Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez offered a baffling defense of the death tax Wednesday during a hearing examining the sometimes unbearable burden it places on family farms and businesses.
People receiving food stamps have to pass drug tests or meet work requirements to receive taxpayer dollars, Sanchez reasoned, so it’s only fair that those “lucky” enough to inherit wealth should have to do something to earn it or, in this case, pay a tax.
“What work requirements are there to inherit up to $10 million tax free?” she asked a witness, rhetorically.
“Why is that [a single mother] should be drug tested, which is an unrelated requirement to receive food assistance, to make sure that her family has enough to eat,” she asked. “And people who are lucky enough to inherit millions of dollars are literally required to do nothing to get the federal tax benefit with their inheritance?”
Sanchez acknowledged that Americans should value hard work, but bemoaned the “paradox” that occurs when they want to work hard so they can accumulate wealth to live off of in retirement and pass on to their children.
“We don’t believe in an aristocracy, or that it’s a good societal thing for dynasties to hoard their wealth and leave the rest to fight over the crumbs,” she said. “That’s just not how this country was founded.”