U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement after voting against S. 3412, Democrat Majority Leader Reid's tax plan. The bill passed in the Senate by a 51 -48 vote:
"Reid's tax hike proposal is economically destructive, and quite frankly, robs our next generation of jobs creators blind," said Inhofe. "Not only are Senate Democrats attempting to raise taxes on small business owners and entrepreneurs during a period of economic uncertainty, but they also want to raise the death tax to levels not seen in over a decade. More liberal than even the President's proposal, the Democrats' tax plan would increase the current death tax rate from 35 percent up to 55 percent and reduce the exemption level by more than four-fifths. This is a direct hit on our next generation of Americans, hampering their ability to keep a family business open or farm in operation.
"What's most disturbing is that Reid would move forward on this vote despite a new Ernst and Young study reporting that the tax hikes on the top two marginal tax rates would shed 710,000 American jobs and reduce economic activity by $200 billion. I simply do not understand why the President and Senate Democrats are advocating this destructive tax policy given the fact that our economic growth is slower today than in 2010 when the President first agreed to stop automatic tax hikes. Now with an election around the corner, they are employing class warfare at the expense of economic stability and jobs."
Inhofe voted in favor of the McConnell/Hatch Tax Plan Amendment that would extend all Bush-era Tax Cuts for a year to provide enough time to enact comprehensive tax reform with a new Congress. The measure failed at by a 45 -- 54 vote.
Inhofe is a co-sponsor of U.S. Sen. John Thune's (R-S.D.) bill, the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act (S.2242), to permanently abolish the federal estate tax. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation's analysis, the death tax increase in S.3412 would have the following impact compared to current policy:
24 times more farming estates would be hit with this massive death tax hike,
13 times more small businesses would be hit with this massive death tax hike, and
15 times more taxable estates would be hit with this massive death tax hike.