Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Thanks to Sue, Working People Held Hostage to Paris Hilton Estate Tax Cut
In a cynical political ploy to deal with that “problem”, while simultaneously serving her “real” constituents - the super-rich - Sue Kelly voted on July 29 to couple minimum wage legislation with a permanent estate tax reduction. The minimum wage legislation would provide a gradual increase in the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour (in 2009) - an average annual benefit of $1200 for an estimated 6.6 million people. The massive reduction in the estate tax would give an average tax break of $1.3 million to a comparatively small number of multi-million dollar estates (about 8,200 estates in 2011), plus other tax “sweeteners” and have a total cost of $309 billion plus interest costs over the first 10 years!
Sue Kelly provided proof positive that her vote to increase the minimum wage was not the result of her sudden realization that it was "the right thing to do", when she voted against a Democratic effort to pass the minimum wage bill as a stand alone bill without the estate tax and other tax cuts.
Additional proof is that the minimum wage “increase” that was passed will actually decrease wages for restaurant workers and other tipped employees because it invalidates state laws providing a minimum wage for those workers. (Whatever happened to States Rights?)
And then there is GOP Rep. Mike Castle who said, in talking about the minimum wage increase “There’s a general agreement among Republicans [opposing the raise] that ‘maybe we don’t like it much, but we need to move forward with it just for political reasons.’”
Raising the minimum wage to a living wage is good for ordinary people, good for business, and good for the economy. Severely reducing the estate tax means a benefit for a few thousand very wealthy, while saddling our children and grandchildren with more debt and with cuts in vital federal programs like Veterans programs, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment insurance.
Working families shouldn't be blackmailed into mortgaging their future in order to earn a decent wage. Could we please elect a Congress in 2006 that has the people of the United States as their priority? Let's start with the 19th Congressional District.
When Sue voted for the original Bush tax cuts, I got a form letter in response to my letter of protest that stated that Sue "promised" to roll back these tax cuts if the budget ever fell back into deficit. Many tax-cut votes and record deficits later, she has demonstrated how much her promises mean. To claim to be for fiscal discipline (as her campaign website claims) is a total joke.
It's time for a change.
How did this become the "death" tax. Rove has learned Gobbels' principles well.
See #14, #2, #6, #7, #12 and #16.