Tuesday, August 31, 2010

GT:National Security Demands That We Assure That the Next Generation of the Koch Family Has the Assets to Continue the Fight on the Middle Class

GT spoke last night at Penn State on national security which he interpreted very broadly. Let's compare and contrast a couple of his statements.

First up:
"What my generation is providing you, unfortunately, is a legacy of debt," he said. "It's just not American.

He said the Obama administration needs to present -- and Congress needs to enact -- a responsible budget.
Meanwhile, Thompson said, if steep estate taxes are reinstated next year, a family passing a farm from one generation to the next may be forced to pay a 45 percent levy. That threatens to take still more farms out of business, a trend that could force more reliance on imported food over which the U.S. has little control, Thompson said.
To sum up, GT wants to deal with the national debt by adding $1.3 trillion dollars over the next ten years to the national debt by stopping a reinstatement of the estate tax. To be fair, perhaps GT just wants the tax to go back to last year's level, then the cost to the US Treasury over the same time span would be $609 billion. He justifies adding this huge burden to the national debt, which he himself says is "not American," by suggesting that the tax will impact family farms.

But it is  estimated that that in 2011 the estate tax, if reinstated at 2009 levels,  would only effected 110  family farms and small businesses and these estates on average would pay a rate of  11.3%. (The 45% number that Thompson uses for the tax rate only applies to the portion of the estate in excess of $3.5 million and of the portion above the threshold much of it can be shielded from taxes.)  Further, there is absolutely no evidence that farms would have to liquidated to pay for the estate tax. In 2001, the American Farm Bureau Federation could not cite a single example of a farm being sold off to pay the estate tax and the CBO  has estimated that under the 2009 conditions only a handful of family farms would not have sufficient liquidity to pay the tax, but it said that it likely overestimated this number since the it couldn't include certain assets held in trust.

The take away is that  GT thinks that it is in our national security interest to help  the Koch brothers pass on their wealth to their heirs so that those heirs can continue the family war against ordinary Americans.