Democrats are marketing an impending estate-tax hike as a way to force frivolous American heiresses to pay their fair share and contribute to society. That’s only a small part of the story, though. Much of the tax revenue will actually be collected from small-scale farms and ranches in the American heartland. For these families, it will be devastating.
Many family farm and ranch owners are far from rich, regardless of how they look on paper. They clip coupons and live harvest to harvest, investing a lifetime of profits back into the family business. Around 85 percent of their assets are illiquid, according to national statistics.