THE HONOR SYSTEM….There are more ways to pass a law than to actually pass a law:
The administration plans to cut the jobs of 157 of the [Internal Revenue Service’s] 345 estate tax lawyers, plus 17 support personnel, in less than 70 days. Kevin Brown, an I.R.S. deputy commissioner, confirmed the cuts after The New York Times was given internal documents by people inside the I.R.S. who oppose them.
….Sharyn Phillips, a veteran I.R.S. estate tax lawyer in Manhattan, called the cuts a ?back-door way for the Bush administration to achieve what it cannot get from Congress, which is repeal of the estate tax.?
Actually, this makes sense. See, back when Clinton was president rich people cheated on their taxes a lot. It was all part of the decline in honor and dignity that the Clinton White House presided over, and that’s why he was forced to hire more estate tax lawyers during the 90s.
But that all changed when George Bush was elected, and now rich people feel downright embarrassed about using sophisticated estate planning services and dodgy asset valuation schemes to reduce their estate tax liability. This newfound respect for the law means that we just don’t need all those lawyers anymore. The super-rich can be trusted to do the right thing all on their own.