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Shock! Fox News Promotes Republican Lie

Reported by Melanie - April 13, 2005

A segment titled "Kill the Death Tax?" aired today (April 13, 2005) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. Cavuto opened the segment asking whether some Americans should "have to pay an extra tax when they die," and telling his viewers that Republicans in the House took up that issue today.

Cavuto's guests were William Beach of the Heritage Foundation and Michael Graetz, of Yale University, and the author of a new book titled Death by a Thousand Cuts.

Graetz said the tax isn't a tax on a dead person, but on their heirs. He wondered why, given the deficit, "should we get through congress the Paris Hilton relief act?" (When Graetz spoke, the lower-third banner read: "Keep the Death Tax.")

Beach said the estate tax is a "tax on economic virtue." He said he's known "ordinary farmers, dry cleaner operators, small business people" who had "no idea that this tax was coming." He said they feel "betrayed by their country," and that it is an "immoral tax" and "it doesn't raise that much revenue." (When Beach spoke, the lower-third banner read: "Taxing the Dead.")

Graetz thought raising the minimum threshold to three, four, or five million dollars was a good idea, but Beach didn't. Beach said, "if we want to tax super-rich people we have a perfectly good tax system in place and it's called the income tax, and we have to eliminate the loopholes there."

Comment: The term "death tax" is a term invented by Republicans to scare the bejeebies out of every single American. The U.S. Tax Code doesn't mention "death taxes." There is no such thing as a "death tax," and there is no such thing as an automatic tax on death. Republicans want every American to think they will pay a "death tax." They want us all to be against the "death tax" (even though most of us will never pay a "death tax") because they want to eliminate the estate taxes their very rich friends pay. Here is the IRS chart on estate taxes. If you were to die today, you'd only pay "death taxes" if the value of your estate exceeded $l,500,000.00.

As for Beach's assertion that the estate tax "doesn't raise that much revenue," how does $290 billion over ten years sound?

Interesting that Neil Cavuto and the graphics department at Fox News used the fake and alarming term "death tax," instead of the proper term, "estate tax." I think I know whose side they're on.

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