Chris Gates, former Colorado Democratic Party Chairman went on the stump for the estate tax that President Trump has proposed to eliminate. In a guest editorial in The Denver Post Oct. 27th, Gates says, "The estate tax is not a burden. Instead, it does what the tax code is intended to do, which is incentivize behavior that benefits us all."
Tell it to the farmers and ranchers whose families lose their livelihoods and homes to the death tax.
Tell it to the small business owner's heirs who have to liquidate the business to pay the tax, which is due within 90 days of the death of a loved one. Tell it to the grieving relatives who in the midst of their mourning have to dispose of family heirlooms at fire-sale prices lest the jackals at the IRS seize the entire estate.
Gates' tone-deaf support of one of the most evil taxes ever imposed by Democrats like him, is a petty complaint that if the death tax is repealed people will stop giving to his favorite charities like the Denver Art Museum.
Gates says the museum, "Has received tens of millions of dollars of artwork, including paintings by Monet and van Gogh. Wealthy collectors frequently donate such highly valuable works that would otherwise transfer to their heirs, in part because of the tax liability that would otherwise fall on inheritors."
And he says this grinning in glee and without a shred of remorse or compassion for the heirs of the "super-wealthy" who might want future generations of their own family to enjoy their Monet. or their cattle ranch.
He presumes, as all Democrats do, that it's fair for the government to compel people to hand over their wealth, be it to the government or some charitable organization, simply because the previous owner passed away. This is how family farms and ranches, small businesses, and family heirlooms are seized by socialistic Democrats in their zeal to take from the rich and give it to themselves, one way or another.
The estate tax has always been a way of redistributing what Democrats have decided is unjust hoarding of wealth and treasures that ought to be owned by the public instead. Originally imposed in 1797 and re-imposed from time to time to pay for various wars the tax, which historically varied from 1 to 10 percent, always expired when the war-bill was paid.
But in 1916, under Woodrow Wilson, it was again imposed as the United States entered WWI and never went away. It was made permanent in 1924. From 1932 through 1976 rates topped out at 77 percent and the tax has become an unapologetic Democrat program of redistributing wealth based on class-based socialist envy and jealousy.
Gates says, "The estate tax. creates a strong incentive for the super-wealthy to give to charity rather than pay the tax. Removing that incentive will cause a substantial decline in very large gifts: the kind that can be truly transformational for charities, colleges, hospitals and the arts."
In 2010, for one year, the estate tax disappeared and Gates complains that, "Charitable bequests dropped by 37 percent from the previous year, and then rose by 92 percent in the following year when the estate tax was restored." Is it any wonder? It's not an incentive, it's a threat: Give your valuables to charity or the government will take everything.
He sees the tax as good for charity. What he completely ignores is that it's not really charity at all, it's IRS-forced liquidation under the threat of being completely beggared by the death tax due to an immediate shortage of cash to pay the tax due on the value of things a family might have acquired or built up over generations, like a ranch or an art collection.
The death tax is a gun held to the heads of people who work hard for a lifetime to build something real and valuable for their family's future. It is the very worst sort of offense against liberty and property there is.
It's long past time to kill the Death Tax, once and for all.
Readers can contact Scott Weiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.