To the Editor:
It's apparently something in Republicans' DNA that causes them to embrace rewarding the wealthy at the expense of the public good.
Take Ohio Gov. Kasich's new plan to replace income taxes with sales taxes as the top revenue generator for Ohio. Rather than reducing the widening gap between the very rich and poor/middle class, Kasich's plan actually accelerates it by doubling down on more breaks for the well-to-do at the expense of the average citizen.
Some particulars of this latest reverse Robin Hood scheme break new ground in indecency. For example: Over many years, Republicans have shamelessly termed the estate tax as "the death tax." But quite unlike death, the federal estate tax applies to only the ultra-wealthy. It currently kicks in only for estates worth more than $5.3 million, basically the famed "1 percenters." Many low-information voters have been fooled into supporting the elimination of this "death tax." And in Ohio last year, the Republican-dominated legislature did just that by abolishing altogether the estate tax at the state level.
But here's the irony: Kasich's 2013 plan proposes a new levy that truly qualifies as a "death tax," since it applies to all state residents who pass away. Yes, Gov. Kasich may now be considered Ohio's Grim Reaper since his proposal calls for extending sales taxes on all funeral expenses in Ohio, a category of cost currently exempt from taxation, thus giving grieving families one more reason to mourn.
You can be dirt poor in Ohio, but soon you may be paying a new GOP sales tax when you bury your loved one.