All Rights Reserved © 2006 Thomas W. Day
Way back in 2002, the Trent and Bill Republican comedy team, Lott and Frist, were pissed. This was the dark days of when their previous attempt at making a royalty class permanent failed, Phil Gramm threatened "this will be a campaign issue.. Frist could hardly breathe after this year's 57 to 41 Senate vote turned against the Paris Hiltons, the Bush girls, the Rockefellers, Jeff Shilling and Kenny "Boy" Lay's precious offspring, and the elite trust fund babies who are the core investors of the Republican Party; "my base," as George II often calls them.
Lott and Frist were barely able to deliver their usual Washington comedy routine to the waiting press drones. It was that depressing to be them on this sad day for the nation's elites. And don't let these ruling class representatives fool you, this piece of legislation is intended to be a gift to a very few of the very few. Even by their own admission, the estate tax (or, more honestly, the inheritance tax) only applies to "less than 1 percent" of family estates.
It's less than 1 percent, alright. More accurately, the current federal estate tax only affects about 1 percent of the nation's richest 1 percent. Currently, an inheritance has to exceed three million dollars ($3,000,000), after estate planning has eliminated a substantial portion of the booty, before any of it is subjected to taxation.
The comedians are back again. Working their fat asses off for the nations' fattest cats.
Hiding three million bucks from taxation is not enough protection for the nation's elite who want to pass on their royalty to generations of Hiltons, Bushes, and the rest of the freaky-looking inbred offspring of our ruling class. Republicans, who represent the richest 1% who own more than 90% of the nation's assets, were rightly disappointed that they weren't able to stand up and deliver for their "base." The elimination of the "death tax," as Republicans so cutely describe the federal inheritance tax system, would go a long way towards creating a permanent royalty class in the United States. Once this passed-down wealth and power is made absolutely secure, nothing stands between the nation's trust fund babies and absolute power over the country's economic and political system. The counter-revolution would be complete and all that would remain would be for our government to apply for readmission to the British Empire. I'm sure Paris Hilton can hardly wait to be called "Princess Paris."
Back in the 1980's, Sony's founder, Akiro Morito, reminded us ("Made in Japan," 1986) that inherited industries are, by nature, decadent and doomed to failure because "second-generation industrialists" are not as competent, motivated, creative, or hard-working as first generation founders. He was trying to be consoling, by reminding his readers that Japan's first generation of industrial giants and geniuses were old and retiring, leaving that country to the pitiful future of mismanagement by the offspring of the original industrialists. I think one of his great examples was his speculation that Henry Ford VI probably couldn't even drive a car, let alone design one. He fully expected that Soichiro Honda VI would be just as incompetent. We can only hope.
Apparently, Japan's second generation of industrialists are quick studies. Hirotoshi Honda was recently forced from heading his racing division and his company auditor will be spending a few years in prison for tax evasion. Like his American corporate-exec counterparts, Honda claimed that he only signed the troubled tax documents and was too dumb to know what he was signing. However, Honda has his inherited wealth to fall back on, so he won't be expected to work for a living.
We have enough of that kind of system in the US. Current law allows two-million for an individual and four-million for couples to pass un-federally taxed and that amount will increase until it vanishes in 2010. But it will return to original status in 2011. Obviously, smart little rich kids ought to seriously consider patricide, big-time, in 2010. Maybe that's the real reason that the ruling class wants this law made permanent, they're terrified of their spoiled-rotten offspring.
They ought to be afraid of the rest of us.