Taxes & Spending

Death Tax Hike To 55% Nears

As the Congressional leaders and President Obama wrangle over income tax rates, another looming tax hike has been overlooked.

The estate tax  - known as the “death tax” – will rise from 0% to 55% on January 1, 2011. The tax hike will apply to all individuals who die with  total assets valued at  over $1 million.

The lame duck House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-N.V.) have not put forth any plans to stop the death tax hike this year. 

 The death tax was completely repealed for 2010, but had been a tax rate of 35% in 2009. The death tax hike is not part of the Bush-era tax cuts, which are set to expire on the same date. 

“Death should not be a taxable event.  Death should not force the sale of family farms or the dissolution of small businesses,” Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said to HUMAN EVENTS. When the GOP takes control of the House in January, Camp will be the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which oversees writing the tax code.

After the bipartisan congressional meeting at the White House on Tuesday yesterday, Speaker of the House to-be John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that Camp will be his designee for meetings between Congress and the Obama administration to negotiate the tax hikes.

In the House, the Republicans want to permanently eliminate the death tax, and include this provision with the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts that will be voted on in the lame-duck session of Congress this month.

In the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a “Tax Hike Prevention Act”, which includes a reform of the death tax. Individuals with assets up to $5 million would not pay any death tax, and those above that amount would have a 35% tax rate. McConnell’s plan is bipartisan and co-sponsored by outgoing Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.). 

“McConnell’s comprise position on the death tax has the best chance of passage in a Democrat-controlled Senate,” said a Senate leadership aide.

The death tax has a particularly detrimental effect on small businesses and family farms.  When assessing the tax bill for an inherited small business or family farm, the assets are included in the value, which have less cash. When the death tax is high, families have been forced to sell their small businesses and family farms to pay the tax bills.

“The death tax is really a triple taxation,” said a Republican staff member for the House Ways and Means Committee.  “You are taxed when you are alive on your income. Then the capital gains taxes the dividends on investments. Then you are taxed at your death.”

Call me the Grim Reaper, but you have 31 days left during which you can die for free. After that, the government will take 55% of everything you own. 

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  • Altosackbuteer

    There’s a lot of farmers who are land-rich but cash-poor.

    When the owner does, families who’ve owned, farmed, and loved their lands for generations have to sell it off to answer the demands of the REAL Grim Reaper.

    If George Steinbrenner had died last year, his family could not continue to own the Yankees.

    Forcing families to sell off assets results in economic dislocations FOR LITTLE PEOPLE, since those tend to lose their jobs when businesses are transferred and consolidated.

    In accumulating wealth, the families have ALREADY PAID ALL DUE TAXES. Taxing estates is taxing money that’s already been taxed.

    But I have good news for you Socialist redistributors: Often, the children or grandchildren who inherit businesses they don’t understand often drive them into the ground anyway.

  • Trotter

    So, possessing $1MM in assets now makes you a rich person? Good grief, I see that the left is lowering the bar on wealth – it must be their version of wealth affirmative action.

    BTW, Dumbass, please explain to us the morality of this kind of tax? Oh wait, that will cause you to actually think versus merely reaching into the crayon box and copying more HuffPo slogans.

  • JohnWIS

    McConnell’s compromise to appease the Democrats is spineless.

    He should be telling the Democrats to stick it. He would have the support of the tens of millions of Americans who actually run businesses.
    (Liberals will complain, but then again, that’s all they do. If they actually went out and used their “gifted, artistic, creative skills” and started a business, they would understand……..but that would actually entail working………..but instead, they continue whining about how they can get their hands on other peoples money).

    The “death tax” was abolished in 1801, 1870, and 1902. They didn’t repeal it it 1926, but stayed at 20%. Liberal, Progressive FDR, jacked it to 70%, along with income tax to 75%. (Moron. That’s putting it lightly).

    It’s time for ALL Americans who understand how they are getting jacked by the government, to show the government as to who holds the true power.

    It’s obvious that Democrats don’t know squat about working…….but they sure know how to con and manipulate, and make “law” that forces people to give up their wealth……no matter how great or small.

    The Republicans should tell the Democrats and the President to shove their small minded ideas and their petty arrogance up their wahoo’s, for they only cripple our economy and make us weak as a nation.

  • Guest

    “Death should not be a taxable event.”

    I couldn’t agree more and will support politicians who think likewise.

  • Dustoff

    The real problem. One thing the dem’s (never) understand. It’s the SPENDING!

  • 1LonesomeDove1

    Waaaaa, boo hoo!

