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Nullifying the estate tax

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Dear Editor:

In the Nov. 29 DCI, Ms. Wilmot asks how nullifying the estate tax benefits the masses.

First of all, the chance of a complete repeal of the estate tax is highly unlikely. Yes, the House Republicans have mentioned this during the latest tax revision talks. However, as we all know, progressive and liberal politicians typically attack the wealthy to gain the support of the "proletariat." It's called buying votes. To actually see a complete repeal in the final legislation would be good news for all of us. Don't hold your breath.

Some simple economics 101, if you don't mind.

Currently the estate tax kicks in at $5.5 million in "taxable" income, a far cry from the hundreds of millions of income that Ms. Wilmot espouses. And that tax rate for 2017 is 40 percent if memory serves. It is only logical that this group of people is not just the "inheirenters," but merely business owners and not the "ultra-rich." When these people spend their money they sometimes buy big-ticket items -- cars, boats, houses, ranches, other businesses. There are people that build things -- sometimes they are called employees -- that are purchased by the wealthier among us. The more disposable income someone has, the more they can purchase these items, if they so choose. When these wealthier people purchase these goods, it keeps these employees employed. These employees can also be referred to as part of "the masses." If enough of these ultra-rich keep purchasing, which they usually do, it can actually keep an awful lot of these masses employed. And the more employees you have the more employees you have paying taxes -- not just at the federal level but the state and local levels as well. Is it not enough that the top 20 percent of income earners in this country pay over 85 percent of the income tax? And why is it not even more offensive that local business owners pay two to three times the property tax rate that individual residences do?

It is also a profound fallacy that a repeal of the estate tax benefits the filthy wealthy in return for vast right wing political contributions. It seems to me that there is a lot of wealth built up in cities like, oh, say, New York? How about Washington D.C? Let's throw Chicago in there. How about Los Angeles? Even our own Denver. Clearly these are strong Democrat cities in very blue states, save for Colorado. The argument that these are "vast right wing" strongholds obviously is false. But this is precisely how liberals and progressives try and present their argument; it's called class warfare in this particular case. They argue, just as Ms. Wilmot has, that the wealthy are to blame for all our country's problems, and if only they would turn over their entire fortunes to all of the proletariat, then all the problems of the world would be solved. Except, all of a sudden you don't have the upper 20 percent paying 87 percent of the tax base. You don't have all those wealthy people buying all those big ticket items that keep so many of us employed. You don't have all those employees paying all those federal and state taxes suddenly. What happens then? Does unemployment increase due to the loss of all those jobs? Does the government have to spend more on "entitlement" programs, thus increasing the debt even more? Would you prefer to spend your money the way YOU see fit, or would you rather let the government make those decisions for you? As for the wealthiest among us, the rest of us better hope that goose keeps laying those golden eggs.

I have personally been employed from time to time by people I would consider as very wealthy clients, and as a general rule they are very decent people. If they are treated with respect they reciprocate in kind. In my opinion all American citizens should pay the same percentage of their income in taxes. If we all have some amount of skin in the game it may very well change a few perspectives. Only then can the playing field be truly leveled. And now that we have a president who is serious about removing debilitating regulations inflicted on the private sector, therefore improving the national economy, there are very few reasons to not have a job. That is, if you truly want one.

David Lundberg
Cedaredge

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