Thursday, September 01, 2005

stepping out of the mommy blog...

hat today to do some advocacy.

I was reading this article on about the Senate's proposed efforts to repeal the estate tax. It occurred to me that it is utterly ridiculous to give a tax cut to anyone, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, while our country is going through a national disaster the way that we are right now. There are many appeals going around to raise funds for the victims of Katrina, but frankly, private charities are only ever going to go so far. Will they be rebuilding the bridges, hospitals, sewer systems, police stations, firehouses, schools, and highways that were destroyed by the storm? No, that role will fall (as it should) to our government at all levels. Will they be providing health care and unemployment income to the many workers who lost their jobs and health care coverage? No, again, this will fall (as it should) to our government. Why on earth would we consider cutting taxes on any group of people when we don't yet know what the cost of rebuilding will be?

I was inspired to send the following letter to my US Senators. I hope you'll contact your senators as well--if you need to find contact info for them, go here. This isn't a rich thing or a poor thing. This is a civilized society thing.

Honorable Senator X & Y,

As I write to you today, the Gulf Coast of our country is flooded, and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Clearly, the damage will run into the tens of billions of dollars, and indeed, cannot be measured in mere economic terms. Residents of those affected states have experienced significant emotional and physical devastation as well.

It was with some shock, therefore, that I read that the U.S. Senate is planning to meet next week to repeal the estate tax. Our country is in turmoil, and the federal government will need to step in to rebuild infrastructure in those states that are hardest hit by the devastation. How can the Senate possibly consider reducing a source of income (particularly one that benefits the very rich) when we have no way of knowing what the costs of rebuilding Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama are likely to be?

I think it is fair to say, as well, that a greater number of people from those states will need access to government social service programs, too. Hard-working people who have lost everything should be able to get health care, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and other services as they rebuild their lives. Why would we cut a source of revenue that could help pay for these programs, to make people’s lives a little easier during this time of need?

I strongly urge you to oppose the repeal of the estate tax, and to use your influence in the Senate to ensure that it is not repealed. It is not right to lower taxes on the richest 2% of Americans--or any other group--while our country is in a state of crisis. I look forward to your response.


• Posted By landismom @ 9/01/2005 02:03:00 PM
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