Thursday, July 29, 2010

Give the Death Penalty to the Death Tax!

On my week off I came across an article on
concerning the estate tax, a.k.a. the "death tax", so named
as the tax claims a chunk of one's estate that one leaves to
one's heirs. This tax goes into effect just for those estates
which have a net worth of $3.5 million and above,
along with a top rate of 45% imposed.
This year, most surprisingly, Congress let the estate tax
take a breather; it lapsed for a period of one year. If no
further action is taken, this tax will be restored to its
2001 levels on January 1, 2011 --- a $1 million exemption
rather than $3.5 million, and a top rate of 55%.

According to the article, there are a few prominent, big-
monied people calling on Congress to impose a "strong"
estate tax. And wait until you hear their reasons for
advocating it! One of these big boppers is Robert Rubin,
who was Treasury Secretary during the Clinton admini-
stration and later chairman of Citigroup. Rubin had this
to say:

"Our country is on an unsustainable fiscal path. (Revenue
from an estate tax can) fund deficit reduction, additional
public investment, or added assistance to those affected
by the economic crisis."

Then Rubin proffered, "Our nation has always held itself
out as a meritocracy and a land of opportunity, and an estate
tax helps avoid accumulation of inherited economic and
political power that is antithetical to this historic vision
of our society."

Time to bring out the light of scrutiny and shine it upon
Rubin's reasoning here. And, we shall keep our trusty
beacon handy for what's to come.

Indeed, our country is on an "unsustainable fiscal path".
We can thank President Obama and the Democrat-
controlled Congress, along with the spineless jellyfish
and the corrupt sellouts in the Republican party, both
now and going back to President George W. Bush and
the then Republican-controlled Congress for that!
The latter gave us then-record federal spending, with
lots of pork --- much of it in the form of earmarks,
which are money provisions for purposes which are
not necessarily related to the content of a bill, thus
sneaking such spending into getting signed into law
whereas if the measure were to be presented as voted
upon by itself it would be much more likely to be
rejected. Bush and the GOP also gave us then-record
debt, along with the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief
Program) which forces us taxpayers to bail out incom-
petent and/or crooked large businesses deemed by
Washington as being "too big to fail". The former,
Obama and friends, doubled down on all of this
while using our tax monies to buy enough shares of
two of the three U.S. automakers to have controlling
interest in them, also doing the same with some major
financial institutions, along with ramming down our
throats a national health care program a la Canada
while plugging their ears to our shouts of protest;
they think that we are too stupid and imbecilic to
see that nationalizing our health care industry,
which comprises one-sixth of our economy, is
good for us --- exhorbitant costs and gross ineffi-
ciencies galore! And don't get me started on the raids
that both parties have made on the Social Security
fund (until a later date, when we can devote the
necessary time and attention to discussing that
particular debacle)!

As for Rubin's next offering of elitist tripe trying
in vain to masquerade as wisdom, one of the benefits
of life in these United States as a land of opportunity
is that its citizens can accumulate wealth and pass it
along to their children, their grandchildren, or other
family members to give them a strong start in life or
some financial security in their advancing years!
And why should they not be able to defend their
wealth and means of creating it, as well as the system
which fosters both? These are just some of the reasons
why many, many people emigrated here throughout our
country's history. This is not, therefore, "antithetical to
this historical vision of our society"; rather, it is a
byproduct of the freedom afforded to our society by
our country's political and economic system given us
by our founding fathers. It is, however, antithetical to
the warped, statist view of our society that elitist pigs
like Robert Rubin hold.

Some family businesses are, in terms of net worth,
valued at over $1 million. The families owning and
operating these businesses, more often than not, do
not make that much money in annual income, but the
federal government --- under the estate tax's provisions
before its lapse --- would still tax it in accordance
with the business' valuation at over the $1 million
exemption limit if the estate tax  is restored. When
this was in force, many families in this situation
have had to sell part of or all of their businesses
just to pay the estate tax bill.

Rubin is joined in this sorry campaign by former
hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, Walt Disney's
grand-niece (and financial beneficiary, no doubt!)
Abigail Disney, and AFL-CIO president Richard
Trumka. The first three should all know better;
the fourth cannot know better, as he has never
been involved in the creation of wealth, however
remotely, nor has ever witnessed same. This
shameful quartet made their views on the estate
tax known on a recent conference call hosted
by a left-wing group euphemistically named
United for a Fair Economy.