  • rick_ds

    We are taxed all of our lives on every aspect of our lives. I’ll be dammed if the gov’t should take 55% of whatever is left of our estate! And if the family can’t come up with the money right away – yup – the gov’t will immediately TAKE the estate over and get their money!

    Why in hell do we allow such asinine laws to perpetuate???

    End this lousy death tax once and for all!!!

  • settrigger

    All of the taxes, spending, etc, need to be cut. That was the message we sent. Death Tax, needs to go completely. Dumbass, you don’t get it by now, you never will.
    Formerly, steve, virginia

  • julianpolecat

    Simple solution if they are that rich just take out a 5 million dollar life insurance policy and when they pass the monies will make up for the losses

  • OldRelic

    McConnell is clearly bereft of even tiny gonads, or is completely tone deaf to the message the last election clearly yelled. Yet, alas, this was exactly what I expected – there is no significant difference between Dems and Repubs. They are ALL beholden to the big-money donors that got them there. Whores, every stinkin’ one of them…

  • Telescoping You

    What we are watching is a worthless liberal’s ultimate act of cowardice; steeling from a dead man.

  • Telescoping You

    Stealing, ok?

  • Truncheon

    The 5 million would be a part of the estate, and as such, taxed at the 55% rate. You cannot escape the death tax.

  • Truncheon

    No taxation without respiration.

  • Kait

    Exactly, the life insurance payoff is a taxable part of the estate. Nice, huh?

  • Kait

    He just knows how to play the game. As long as the democrats control the senate and/or the presidency they will NOT give up on raising taxes. The only way to play is to let them think they are still winning. 5 mil is a fairly large amount for one person’s worth, tho I think the tax could be a lot less percentage, and spread out over time.
    I do know a man who had to sell the family’s farm that had been started by his grandfather. It went to his dad, who paid taxes, and then to him, but the property value was so high at that time that he had to sell it for the taxes. Very bad situation.

  • Kait

    Yeah, like when you get to zero, stop spending! No responsibility.

  • goldeconomist

    sorry but the cost of that policy get counted against the $1 million exemption. if you have fallen for that sales pitch, watch out!

  • Amy Robison

    these are signs of the end times coming….just saying the government is going to own all of us, Obamacare ( we are mandated to not only have insurance but pay tax on it and pay extra taxes so that John Doe who does not work has insurance along with his 7 kids all on welfare) now if you make better for yourself they are going to tax the crap out of you when you die. Soon the Obama government will own everything and your freedom will be gone- We know what that is called, kiddos? Communism.

