Representatives Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois are fighting hard for Americans. Are you one of them? Is your name Walton….of the Walmart Waltons? Is your name Hilton, as in Paris Hilton? These are some of the “small business owners” who will benefit from completely removing the roughly 15% tax on money that they did not earn but will simply be handed by their parents or grand parents.
Foxx who is an acknowledged homophobe and supporter of all Right Wing Bush causes against the Middle Class and the working poor, and Roskam, basically a clerk and stooge for the National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce, have introduced an amendment to the credit card bill that they hope will help the roughly 1800 families at the very top of the income ladder. Not the Gates family, nor the Buffett family nor the Rockefellers or Kennedys that we can find, however. These are not oil millionaires who feel they should be exempt not only from corporate taxes but also from any personal taxes, even on money that they did not actually earn.
This latter group are people, like Gates and Buffett, who actually created products and services so successfully that they created not only hundreds of thousands of jobs but tens of thousands of millionaires. Of course these same people do have one problem as far as paying inheritance taxes is concerned. They tend to give away, endow or contribute very large sums to charities, colleges, even countries, to help improve lives. The Rockefeller family in particular has been notable for creating and providing ongoing endowments for some of the best cultural, medical and educational institutions, public spaces as well as restoring and maintaining valuable historical landmarks.
Other families and individuals have been not only less eager to share the wealth that they not only earned but could not possibly spend on an extended family, no matter how large. The idea that the Foxx-and-Roskam-described “Death Tax” is inhibitive to small business is idiotic. The first $1,050,000 is exempt from taxation. Consequently, the (The person who died is dead and therefore not taxed. The person being taxed is the inheritor, not dead, and therefore obligated to pay some tax on newly “found money.”) This tax is applicable to less than 2% of all Americans. Consequently, statistically it does not apply to those whom Foxx and Roskam say it affects most. First of all, the average small business seldom makes enough to qualify for inheritance taxes. Family farms are exempt.
According to The New York Times, after deductions the average amount of total tax on the tiny fraction of Americans who would pay this kind of tax actually pay only an average of 15%. So, if you happen to be left $5 million by a rich relative, then you will keep $4,250,000. That’s not a bad bargain on money you never earned. But it is not enough for the Neocon Republicans. Roskam says tentatively that small businesses spend $25,000 per year on accounting and investment advice to avoid paying these kinds of taxes. The fact is that only a fraction of small businesses even remotely have this problem. Even when they do have these kinds of consulting fees, the fees pay for all the accounting and all the financial consulting, not just concerning inheritance. Only people with huge inheritances worry about these things, and even then only a minute few pay any tax at all.
This amendment did not pass in the credit card reform act, but Foxx and Roskam and all the Neocon Republicans can be proud of one thing. They were able to pass an amendment to the bill that has nothing to do with credit cards, but that says it is OK to carry a loaded weapon into a national park. We can almost predict how long it will be until a child is shot by some crazy drunken camper using trees for target practice.
Foxx, on the other hand, is apparently not only homophobic, but also, while focusing on creating tax breaks for the very richest Americans did not feel that the children of the working poor deserved health insurance. She voted against the SCHIPS health insurance for poor children. More tax cuts for the rich so that we must cut services to the poor. That is the Foxx, Roskam, Neocon political philosophy. Or is it simply about getting wealthy while in office?