Something weird has been happening the past few months. High-ranking republicans have been beating the drums about the staggering increase in income inequality. They’ve complained about how the wealthy have benefited most from the recent economic recovery. So last week, House Republicans decided enough was enough. They overwhelming voted to repeal the estate tax!
When asked how this legislation squared with their newly found concern for the little guy, House Speaker John Boner said, with a straight face, “This legislation is meant to help the little guy, you know, the family farmer whose estate will have to sell the farm to pay the death tax.” When it was brought up that, under the current tax code, only estates worth over $5.43 million (individual) and $10.86 million (married couple) owe the tax, Boner replied, “Farmers are doing well these days. Have you seen the price of cauliflower?” Asked whether it was fair when this repeal amounted to a $269 billion tax give away to the super rich, Boner quickly snapped, “Of course repeal of the death tax is fair. We are all going to die, aren’t we? It doesn’t just affect the wealthy. It fairly affects everyone.” But Mr. Boner, I asked, statistics show that 99.8 percent of households do not pay any estate tax whatsoever, Boner became testy, “ Don’t try to use statistics to defend the government taking money from hard working Americans!”
I had a chance to interview one of those hard working American farmers, Earl Bob Hogwood. I asked Mr. Hogwood if he supported the legislation. “Heck yea, we don’t need no gubment taking more and more of our money.” When I asked Mr. Daniels the current value of his farm, he told me he thought the value was anywhere between $35,000 to $50,000, depending on whether or not the well runs dry. When I explained the odds of his estate having to pay any estate tax was zero, he replied, “I know the law only affects rich folk, but ain’t they the job creators? And anywho, once the gubment starts taking rich folk money, how long before they come after our guns and bibles.” On that note, the interview ended.