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Of, by, and for the plutocrats

I get emails at work solely because I’m a lawyer, and not because I have ever had anything to do with the sender or the area of the law to which they happen to cater. They usually go straight to trash, but today I followed a link in one of them, a site called Here’s the story:

South Dakota Sen. John Thune and other top Republicans recently announced their intentions to launch a new drive to repeal the estate tax next year, while pulling back on efforts to force a year-end vote aimed at blocking proposed Treasury Department regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 2704.

No matter how much they may cut spending, the fact is that a repeal of the estate tax will amount to yet another shift in the tax burden from the rich to those folks who voted for Trump because he was the guy who was going to rescue the white working guy and gal from an economic system that was rigged against them. Well, unsurprisingly, here’s more rigging. South Dakota went for Trump, of course. I would hazard a guess that less than 1% of the denizens of that state, and probably even a lesser percent of the Trump voters, have to worry about paying the estate tax. But if it is repealed, then each of them will shoulder a bigger relative tax burden. Who knows, maybe 1% of them will figure out that they’ve been royally scammed, but don’t count on it. Senator Thune is certainly serving his constituents well, isn’t he.

The purpose of the estate tax, by the way, is not so much to get revenue, though it does do that. It is supposed to protect us from an entrenched plutocracy. So, it makes sense, as we watch democracy give way to plutocracy, that the estate tax would be the first thing to go.

Postscript: If you follow the link to the article at, you’ll see an interesting picture of Thune. I don’t know if it is deliberate, but the picture is taken in such a way as to make it look like Thune is boasting a halo. I guess to the people at Wealth Management, he is.

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