Because somebody is about to be blowing up your ass. And it may be the House GOP leaders.

They’re proposing again to eliminate the estate tax. As Washington Post writers Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and Jonathan Weisman recently put it

The very rich and the merely rich are fighting over the fate of the estate tax.

So far, the very rich are winning.

But they are helped by Times-Dispatch writer Michael Hardy, who begins his story today “House Republicans yesterday promised to fight for tax relief for family-owned businesses….”

To be fair, it’s not just the House GOP. Our fair-haired Democratic nominee for governor is not be outdone by Jerry Kilgore. Tim Kaine, too, wants to eliminate the estate tax. But the rouse they all allow to fester is that eliminating it will somehow save family-owned businesses. But what if we kept the exemption at what it currently is – $3.5 million? Here’s what Birnbaum and Weisman found out.

Clearly, however, the benefits would not be widespread. A new study by the Congressional Budget Office concluded that a $3.5 million exemption in 2000 would have forced a mere 94 family-owned businesses and 65 family farms to pay any estate tax — which works out to 0.007 percent of adult deaths that year. Only 54 such enterprises would have had to liquidate assets to pay the taxes, the study added.

Fifty-four, or on average, about one per state. Ok, who is the most powerful small businessman in Virginia? Whoever he is, he’s got the power to move the entire political machinery to his singular benefit.