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March 26, 2003
Death and Taxes

Mostly I agree about the estate tax. Sort of.

What I think Avedon Carol and others are missing is that the estate tax is not entirely about rich people leaving trust funds for their slacker kids. Nor is it all about families building multinational dynasties with the accumulated wealth of generations.

The estate tax is about a few other people, too. Family farmers and ranchers, for instance.

People bemoan the disappearance of this way of life and write warningly of the dangers of huge conglomerates producing irradiated and bio-engineered food on high-efficiency farms, but do any of you stop and wonder why the family farm is disappearing? It's not because the "next generation" doesn't want to stay down on the farm, okay? Some of these families have farmed or ranched the same land for over a hundred years and there's only one way to get them off the land.

Tax the hell out of them every time a generation passes.

So, while I don't think that the Rockefellers of the world should be given a free ride to pass their billions from generation to generation, untouched, I do think the Wilders of the world should be given just that...a free pass.

What we need is a revised estate tax, one that exempts "real property" maybe, I don't know. I'm not a tax or legal expert, but don't just sit there and shout about "rich people" and the estate tax. Some of those seemingly "rich" people are rich only because of the assigned market value of the land they're living on. They're not living lives of idle luxury, I promise you.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)
March 24, 2003
More Lies Your Government Told You

As Buzzflash points out, that newly "discovered" chemical plant in Iraq was newly "discovered" twelve years ago. It's shameful of the government to pretend this is a new discovery that bolsters their case for this war and it's shameful that the media lets them get away with it.

It's not that I deny Nader's right to run for office, okay? Nor do I lack sympathy with many of his progressive beliefs. And Nader has also suggested that those who voted for him wouldn't have voted at all if he hadn't been on the ballot...a reasonable idea. I think we should stop blaming the third party candidates for the election.

The bottom line is that the Democratic Party didn't get the job done. Not only during the critical post-election weeks before the White House was illegitimately handed over to Bush/Cheney but during the campaign itself, during which they never managed to crystallize a message for the votes to rally around. (Although, as I read my way through What Liberal Media?, I see the force of Alterman's arguments that a biased, hostile, and anythingóbut-honest media were determined to give the presidency to Bush, in spite of their accurate assessment of his complete unfitness for the office.)

There are worse pictures than the ones YellowTimes was censored over from this war. (Serious Warning! Do not go and look at this example unless you have a very strong stomach.) (Via Testify.)

Posted by AnneZook at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)