Keep the Death Tax Dead

Mr.Conley

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
1,958
Reaction score
115
Points
48
Location
New Orleans, LA/Cambridge, MA
Here's an issue close to my heart that I firmly believe we as a nation need to address. The Death Tax hurts America, the economy and the people. It's time for it to go.
http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed083005e.cfm said:
In Washington, nothing’s certain except death, taxes and special-interest lobbying groups. So it makes sense that the death tax has its own lobbyists.

That’s right. “Americans for a Fair Estate Tax” knows a Senate vote is coming soon, and they’re hard at work. Their Web site describes the group as “a coalition fighting to preserve a fair estate tax.” Of course, the name of the group is itself misleading.

There’s nothing fair about the estate tax, or as some of us prefer to call it, the death tax. It hits people at the worst possible time. Just as they’re dealing with the passing of a loved one, they must settle an estate with the IRS, a process that can be costly. Many families have been forced to sell their land or shutter the family business just to pay the death tax, which can seize up to half of a dead person’s assets.

Congress has taken sensible steps to phase out the death tax. It’s scheduled to decline every year until 2010, when it will finally disappear. But unless lawmakers act to make that permanent, the death tax will return in 2011 -- at the same high rates that existed in 2002.

So, why would anyone want to protect a measure that makes even dying a taxable event?

“Americans for a Fair Estate Tax” explains in a set of handy talking points, available on its Web page. For one thing, it claims the federal government can’t afford to cut the death tax. “We are facing deficits as far as the eye can see, and Congress will vote this year on cuts in important programs,” the group insists.

Well, Congress often votes on spending cuts. The problem is, it seldom approves the cuts. Over the last five years, federal spending has increased 33 percent. So when you get right down to it, the budget could stand a little cutting.

Besides, the death tax itself carries hidden costs. Heritage Foundation economist William Beach estimates that the federal estate tax alone costs the U.S. between 170,000 and 250,000 potential jobs each year. These jobs never materialize because the investments that would have created them aren’t made. By repealing the death tax, we’d allow the economy to create even more jobs, which would make all of us better off.

The pro-death tax lobbyists also claim, “Repeal or bad reform of the estate tax would have a damaging effect on the nation’s charities.” But this doesn’t pan out, either.

The Congressional Joint Economic Committee reports that charitable bequests in 2003 reached a record $21.6 billion -- a 25 percent increase from 1999. And that’s with the death-tax rate declining and set to go even lower in years to come. If anything, the death tax crowds out charitable giving: The larger the share of an estate the government seizes, the less money remains for survivors to support worthy causes.

Finally, the group claims, “A fair estate tax supports the underlying values of the American dream.” Not really. Americans have always understood the danger of over-taxation and fought against it.

This country was born out of a tax revolt. In our earliest days, the Boston Tea Party and the slogan “No taxation without representation” symbolized our aversion to taxes. Today, even low-wage earners are willing to hire a tax preparer to make sure they pay as little as possible. So it’s difficult to believe that Americans support a policy that takes from the dead to feed the federal coffers.

When the Senate returns, it’s expected to consider a measure that would permanently repeal the death tax. The House has already passed a similar bill. Senators should do the right thing and put both “Americans for a Fair Estate Tax” -- and the death tax itself -- out of business for good.

Ed Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org), a Washington–based public policy research institute.
 

Bullypulpit

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
5,849
Reaction score
382
Points
48
Location
Columbus, OH
The estate tax, as it stands, affects only those estates valued at $3 million or greater...a tiny minority of estates. But more importantly, estate taxes help prevent the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, the ultimate result of which is the formation of an aristocracy.
 
OP
M

Mr.Conley

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
1,958
Reaction score
115
Points
48
Location
New Orleans, LA/Cambridge, MA
The estate tax, as it stands, affects only those estates valued at $3 million or greater...a tiny minority of estates. But more importantly, estate taxes help prevent the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, the ultimate result of which is the formation of an aristocracy.
The estate tax can and does also affect farmers and businessmen large and small. In addition, it also discourages economic growth. It takes away money that rightfully belongs to the people.
 

Dirt McGirt

Bad Mother****er
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
504
Points
48
The estate tax can and does also affect farmers and businessmen large and small. In addition, it also discourages economic growth. It takes away money that rightfully belongs to the people.
Agreed. I don't mind taxing the rich for their fair share...while they're still alive.

Besides, 3 million dollars isn't really that much money now a days compared to 20 years ago.
 

jillian

Princess
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
84,488
Reaction score
16,371
Points
2,220
Location
The Other Side of Paradise
The estate tax can and does also affect farmers and businessmen large and small. In addition, it also discourages economic growth. It takes away money that rightfully belongs to the people.
Actually, the family farm thing is anectodatal and, when asked for examples, the people who are pushing this issue have been resoundingly silent.

I love how you're all fighting for the right of George Bush and Paris Hilton to get money they didn't earn tax free.

You are aware it's about 14 families this is really an issue to. They're the ones who have funded the issue and lobbied the Repubs.

Right now, it's about 1 1/2 million that's exempt. I don't care if you raise the exemption to 6 million, but I'm sorry, the whole point of the Estate Tax was that we're not supposed to have a "landed gentry".
 

boedicca

Uppity Water Nymph
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
55,649
Reaction score
17,719
Points
2,250
Location
The Land of Funk
The estate tax, as it stands, affects only those estates valued at $3 million or greater...a tiny minority of estates. But more importantly, estate taxes help prevent the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, the ultimate result of which is the formation of an aristocracy.
Then it has sorely failed. The really massive wealth is held in trusts which are exempt from death taxes.
 
OP
M

Mr.Conley

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
1,958
Reaction score
115
Points
48
Location
New Orleans, LA/Cambridge, MA
Actually, the family farm thing is anectodatal and, when asked for examples, the people who are pushing this issue have been resoundingly silent.

I love how you're all fighting for the right of George Bush and Paris Hilton to get money they didn't earn tax free.

You are aware it's about 14 families this is really an issue to. They're the ones who have funded the issue and lobbied the Repubs.

Right now, it's about 1 1/2 million that's exempt. I don't care if you raise the exemption to 6 million, but I'm sorry, the whole point of the Estate Tax was that we're not supposed to have a "landed gentry".
There are farmers and small businesses who are adversely affected by the Death Tax. A surprising number are in California.

In addition, the Death Tax discourages economic growth by creating an incentive for families to constrain the size and value of their business and assets.

And while the very rich may benefit from the repeal, that doesn't mean the tax won't exist. Besides, is a nearly 50% tax rate in any way fair? That's just not right.
 

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top