This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 7, 2003 2:07 PM. The previous post in this blog was Joke o' the Day. The next post in this blog is Salem spotlight. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 7, 2003

Earl for Mayor, not

One reason why I hope my congressman, Earl Blumenauer, doesn't run for mayor is that he's doing a darn fine job in Congress. I kid you not -- he's as good back there as they come.

Just take his view on repeal of the federal estate tax, which is lusted after by the White House and all its neocon buddies. The Republicans have the public hoodwinked into thinking that the "death tax," as they put it, breaks up family farms and businesses. There's not a shred of evidence that it does that.

But what most people really don't get is that this tax affects only the super-rich. As Blumenauer amply demonstrated in a truth-telling floor speech earlier this summer:

I invited a number of tax professionals in my community, CPAs, tax attorneys, financial planners, to come down and talk to me about how the effect of this proposal actually works. It was fascinating, giving these people a grant of immunity, and I urge any of my colleagues to do the same with tax professionals in their community.

They said, number one, under existing law anybody who could not shield at least $5 million of an estate was really guilty of malpractice.

Number two, they said it was not the estate tax that broke up small business. It was idiot sons, and they said in their experience when they watch great inherited wealth after three generations, it looks like it becomes a genetic defect. It was fascinating what they told me, people who in the main were Republicans who work in this every day.

Anybody who's worth $5 million and has been paying income tax of only 15 percent on the living they make off dividends should have their kids chip in some more when they die. And the rest of us, who see 40 percent or more of our hard-earned wages go up in smoke every month, shouldn't.

And that's just how the estate tax works.

Earl gets it, and he knows how to call it. Too bad he's going to chuck the House and re-enter municipal politics.

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