By Laurence Verga
Next year will be a very expensive year to die, thanks to the Democratic Congress.
Last week Congressman Tom Perriello (D-Va.) once again voted in lockstep with the liberal Democratic Congress and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this time to increase the death tax from 0% in 2010 to an egregious 45%.
Perriello’s tax increase is a devastating double tax on income that destroys jobs, makes it harder for the next generation of a family-owned business to prosper, and discourages families from achieving the American dream. With over 10% unemployment, there could not be a worse time than now to raise taxes on hard-working Virginians.
I agree with Steve Forbes, “No taxation without respiration.” I support the permanent and final death of the death tax.
The death tax hampers the economy because it takes capital out of the system and gives it to an inefficient government. Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimated that 1.5 million new jobs could be created nationwide simply by abolishing the death tax. Other estimates show that this job creation would increase income tax revenues by as much as $23.3 billion annually.
So why did Congressman Perriello vote for a tax that deters job creation and IRS revenues? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d wager that his liberal allies in Congress nudged him to support a tax that they think mistakenly believe falls on the wealthy, one of their favorite targets. However, this a proven misconception, as a disproportionate number of estate tax filers are family-business owners.
According to the Joint Economic Committee, from 1995-2005 federal estate tax filers included 37,000 “closely-held businesses,” 24,000 family farms, 50,000 limited-partnerships and nearly 28,000 “other” non-corporate businesses (such as sole proprietorships). It’s important to remember that these businesses have already been paying their fair share of taxes each and every year.
This final death tax is the most heinous of them all, making it more difficult for the next generation to keep the business open and prosper.
Most family-owned businesses have the majority of their wealth tied up in hard assets such as buildings and equipment; this is especially true in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District where family farms are a significant portion of the overall economy.
When the grim reaper arrives, many grieving families are forced to sell off significant amounts of their assets, just to pay a tax to an IRS that would actually receive more money if the tax was abolished. Does this make any sense?
Finally, the death tax is in complete contradiction to the idea of the American Dream; that if you work hard and prosper, you can pass your success down to your family in hope that they will use it to better themselves and the world.
We need a Republican candidate to run against Congressman Perriello that will not only pledge not to raise taxes, but will be a stark contrast with him on taxes. This our best chance of picking up Virginia’s 5th Congressional seat.
Not only do I support completely abolishing the death tax, but I also believe we should abolish the capital gains tax and lower our corporate income tax rate to the average of developed nations.
I have signed Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge and in my own Pledge to the Citizens of the 5th District promised not to raise taxes.