She Said What? GOP Rep's Hysterical, Hypocritical Claims About the Estate Tax's Return

Representative Cynthia Lumis of Wyoming claims that her wealthy, ranch-owning constituents are so devastated by the potential reinstatement of the Federal Estate Tax that they might just kill themselves before it is due to come back next year (or if they're that freaked out they could, you know, give their property to their kids before they die--but that would be too rational.) After all, what's a few months or years of life compared to saving a percentage of your money?

Although Lumis wouldn't give specifics on who exactly she knew was planning to commit this kind of reasoned suicide to save a chunk of their estate, she said, according to theCleveland Leader:

"If you have spent your whole life building a ranch, and you wanted to pass your estate on to your children, and you were 88-years-old and on dialysis, and the only thing that was keeping you alive was that dialysis, you might make that same decision."

Although the loss of so many money-obsessed folks if this dire prediction came to pass might be good for Lummis's political opposition in Wyoming, let's hope that Lummis's fear-mongering exaggeration has little effect on people's end-of-life decisions.

Because the estate tax only affects the most wealthy of citizens, whose children would probably be left with a still-hefty windfall even after the tax. As ThinkProgress's Zaid Jilani writes,

""While Lummis is irresponsibly warning of the estate tax spawning mass suicides, it’s important to remember how few Americans the tax actually even applies to. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes, 'only the largest 1 in 500 hundred estates pay any tax; that is, 99.8 percent of estates are passed on completely tax-free.'"

And the windfall from the reinstatement of the Estate Tax would help the most needy citizens, the ones who might actually be driven to distraction or concerned about their children's inheritance. Another example of GOP hypocrisy.

Read more at the Cleveland Leader and ThinkProgress.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 2, 2010, 6:14am

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