(cross-posted to the daily kos)
When Democrats like Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Max Baucus of Montana join Republicans (such as T.R. fan John McCain) by voting to repeal the Estate Tax in a time of war, as they are poised to do this week, I wonder what Teddy Roosevelt would say.
It was Republican President Teddy Roosevelt, after all, who introduced the idea of an inheritance tax in his speech The Man with the Muck-Rake, given exactly 100 years, one month, and eleven days ago today.
As TR told the people on April 14, 1906, "In Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' you may recall the description of the Man with the Muck-rake" who only looks down and rakes the vile and base that is beneath him, never looking up. "The men with the muck-rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck, and to look upward to the celestial crown above them, to the crown of worthy endeavor," TR said.
It was a time of sensationalist journalism, and polarized wealth. An "hourglass" economy, as it were. As TR denounced those in the press who raked nothing but muck, he also recognized the economic realities, and their political implications, of his day: