President George W. Bush is encouraging the Senate to focus on one of the deadliest scourges facing the nation today: the 'death tax,' which devastates tens, even dozens of Americans every year. Mr. Bush is urging Senators to feel compassion for the afflicted families, whose fois gras consumption and thread counts have plummeted in recent years.
Senate to hear horror stories of families ravaged by 'death tax'
By Deanna Swift
WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush is encouraging Senators not to delay in their efforts to improve the fortunes of some of the worst suffering Americans: those devastated by the estate tax. In recent years tens, even dozens of Americans have seen their fortunes whither as a result of the aptly-named 'death tax,' forcing them to cut back on everything from yacht trips to fois gras consumption. In a few drastic cases, those most affected by the tax have seen the thread counts of their sheets drop below 500. The Senate is expected to take up the urgent issue later this week.
A toxic tax, a savage surcharge
While this savage surcharge on wealth is formally know as the “estate tax,” over time it has come to be known as the death tax due to its devastating impact on the nation’s wealthy. The Senate's move to visit the issue comes amid news that the toxic tax is even deadlier than most Americans could have imagined. According to recent data, the 'death tax' is more devastating to individuals with estates valued at over $800,000 than either gout, linked to excessive consumption of port wine, injuries suffered during polo matches or intermarriage, the practice of marrying among a very small group of wealthy individuals resulting in genetic, mental and physical defects.
Americans fear death tax more than gay migrants, 'hot' teachers
In a recent survey, 43% of Americans said that they feared the death tax more than activist judges, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gay migrants or fast-growing molds. Only an accidental plunge from a cruise ship or unwanted sexual advances from a female elementary school teacher incited greater fear among those surveyed. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they were "terrified" or "very anxious" about encountering misadventure on the high seas, while 57% said they worried about being hit on by a "hot" educator.
A visit from 'death tax' widows
Later this week Senators will hear from a handful of individuals whose families have been literally taxed to death in recent years. Among those scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill: members of the Mars candy family, the Gallo wine family, the Wegman supermarket family, the Dorrance family, which controls Campbell soup, and the Waltons, who control Wal-Mart.
Members of the hard-hit families will temporarily lift the black veil that the 'death tax' has lowered onto their lives, allowing Senators and ordinary citizens a glimpse into this other America. "These are not easy stories to tell," says a source close to one of the families. "People are suffering. They're having to scratch and claw just to get the things they need to survive: yachts, granite counter tops, single malt whiskey. We're talking about very basic goods here."
A tour of devastated estates planned
President Bush announced today that he plans to interrupt his tour of border cities overrun by gay migrants in order to tour the mansions of some of the Americans hardest hit by the 'death tax.' White House schedulers say that the president plans to visit Bridgehampton, NY, Aspen, CO, and Rancho Santa Fe, CA. Mr. Bush, who will be traveling on Airforce One, will first survey the properties from the air in an effort to assess the impact of the estate tax on landscaping, pool maintenance and fleets of cars.
Has the Bush Administration done enough to ease the suffering of the wealthiest Americans? Talk back to Deanna Swift at [email protected]