Saturday, June 03, 2006

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I love the internets. I was just saying the other day that the best and most honest politician I've ever known is Robert Reich. Today I discovered he has started his own blog. Definitely one you'll want to keep your eye on. Here's a sample of his work.
This coming week, Senate Republicans are putting up for a vote repeal of the estate tax (which Republicans have renamed the "death" tax in order to fool Americans into thinking most have to pay it when they die). Right now, the tax only hits families with more than $4 million to give to their heirs. That's the richest one-half of one percent of American families -- only about 1,200 families altogether. Families can leave their children up to $4 million without any tax at all. But because this small group of families has so large a fortune, repeal would cost the U.S. Treasury $1 trillion in its first ten years. That's about equivalent to what's needed to save Social Security over the next 75 years. Put another way, the yearly loss to the Treasury is almost exactly equal to the amount the U.S. spends each year on homeland security. If the super-wealthy won't pay, the middle class will have to pay more taxes to make up the difference.
Reich is the former Labor Secretary under Clinton. He kind of screwed himself when he wrote a tell-all book that was critical of the administration and the MA Democratic Party machine went into overdrive to defeat his bid for the gubernatorial nomination. They managed to beat him back, but just barely and the citizens of MA are the poorer for it.

He would make a damn fine president. Too bad the idiot DLC would never let him run on their ticket.
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Anonymous lester said...

On paper it seems fair, but I think it is bizarre to tax someone when they die. Even if it is a super rich person.

11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Libby said...

You're buying into the death meme. The estate tax was enacted 200 years ago on the premise that the top percentile of wealth holders made the wealth by the benefit of government policy to a great extent and thus should contribute more to the public coffers. It's still true today.

1:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they made it in spite of the government. The problom isn't taxes it's spending. We are spending 2.8 trillion dollars this year. cut out a trillion and leave the dead untaxed.

1:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Think regulatory relief, think tax breaks, think government contracts paid for with our tax dollars. The people at the top of the list largely made their money as part of the corporatocracy.

It's not a tax on the dead, it's a tax on money made on money. In a perfect world this class would contribute to public good as a matter of conscience. Unfortunately, no many have one anymore.

2:57:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

I'm just saying the government will just spend the trillion on some other stupid thing. so what your left with is a desire to punish the rich just for existing. you are taxing a non thing. you are taxing the abscence of life

3:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

No Lester, we're taxing money. That's a tangible item. You pay them too. Whether the current crop of thieves and liars are misspending it, is another issue altogether.

5:04:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

libby - but I think it undercuts reichs point. they won't "save" the trillion dollars.

12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

No they won't save it Lester but they'll still spend it and if they don't have that revenue, they'll simply put it on the government credit card.... The one the taxpayer gets billed for sooner or later. In their case they hope it's late enough that they're out of office.

2:02:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

I guess i just resist things that say the problem with our economy is there's not enough taxing. It's the David Dinkins method of goverment. soak the rich and everything will be fine.

5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Try to think of it as leveling the playing field instead of "soaking" the rich. The rich benefit more, they can afford to pay more and they should give something back to society. They don't make that money in vacuum Lester.

The amount of money they spend trying to get out paying their fair share could feed the hungry of the world. It's not about money for them, it's about power. Those 1%ers are not going to starve if they lose their tax breaks or pay an inheritance tax on their mega estates. The bottom 20% will starve if we keep on going the way we are.

5:40:00 PM  

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