Dear Free Press Editor,

This Spring the U.S. Senate will bring to the floor what could accurately be called the "Revive Feudalism Bill" or the "Paris Hilton Tax Relief Act of 2006." It is likely the estate tax will be eliminated or gutted. Bush tax adviser Grover Norquist has said that if their side wins on this issue- over time-  they will win on all the issues.

Currently the first $2 million are exempted and the tax rate above that level is 45%. A compromise is likely to push up the exemption level but more importantly decrease the tax rate to 15%. This will amount to a windfall for the heirs of tycoons. Wealth will stay in the same hands creating a class of ruling family dynasties.

Some of the same people who say low-income single mothers ought to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, have no qualms about setting up their children with a portfolio to manage poolside. Clearly, lower taxes on wealth will cause higher taxes on work and the starving of the New Deal. G.O.P. stands for Greedy One Percent.

Another aspect of eliminating the estate tax is the effect of charitable giving. A cornerstone of the Conservative agenda is to transfer responsibility for the safety-net from the government to charities. But a government report by a Bush appointee found that eliminating or reducing the estate tax will lower charitable giving by up to 12%. This would be a big hit for colleges, hospitals, museums and even churches. The Ohio State University could see the loss of tens of millions of dollars yearly driving up tuition costs. But no one there speaks out because the Board of Trustees is packed with tycoons who serve their own self-interest.

The Dispatch editorial board prides itself on its hawkish budget positions. However, it has ducked editorializing on the estate tax. I urge readers to call the editorial page editor and ask why. And let the offices of Senators DeWine and Voinovich know that estate tax cuts are not acceptable. America was not intended to be ruled by as an aristocracy. More tax cuts for the idle rich should not come on the backs of the working and middle classes.

Respectfully submitted,

D.P. Zimmerman
Columbus OH 43220