There's been a lot of discussion about the death tax. It's not the death tax. It's the estate tax. But there is a death tax that is paid by Americans to sustain and support this country, and it's terribly unfair because it falls on a very few.

In Iraq, it has fallen upon 2,480 of our soldiers. And in Afghanistan, it has fallen on others. It also falls upon the police and the fire officers who each day risk their lives and some who give their lives. They truly pay the death tax.

They will never be touched by this estate tax. The average pay of a specialist in the United States Army is $24,000, the base pay. He won't be worrying, nor his family be worrying about the estate tax.

Firefighters make about $40,000. Police officers $47,000 on average in this country.

Yet sadly too many of them each year pay the death tax for this country.

It's more demanding, more debilitating than any check one sends to the IRS, but what do they need? What do their families need? They certainly need a strong, robust economy that will support their family in the future.

For those young Americans who are wounded in action, and right now in Iraq 17,869, they need a strong Veterans Administration to support them years from now, just when this estate tax burden is taking more and more money away from the federal revenues.

They're the ones who really pay the cost, and if we pass this measure, we won't be able to help them when they need the help. We won't be able to support a Veterans Administration system. We won't be able to provide the kind of support for education, opportunities to get higher education that will be so necessary for their children.

This repeal process misses the point.

The death tax was a cute slogan thought up by Republican operatives to sell an idea that didn't have compelling economic matter.

But there is a real death tax and sadly Americans must pay it every day.

They will receive no benefit from this repeal and indeed our ability to help them and their families will be limited in the years ahead.

This is not just bad economics, and bad policy, it's unconscionable.