Death Tax: Death to the American Dream
“I rise in support of the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act of 2006. I am mindful as I listen to my good friend who just spoke, as he spoke about the estate tax, of what Confucius once wrote millennia ago. He said, “When words lose their meaning, men lose their liberty.”
“I would prefer in the balance of my remarks to speak not about an estate tax, because I don’t know too many estates in eastern Indiana, but I’d rather talk about the death tax, because this a tax that is death to the American dream for small business owners and family farmers all across eastern Indiana.
“And it is why I have dedicated myself in my nearly three terms in Congress to the principle of ending this immoral tax, a tax which, by the way, was instituted in 1916 primarily to raise revenues for World War I.
“It was a product of a time where the redistribution of wealth was seen globally to be an acceptable practice of economics. It was the very nascent time of socialism on the world stage, and America embraced this principle of redistribution with the estate tax in 1916.
“And let me just say that I believe death taxes are immoral. I believe it is morally wrong to make death a taxable event. I believe it is also morally wrong to say to small business owners and family farmers, and any American whatever their means, that after a lifetime of obeying the law and a lifetime of paying your share honestly and legally to the Federal Treasury, that we will make your death a taxable event.
“So I want to say today that I still believe we should repeal the death tax, and the legislation we will consider under this rule is not repeal but it is relief. And it is progress. And this Congress should embrace it.
“The estate tax relief provided in previous legislation is scheduled to end in 2010. What we would pass today would literally bring permanent estate tax relief to millions of American families, especially increasing the exemption to five million dollars per person effective January 1, 2010.
“But let me emphasize what we will do today is not repeal but it is relief, and I want to recognize that progress and embrace it. But let me close with a word of caution.
“To our colleagues who may think of this as a starting point, that this is a deal that we can send down the hallway and we can negotiate from, let me say, having spoken to many of my colleagues who share my belief that we should repeal this onerous death tax outright, that if this is the deal, it’s a good deal for the American people.
“But we say with conviction, this far and no farther. We must demand at the very minimum this relief stand when this bill goes to the desk of the President of the United States."