Congress Getting Stupider And Stupider?

No, Only A Minority Of Congress

Statement By Jim Martin

Statement by James L. Martin, President, 60 Plus Association, on Tax Day Press Event, 930am, April 15, 2008, National Press Club, Zenger Room, Sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform.

Washington, DC — The 60 Plus Association has highlighted death tax repeal for 15 years. Former Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) have highlighted death tax repeal for 15 years as well and President George W. Bush has highlighted death tax repeal for at least 8 years.

But the mindset mentality of Congress — at least a minority in Congress, sounds as if they’re pledging allegiance — sad to say — to the Communist Manifesto. One of its tenets? ‘Abolition of all rights of inheritance.’

You noticed I said a minority because truth be told, a majority has voted to abolish this terrible tax, 272 in the House and 57 in the Senate. Unfortunately Democrats now controlling Congress apparently believe in that tenet of the Communist Manifesto.

At 60 Plus, we’ve given the estate tax many names besides the death tax, to name only a few of the 40 or more, the exit tax, departure tax, stiffest tax of all, the grave robbers tax, the Grim Reaper’s tax, a whole coffin load, anything to drive the point home —- ‘dying should not be a taxable event.’

You know, lawmakers hate to be laughed at. They like you to laugh with them, but not laugh at them so we’re now embarking on a new campaign to get the public to laugh at them for their stupidity, their simple mindedness, in keeping alive a tax that benefits nobody. Well, actually it benefits insurance companies and law firms.

To ridicule this minority in Congress, 60 Plus now proposes that death tax repeal legislation be entitled the ILL-Act — the Insurance and Lawyers Lobby Act since insurance salesmen and law firms benefit while small businesses and seniors are ill-served by the death tax.

Here’s further reason to laugh at the ignorance of a minority in Congress: The death tax raises little, if any, net revenue; almost all is wasted on collection and compliance. In fact economic studies now conclusively prove that tax revenues would be considerably higher if the death tax died because the rightful heirs would expand existing enterprises or start new ones, creating more jobs for working men and women, thus more taxes for the Treasury.

USC Law Professor Edward J. McCaffery called himself an “unrequited liberal” in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee and concluded that the tax is hurting those it was intended to help because of its hindrance to job expansion and that serious thought should be given to repeal. We agree with the unrequited liberal.

The death tax has been imposed three other times to raise revenues in time of war. It was enacted a fourth time in WWI, but like so many taxes in this town, it somehow became permanent.

It’s a pity that the first claimant in line upon your death is that greedy, old uncle — no, not a blood relative, but old Uncle Sam.

Tax cut for the rich? A world class con job. The rich aren’t affected. They have trusts and foundations to protect them.

A surreal moment at a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing — the Rockefeller Foundation, in the form of Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), posing a question to the Buffett Foundation, in the form of star witness Warren Buffett. Mind boggling. Rockefeller and Buffett, these wizened old boys, trying to decide a “fair” exemption level not for themselves but for everybody else.

Members of Congress, you should legislate this terrible tax out of existence.

Let’s bury the death tax–put a wooden stake through its heart — put it in its resting place– a fourth and final time.

Thank you.


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