Kevin Cramer Co-Sponsors Bill To Repeal Death Tax

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North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer’s office will be backing a new effort to repeal the nation’s estate tax, more accurately described as the death tax.

Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina has introduced HR483, and Rep. Cramer has decided to co-sponsor the bill.

You can read the “Dear Colleague” letter Hudson sent around below, arguing in favor of the bill by noting the disproportionate impact it has on farm families (you can see at the top of the page where Cramer wrote “yes” indicating his support of the bill).

Of all the various ways the federal government taxes us, the death may be the most odious. Not only does it harm small, family-owned businesses but it’s a tax on wealth that has already been taxed multiple times already. Supporters of the death tax like to point out that it doesn’t hit all that many people, but it does hit some people, or else what would be the point of the tax?

And why should we ever want a tax that singles out a small group of people for an exorbitant rate? Taxes should be flat, broad and low.

Kudos to Congressman Cramer for taking a leadership position on this legislation.

Kevin Cramer Co-Sponsors Death Tax Repeal by

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    The death taxes brought us the massive corporations. Family run businesses can’t survive multiple generations of the death tax, mega corporations benefit from that.

  • RandyBoBandy

    The left always claims that this tax only affects the super rich, but like all of their talking points that is false. The super rich plan decades in advance with the best lawyers and accountants to ensure their precious children don’t pay a cent in taxes upon their death. The estate tax, however, crushes those right on the line who did not plan out their death. How naive, assuming you could pass on your property as a gift to your family.

  • nimrod

    The death tax should be eliminated, however saying that it has been taxed multiple times already isn’t very accurate. Most farm assets are land that have appreciated considerably, and this capital gain has never been taxed, and should only be taxed when the heirs sell it. As part of a death tax elimination, the stepped up basis rules should also be part of the discussion.

  • Camburn

    Inheritance taxes result in liquidity of assets. By keeping assets liquid, this gives someone a chance to at least enter Ag, if concerned about land values.

    • Geoff Bosse

      You are a sick sick person. Someone who has worked his/her own life to build on their assets shouldn’t be allowed to hand it down to their son or daughter? All so someone else can have a chance. Just sickening that a family farm would have to beg their bank for money in order to settle a tax debt just to keep a family farm legacy running. It’s criminal.

      • WOOF

        It’s also a myth.

        • Hal414

          You are either ignorant or a liar.

          • WOOF

            “when challenged to come up with even ONE family farm or small business
            that had folded because of the federal estate tax, the American Farm
            Bureau Federation (a group that opposes the estate tax) couldn’t come up with one. “

          • JoeMN

            Actually the estate tax is just another feel good bone thrown to the class envy crowd, which has in the past generated little revenue, but at a massive cost to the private sector.

            http://heartland.org/policy-documents/economics-estate-tax-update

          • camsaure

            He’s both

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Wealth is not a zero sum game. Just because one person has $1,000,000 doesn’t mean there’s $1,000,000 less in wealth in the world for everyone else.

    • Hal414

      Forcing assets to be liquified and transferred to the government hurts the economy, it certainly doesn’t help. Government is far more wasteful and ineffective with resources than the private sector.

  • druff3

    Kevin was one of the few ND Republicans I actually supported in the last election, but after he supported Boehner for Speaker, voted for the Sandy Pork Bill, and voted to raise the debt ceiling, all during his first month in DC, Cramer looks more like a lap dog for the Republican leadership than a leader himself; It’ll take alot more than this Bill to earn back his ‘conservative’ credibility…

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That’s fair, but let me just add this; Let’s judge Kevin Cramer’s term in office at the end, not a month in.

      I think one of the things people critical of Rep. Rick Berg did wrong (myself included) was jump all over him after just a few weeks in office. Some even wrote him off that soon.

      i’m not sure that’s fair. Governing is hard, especially in the legislature.

      Let’s not set the bar so high for these guys that they have no chance of reaching it.

      • Matthew Hawkins

        I expect your tone about Heidi will be changing now?

  • Camburn
    • Hal414

      Why do you want to break up family owned businesses that employ people? If a family owned business employs 100 people and is subject to a 50% estate tax, how is it fair that those 50 people may lose their job so the government can confiscate half of the value?

      • devilschild

        Taxes were already paid once on the money. It’s wrong to tax it twice.

