Tweak, don't kill, estate tax

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and others in the beef cattle industry are on the wrong side of the inheritance tax and capital gains tax (death tax) issue. They should be pushing for inflation indexing.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and others in the beef cattle industry are on the wrong side of the “death tax” issue. They've fallen for the line advanced by the super rich — that all inheritance taxes are wrong. There are many good arguments for a fair inheritance tax.

What makes inheritance taxes unfair, particularly for farmers and ranchers, is property is often held for many years before the death of its owner. To tax the full capital gain is wrong because much of the value, in some cases virtually all of it, is the result of inflation. NCBA should be pushing for inflation indexing.

The same goes for capital gains tax. Those who earn money on relatively short-term investments (up to two years or probably longer) should pay regular capital gains tax on the full amount they earn. On the other hand, property held for many years should be indexed to inflation.

Over the last few years, the administration and our legislators have worked very hard at reducing taxes for the wealthiest citizens. The middle class, when Social Security and Medicare taxes are figured in, now pays as high of a percentage of their income to the federal government as the very wealthy.

Most of today's farmers and ranchers are far from rich. They don't need to join hands with the wealthy. With inflation indexing for both inheritance and capital gains taxes, those who can afford it will pay a fairer share of federal taxes. To eliminate these taxes across the board only means the government will go further into debt, or the middle class will have to pay higher taxes — probably both.
Keith Evans
St. Joseph, MO

April cover line disappointing

Usually I'm very pleased with your publication, but I was disappointed to see the April issue cover line, “All the sex you want,” used to hype the sexed-semen article in that issue. Since when does BEEF magazine have to use sex on its front cover to “sell” magazines? Surely you could have come up with another catchy phrase for this article without lowering yourselves to “selling sex.”
Tobina Norris

BVD is a misnamed disease

During a conversation on bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) with a consulting feedlot veterinarian, he commented that BVD is really a misnomer, as diarrhea isn't — as earlier believed — one of the more common symptoms of the disease. He suggested a better name would be bovine immuno-deficiency virus (BIDV).

My professional communications background has taught me that effective naming is vital to the impact of any communications effort. Effective positioning of a concept is greatly enhanced when we apply appropriate, descriptive and meaningful names.

Since immuno-suppression, or immuno-deficiency, better describe the fundamental problem with this costly livestock disease, why not start calling it BIVD?

Wouldn't it be better if all researchers, educators and marketers driving awareness of this disease gave it a stronger, more descriptive name? It would more effectively reach and positively impact the intended audience. And, we'd no longer find people confusing the outdated term of BVD, with underwear!
S.R. Stromberg
Scandia, MN