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Permanent Estate Tax Relief For Families, Farmers, And Small Businesses Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington D.C.


Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I think the gentlelady made an excellent point highlighting the weakness of this bill. The gentlelady from Nevada pointed out that this is not indexed for inflation. Let's make no mistake: a characterization that someone else is kicking the can down the lane, this bill, in fact, kicks the can down the lane because if it's not indexed for inflation, then at the very least we are going to be knocking up against the alternative minimum tax problem that has so plagued this Congress over the past couple of years.

I heard, Mr. Speaker, a couple of minutes ago one of the folks on the other side of the aisle who is sort of characterizing things as folks weren't paying taxes. I want to put that into a context. Look, here is a little bit of a list. If you're running around the United States of America and doing any kind of economic activity, these are the taxes you're going to run into. You're going to be paying capital gains, you're going to be paying Federal income taxes, or unemployment taxes, or motor fuel taxes, or gift taxes, Medicare taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, real estate transfer taxes, telecommunications taxes, sales taxes, self-employment taxes, Social Security taxes, State income taxes, tolls, bridges. You name it, you're going to be loaded up with taxes.

And so here is an opportunity for us to say, let's have a clear, good shot. As Representative Camp said a couple of minutes ago, death should not be a taxable event. Let's not act as if this accumulation over a period of years has not been taxed along the way.

So I think the National Association of Manufacturers accurately pointed out that it's not the tax burden alone that's the problem here. It's not simply the fact that it's not indexed for inflation. But the cumulative effect is, in fact, the problem because according to the NAM, $94,000 a year is spent on tax preparation and estate planning. I say let's lift the tax burden. Let's recognize the cumulative nature of taxes that people are paying. Let's not, with a straight face, try and say people aren't paying taxes, and let's vote against this bill.


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