Just recently, the small-business boogeyman came up in the debate over the estate tax — specifically, whether it is unfair to impose a tax on estates in excess of $7 million per couple (the level this year) or whether the first $10 million of every estate should be exempt from taxation. Predictably, the advocates of the $10 million proposal, Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), raised the small business/family farm canard. “Many have relatively low profit margins and are considered ‘wealthy’ by the government only because they own expensive equipment or land,” they wrote in a letter to The Post.
It appears to me that the only real argument the two political parties seem to really have in terms of tax policy is one of definition. By that I mean the definition of the words small, as in “small business”, and the word middle, as in “middle class”.
Very few, if any, of the mom and pop businesses our the family farmers in America if asked would think that their fellows with an estate of 7 – 10 million dollars were small. Just like, if you asked Americans whose family incomes fall within the middle three quintiles, in other words the real “middle class”, what an income of $250,000 per year constituted…The answer you received wouldn’t have the word middle in it.
So maybe, what American politics really need isn’t bi-partisanship…They just need a dictionary where the words really mean what the words really mean.
Just musing on a Sunday morning…