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Letters: Losers in the 'fiscal cliff' law

January 05, 2013

Re "Pawns in 'fiscal cliff' con game," Column, Jan. 2

Michael Hiltzik writes that there is an estate tax con: "There's no purer giveaway to the wealthy than this." Excuse me? This is their money. No wonder Republicans can't make good law with Democrats who think money belongs to the government before it is returned to taxpayers.

And the reason only 50 small farms and businesses paid any estate tax in 2011 is because the first $5 million in inheritance was exempted from being taxed. It is not a con to say lowering that exemption to $1 million would hurt small farms and businesses. It would. Fortunately Congress agreed to keep the exemption at its current level.

Hiltzik is preaching class warfare.

Ronald Carlson

Ventura

Hiltzik says we Americans were conned in accepting the "fiscal cliff" agreement. What's his point?

We were conned by the George W. Bush administration for eight years. We are conned by the oil companies as they fluctuate their prices, gradually raising the price of gas to a level calmly accepted by the public. We are conned by insurers who constantly raise their premiums to increase their profits.

Last but not least, we have been more than conned by a Congress that does the bidding of corporate lobbyists, its real constituents, not the voters.

Bob Murtha

Santa Maria

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