Some who support an estate tax claim that it
makes for more charitable giving, because such
bequests are tax-deductible and reduces the size
of one's taxable estate. Warren Buffet and Bill
Gates are prominent supporters of having an
estate tax for this very reason. Are they trying
to say that most wealthy people are greedy,
and that a tax on their estates would spur them
into charitable gift giving so as to reduce the
tax liability on them? That this is the only way
that the wealthy would ever give money to
charities? Americans are the most charitable
people on the planet! Our country has had
many wealthy citizens who were very philan-
thropic --- Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie,
W. Clement Stone, and Ray Kroc, to name
but a few! And they all gave out of a sense of
gratitude for what they accomplished and
accumulated, not because they and their heirs
feared government confiscation of the wealth
that they created!

Abigail Disney opined on this reason for an estate

"It's a wonderful idea. But the nonprofit sector
can't do what government does," she stated.
Disney is president of the Daphne Foundation,
a charity (!). Disney believes that while charitable
giving is a good thing it is not a substitute for
government programs which performs functions
that no charity does or can, i.e. providing infra-
structure and defense. She concludes, "What
you do around estate taxes should not be to
avoid paying your fair share."

Certainly, no one is suggesting that charities can
or should build railways, roads, and bridges and
defend our shores. Charities are meant to fulfill
basic human needs such as feeding, clothing,
housing, and educating the poor. But Uncle Sam
would have much more money to give us the
former if it weren't bailing out or taking over
businesses and nationalizing our health care,
to name just two activities our spendthrift uncle
ought not engage in. Refraining from same would
negate any need for more and higher taxes, in-
cluding an estate tax. And just who is Abigail
Disney to be deciding what is ANYONE'S
"fair share" of taxes to pay? I would LOVE to
see the tax documents of fat cats like her, Rubin,
et. al. who claim that some Americans aren't paying
their supposed "fair share"! How many of these
limousine liberals cheerfully hand over THEIR
"fair share" every April 15? Knowing liberals'
propensity to preach one thing but practice some-
thing else I have a very good idea what the answer
to that last question would be.

Wealthy Americans will still be giving monetary gifts
to their favorite charities and churches, as well as
establishing and operating their charitable foundations
such as Disney's organization, and their heirs will
continue their charitable activities while continuing to
grow thier family enterprises, employing American
workers and enabling them to be able to engage in
charitable activity as well, in addition to making more
taxpayers to provide more revenue for the government
without an estate (death) tax. In fact, their endeavors
will be easier to engage in. Let's end this madness and
give the death penalty to the death tax. It is a bad idea
that has outlived any useful purpose it may have had.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Peasant Takes a Breather

Hi everybody!

Your favorite Peasant, due to an increasingly hectic
schedule, is taking a few days off here in mid-July.
Therefore I have no article for you this week, nor
will I have one next week. However, if something
of great interest captures my attention I'll share a
brief observation with you! Meantime I'll be taking
care of a backlog of personal duties as well as
my latest items on my list of chores.

You, my wonderful readers, are always on my mind.
I appreciate each and every one of you; if not for
you, there would be no point to my blog! Enjoy this
interim and we'll get back together in the final week
of July!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Obama and Biden Visit Wisconsin

Hi everyone!

Just a quick observation on the recent visit to my 
home state by the Gruesome Twosome of President
Barack Obama and Vice President/Gaffe Master General
Joe Biden. Our fearless leaders visited a Kopp's Custard
stand in a suburb of Milwaukee. Biden got behind the counter
and started doling out custard to customers free of charge.
Sounds just like government, doesn't it? When the manager of 
the place humorously remarked to Biden "Lower my taxes
and we'll call it even", Biden took umbrage and retorted,
"Why do you wanna be a smart-ass?".

Just one more example of the arrogance, the elitism, and
the disdain that these people have toward everyday, hard-
working Americans. To these stuffed-shirts we peasants
are "smart-asses" if we dare to, even in a non-confron-
tational tone, so much as hint that the taxes that they are
imposing on us are too high! If I were the manager of that
custard stand I would have shouted, "That's it! Show's over!
You and your boss get out! Don't let the door whack your
brains as you leave!" What an indignity to have to suffer
from people who are supposed to be in service to us,
to "We The People"! This is an outrageous slight!
To have these two power-mad buffoons come into a place
of business and denigrate its manager or owner, who is
working long and hard to provide for himself and his family
in the face of ever-increasing taxes taking away more of the 
fruits of his labor is the very epitome of contempt for the
citizens of our country, whom they are supposed to serve,
not force to serve them!

My dear readers, remember this story as we go through
the year to election day in November. This is what we have
at present for our government. This is why there is a Tea Party
Movement! On that blessed day, November 2, we will begin
the mass firings of Democrats and RINO Republicans from
Congress, and we'll finish up in 2010 when we fire Obama 
and Biden! We shall have a government that is truly of, by,
and for the people in substance, not just in name or theory!