Thune omits facts on inheritance tax

Sen. Thune's recent column in the Journal about the estate tax (he calls it "the death tax") was just more "doom and gloom, fear and smear" that the GOP likes to use when describing the hardship this tax causes farmers/ranchers.

First, it only pertains to farmers whose assets are over $5.49 million (single) or $10.98 million (married), and then they're only taxed on the amount over those limits. Second, it affected "just 0.4 percent or 153 farms out of 38,328 farm estates in 2016 for the entire USA." "In addition, if the land remains in agriculture for another 10 years or more, an additional $1 million special use valuation is allowed, too." If more farmers would select this provision, its estimated that fewer than 20 farmers a year would be required to pay any federal estate taxes; just 20. Despite these numbers, Thune thinks it’s a huge problem for farmers/ranchers but in reality it’s only a huge problem for millionaires.

Now you know why Sen. Thune didn't use any statistics to back up his commentary. (Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Journal Magazine, Legacy Counselors and USDA Economic Research Service.

Rick McGrath


Name change a good decision

This Journal reader was happy to read an Associated Press article in the October 19th Journal. The article "At Mississippi school: Goodbye Confederacy; hello, Obama" told about a name change at a Jackson, Mississippi, elementary school. A school named years ago for Confederate President Jefferson Davis will be changing its name to the Obama to honor Barack Obama "in a move proposed by parents and approved by a majority of students, parents, faculty and staff members."

This Journal reader was happy to have a chance to shake hands and talk with Obama when he came to Rapid City in 2008 to campaign. I think that we will see many more schools and other public facilities renamed for Obama in future years to honor a good family man, a religious man, a good president, and a true American leader.

Obama wasn't perfect (nobody is), but just like the guys on Mount Rushmore he did his best to help our country.

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David Nickel


Believing doesn't make science true

In response to the letter writer who wrote about Sanford Lab: Science may be true whether you believe it or not, but believing doesn’t necessarily make it true.

Dorothy Cummins Schmitendorf

Rapid City

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