Friday, January 16, 2009

Sorry Paris Hilton, the Estate Tax is Here to Stay

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Barack Obama is going make sure the estate tax, or Death Tax, does not expire in 2010.

The reasoning why is a great example of framing the issue...

Perhaps the most important reason for the death of the “Death Tax” movement is what might be called the Paris Hilton affect. In 2001, with inequality mostly a buzzword among a few left-wing professors, it was easier to get public support for killing a tax on the wealthy. Many Americans felt they could become wealthy someday, too, so they opposed any punitive tax on their imagined futures. That was especially true in 2006, when Congress took up repeal again and Americans felt newly wealthy because of rising home values.

But in the intervening eight years, the nonwealthy actually became less wealthy and Americans realized they would be lucky to retire at all, let alone get rich enough to become the target of an estate tax. They also resented the rich Wall Streeters and corporate chiefs who lost so much of other people’s money and publicly paraded their wealth.

Capping it off was a populist branding campaign that was just as clever as the “death tax” brand. The term was “The Paris Hilton Relief Act,” suggesting that abolishing the estate tax would merely give more money to wasteful, dog-and-diamond-toting heirs such as Ms. Hilton. Mr. Obama used the term in 2006 when he said the “Paris Hilton tax break” would give “billions of dollars to billionaire heirs and heiresses.”


jj999 said...

I hope Congress doesn't let the Death Tax go back into effect. There is no reason to tax anyone that heavily, especially when it can have such negative effects on small- and medium-sized family-owned businesses. With the economy in a poor state, and with even the most optimistic estimates for the recovery saying it won't be a quick process, I think we need to do what we can to help those businesses. They have always been the engine that helps drive job creation. The Death Tax would really stifle that. I encourage everyone to contact their Congressional representative to tell them to repeal the Death Tax permanently. If you want to see what it can truly cost, I noticed that the Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a Death Tax calculator up that will let everyone see the staggering impact of it. Here's the link -

noneed4thneed said...

The point of this article is that the Estate Tax has no effect on small- and medium-sized family-owned businesses.

What you are advocating for is a welfare program for bratty rich kids like Paris Hilton.

The Jimador said...

It's not welfare, it's money that was made fairly by hard working Americans....welfare is a program that is suppose to give people a leg up, but unfortunately it has become a program that gives lazy nonworking people something for nothing. Socialism is so fair...I may have to quit my job and live off the system. It will make my life a hell of a lot easier.

noneed4thneed said...

"lazy nonworking people something for nothing"

You mean people like Paris Hilton?

The Jimador said...

hahaha, somebody made Hilton's money, and it's not your money or my money going to Paris Hilton. The Hilton's can make as much money as they want and do whatever they want with it as long as you and me aren't paying the bill. Do they have a moral obligation to help the less fortunate? Yes. Is it the government's job to force a moral obligation and to do so on a playing field that is not equal? Is that freedom? Is it American?