Friday, May 26, 2006

** Dick ** Rove ** Bush ** Lay **

The names of the people in recent scandal-driven headlines are enough to make one blush: ** Dick ** Rove ** Bush ** Lay ** !!! Toss into the confusion the one-word difference between William Jefferson and William Jefferson Clinton, and it's not surprising that all the sexual innuendo has people once again pondering what "is" is.

Seriously, what I find most difficult to comprehend is how it is possible for Lay, who was found guilty by a jury on every count with which he was charged, to continue to remain free on bond until his sentencing hearing in September. Lay was also found guilty in a separate case of one count of bank fraud and three counts of making false statements to banks. The charges against Lay carry a maximum penalty in prison of 45 years for the corporate trial and 120 years in the banking trial.

I know that Lay had to relinquish his passport. He also posted a $5 million bond secured with family-owned properties, but I tend to believe that's pocket change for someone who, along with his sidekick Skilling, invested close to $70 million into their legal defense. I wonder what the Vegas odds are that this guy is going the route of illegal emigrant. Why isn't this guy locked up NOW? What a country! Everyone is equal -- unless you're rich.

Only in George Bush's America could 18 families worth a total of $185.5 billion have financed and coordinated a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to repeal the federal estate tax, a move that would collectively net them a windfall of $71.6 billion (see United for a Fair Economy report). The Senate is expected to attempt to repeal the federal estate tax in the first several months of 2006. The House of Representatives passed a repeal measure in April 2005.

Repealing the estate tax will cost the U.S. Treasury $1 trillion over the first ten years of full repeal. Passing the repeal will make it so that 99.73% of all estates will be able to pass on 100% of their assets to heirs tax-free (see United for a Fair Economy report). What a country -- especially if you're rich!!!


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