Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Problem with the American Dream

Hooray!! Recently the House of Representatives voted to raise the minimum wage for the first time in 10 years! This is great news for those of us in the real world. Studies have shown that when the minimum wage goes up, other wages go up, as well. So we're looking at a future that holds an extra dime or two.

Hold the confetti.

In a "compromise" our representatives also voted to eliminate the Estate Tax (cleverly dubbed the Death Tax by Republicans), which takes a small chunk out of the bundles millionaires leave their kids. According to the House of Representatives, the needy heirs of our nation's wealthy should be spared the indignity of having to pay taxes on their inheritance.

This is important because, as you are well aware, the American Dream means we will all be millionaires one day. Clearly, the GOP and all of Utah's delegation (including pseudoDemocrat Representative Jim Matheson), are just looking out for all of us future millionaires.

Now I'm not sure what bugs me most about this. So let's review some of the more bothersome aspects:

1. This bill was passed with the House's full knowledge that the Senate wasn't going to touch it with a 10-foot pole. Thanks for working on that boys, instead of spending time on anything with a snowball's chance of actually becoming a law!
2. The Estate Tax is worth about $300 billion to the federal budget - boy wouldn't that be helpful in paying for, oh, I don't know, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to people with disabilities, Community Development, FEMA, Homeland Security, and on and on and on.
3. About 5 in every 1,000 Americans pays this tax. Only 33 of the people who paid the tax in 2004 were black. Think of 1,000 people you know: 5 of those poor folks. Oh, excuse me, rich folks will have to actually PAY A TAX. Save us all!

Boy, am I glad the House of Representatives is there to help me out. No more will I worry about my $2 million inheritance being bit into by those pesky social services and vital government programs. Whew.

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