On June 10, Congressman Sam Graves published comments in the Courier-Tribune stating that the latest proposed tax plan will hurt family farms. What he didn’t say was that the federal inheritance tax, which Republicans have cunningly labeled the “death tax," is not something the majority of us need to worry about because it only kicks in if your assets are over $11.58 million. You have to die rich. The estate pays the tax before transferring the inherited property.

Congressman Graves chose to use this issue to avoid discussing more pressing issues facing the rest of us. He could have used his column to focus on infrastructure, climate change, voting rights or a bipartisan commission on the Jan. 6th Trump insurrection that continues to threaten our democracy.

Or he could have used his column to focus on how our state is handling the more deadly coronavirus variant now infecting the unvaccinated in our state.

He could have pledged to get 70% of Missourians fully vaccinated. Our state is 38% fully vaccinated. Only 12 states are doing worse.

He could have volunteered his private plane to deliver vaccines to his district’s rural homebound and those who do not have easy access to a clinic.

There is more leadership on vaccines coming from Kansas City Chiefs players Tyrann Mathieu and Travis Kelce than we are getting from our congressman. Mathieu and Kelce are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated from the dangerous variant expected to surge this fall. We don’t have much time left to reach herd immunity.

But our congressman made his priorities clear. He used his column to argue that the rich need protection from the federal inheritance tax. That’s the issue he thought deserved his attention. He chose to protect the rich.

The rest of us are on our own.

Bernadine Kline


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