Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Estate Tax Repeal

Yesterday the House voted to permanently repeal the estate tax, a tax on inheritances. It now goes to the Senate. Democrats see this as a gift to the very wealthy.
"This is reverse Robin Hood," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "We're taking money from the middle class and giving it to the super-rich."
Republicans see it as a tax that is just plain unfair.
"The death of a family member should not be a taxable event, period," said Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.), the bill's sponsor.
Here's a real-world example of the estate tax as it plays out everyday:

A Missouri farmer dies leaving the family farm to his three grown children. He made a fair living but never accumulated a great deal of savings, though the land and buildings appreciated to be worth several million dollars. While the three children strongly desire to keep the farm in the family, they are forced to sell it to pay the estate taxes which can exceed 50% of the value of the estate. Two of the three children are now unemployed because they were working the farm with their father. Is that what we want?

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