Congress Targets Death Tax
Kill the death tax. That's the mantra of Woodlands Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) who has introduced legislation to abolish the 96-year-old federal estate tax. Brady, who is Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), is armed with new data in his fight. The JEC has released a new report called "Cost & Consequences of the Death Tax," which shows that since its inception in 1916, the federal death tax has only generated a total of $1.2 trillion, which would barely cover the federal deficit for this year alone. The study also found that the estate tax hurts economic growth because it discourages savings and encourages people to sell off capital assets before they die.
Brady calls the "death tax" an unmitigated failure. "It fails to generate sufficient revenue, it fails to redistribute income or boost the economy, and it fails to meet any basic standard of fairness," he says. One person who agrees with that "unfairness" is Patricia Snook, whose family owns a ranch in Texas. Snook says her family already was forced to pay the estate tax twice, when her father died in 1998 and when her uncle died in 2004. "And now, since my husband's untimely death this past September, we are once again facing the possibility of paying an estate tax on the same property...This is just wrong." Now she worries about being able to leave the ranch to her children. "If this tax continues, I'm not sure that will be possible," she adds. "We've cut back and cut back and the expenses just keep coming."
LISTEN to Matt Patrick's interview with Kevin Brady.