Bashing a good U.S. Senator for supporting Death Tax Repeal

Posted on February, 21 2017, 12:16


I came across an interesting "letter to the editor" in the February 19th edition or the Pueblo, Colorado Chieftain attacking their Senator, Cory Gardner, for supporting repeal of the Death Tax. 

It was almost a parody of the know-nothing opposition to repeal.  "Gardner hopes to win favor with billionaire elites," was the first salvo.  Does this writer really believe that the super-rich don't already insure themselves with trusts, lawyers and accountants to minimize the Death Tax's impact on them?  No, the entrepreneurs hardest hit by the Death Tax are those that are not the super-rich, but the successful farmers, manufacturers, businessmen that were most interested in creating goods, services, jobs, a good community, and security for their family.

The second mud-toss was that repeal would be a bonanza to President Trump.  Again, does anyone seriously believe that the Trump lawyers and accountants have not already taken action to minimize the tax's impact on his heirs' life?  It seems clear to me that President Trump endorses repeal of the Death Tax because of its unfairness and its cost to the nation.

The letter-writer cites the low number of estate taxes filed annually and makes the illegitimate leap that these are the only people affected: "ninety-nine percent of us" are not affected, he states.  Of course, solid economic literature documents the fact that the Death Tax truly affects the 99%.  When a successful entrepreneur's estate is affected, we see farms sold, businesses closed or broken up, and we see jobs destroyed and productive assets idled -- or shipped abroad.  We have a real loss in economic output that reduces our GDP and all of our shares in it. 

One study by the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation pointed out that the lowered GDP caused by the Death Tax has the effect of reducing federal revenues by about $30 billion a year!  Note that the Death Tax only takes in about $17 billion and that tells you that the feds actually lose money because of the Death Tax(!).

Our ostensible author says that repeal of the Death Tax would cost "hundreds of billions in lost tax revenues," a figure he must have gotten from some left-wing number cruncher that carefully picks or creates his numbers and then puts fake figures in a glossy-papered "report" that the mainstream media swallows whole.   Washington has a several of coveys of them. 

At the very end, he tries to throw a bone to his neighbors -- the high majority of Coloradans who support repeal of the Death Tax:  "But farms and ranches are the heart and soul of America, and even if only 20 of them suffer, that is 20 too
many."
The sentence is totally out of sync with the rest of the letter and it makes me think that the body of the letter itself was written by one of those Washington left-wing shops and our "author" felt he had to add something that his neighbors would agree with. 

My guess is that Senator Gardner knows his constituents well enough and he knows Washington well enough to see this "letter to the editor" for what it is: "opinion" manufactured by the left, and not by one of his constituents.