, the rest were simply passing unalloyed wealth along.
Assuming even distribution of the beneficiaries of Norquist’s policy, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana may have 320 farm and small business-owning families that would benefit directly from the repeal of the estate tax in the next year—compared to the hundreds of thousands of families who suffered catastrophic losses that would benefit from spending some of the money collected from this trivial tax burden on the very rich on direct recovery aide.
Remember, a tax on inherited wealth was considered an indispensable mechanism for preventing the establishment of an aristocracy by the Founders. So, let’s get some strict constructionism in place in response to Norquist: Tell him to take his revisionist inhumane policy and shove it; it’s time to invest in people, not promises that the rich will let some wealth trickle down.
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