Little or no Progressive legislation will be passed in the next few years. We will get no Victory. The die is cast.
The economic elites have learned our game and are one step ahead of us. They have bought off our easiest to buy congresscritters and Senators and told the Republicans to tow the line en masse or else.
Bankruptcy reform, prohibitions on usury, Cap and Trade... the Corporate Consensus will repel us. We can wish for the power to change this, but the simple fact is that we have far too many unprincipled Democrats in our caucus to move Progressive Legislation forward.
As evidence I offer here the response from Senator Maria Cantwell to my outrage at her support for eliminating the Estate Tax:
Dear Mr. Campbell,We can see which side 'progressive' Senator Cantwell's toast is buttered on the Estate Tax. Senator Cantwell is repeating Corporate talky points about the Estate Tax. Small businesses and farmers are clearly not the objective of Estate Taxes:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the estate tax. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
While I support the direction laid out in the budget resolution, I don't agree with every detailed proposal that President Obama has made. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee I will continue to work with the President and with my colleagues to draft legislation that strikes the right balance in how we collect and spend federal tax dollars so we can leave more than debt to the next generation.
In 2001, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (P.L. 107-16) was signed into law. This legislation gradually phases out the federal estate tax and eliminates it for the year of 2010. Under current law, in 2011, the estate tax is scheduled to return to the levels that existed in 2001, which would impose a rate of 55 percent on estates larger than $1 million.
A return to the 2001 estate tax levels would be unfair to many of America's small businesses and family farms, whose "estates" include land, property, or machinery that are necessary for them to continue operating as a business. A small farmer can easily exceed the $1 million estate limit when land and farming equipment are included. That farmer might not even be aware that the value of his farm land could subject him to the estate tax, and the heirs may be entirely unprepared when the IRS comes in to claim almost half of what he owns. These hardworking Americans should not feel pressured to spend limited resources on complex estate planning techniques just to pass along a viable business to their heirs. Washington state has a wealth of agriculture and small businesses, and I believe it is important to keep them in mind when weighing all the factors that surround this issue.
For too long, the debate over the estate tax has been polarizing and fiscally irresponsible. As you may know, during consideration of the budget resolution I voted in favor of a bipartisan amendment proposed by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) because it represented reasonable common ground and put this issue in the proper context. This amendment would allow for estate tax relief-beyond that which the President has called for-so long as the cost of that additional relief is fully offset.
Overall, Congress must make it a priority to simplify our tax code and make sure that everyone contributes their fair share in a way that does not cripple our working families or our businesses. Please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind as I to work with my colleagues to craft a well thought-out policy on estate taxes that is fiscally responsible. I will continue to push for a compromise that will truly help America prosper.
United States Senator
ONE OF THE chief arguments of those seeking permanent repeal of the estate tax is that it cruelly penalizes farmers and owners of small businesses whose heirs are forced to sell off their holdings to pay the tax. "In order to make sure our farms stay within our farming families, we need to get rid of the death tax once and for all," President Bush proclaimed in a speech last month to the Future Farmers of America.Am I angry? Yes. Will I vote for her again in Washington State? Of course. Will I giver her money? I seriously doubt it. Her grassroots are as dry as desert tubers.
This assertion, though, is more convenient myth than fact -- something that senators might consider when they're called on, perhaps as soon as this week, to vote on abolishing the tax. A new study by the Congressional Budget Office examined estate tax returns filed by farmers and owners of small businesses in 1999 and 2000. The numbers that owed estate tax, the CBO found, were paltry, and the number without enough cash on hand to pay the bill even punier: In 2000, for example, just 1,659 farm estates had taxes due, of which 138 didn't report enough liquid assets to cover their tax liability.
Yet, all is not lost.
Progressives have a Chief Executive who is pretty darned good, the ability to block more negative legislation, and the power to set the stage for the future through political appointments and hiring.
The perfect is still the enemy of the good.
Remember from whence we came:
Four years ago Bush/Cheney had somehow managed to get themselves another four years to destroy the country. We were ensnared in a white-hot conflict in Iraq with no end. We had a kleptocratic Congress in charge. The rule of law meant nothing and human rights even less.
We had no strength outside of the timber of our voices.
Now we have politicians who echo our voices daily in the MSM. The MSM itself is nowhere near the sycophantic enterprise it was four years ago.
Things have moved in a better direction.
But we have won nothing.
Never forget that.