Friday, June 23, 2006

Going, going, gone

I'm talking about this country and me. This country is going, going, gone. The country isn't for sale, it's already sold. The House voted to permanently end the estate tax on inherited weath for all but a few of the nation's wealthiest families. The cost is estimated to be $762 billion in the first 10 years. To pay for this tax cut for the Paris Hilton's of America means everyone else's taxes and fees will go up or services will get cut. Before this 99% of estates were exempt. Now it's around 99.7%. These are estates of real estate, art, stocks and any other capital asset which in many cases hase never been taxed. Now they never will be. The Paris Hilton Tax Relief Act was passed after the Senate killed a proposed increase of the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour. The increase would occur over two years. The House leadership won't even allow the measure to get a floor vote because it would pass but without a majority of the majority. Some Democracy. Obviously Flo the waitress doesn't have as good lobbyists working for her as the Wal-Mart family.

On top of that the Senate now has to consider the estate tax repeal and guess what? The Republican lapdogs of the idol rich don't have the votes to pass it. So what do they do? They buy the votes with legal bribery. Republicans need a few more votes to get to 60 votes to prevent a Democratic filibuster. To get four additional votes they are going to add a tax break for timber companies, a steep reduction in capital gains taxes for them. The tax break would reduce their taxes and tax revenues by $940 million over the next two and a half years. This legal bribe is to get Democratic Senators from Washington State, Arkansas and Louisiana to vote for the estate tax repeal. So Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu, get those talking points ready to support this giveaway. I wouldn't lead with, "I got bribed by the giveaways to timber and I'll get some real money back in the form of donations from the industry so it's a win-win situation." Maybe something like, "I mean really, who cares? It's just borrowed money from China and Saudi Arabia anyway. What's the point of being able to print money if you can't, you know, print money and spread it around. And when we go out a celebrate at a local restaurant Flo will get a bigger tip so again it's a win-win-win situation!"

Thanks for making my point that the country had been sold to the highest bidder. Gone is fairness and reason and justice and decency. It's just a business now. A simple equation of supply and demand. The companies, billionaires and lobbyists have the supply of money and they demand tax immunity. This country is gone. And I may be next.

P.S. If that weren't enough a change in the Coast Guard budget bill will allow Nabors Industry, a big oil drilling company with its tax headquarters in Bermuda and its legal headquarters in Barbados so that it can avoid American taxes, to gain permanent access to business open only to American companies. I think that's the straw that broke the Curmudgeon's back. You'll all miss me when I'm gone.


Blogger Odysseus said...

Send in the clowns.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It's maddening.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Rampant peckerheadery.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The outrages that resulted in the American Revolution were tiny compared to each day's headlines.

A country is not the land of the free unless it is the home of the brave and we are snivelling, cowardly, greedy, superstitious, ignorant nasty little bastards who deserve to live in an opressive police state.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Odysseus said...

Fogger's starting to sound either like Monty Python's department of insults or a bible belt preacher, or maybe a combination of the two. Tell it like it is, Cap'n.

10:02 AM  

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