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Hooray for the Death Tax! - by Larry Kudlow

Okay, so the estate tax cut went down in the Senate; class warriors rejoiced.

Congratulations to Democratic Senators, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieu, Ron Wyden, and Mark Pryor, who all voted against death tax repeal, after voting in favor of it a few years ago. At last! They have finally have come to their senses!

Congratulations are also in order for Republican Frank Keating. After crusading for abolition of the death tax when he was governor of Oklahoma, he is now getting right-sized in firm opposition as K Street's newest insurance lobby hero.

I think all of this is great. America should attack rich people. We must abolish wealth. It's a tremendous drag on our economy. It's high time that we made the rich, poor.

In fact, for all the xenophobes that want to depart the illegal immigrants who are helping our economy, may I respectfully suggest that their generals (i.e. Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan, and Tom Tancredo and company) consider expanding their dragnet? Let's deport rich people too!

These rich people are bad for America.

We don't want their ingenuity, or their entrepreneurship, or their capital investment. They are not crucial to creating new high growth companies and jobs. We just don't want them. Actually, I think we should figure out ways in the name of egalitarian socialism, to tax their dollars even more times. It definitely is right that they're not taxed enough.

So, in addition to taxing rich incomes, once as salaries, a second time as corporate profits, a third time as dividends, a fourth time as capital gains, and a fifth time at death, there must be a way to tax them again.

Perhaps, if they donate huge contributions to charities there should be a tax?

Or if they build a new church or synagogue, tax 'em. Or if they create another college, tax em. Or if they finance private scholarships, or inner city kids' education at parochial schools, or Hebrew schools, tax 'em. Or if they just go about their business and consume goods and services, can't we have a special tax surcharge? Or if they buy a new home that employs ten, twenty, or fifty construction workers, I say slap a high rich person's tax. Or if they hire a driver, tax 'em. If they show up at a five-star restaurant, tax 'em.

In fact, lets criminalize the entire class of successful American entrepreneurs. Let's haul out the Joint Tax Committee and Congressional Budget Office's distributional tables, and target the upper-end income earners for special wealth taxes.

I like the idea from my crazy Wall Street Journal editorial friends, who talk about "dying for dollars." Maybe we can even impose jail sentences for rich people! No more interest income just like the radical fundamentalist Muslims!

Let's publish their names in newspaper and blog sites. Let's encourage the class warfare, "soak the rich" advocates to swarm over them when they appear on streets and towns, just like the animal rights people, who throw paint on women in mink coats.

We must strive to make America like France or Germany--income leveling; income redistribution. Remember how well this worked with the old Soviet Union?

Actually, I checked the international tax tables and found that the U.S. only has the third highest estate tax rate of the top 50 countries. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Only third? We tax estates at a 46 marginal rate, but Japan is the best at 70 percent, followed by South Korea at 50 percent. We are pikers. We must not let this happen. How can we let Japan be ahead of us on taxing rich people?

The fact that 24 countries have a zero estate tax rate, including China, should not concern us. They don't know what they're doing. And, surely, we don't want to be competitive in the world economy. We want to hang a sign out: "Capitalists are unwelcome to the United States." Let's make the whole country like New York.

This idea of keeping more of what you earn and own is just plain stupid. In fact, this whole capitalistic notion, which is spreading worldwide, is just one of these temporary, bizarre, worldwide trends that will undoubtedly be soon reversed, as people come to their senses.

Czech Republic, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, they're obviously all nuts with their zero tax rates on estates. Did I say Mexico? That's perfect. As I said earlier, we will deport all our rich people to Mexico. At a zero estate tax rate, they're likely to produce and invest so much more, that they will completely revive the stagnant Mexican economy.

Instead of creating thousands of new businesses and millions of new jobs in America, along with funding schools, colleges, symphonies, cultural centers, hospitals, medical research and so forth, they can do it for Mexico. That of course will solve our immigration problem. What a great idea! Why didn't I think of this earlier?

Meanwhile, Senator Kyl's fallback position of a fifteen percent rate, after exempting the first five million dollars of an estate, is an equally demoralizing idea. That would move us much too close to Canada, Australia and Argentina, which also have a zero rate. That would also promote the foolish incentive idea that there is a link between reward and work, or reward and risk. This crazy, far-out, ultra right wing idea that it must pay after-tax to work and invest is insane.

After all, we know that the best way to generate more saving and investment in this country is to tax it more. That'll do the trick. Contrary to the brilliant Arthur Laffer, the tax the rich crowd must be exactly right with their newfangled, modernistic, 21st century idea that if you tax something more, we will get more of it. Huh?

This may all sound wrong, but these soak the rich guys are deep thinkers. They have their fingers on the pulse of the hundred million strong Investor Class. They know that the worldwide spread of free market economics, which was launched by Reagan and Thatcher, twenty-five years ago, and which has raised global prosperity to record heights, caused the phenomenal growth of middle classes in places like India, China, and Russia, along with record amelioration of poverty, is absolutely nuts.

After all, capital is the enemy of labor! Forget about the obvious fact that you can't create a new job without a business. And you can't fund a new business without capital. Forget all that. It's obviously wrong.

Once again, capital is the enemy. Rich people are evil. We have to put an end to all this capitalist, supply-side nonsense.

By the way, when is Karl Marx' birthday? I have to stop writing now, so I can go look it up. I can't wait to celebrate the master's birthday...