July 29, 2005

Seattle Times flogs the estate tax

NW Progressive has the run-down of the donated print-only full-page ad that lies about the estate tax. Click over to get the full text of the ad and the background on the 'ordinary citizen' testimonials, but here's a sample of the rebuttal:

... The federal estate tax raised $23.4 billion last year. Repealing it would shift the burden off the fortunes left by the richest 1 percent of Americans, to the rest of the United States' citizens.

Either we'll have to assume the burden through higher taxes (unlikely under the Bush administration) reduced services, (somewhat likely under the Bush administration) or more borrowing (very likely under the Bush administration).

... The claims that the estate tax severly hampers women and minorities is completely bogus. Only very wealthy women and minorities would ever have to pay the estate tax.

William Gates, Sr. (father of Bill Gates) says:

"The question is, why are people wealthy? They worked hard, they’re smart, and they are American … (with) a police force that works, a court system that works, a market system that makes it possible to dispose of what you own. Economists tell us that having a stable market adds 30 percent to the value of everything you own." ...

It's days like this when I think I should restart my Seattle Post-Intelligencer subscription, even if I do still end up getting most of my news online.

Posted by natasha at July 29, 2005 01:14 PM | WA News & Trivia | Technorati links |

I call him "Frank 'Death Tax' Blethen". Others have called him
"the village idiot of the newspaper industry". Condemning others (calling them "threats to democracy") for doing things he does himself (owning newspapers in non-contiguous markets).

These "Death Tax" guys make outrageous claims, but they really don't have many examples of family farms or other small businesses being sold because of the so-called "Death Tax" (and neither does the IRS). The typical wingnut doesn't care about the facts -- all taxes are bad, so the "Death Tax" must be, too. Same for libertarians. And Blethen doesn't care about any situation other than his own.

So lots of would-be reality-based people are bamboozled into thinking that there really are large numbers of people hurt by paying "Death Taxes" on tiny little houses and shops. The DT gang is basically deluding people into thinking that "repealing the DT" is all about protecting moderately prosperous little people, when it's really all about protecting Paris Hilton, and the very small number of people as rich as (or richer than) she is. Blethen seems like a semi-rich wanna-be, desperate to join that group, or to have his grandchildren and great-grandchildren join it.

Posted by: PhilK at July 29, 2005 08:45 PM