What Can We Do To Soothe The Pain Of The Wealthy?

As Krugman points out, not only are they rich, they whine that they're not richer:

Digby finds another hard-working, wealth-creating salt of the earth type complaining about the possibility of higher taxes: Ben Stein. I think I need a drink.

But being the nerd I am, this is what caught my eye in the Stein rant:

I worked for almost every dollar I have, except for a small percentage my parents left me by virtue of hard work and Spartan living, and most of that was taken by the federal estate tax.

OK, the late, great — and I mean that — Herbert Stein died in 1999. At that time the first $650,000 of an estate was tax-free — $1.3 million for a couple, provided it did what CBO calls “minimally competent estate planning” — with a 55% tax on the amount above that.

So either Ben Stein inherited several million dollars — which, although this may be news to him, is not the experience of most Americans — or he’s just making stuff up.


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