mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Monday, 26 August 2002

Unequal Relief

This pisses me off. Victims of terrorism certainly should get some support - that’s the function of government in a society. But why should that support take the form of tax relief? People who pay a lot of taxes - and therefore get the most benefit - are the ones who least need this (and witness the high threshold on death taxes forgiven; 8.5 million). They already have substantial assets and generous life insurance to take care of their survivors.
The guaranteed $10,000 payout is a joke; I know of at least one victim whose family would have received at least a $20,000,000 tax refund because of this (that’s 20 million, and in reality it was probably closer to 50, but let’s be conservative). Is that family’s loss 200 times greater than someone who only gets $10,000 back? On top of this, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that government compensation for 9-11 victims would be based on… you guessed it, the victim’s salary. Apparently, every man does have a price.