Wednesday, December 1, 2010


In my previous post I warned about embracing the findings of debt commissions that are created with the idea of paying down our national debt, but do little to look at how we accumulated so much debt. As I pointed out, what we've ended up with are policy prescriptions that raise taxes on the middle-class, erase inflation from official statistics, and give America's super rich what amounts to a tax free ride.

And we've been doing this in spite of the fact that unemployment, budget deficits, and wealth gaps have climbed ... after we were told that tax policies that favored the rich would solve all our problems.

Well, get ready for another round of favorable legislation that will only benefit what is perhaps America's most pampered and undeserving class: the super rich who inherit even more money.

In this piece from it appears that many members of Congress - but especially the Republicans - want to extend the tax exemption that allows Paris Hilton, George W. Bush, and other super rich Americans to inherit family fortunes without paying any taxes on their financial gifts.

Try claiming that your gambling or lotto winnings should not be taxed and see how much sympathy that gets you.

While it's called the estate tax America's super wealthy have gotten their political Oompa Loompas - the Republican Party - to derisively refer to it as the death tax. It's usually a good political show because the press buys into the headline grabbing death tax story line. Then the Republicans whine, with effect, that people who have hundreds of millions of dollars dumped on their no lap (for no other reason than they came out of the right womb) should not have to pay anything on that wealth.

Incredibly many middle-class Americans buy into this nonsense, as if they have plenty of money to pick up the tax tab for the super rich.

We have record budget deficits, two ill-managed wars, unemployment hovering around 10%, plus unfunded trillions committed to Wall Street's bailout (which primarily benefit the super wealthy) and the Republicans think the George Bushes and Paris Hiltons of America - who did nothing to build their family fortunes - deserve yet another tax break?

Is it any wonder that the wealth gap in America continues to climb?


For an excellent book on this topic read this from Bill Gates, Sr. (yeah, it's Bill's father) and Chuck Collins ...

If you don't have the time or money to get the book you can read this op-ed review of the book that I wrote for the Bakersfield Californian a few years back.

- Mark

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