Saturday, September 1, 2007

The $12 Million Dog - A Pony Show for the Estate Tax

Please don't get me wrong. I am, in fact, a dog lover. I am pleased that the late Leona Helmsley's dog
will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum
But it occurs to me that this story should be the poster child in the fight to restore the Estate Tax to an equitable level.

What is the Republican argument in this dog fight? That Helmsley's dog deserves a $12 million trust fund? Leona Helmsley
became known as a symbol of 1980s greed and earned the nickname "the Queen of
Mean" after her 1988 indictment and subsequent conviction for tax evasion. One
employee had quoted her as snarling, "Only the little people pay taxes."
Well, the "little people" continue to pay taxes at a higher rate on their labor than the rich pay on their investments. Are the Republicans going to say that a better use could not be found for that $12 million? How about health care for the uninsured children of the "little people"?

Let's give the "death tax" rhetoric the death penalty. If anyone needs a dog and pony show to convince them, point them here.

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