The following is a response from 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin and 60 Plus National Spokesperson Pat Boone to Robert Samuelson’s op-ed in the April 27, Washington Post in support of the death tax.
Samuelson’s Death Tax Folly
With polls showing Americans consistently supporting federal estate tax repeal between 60% and 70%, Republicans, actually any politician, would be wise to ignore Robert Samuelson’s advice to leave the death tax alone (The GOP Estate Tax Folly, April 27). Perhaps Americans do have a “distaste,” Samuelson writes, of hereditary aristocracy, but their distaste for Uncle Sam standing first in line for a 40% cut of a family business upon the death of a loved one is far greater.
Distaste for the death tax transcends race, gender, age and income bracket. In fact, analysis of almost any poll shows poorer Americans more offended by an IRS tab after death than wealthier Americans, and it is easy to see why. The poor hope to one day become wealthy. They do not have an ingrained and ideological hostility to wealth-building as do President Obama and the Democrat party, who incidentally have ushered in greater income gaps between the rich and poor in the last six years.
Grandstanding helps no one, and neither does the death tax, as Samuelson’s admission of its paltry revenue concedes. Conservative economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin and liberal economist Ed McCaffrey agree that the death tax kills jobs, which we all know is the best remedy to move people off food stamps. Those who vote to kill the death tax are on the side of the American people – working class, minority owned businesses especially, who hope to build wealth and prosperity for themselves and their children. The death tax remains the biggest obstacle to these ambitions, which is why it must go.
Jim Martin is Chairman and Founder of the 60 Plus Association. Pat Boone is the 60 Plus National Spokesperson.