Time to Kill the Death Tax

Today, the House of Representatives passed HR 8, the Death Tax Elimination Act. Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) strongly encouraged members to support this bill and key voted both passage of the bill and against the Rangel substitute.

“Last year I was pleasantly surprised when a large number of Democrats crossed over to vote to completely eliminate the tax. I am glad to see that was not just election year posturing,” said CSE President Paul Beckner. “I am proud that our members also saw through the sham substitute amendment that would have merely raise the exemption level, that is not enough, we need to completely erase this unfair and unnecessary tax.”

Eliminating the death tax is long overdue. In fact, Congress has twice passed bills to do away with this tax only to have them vetoed by President Clinton. The death tax punishes the American values of saving and investment by penalizing individuals for passing property along to their family. Its elimination would make the tax code simpler and fairer and take an important step toward fundamental tax reform. H.R. 8, “The Death Tax Elimination Act,” would completely phase out the death tax in a ten-year plan.

CSE will now focus on getting the Senate to pass the President’s tax plan including the repeal of the death tax. “Keeping the Death Tax in place will hurt our weakening economy,” said Beckner. “This tax punishes people who work their entire lives to build a successful small business or family farm. Why should the government continue to be an obstacle to the same people who are driving our economy?”

For a generation, the American people have waited for a major tax cut. Since President Reagan signed his tax cut into law in 1981, there have been five major tax increases. The most recent being President Clinton’s 1993 tax increase, which was the largest in American history.