The NY Times editorializes today:
Last week, as the unemployment rate hit a 25-year high and nearly one in 10 Americans was receiving food stamps, 10 Democrats in the Senate joined all 41 Republican senators to cut estate taxes for the wealthiest families. The provision would funnel an additional $91 billion over 10 years to the heirs of megafortunes, money that would otherwise have been paid in federal taxes or donated to charity.
While killing the death tax wouldn’t be at the top of my list of polices to pursue at this point in time, it’s sickening that the Times would use the term “funnel” — a word normally associated with shady dealings and extortion rackets — in this context. The money we’re talking about here is money that individuals earn honestly, pay taxes on while they’re still alive, and hand down to their surviving family. The way the Times portrays it, government starts off with a natural right to all money earned in the United States. Any legislation that pushes taxes south of the prevailing rate at the time is a “cost” to government because they’re being deprived of revenue that is rightfully theirs, and now, if wealthy Americans are involved, it’s described like a money-laundering operation.