  • bannedbook

    We have a fascist in the White House. Any government which ignores the will of the people and goes ahead and does what it damn well pleases is totalitarian – this encompasses fascist, communist, socialist, the Democrat Party and Islam, which, by the way is a political force, not a religion. Our Fuhrer is Obama who is a Muslim which translates into a fascist who runs over the rights of citizens and then lies about it. His latest affront and exercise of gross excess of power against the people is seen at our airport security screening which is just an excuse to punish the American people for voting out so many Democrats. Apparently, there are not enough Democrats with brains enough to know how or care enough to copy the techniques of Israel with regard to airport security; they have the best record in the world without a need to put its citizens and customers through the type of torment Obama is making Americans experience. This amounts to malfeasance in office for Obama and his cronies.
    Osama Barack Hussein Obama has appointed to posts of power people with fascist mentalities who act as czars and believe that the Government is the seat of all power and rights. Thanks to Glenn Beck we escaped the clutches of Van Jones, an avowed socialist, but we now have over our heads the likes of persons such as Elena Kagan who believes that the First Amendment promotes the idea that speech rights are granted by government rather than inherent in the G-d given nature of man. I personally do not give credence to the “G-d given bit”, but I do believe that such rights are protected by the vigilance of the people who won them through their struggle and intelligence.
    Mark Lloyd was another of Obama’s fascist appointments. He became the Chief Diversity Czar who greatly admires the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Lloyd wrote favorably about his two year war against the private media most of which Chavez closed down in order to suppress criticism of the state. The choice of the word “diversity” itself says a lot about the mentality of the Democrats and Obama. These social planners, instead of uniting our people, divide us into favored groups as spelled out by the regime. It amounts to taking away from one group to give to another according to their preference at the time. This is fascist demagoguery.
    Obama appointed Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security Secretary who became his “yes man” on the immigration issue. She joined her boss in calling Arizona’s anti-immigration law “misguided” leaving the door wide open to Obama’s wish for amnesty to pull in more votes for Democrats. Janet Napolitano appointed Arif Alikhan to serve as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Development, an Arab who helped raise funds for an Islamic group that has labeled a deadly anti-U.S. terrorist attack a legitimate operation, referred to terrorists as “freedom fighters” and equated Muslim jihad with the sentiments of American statesman Patrick Henry. Obama put such subversives in charge of our national security. Did our liberal media report this? No, it came from World Net Daily, a conservative publication. Many of the actions and appointments of Obama gave aid and comfort to our enemies, but the list is so long, it is best left for the courts to bring them to light.
    He has spoken about having a Jobs Czar, but this is a joke. Much of what Obama has done is about killing jobs for Americans. One outrageous one is the arbitrary imposition of a moratorium on drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico as China is allowed to continue drilling off communist Cuba. Obama is guilty of thievery for his extortion of $20 million from BP even after BP had voluntarily agreed to make good for all losses due to its oil spill. PB should take him to the world court. This would make much more sense than the Obama dictatorship taking Arizona to the U.N. for passing a state law to uphold a federal law that Obama refuses to adhere to.
    Where Obama was born is irrelevant because he is un-American and everything he has done has had the effect of weakening and tearing down this country. He has accomplished this with malice and deceit and by exercising dictatorial powers with the silent acquiescence of the leftist media and the Socialist Democrat Party who put their own power first. A list of crimes against the people should be drawn up and charges of treason should be leveled against this usurper and imposter. TO ALLOW THIS SITUATION TO FESTER UNTIL 2012 WOULD BE SUICIDAL. Taking this unknown “thief in the night” to court would allow our country to undo all his appointments and misdeeds and allow us to regain our freedom and individual liberties. It is not Obama’s country; he does not even know how many states we have. We do not need to go to the barricades; we need to get the Republican Party to grow enough of a backbone to stand up and take this entire matter to court. Any Democrats who wish to remain as viable leaders and remain in politics had best join with Republicans to take back our country. Once this is done, we will be able to sing “Happy Days Are Here Again” because trillions of dollars stashed away in corporate accounts will have the confidence to invest in America again! Failure of banks to make loans is not the problem; the money is there and can only be released by ridding ourselves of a dictatorial regime that has brought so much uncertainty and grief to businesses and to citizens. No one in his right mind would want to invest in a country being ruled by a Hugo Chavez of North America.
    By Jack J. Morris aka Dr. J. Knowname, author of UNTROUBLING A TROUBLED WORLD – PEACE 4 EVER. The book contains solutions to most national and world problems. Dr. J. Knowname knows better than the Shadow knows! See or
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  • Justyne Tyme

    I am all for ending the estate tax. However, it MUST NOT be replaced with a capital gain tax as it was for 2010. People who don’t understand this problem are doomed to be caught, or have the rest of us caught, in an almost impossible situation of having to come up with decades old records that either we or our parents didn’t think necessary. If you can’t prove your cost basis you will likely be taxed on the whole amount as gain. If there is an exemption to be applied to the basis, as for 2010, you still have the IRS involved in your estate, because forms have to be filed to claim the exemption. I won’t go into any more boring detail; just suffice to say the non-estate tax law for 2010 is a MESS!

  • esquire2

    We the People are victims of tyrants who have perfected the art of making politics a career. This needs to be changed … another vote for Term Limits.

    Further, we need to restore the Republic … REPEAL the 17th Amendment so Senators stop prostituting their office to the voting public.

    Further, we need an electorate with an investment in the game. People on welfare should not be permitted to vote the wallets of the taxpayers. The founding fathers made voting a “privilege”, not a right. We need to return to the sanity and wisdom of the Constitution. So long as we admit that voting is a privilege, it may be extended to the worthy, i.e., “taxpayers”, and restricted from those whose intent is contrary to that of the founders.

    RESULT: ACORN and its collateral agencies disappear. Community Organizers will become obsolete. Integrity can be restored to elections.

    Redistribution of Wealth will become unnecessary.

  • Mike Mott

    This is the WRONG Argument. All of these debt-deficit, cut spending, raise revenue discussions are the wrong topics.

    Conservatives let us not be fooled, but rather let us talk about what this is about. Should the federal government be in the entitlement business?

    If the answer is no, then let’s devolve this to the states as a starting point.

    If the answer is yes, then let’s amend the Constitution to provide for a Welfare State and at the same time put in controls upon government tax increases, borrowing and printing presses.


