False premise compromisers

Posted on May, 15 2017, 17:08


Compromise is a word that we knew we'd be hearing in Congressional hallways as the fight to repeal the Death Tax heats up.  Recently it has come to our attention that some folks are floating a proposal to adopt a change in the Death Tax which would provide for a $5 million per person exemption with a tax rate of 15% on the remainder of the estate. 

One can fill-in different numbers for the exemption and the rate and in the now-dated terminology of Madison Avenue:  "hoist it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes."  Inevitably, some will salute. 

In reality-based politics, I've learned the quickest way to failure might be termed, pre-emptive surrender.  One does not win by waving a white flag. 

Some years ago, a lobbyist who was a veteran of the Franklin Roosevelt administration, counseled a young aid saying, "Never allow your friends in Congress to actually solve your client's problem:  you won't have a client anymore."  Those that want to settle for a compromise and refrain from repealing the Death Tax might have taken that advice to heart for if the Death Tax is simply trimmed-down a bit, they might still have clients who will pay them to continue the fight.  

Those working for the American Business Defense Counsel want to be put out of a job.  Repeal, repeal repeal.

Put it another way, the compromisers are looking solely at the issue as if something -- anything -- can be gained with a reduction in the projected loss to federal revenues.  Of course, we know that a "static" score on Death Tax repeal will lose revenues.  But we also know that a "dynamic" score on Death Tax repeal brings in more revenues than it loses. 

And, the compromisers are ignoring the fact that reality-based politics isn't simply a liberal calculation meant to make Death Tax repeal more expensive than it is.  Today, real politics today must include the moral issue:  the Trump election taught us that.  And, I think that a majority of the GOP majority in Congress recognizes that. 

There are some in the Trump White House that are super-sensitive about the Death Tax issue because the liberal media will say that it is a big giveaway to Mr. Trump's estate.  But the Trump voters are overwhelmingly in support of repeal -- as are most Americans.  Like most folks living and working in the cocoon of the Washington Beltway, they're affected by the Washington Post, the New York Times and major media -- all those outlets that predicted a Hillary landslide and the end of the world should Donald J. Trump get elected. 

We've all heard about the public meetings that many members of Congress have held where there are "protests" from liberal constituents that have been organized by one progressive group or another.  But in private conversations, those members of Congress also report that they have gotten many, many expressions of support for their positions on the GOP agenda. 
Our job is to keep up the fight to show public support for Death Tax repeal and to work with staffers and members to explain the economics and the realities behind repeal.

President Reagan said it so well:  "The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so."

We have our work cut out for us.  Thank you for your help.