Estate and Death Taxes, one and the same.

It was at one of those huge rallies last year , the raucous crowd hanging and cheering on their new leaders’ every word,. that Mr.Trump said, almost word for word, that he was going to help all the “working men” there by finally getting rid of the “death tax” (which is the perjorative term for estate tax). There was a deafening cheer from the crowd.

One wonders if the cheering working folks knew that the “death tax” had virtually no application to them. The current exemption is five million dollars, and married couples really don’t pay estate taxes unless their combined estate exceeds ten million dollars. Of course Mr. Trump had to know that. And he had to know that the cheering crowd didn’t know that. But he reveled in the cheering while the crowd members were making fools of themselves.

Actually, this was the disqualifier for me. I was always looking to give him the benefit of the doubt, trying to attribute good will to him in spite of his often outrageous statements and behavior, trying to rationalize him as a potential force for moving our country forward during challenging times. And I am sure everyone cheering there was already persuaded that his heart was in the right place. But Mr. Trump had to know that estate taxes had virtually no effect on the crowd’s financial situation. After all, he claimed many times that he was an expert on our tax code. So no, his heart was not in the right place. His words were intended to deceive.

In algebra, one can multiply 1000 positive numbers together, and one arrives at a positive number. But if only one number (out of the 1000)  in the string is negative, the result will always be negative. In any due diligence, it really is critical to pay attention to that one negative number often hiding in plain sight. It is alas more and more apparent, now that he is president, that there were a lot more negative numbers that we voters failed to catch.

Yes, there seems to be something amiss in the water supply. Are we not losing our sense as a people?

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