If legislative ambulance chasing looks like a desperate measure, for the backers of repealing the estate tax, these are desperate times. Just three weeks ago, their long-sought goal of repeal seemed within reach, but Katrina dashed their hopes when Republican leaders put off an expected vote. After hearing from Sessions, Apolinsky, an estate tax lawyer who says his firm includes three multi-billionaires among its clients, mobilized the American Family Business Institute, a Washington-based group devoted to estate tax repeal. They reached out to members along the Gulf Coast to hunt for the dead.And are they even abashed by the press attention? No.
For now, getting repeal back on the agenda may depend on Apolinsky and his team of estate-sniffing sleuths, who are searching Internet obituaries among other places. Has he found any victims of both the hurricane and the estate tax? "Not yet," Apolinsky says. "But I'm still looking."
Perhaps "ghouls" isn't strong enough a word for this. Even ghouls have a sense of shame.
I was directed to this via Atrios, and mention it only to add this comment: the dead are the ultimate dispossessed, the final voiceless. This, at a minimum, is why we honor them; rather than exploit them.
Or at least why we should.