"I was bold in the Pursuit of Knowledge, never fearing to follow Truth and Reason to whatever results they led and bearding every authority which stood in their way" ~ Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Patriotic Perspectives: "Death to the Death Tax!"

Matthew Burke, Candidate for the U. S. Congress (WA-01)

By Matthew Burke, 05/17/10
The most immoral of all taxes is the Death Tax. The Death Tax replaces the government as primary beneficiary, in-front of children, family, friends, and charities.

Deceptively called the "Estate" tax, by those who wish to fan the flames of class hatred (connotes that only the "evil" rich have "estates". They can afford it"), the Death Tax will return at a rate of 55% of all assets over $1 million beginning on January 1, 2011.  These assets include both liquid and illiquid assets such as:
  • Cash, including all savings and checking accounts and all bank certificates of deposits (CD's), 
  • Family farms, homes, raw land and all other investment property,
  • Autos, art, jewelry, furniture and any other personal property, 
  • Businesses and all assets associated with them (including, machinery, inventory, property, etc.)
  • Investments, including, IRA's, fixed and variable annuities, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, treasury securities, etc.)
  • Death benefits from all life insurance policies owned by the deceased.
Keep in mind that the money originally earned to purchase these assets has already been taxed at least once. And, it doesn't take much for a family business or value of farm land to be valued over $1 million, especially when you add all of the other assets to it.

To the far-left, this redistribution of wealth has warm-and-fuzzy rationalizations like "fairness, equality, and social justice". But in reality it is in direct contradiction of two pillars of American society, the family and our self reliant entrepreneurial spirit. In Karl Marx’s "Communist Manifesto" he proposes the “Abolition of all rights of inheritance". At 55% we are on our way there.

Additionally, to add insult to financial injury, not only the federal government, but also the State of Washington, has its greedy hand in the cookie jar. Washington's estate tax begins at 10%, increasing to as high as 19%.

I recently met with a local family business owner, now in his 70's but still working, who said that upon his death, his children would have to close the business down in order to raise enough cash to pay the Death Tax.

To add additional perspective, I asked death tax expert, Dick Patten, President of the American Family Business Institute, to comment on the economic implications of the Death Tax. Mr. Patten commented not only on the negative national economic impact, but also on jobs lost in Washington State, a subject near and dear to all of us Washingtonians: 

“The Death Tax is the great destroyer of family businesses and farms in America.  That destruction has many consequences, not the least of which is jobs.  57% of America’s jobs come from family businesses and farms.  Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, analyzed the effect the Death Tax has on jobs.  His conclusion is that if the Death Tax were permanently repealed 1,500,000 jobs would be added to the economy by family businesses.  In Washington State that would mean an additional 28,000+ jobs.  If Congress is serious about jobs and family businesses in America, it should permanently repeal the destructive Death Tax.”

The death tax is not about bringing in needed funds to the government, as it usually represents around 1% of total tax revenues. After doubling federal government spending in the last ten years, they can easily cut 1%. The Death Tax is really about ultra liberal belief in the systematic redistribution of wealth in the U.S.
"What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue." - Thomas Paine.
The Death Tax is truly an assault on America’s core values. It is anti-family, anti-charity, anti-business, and unfair. A tax of this sort is a destructive force in a free society and should be repealed permanently. When you work hard and pay taxes your entire life to build a future for your family, the government should not be allowed to reach into your grave and extract over half of your life savings.

The Death Tax is flat-out wrong. Dying should not be a taxable event!


  1. God bless you--GREAT ARTICLE. Keep speaking out and advocating for Truth.

  2. So out Lefty neighbors preach the importance of family business as opposed to wicked corporations and buying local as opposed to shipping stuff in and then they seek to destroy small family business? Come on! What do they think will happen to small, family businesses if they tax the bejeebers out of them every step of the way and then get slap happy with a gazillion dollar tax debt upon the death of the owner? Wouldn't it be better to leave the business intact, allow the kids to keep running it in order to maintain jobs, goods, and a viable tax base for the community?
    I think our Lefty neighbors mean well but they just have not had real life experience. Everyone ought to run a business for a couple of years without the benefit of government bailouts or welfare. It puts a whole new spin on these things.
    Thank you for the posting.