US Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA8) is widely rumored to be considering a run for governor in 2016. And what better way to prepare for a campaign than to suck up to Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen by repeating his editorial board’s shameless anti-estate tax lies?
In my home state there are numerous examples of the harmful impact of the death tax. In Seattle, permanent relief from the death tax is critical for family-owned businesses like the Seattle Times Company, which is a fourth and fifth-generation family business. And, in my own District, in Issaquah, Washington, last year, a family had to make the difficult choice to sell their farm which had been family run for over 120 years. That is a devastating decision to have to make, and they are not alone in making it.
That was from Reichert’s opening remarks at a March 18 congressional hearing on “The Burden of the Estate Tax on Family Businesses and Farms,” and it is of course a total fucking lie. As I painstakingly documented last August, there is absolutely no way the McBride family was forced to sell the family farm in order to pay either the state or federal estate tax, because 1) Ralph McBride’s property was too small to be subject to either the state or federal estate tax, 2) working farms are entirely exempt from Washington’s estate tax, and 3) the McBride property was not a working farm!
The story is simply not true. In fact, there is zero evidence of a family ever being forced to sell the farm in order to pay off the estate tax, anywhere ever. And yet there goes Reichert, faithfully reading this bullshit into the congressional record.
And this is what makes the Seattle Times’ shameful anti-estate tax lies so pernicious: they have knowingly provided the anecdotal foundation upon which future anti-estate tax lies will be built, all in the service of exacerbating our crisis of grotesque wealth inequality by a repealing a tax that 99.85 percent of estates will never pay.