  • WillofLa

    This is nothing but Socialists grabbing money like they always have, plain and simple. There’s nothing else to say about it at all, it’s just Democrats taking money and private property away from families who’ve gotten lucrative inheritances. You know how Democrats don’t ever give tax cuts? This is the same thing. They have always hated the profits that American business make by increasing their taxes, regulations, rules and specs on doing business which does nothing but make it harder to do business in America, hence the businesses that have left for China partly from the love Democrats have with unions(which are Communist in nature anyway and came from Communist influence from the 1920′s), and NAFTA’s giant sucking noise that everyone kept saying was going to happen…..and did happen as soon as it was passed.

    This “tax”, theft of American’s money and private property given to heirs is nothing more but more Democrat stealing our money. You want to stop it? Do away with Democrats as the “ruling class” in America. Get rid of them, do away with their deals with big bankers and international investors, unions, and put the kinds of controls on Wall Street like we used to have which controlled the deal making between big shots in Washington and Wall Street. That will solve the problem. Then arrest George Soros and all the people like him who run the hedge funds put on notice that if you do deals with politicians and international investors to screw with our dollar, and we find out, we’ll put you out of business! You can make money as a benefit of doing business in America, but if you mess with the value of the dollar like Soros is doing, and the next time you blink you’ll be in chains!

  • Fred_Wells_Nuvuk

    I wonder what the premium would be on a $5 million policy for a terminally ill person? We have some kind of logic going on here folks.

  • Fred_Wells_Nuvuk

    Comment removed? Yep, you must be a dumbass. Not you Trotter, the one above you.

  • drdbiggs

    Charley Rangel should take a tip from several blue dog dems and “run” from Pelosi using a quote from another honorable & honest BLACK politician:
    Marion Barry ie “The Bi*ch Set Me Up”

    Better Idea:
    Why doesn’t the CBC & the democratic party ask Marion Barry to move to Harlem & run for congress? His talent is certainly wasted as Ward 8 rep on the DC city council.

    Best Idea!!
    Send the wax statue of M. Barry from “Madame Tussauds Wax Museum” for Harlem voters!! They will finally have?get the honest rep they deserve. The real Barry stays in DC helping black people & the statue represents Harlem & raises the collective IQ of CBC members!! A win win for both places!! The best of best in both Worlds!!

  • TomPaineJr

    I agree with a five million dollar exemption from inheritance tax, but the portion of estates above that should be subject to a 100% tax, with allowance of up to 50% of it to be donated to charity. Inheritance of great wealth stinks of monarchy/ aristocracy. People living like royalty on money they did not earn is un-American, and does damage to the work ethic. Lower inheritance tax on the rich means higher tax on the rest of us. END FINANCIAL MONARCHIES…. LIMIT INHERITED WEALTH

  • teharr

    “McConnell’s comprise position on the death tax has the best chance of passage in a Democrat-controlled Senate,” said a Senate leadership aide.”

    Hey Mitch, we did not put you there to compromise with criminals. You don’t come out a hero by deciding to only steal 35% of money that has already been taxed. By compromising with the criminals, you compromise the very people who voted for you to stop these thugs. Grow some nuts you supposed conservative. Compromising with libtards is called losing!

  • justinwachin

    Those who have estates larger than $1 million may want to start giving away some of their wealth before their death.

    This is designed to steal from the middle class. The wealthy have worked out ways to shield their estates from government taxation. I’m sure the Kennedy’s didn’t pay out a large tax when Ted croaked.

  • jerryhulick

    the govt. never sweated on the land or businesss. they never went to the banks and begged for money to continue another year. And they damn weren’t around when markets changed and the investor lost money. Now you die and out comes the big hand of govt. saying, “We want 55% or we’ll take your property”. sorry but in my world that SUCKS.

  • Wil

    Reality: The few estates that pay any estate tax generally pay less than one-fifth of the value of the estate.

    Today, more than 99.7 percent of estates owe no estate tax at all, according to the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Among the few estates that owe any tax, the “effective” tax rate — that is, the percentage of the estate’s value that is paid in taxes — is less than 20 percent on average. That is far below the top estate tax rate of 45 percent.

    Why is the effective tax rate so much lower than the 45 percent top tax rate? For several reasons. First, estate taxes are due only on the portion of an estate’s value that exceeds the exemption level for the tax, not on the entire estate. At today’s exemption
    level of $3.5 million, a $4 million estate would owe estate taxes on $500,000 at most.

    Second, a large portion of an estate’s remaining value often can be shielded from taxes.

