To the deep consternation of many of the richest 1% of Americans, Majority Leader Bill 'Bill' Frist has announced that the Senate will not make the repeal of the estate tax it's first order of business upon resuming work today.
"The president wants us to work on an aid package for Hurricane Katrina victims, but I'm not so sure. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. But what the heck, he's got a point. Appearances are everything."
Many Americans who are wealthy-but-fading-fast are enraged that the issue will not come up for a vote for another week or so. Harry Puddingham is one example of golden wormbait who promises not to die until the repeal is a done deal.
"It's outrageous," he tells us. "You pay these crippling taxes all your life - at least if you don't have a good accountant - and then when you go to your final reward - or die, anyway - they come around for another heaping helping of your hospitality."
The estate tax currently exempts the first 1.5 million dollars of an estate from taxes, although that amount is set to rise annually until the year 2010, when there will be a one year moratorium on all taxes. (Many of America's wealthiest citizens are expected to spend that year in undisclosed locations.)
Some conservatives have been worried about whether they can get the required sixty votes to overcome a filibuster on the repeal, but Frist says that it should be no problem.
"I've been working with Trent [Lott] to rename and reposition the bill, and I think it'll be read to fly in the next week or so. We're calling it the 'Big Easy' bill, and launching a promotional campaign to honor our dead in New Orleans through it's passage. We don't think that the corpses of the Big Easy should have to pay any estate tax, and I'm willing to bet that most Americans will agree with us."
©2005, M Hoback