SPINNING THE MYTH….Remember all those poor heartland families who were supposedly being forced to sell the family farm when dear old dad died? The Congressional Budget Office went looking for them, but came up emptyhanded:

The number of farms on which estate tax is owed when the owners die has fallen by 82 percent since 2000, to just 300 farms, as Congress has more than doubled the threshold at which the tax applies, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released last week.

All but 27 farmers left enough liquid assets to pay taxes owed, the budget office found, although it hinted that the actual number might be zero.

….President Bush, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have asserted that the estate tax is destroying family farms. None, however, have cited a case of a farm lost to estate taxes, although in June 2001 Mr. Bush said he had talked to such farmers.

June 2001 was four years ago. If there were even one single family farm that had been lost to the estate tax during that time, I’m pretty sure Bush would have found it by now. As an expert quoted by the Times said, “this is a myth that has been well spun.”

The CBO report is here if you want to peruse it yourself.