Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Thanks for posting this here, and for your generous comments about ET and Jerome.  I think I want to read your thoughtful post a few more times and comment, but wanted to pull out a few things right away.

First, I totally agree with your comments on getting rid of the inheritance tax.  I think the arguments to do away with it have some merit, the double taxation argument for example, but it is just unacceptable as social policy in America, IMO.  I still believe in the American dream, and people having the opportunity to improve themselves (more on this below), and I think this policy works against maintaining that dream.

Maybe a small quibble on this:

Multi-Millionaires and billionaires band together to form lobbying to repeal the estate tax.  Millionaires and Billionaires stay at the same hotels, play golf at the same country clubs, sit on each other's corporate boards.  Yet these same people fight unionization and local coalitions.      Millionaires pay for representation in congress, but they do not want to let people leave work to vote.
 I would just point out that there are many, many millionaires that disagree with this policy.  Two of the richest people in the world are against it--Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.  The Democratic party is filled with millionaires that I believe are against it--John Kerry and his wife (inherited money), I imagine all of the Kennedy clan, John Edwards (earned his money), the NJ governor and former head of Goldman Sachs (blanking on his name), just to mention a few well known millionaires opposed.  

My experience in knowing a few people in the millionaire category (not as millionaire as those above) is that they are somewhat united on the need to raise the inheritance tax levels somewhat significantly, since they were not adjusted for inflation over the years.  But I find most of them against abolishing this tax--admittedly a small sample size.

I also note, as I'm sure you know, that this bill expires in several years, so I believe in effect, it will have to be voted in again--and I'm hopeful that the ceilings for rates will be adjusted, but the overall policy and tax will be reinstated.

OK, let me say it before someone snarks my comment--this is in defense of millionaires????  I would say in defense of painting a group with a broad brush.

by wchurchill on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 03:34:02 PM EST
I agree that quite a few millionaires do want to keep the tax because they understand its importance in a democracy.  I wasn't terribly clear, but what I was shooting for was more the idea the upper-crust of the corporate class has many different ways to collude on issues because of the size and nature of their social network.  
by andrethegiant on Thu Apr 27th, 2006 at 06:52:54 PM EST
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