E. J. Dionne editorialized on the WaPo The same people who insist that critics of Social Security privatization should offer reform proposals of their own are working feverishly to eliminate alternatives that might reduce the need for benefit cuts or payroll tax increases.
It is unrelated. Social Security benefits are paid from Social Security Revenues. The estate tax goes to general revenues, not the social security tax fund.I refer to the fact that House Republican leaders have scheduled a vote this week to abolish the estate tax permanently. With so many other taxes around, it's hard to understand why this is the one Congress would repeal. It falls, in effect, on the heirs to the wealthiest Americans. Fewer than 1 percent of the people who died in 2004 paid an estate tax, and half the revenue from the tax came from estates valued at $10 million or more.
And it forced the liquidation of a lot of family farms and small businesses to pay the tax.blogged
Ezra Klein blogged Dionne argues for explicitly tying the tax to the Social Security shortfall. According to the CBO, even a reduced estate tax would cover fully 1/2 of the program's deficit, which means Republicans are going to have to decide between protecting Paris Hilton's inheritance and paying Grandma Millie's Social Security check. Democrats should be all over that choice, making sure it's made as publicly as possible.
Yes, let the Democrats admit that the Oonzi scheme cannot support itself without having the additional revenue source from the liquidation of a lot of family farms and small businesses. If Grandma Millie owns a farm or a small business she hoped to leave to her grandchildren she should be very happy
Tully @Centerfield blogged You know that someone is playing defense when they rely on emotional arguments and volume, instead of realities. The Washington Post weighs in with two editorials this morning, one from the editorial board and one from the ever-petulant E.J. Dionne, both of them notable for their histrionic use of psuedo-factoids and class envy arguments. So what are the facts about the "death tax?" What are its real purposes, how well does it work at achieving those goals, and how much of the smoke and mirrors is based in reality rather than rhetoric?