Sen. Orrin Hatch calls for end of estate tax as January 2013 'taxmageddon' looms

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2012 2:04 p.m.

    Thank you for the courteous response.

    1) the estate tax, regardless of what the exemption is now compared to then, is one I will continue to oppose. I see no reason why title to my goods should pass to the government just because I expire. It only enriches tax lawyers and estate planners.

    2) profits ARE taxed reguardless of whether or not they are reinvested. There are restrictions on who can file as S-corps and LLCs - other businesses require capital, too.

    3) you are correct, $23000 IS more than $3500, but the $50k family is more hurt by the loss of $3500 than the $500k family is by the loss of $23000, so a repeal of the bush tax cuts would hurt the lower income family more.

    Are you saying the middle class (or lower class, for that matter) has a lower standard of living than they did in 1980, just because one segment of society has increased its share of overall wealth? I don't think so.

    Your assertion that the bush tax cuts COST the government anything assumes that the money belonged to the government in the first place. That is a premise I reject.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    July 13, 2012 11:50 a.m.

    @ first2third: You don't need to earmark taxes to the debt. The taxes are already there. They are just being used to buy votes from people who are too lazy to work for a living.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    July 13, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    Dear Lost in DC

    Your points are well taken, however.
    1)10 years ago when the exemption was $600K a new car cost about 12K. How is a 16 fold increase in the exemption not an enormous tax break?
    2) If the corp spends its profits on investment they are not taxed at all, hence no double taxation. If a small corp wants to avoid double taxation it can always elect S corp status.
    3) I fail to see how $23,000 is not more than $3500. In 1980 when Reagan started cutting marginal tax rates the middle class owned 15% of the national wealth and the top quintile had 85%, Now the top owns 93% leaving 7% for the rest of us. Top quintile ezrnings have trippled while median income has not changed. Bush's tax cuts have added over 2 trillion to our national debt. Supply side economics(trickle down) is the biggest lie since Ayn Rand's "enlightened self interest" which she postulated for the rich.

  • md Cache, UT
    July 13, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    Wow. How about making everything fair? When anyone dies, take 50% of what they have and give it to the government. If it is fair for one group of people, it should be fair for all people. This is absurd. The only people whining about it on this site are the ones who aren't capable or willing to work to achieve wealth. Some of us have worked from lower middle class beginnings to achieve wealth. Why should my money be stolen by the government and handed to some slacker on welfare?

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:46 p.m.

    When are we going to earmark taxes to be used to lower the debt. If you let the bush tax cuts expire and the estate tax go up for estates over 1 million, then earmarked it for lowering the national debt I doubt most Americans would be against you. The problem we face is Democrats want to take from the rich who have earned money and give to the poor who haven't. They will create government programs to redistribute wealth, leading to cronyism. The Republicans want to protect the rich and reduce taxes. They would eliminate the revenue of government but wont get rid of government programs. Thus either way our nations debt rises and the BOZO's of BOTH parties in Washington do nothing about our nations future. The Greek's are a foreshadowing of the US in 10 years unless we start earmarking revenues for debt reduction. Repubs need to let taxes rise for this purpose and Dems need to not use new revenues for new govt programs. America stand up and tell our politicians to be financially responsible.

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:44 p.m.

    The Estate Tax is a Marxist plot! Of course, it is a Marxist plot that was supported by Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Theodore Roosevelt, and Herbert Hoover.

    To Jefferson and Smith, the idea that wealth could pass from one generation to another without taxation was absurd--it would simply lead to another nobility class that got its power and wealth by virtue of nothing but being born into the right bloodline. (We kind of fought a Revolutionary War to be rid of that.) Herbert Hoover famously voiced his disdain for the "idle rich."

    So, when Republicans today talk about getting rid of the estate tax, it must be understood that this is not an old, traditional conservative position, but a very new and very radical and extremist conservative position. And it is one that once again panders to the very wealthy while doing nothing for the middle class.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:35 p.m.

    Mr. Hatch, there are more important issues in Washington to address than trying to protect the wealth of the rich. If you can't find more pressing problems to fix, resign. How about changing the estate tax law such that all monies collected must be used to pay down the national debt.