  • Skip

    Really? STEELING? We need the money to pay for shit, like roads, bridges, pointless wars, etc. Why not take the money from wealthy, fortunate people who obviously don’t need it anymore. Perhaps we could use that money to fix our schools so that our kids can learn the difference between “steal”, and “steel”.

  • Fedup_Employer

    Do not blame unfixed schools for not knowing how to spell stealing. Also do not blame unfixed schools for the fact that you do not understand that socialism steals from those who produce and is therefore a form of virtual slavery. WE THROW MORE MONEY AT EDUCATION THAN ANY PEOPLE HAVE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD AND WE ARE BEING CHEATED BY THE TEACHER CONTROLLED UNIONS. We have liberal indoctrination rather than education. More money for eduction will not help. It will simply make everyone poorer. Taking back our education system, demanding and rewarding performance is all that will help. Death taxes are the most important and central theme of Communism (socialism with lethal force that killed over 100 million who did not want to be subjected to tyranny). Besides being absolutely immoral, death taxes destroy jobs for the sake of liberal class warfare, another basis of Communism. In case you or everyone else did not learn what a curse Communism was and is upon the people subject to this total despotism, if you do not educate yourself, history will repeat itself to the detriment of all future generations. Our founders observed that if we as a people departed from certain principals (including limited government), this experiment in liberty and freedom soon will be over.

  • F Dan Walker

    Hey Skippy, you have mush for brains. We already pay for the items you mentioned and the work still doesn’t get done.
    Here a thought for you to ponder, why don’t you -and those that would agree with YOU- just make YOUR “Last will & Testament” with the Federal Government as the benefactor? Surely that would please those relatives left behind. It would also give you comfort in those final days, knowing you gave your all to Big Brother and the Holding Co.

  • letsgtagrip

    The Goverment is all ready trying to take everything we got, Familys work, from generations down, we want to leave our familys something, and hear comes uncle sam wanting to take that too. We are headed for a trouble. First its the Insurance, no Insurance you go to jail, or fine you, duh? You have benefits, lets tax you instead of an exemption, when you die lets tax your family or take it, {we will have it all}. Working people, you and I are the ones that keep this country running, If we dont spend and buy the rich dont get richer, but if we loose our jobs then we end up on the steets. We need to get more involved with what is happening around us.

  • 63rd_Patriot

    Come guys, give little Skippy a break. We’re lucky he took the time to even comment here. After all, getting entitlement checks, food stamps, and free medicine is a very demanding full time job.

  • gary1224

    I agree with you about ignoring the will of the people. 58% of Americans wanted a public option health care plan but Obama ignored that wish.

  • Fled

    Dude, the governments attempted destruction of the middle class IS it’s attempt to build itself into an psuedo aristocracy! This type of taxation is designed to guarrantee them a peasant class that will be forced to live in the shadow of the castle. This isn’t communism, facism, socialism or any of that garbage, is much more basic than that this is your average everyday neo fuedalism. These idiots in govt. have made themselves so enamored of the third world warlord types that live in hyper luxury while their peasant class wallows in poverty and decrepitude that they now envy that kind of power and think themselves entitled to it! To them not allowing you to finance the well being of your further generations is a way of economically neutering you to allow their domination of your offspring!

  • Wendy Chauvin Nicholson

    No one has addressed the fact that we’re taxed on our earnings and property our whole lives and then taxed again for the same earnings when we die?!! So we work hard and have a chance to leave something to our children and the government gets to take even more of it as a final parting shot. They are thieves and need to get cut back to part time positions with part time pay since they only work part time anyway. We’d gain a lot of revenue if we did that. Oh and BTW Skip you’re an idiot.

  • TomPaineJr

    I don’t know what to say… this is nuttier than Glenn Beck’s garbage about the FDA being a progressive/commie agency serving no good purpose, destined to starve people.

  • clayagy

    And of course the government always spends the dollars wisely and creates very productive jobs.

  • Fled

    T’aint any nuttier than the fact that the nations most guilty of massive human rights violations compose the body of the UN human rights council, including it’s chair. Just like all primordial ponds the scum rises to the surface. Consolidate power, control food, transportation and the distribution of wealth and you pretty much have your populations stitched up in a neat little bag. Control of arms is next and usually last as you have to render the population financially incapable of any sustained resistance before you even attempt to disarm them. Remember all the talk of “defunding the terrorists” same works on the populous. This is all simple history, my father being a history major and teacher once told me the only things that ever really change for humanity are technology, popular culture and the date. I am beginning to believe him, the human animal at root is still an animal and for all our “awareness” and “discretion” we are still subject to our nature.