GOP Rep: Ranchers Plan To Die Sooner To Avoid Estate Taxes. Oh, Boo Hoo. At Least They Still Have Estates!


Have you ever noticed that while Republicans believe that millionaires deserve to keep every last penny to pass onto their children, they never mention the ordinary people who are forced to drain their estates in order to go into a nursing home under Medicaid? Why, you'd almost think they believe the wealthy have more of a right to hand their money off to their children than working people!

CHEYENNE -- U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis says some of her Wyoming constituents are so worried about the reinstatement of federal estate taxes that they plan to discontinue dialysis and other life-extending medical treatments so they can die before Dec. 31.

Lummis, a Republican who holds her state's lone seat in the House, declined to name any of the people who have made the comments.

But she said many ranchers and farmers in the state would rather pass along their businesses -- "their life's work" -- to their children and grandchildren than see the federal government take a large chunk.

"If you have spent your whole life building a ranch, and you wanted to pass your estate on to your children, and you were 88 years old and on dialysis, and the only thing that was keeping you alive was that dialysis, you might make that same decision," Lummis told reporters.

While it's true that some people are such control freaks that they might make decisions on that basis, what's the big deal? So given their druthers, they don't want the government to take their money. So?

I resent the idea that running a large agricultural (and most likely, tax-payer subsidized) enterprise is somehow a worthier enterprise and you deserve to keep that money in perpetuity. Maybe it's because Rep. Lummis manages Lummis Livestock, a family business started by her great-grandfather in 1919. Coincidentally, Lummis and her husband Al Wiederspahn also own two additional ranches.

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