    The rich developed the characteristics they posses because they had to earn their wealth. Why rob their posterity of the same growth opportunity. If you want to see messed up people, look at families that have been left great wealth.

    The best thing that the rich can do with their money is to give it all away to reputable charities. On the exit oral debriefing you don't want to have to explain why you gave millions to a few when it was within your power to help many of God's less fortunate children.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 12, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    Somebody oughtta tell Ol' Orrin that tacking 'mageddon' on the end of something may be a sign of desperate political hyperbole.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:40 p.m.

    60 years ago a new car was $1000, today it is at least $15,000. The exemptions NEED to go up.

    majority OPPOSED Obamacare, that massive tax was rammed through, anyway.

    the worker trades time for money, the person with unearned income risks capital in order to gain a return. The return has often already been taxed (corporations pay dividends on POST-tax income); to tax it again at a higher rate reduces the incentive for it to be invested. Without investment capital, NO businesss and NO jobs.

    bush tax cuts reduced taxes by 7% (if not eliminated completely)for the lower incomes, but only 4.6% for the top. 7 has always been higher than 4.6. Family of 4 with $50k taxable income saw a 5% rate reduction ($2500) plus a $1000 increase in child tax credits. Total of $3500 or 7% of $50k. Top income rates reduced 4.6% and DO NOT qualify for child tax credits. I think a family of 4 with $50K taxable income would be hurt MORE by a $3500 tax increase than would a family of 4 with $500k taxable income by a $23000 tax increase

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:09 p.m.

    @ Truthseeker. So if the ones who bare this unfair burden are small, it's ok if they suffer. It's ok to devastate those few, to give it to someone else. Minorities only count when it is convenient. Right?

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:06 p.m.

    The estate tax is the worst tax ever imposed on people. Those who think it should stay must have welfare parents and want to stay on the government dole. Having experience with this tax I can tell you that it is probably responsible for putting many families on to the welfare rolls. First off it is double taxation. The government is taxing the dollars that the deceased person already paid taxes on. If you are a person here who says that it is unfair to pass on family acquired assets on to your children, well, please, send them to me if you hate your kids so much you don't want them to have what you accumulated. I have watched this play out in the agriculture business many times. An example is a dairy farm operated by an acquaintance of mine. The farm made enough to support the family, but not enough to pay the "death tax" and feed the family. While the assets were worth millions, the actually income could not meet the tax and feed the family. The farm was parceled out and the kids have struggled ever since. Democrat party sympathy seems to be, they deserved poverty.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2012 6:38 p.m.

    So, you work hard your whole life and then all you commenters think that it is ok for the government to step in and take your money? I don't get it.

    Just go and get a job and save your own money if you want money so bad.

    Why steal it from the rich?


  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    July 12, 2012 6:06 p.m.

    Lost in DC:
    1)10 years ago you could pass $600k free on inheritance tax. It has gradually risen to $10 million. I'd say that is several other tax breaks. Highest marginal tax rates have been reduced by 2/3 since Eisenhower and 1/2 since Reagan. Mitt paid 15%, do those qualify as other tax breaks. "We look forward to the time when there will be public parks, libraries and medical care for the poor funded by an increasing tax on inherited wealth from the capitains of industry" A paraphrase from the 1939 Melchisidek PH manual. If you agree to vote for Obama, I will get you the exact quote.
    2)The government is us, we always tax ourselves to pay for the things the majority feels justified, like two wars in the middle east.
    3) why should unearned income be taxed at a lower rate than income we working people actually have to work for?
    4) Actually the rich would be hurt most by letting the tax cuts expire. Why do you think they are fighting so hard to keep them?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 12, 2012 5:23 p.m.

    the government has a right to someone's money just because they die? really? and why do you say they are getting ANOTHER break? It would just be an extension of the existing rule.

    your statement that a permanent repeal of the estate tax would cost the government something assumes the money was the government's to begin with. no wonder you are so far off base - your initial premise is false. Just because my uncle did not choose to leave me $1 million when he died does not mean I bore any cost whatsoever!

    And to say the number that pays taxes is small is false.

