by Linda Beale
for the complete post go to Ataxingmatter
Estate Tax–Kyl continues working for the ultra wealthy
Jon Kyl doesn’t think much about the government helping the unemployed who have been laid off because of the financial crisis, triggered by greedy excesses at the nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders. He’s afraid that providing additional unemployment compensation will keep people from working–as though it is laziness and not trying circumstances that has forced people out of jobs and on the public dole. Kyl clearly doesn’t get it. He must not know the people I know, who were laid off from jobs here at auto supply companies in southeastern Michigan and have tried everything they could to find work, even trying to start their own businesses. That last is hard, when banks won’t lend and folks don’t have the basic cash to do it.
But Kyl does work hard for his friends. He would like to repeal the estate tax, so the country’s millionaires and billionaires wouldn’t ever have to pay their fair share of the tax burden. Most of them pay almost no taxes during their lifetimes–especially if their wealth is inherited and most of their income is financial. They get preferential rates for the taxes they do pay, they devise all kinds of scheme to defer payment (using loans to monetize assets that need not be sold til after death), and yet are the primary beneficiaries of the governmental stability and economy that ordinary folks’ taxes pay for. The Republicans set the estate tax to return in 2011 at the pre-Bush tax cut rates and exemption levels.
Why can’t Congresspeople act like grown-ups. They bawl about deficits and say we absolutely have to cut Social Security benefits, even though we know that a very small tax increase (or even a very small difference from the conservative trustee estimates) can solve that problem (if there is one). But we can’t do any further stimulus, they say, even though we have millions out of work and ordinary people are hurting while bankers and shadow bankers continue to make millions off the cheaper cost of fuinds handed them because of the governmental bailout–because it would cost too much. Yet at the same time that they whine about the deficit, cry crocodile tears over the cuts they so regretably find themselves forced to make in Social Security, they can contemplate another giveaway entitlement package for the ultra wealthy–one that will cost $15 billion a year.