From the Washington Examiner:
526,421 family farms threatened by new death tax
By Paul Bedard | December 11, 2012
New legislation that jumps the death tax to 55 percent of estates exceeding $1 million threatens 526,421 family farms, or about 25 percent of all farms in America, according to a Senate analysis.
According to the analysis from the Senate Republican Policy Committee, chaired by Wyoming’s John Barrasso:
If President Obama and Senate Democrats do not act, the federal government will begin taking more than half the value of family farm estates exceeding $1 million beginning next year. This summer, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats passed legislation (S.3412) on a party-line vote that allows Washington to take up to 55 percent, a huge increase over today’s top rate of 35 percent, and drop the tax’s exemption from $5.1 million to $1 million. The lower exemption – combined with soaring farm real estate values – could put more than 420,000 additional farm estates at risk from the death tax.
Farm values are largely tied up in non-liquid assets like land, buildings, and livestock. Many farm and ranch families would be forced to sell their assets to satisfy Washington Democrats’ insatiable appetite for tax money. Up to 24 percent of America’s farm and ranch families could be forced to hand over a large chunk of their heritage to the Internal Revenue Service when a family member dies. This would economically devastate rural communities. The President and Senate Democrats should join Republicans in rejecting this irresponsible policy.
Quick! Call Meryl Streep! Call Sissy Spacek! Call Jessica Lange! They are famous for their deep concern over families losing their farms.
And speaking of economic experts, we have this from Politico:
180 economists oppose tax hike
By KATIE GLUECK | December 11, 2012
A letter signed by 180 economists opposed to tax increases as part of a fiscal cliff deal will be delivered to Congress on Wednesday, according to a national anti-tax group.
The letter argues that hiking tax rates would have a “significant, negative impact on the economy” and is slated to be sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, said Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, the low-taxes advocacy group that coordinated the effort.
“This was organized… in order to provide some perspective that’s often overlooked in Washington amid hotly contested and hotly political negotiations: the fact that the economic policy community has a contribution to make here,” Sepp told POLITICO. “We hope that members of Congress will take a step back to read this statement and understand there’s much more at stake here than just some political fortunes. There are genuine policy questions that need to be resolved and resolved properly.”
The letter’s signatories include Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who directed the Congressional Budget Office under President George W. Bush, and Jim Miller, who directed the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan.
“Increasing taxes would likely slow or reverse our nation’s fragile economic recovery and undermine long-term growth,” the letter reads in part. “Restraining the growth of expenditures, however, would help stabilize the government’s fiscal imbalance and create a more conducive environment for robust expansion.”…
Notice that even these economists can’t bring themselves to call for spending cuts. They only call for “restraining the growth of expenditures.”
Still, if there aren’t any movie stars on that list, why bother? Who cares what non-celebrities think?