Thursday, April 14, 2005

Paris Hilton...Come On Down!

Well, it looks like the Congress is set to pass the estate tax bill and the bankruptcy bill. Short version: Rich people can keep their money, poor people can't.

"We're very optimistic," Ryan Peebles, senior manager of legislative affairs at the National Federation of Independent Business said of the estate tax bill. "These people worked hard for their money. Well, their grandparents worked hard for the money, these people can't do anything at all. And that's the point. Could Paris Hilton get a real job? I don't think so."

"We all realize that the government must have revenues and that taxes are a necessary evil," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, "But that's for poor and middle class people. This estate tax inconveniences rich people. It's just evil because it takes away the American dream from too many spoiled rich kids, and it's only coincidental that they vote Republican."

When asked if he was aware that the Internal Revenue Service said just over 2 percent of people who died in 2001 left estates subject to taxation, Hastert replied, "That's just who I'm talking about. Why should the sons and daughters of those people give up their winter homes in Jamaica, their yachts, their ability to contribute large sums of money to my campaign? Oops. Did I say that last part out loud?"

The financial services industry has been pushing for bankruptcy legislation for eight years, arguing that it frequently is the last refuge of multimillionaires — often celebrities — who buy mansions in states with liberal homestead exemptions to shelter assets from creditors. "We thought about just asking those states to change their laws, but that was too easy," Speaker Hastert explained. "Besides, as Republicans, we're not too fond of celebrities anyway. Well, excepting Pat Boone of course, and maybe Donny Osmond."

When asked if he was aware that new personal bankruptcy filings declined to 1,599,986 from 1,613,097 in the year ending last June 30, and that between 30,000 and 210,000 people who file for bankruptcy each year would be disqualified from doing so under the legislation, Hastert replied, "Yeah, we know that, but it's a chance to get Michael Moore after his tax audit so we had to take it."

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