    Unearned income? No, you put your assets at risk and you definitely EARN any return you get, ESPECIALLY in the anti-business environment BO has created. And why are you even talking about unearned income? Small business owners pay taxes at the personal rate, with the pass through from the 1065 (for LLCs and partnerhips) or 1120-Ss for S-corps onto line 16 or 17 (I forget which) on their form 1040.

    One old man,
    let the bush tax cuts expire and low income earners are hurt the most

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 12, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    Current tax law allows:

    Farm and small business estates are generally eligible to defer payment of estate tax (paying only interest) for 5 yrs. and then may pay the tax in up to ten annual installments. The first $1.33 million in estate tax is subject to an interest rate of only 2 percent. This provision prevents farmers with large estates but few liquid assets from having to sell their farms to pay the estate tax.

    Conservation easements. Farmers may deduct from the value of the estate up to 40 percent of the value of land subject to a qualified conservation easement. (A conservation easement is essentially an enforceable promise not to develop the land for uses other than farming.

    Minority interests and marketability discounts. Estate tax law allows a lower valuation for property that is held by multiple heirs, each of whom has a minority interest, or that is otherwise difficult to sell. Farm and small business estates are especially likely to qualify for these discounts. According to the CBO, minority discounts reduced the taxable value of undeveloped land and farmland for which these discounts were claimed by an average of 51 percent in 2000.
    (CBPP 2009)

    July 12, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    What else could we expect from a 6 term, 36 year politician?

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    July 12, 2012 4:47 p.m.

    I am a staunch old Republican in favor of a 45% estate tax. Hatch said, "When you build a business, you put your sweat and ingenuity into it." Yes, but your kids didn't do that, you did. Death takes all of that hard-working person's assets away, anyway. Why should kids get the benefit of un-taxed estates that they didn't work hard for? Of all the possible taxes, why not hit un-deserving rich inheritors the most and let hard-working 'alive' people pay less.

    July 12, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    Again, Orrin Hatch has shown his loyalty to the VERY RICH. How many middle class Americans will benefit from Orrin Hatch's concern for the very rich?

    When will Utah residents realize that 36 years is TOO long for a senator to remain in office?

  • Ricotta SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 12, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    Hatch's point is based in fundamentals - not finances.

    If someone has worked hard all their life and paid taxes along the way... what right does the government have to come in when they die and tax the value of their entire estate???

    "Thanks for all your hard work the past 80 years Bob - now give me in dollars the value of 50% of all your assets"

    The only reason the Washington crooks can get away with it is because the guy is dead! Could you imagine if the government at a "Mid-Life Estate Tax."? How many americans would be okay with that?

    Give me a break.

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 12, 2012 4:08 p.m.

    Wow - where do I start.

    The term unearned income is misleading. How could you have unearned income without having EARNED income in the first place? We see how some people who EARN exuberant amounts of income (movie stars/athletes) end up with absolutely nothing shortly after their careers. Because they do not WORK to wisely manage, invest, spend their EARNED income.

    Unearned income is generated by taking a risk. Why should someone be penalized for taking the money they earned, their private property, and placing it at risk in hopes of EARNING income. So - in reality - unearned income isnt really unearned after all? "unearned income" is political phraseology used to mislead people like you.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Another tax break that will help only -- guess who? -- the most wealthy among us.

    This is absolutely disgusting.

    But what else are we to expect from Hatch and his friends?

  • infoman Cedar Hills, UT
    July 12, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    Must be an election year.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 12, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Very simply put, Republicans favor taxing unearned income at lower levels than earned income.

    From the Center on Budget Policies and Priorites:

    Permanent repeal of the estate tax would cost almost $1.3 trillion over the first ten
    years in which its cost would be fully felt, 2012-2021.

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

    The number of small, family-owned farms and businesses that owe any estate tax at all is tiny, and virtually no such farms and businesses have to be liquidated to pay the tax.

    Large estates are comprised to a large degree of "unrealized" capital gains that have never been taxed; the estate tax is the only means of taxing this income.

  • viejogeezer CARLSBAD, CA
    July 12, 2012 3:19 p.m.

    I absolutely agree, people who inherit over 10 million dollars in cash and stocks and who never worked a day in their lives need another tax break.