        • Camburn

          Carnegie did not
          support estate taxes because he believed the state needed more money.
          (As a good Republican, he was in favor of smaller, not larger,
          government.) An inheritance tax was necessary because it preserved the
          ability of men like him to rise to the top through their wits. The
          hereditary transmission of wealth from generation to generation would
          create dynastic power over business and politics. This was bad for
          capitalism, bad for democracy, bad for the children of the rich who were
          handed leadership positions they had not earned and worse for the poor
          and middle classes that had to struggle against unreasonable odds to
          achieve leadership positions.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    Unless you end the step up in basis for assets of the deceased than this will end up just being a tax dodge for the wealthy and encourage people not to sell assets.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Why should people be forced to sell assets?

      • Matthew Hawkins

        I don’t want people to be forced to sell assets. But by eliminating the estate tax and not coupling it with an end to the step up in basis you encourage people to hold on to assets that they would otherwise sells. Which is also not good for the economy.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Why is holding on to a valuable asset a bad thing for the economy?

          • WOOF

            Cause the economy is a river, not a rock.

          • Hal414

            Valuable assets don’t just sit there and collect dust, they produce or finance products and services and help create jobs. How does an asset changing hands increase the productivity?

          • WOOF

            If it ‘s advantageous for assets to sit idle they will. Higher taxes encourage investment. Better to put profit into business than to surrender them to gov’t. Money locked up reduces income and demand. Assets changing hands is called trade.

          • Hal414

            Forced trade is called theft.

          • Hal414

            Higher taxes don’t encourage investment because the risk/reward ratio is not as advantageous with a higher tax burden. That is why 0bama advocated extending the Bush tax rates, he didn’t want another recession before the 2012 election.

          • camsaure

            There again that pursuit of life, liberty and happinerss gets in the way of the progressives utopia, doesn’t it.

          • JoeMN

            Higher taxes encourage investment.
            In China
            (there, fixed it for ya)

          • Matthew Hawkins

            If I have a piece of land that I am not using and somebody would like to purchase it from me for fair market value to use that is good for the economy,

            If I hold onto this property because I would pay capital gains taxes on it while living, but can avoid those taxes by dying with the property that is not an efficient use of resources.

          • Hal414

            It’s not up to the government to force what they think is the best use of a piece of land. The government currently pays people to plant certain crops, not to plant crops and to allow land to grow wild. It appears that they really don’t know what is the best use of land.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            Because the economy grows by the exchange of goods. The economy is best served when resources are used to the maximum. Having a policy that encourages people to hold onto property when they would otherwise sell it is bad for the economy.

          • Hal414

            Then why doesn’t the government tax everyone 100% every year so every good is exchanged at least once? That would allow for the maximum waste in our economy that you seek.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            Do you know what the step up in basis is?

            I don’t think so. Why not educate yourself before you debate?

          • Hal414

            Yes I do. Are you advocating eliminating the step up basis so a beneficiary would be required to pay capital gains taxes even if there would be no estate tax due? That would result in an increase in taxes for those who pass an estate that is below the allowed exemption.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            Wow, you want your cake and eat it to.

            I am not opposed to the estate tax. But if you eliminate the estate tax it would be totally irresponsible and bad public policy to allow the step in basis.

            There is no reason why if I buy an asset in 2000 and sell it in 2025 that I pay a capital gains tax, but if my friend buys the same asset dies in 2025 and his children sell the same asset, but don’t pay any taxes at all.

            The way you make this fair is that you index it for inflation. It is only on profit that you pay the taxes.

          • Hal414

            Why should death trigger a tax? How is that fair?

          • Hal414

            Then you should never be allowed to take a vacation because that wouldn’t be maximizing all resources. There would also need to be a 100% work requirement for welfare benefits.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Only a mercenary coward would favor taxing the dead and their orphans.

  • nimrod

    I’m not sure most people understand how stepped up basis works, but It can at times penalize those who don’t die.

  • Stuart

    Even though this is a great idea, how many of you even think this has a snowballs chance in hell of passing? The Senate won’t bring to the floor for a vote. It will never get out of committee. This is more smoking mirrors ….just lik the term limits were.

    It’s interesting to see the Democrats passing Obama care with a rider on the bill saying that this Health program can not be over turned by Court Rulings. And so it happened!

    Why don’t the Republicans put a rider like that in any bill they pass and write?

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. It seems the Republicans always put an Expiration clause in theirs. Maybe it’s just me!

    • Matthew Hawkins

      Smoking mirrors?

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