Civil Discourse Now

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Rich people have soaked us long enough: bring back estate taxes

On January 20 the man who has brought this country to its financial knees will cede the control he has held for four years. On that day Vladimir Putin will see the stooge he placed in The Oval Office leave for parts unknown.

To recover financially, this country has to adopt traditional GOP positions. Since so many people - 300K at last count - are dying as a result of trump ineptitude, this seems as good of a time as any to resuscitate the estate tax.

Rich bastards conned everyone else into believing the “death tax” harms the average person. That harm was as fictional as as the fare paid to Charon to cross the River Styx to enter the realm of the dead. There was an exclusion of $625K.

Theodore Roosevelt favored the estate tax: “We grudge no man a fortune in civil life ... The really big fortune ... acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means....

“Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and … a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.” Theodore Roosevelt, 1910.

President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal estate tax, our nation's only levy on the inherited wealth of multi-millionaires and billionaires. It is “an absolutely democratic intervention against a drift toward plutocracy and extreme wealth imbalances.”

Louis Brandeis, later a Supreme Court justice, said: "We can have concentrated wealth in the hands of a few or we can have democracy. But we cannot have both." In the coming months people will lose their homes and livelihoods.

Shills for the very rich will hiss about “socialism,” without bothering to mention they benefit from this odd socialistic system we have. They will warn us against socialism’s evils.

One definition of “socialism”: “A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

Of course our system has developed into one in which our community is owned and regulated for the benefit of those who own the means of production and regulate us. That is not the way democracy is supposed to work.

We need to take back what the very rich have stolen from us over the past 40 years - but especially what they have raped and pillaged to acquire in the last nearly-four years. Those tax cuts were never meant to benefit us generally.

First, tax cuts never - as in not ever, nada nope, huh-uh - have been beneficial to our economy. That’s a myth sold by the very rich AND INHERENTLY SOCIALISTIC. If greed really is good, we should not begrudge the opportunists who grab what they can and run.

Second, the very rich have benefitted long enough from ill-gotten gains. They made money with our money. Just like trump now will have to reckon with Putin, so, too, should U.S. oligarchs now have to reckon with us.

Another fast way to put money into our economy: void all student debt. No advanced nation straps its youth with debt (although the crews on Betsy DeVos’s yachts probably don’t realize that) for education. Betsy wants our kids stupid and poor.

The big banks that hold the red ink of those student loans now can erase those books. But that is an idea for another day. For now, we need to bring back estate taxes. Of course, people without assets don’t have to worry: trump won’t have to pay a dime!

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Comment by pogden297 on December 16, 2020 at 10:23pm

They haven't repealed the federal estate tax.  It still exists.  They just raised the exemption from $650,000 per person in 2001 to $5.49 million per person in 2017.  So few people pay the tax.  But it still exists.

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